AUSTRALIA TIGHTEN ITS BORDER SECURITY MEASURES

Are The Nation’s Border Security Measures Working? Australians Vote

ABOUT THE STUDY

In the last six months, three groups of people arrived at Western Australia undetected via boat, each on separate occasions. In November, a dozen men arrived ashore towards the northern tip of the State. In February, local Aboriginal families discovered dozens of exhausted individuals around the bush who had disembarked a boat at Broome. More recently, in April, a group of 10 Chinese people were discovered near the Truscott airbase on a boat near a rocky coastline. On each occasion, all individuals were transferred to an offshore facility in Nauru. The incidents have sparked political and community debate over whether Australia should tighten its border protection or whether there should be a greater military presence in Western Australia’s far north.

Immigration to Australia commissioned a survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1001 Australians to determine if Australians believe the Federal Government’s border policing should be tightened after these three incidents.

Should Australia Tighten Its Border Security Measures To Avoid Any Recurrence Of Undetected Arrivals?

From the survey, Immigration to Australia found that more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents believe that Australia needs to tighten its border security so that it will detect all foreign boats that enter Australian waters. Almost a third (32%), however, believe Australia’s border security doesn’t need to be tightened, even after undetected asylum seekers were found in Western Australia. These respondents either believe the country’s security is tough enough or Australia should secure housing for any asylum seekers found on our shores.

BY AGE.

Immigration to Australia found that the older the Australian, the more likely they want tougher border security. More than three-quarters (77%) of over-55s respondents believe that the Federal Government should tighten its border security to detect boats that enter Australian waters and turn them around. This compares with two thirds (66%) of respondents aged 35-54 and just over half (55%) of under-35s adults.

Across the age groups, more than a quarter (28%) of of under-35s adults believe that the Government’s border security is adequate and the Government should be able to find appropriate housing in a country as large as Australia. In comparison, only 14 per cent of
respondents aged 35-54 agree, followed by only eight per cent of over-55s.

One in five (20%) of respondents aged 35-54 believe Australia already has adequately rigid border policing, followed by 17 per cent of respondents aged 18-34 and 15 per cent over 55.

BY STATE.

When comparing responses across the states, Immigration to Australia found that Queensland has the highest proportion of residents (at 72%) who want tougher border policing.

This compares with:

  • 70% of South Australians
  • 68% of West Australians
  • 67% of Victorians
  • 66% of NSW respondents

NSW respondents (18%) are most likely to believe the Government doesn’t need to tighten its border security, but they should be able to find housing for asylum seekers. This compares to 13 per cent of South Australians and 10 per cent of Queenslanders.

 

Do You Agree That Unauthorised Arrivals Should Be Sent To An Offshore Detention Centre?

Immigration to Australia found that more than half (56%) of respondents believe that the Australian Government should send unauthorised asylum seekers to a detention centre. However, 44% either believe it is unfair to detain individuals searching for a better life or that there should be an alternative solution to detention centres.

 

BY AGE.

Immigration to Australia found that the older the age group, the more likely they are to agree with the Government’s offshore detention centre policy. Two-thirds (66%) of over- 55s respondents believe that the Government should send asylum seekers to offshore detention centres as government housing (an alternative) should only be available for Australian citizens. Just over half (55%) of respondents aged 35-54 and 41% of respondents aged 18–34 agree.

Younger Australians aremost emphatic towards asylum seekers: 41 per cent of XX believe believing there should be alternative solutions to offshore detention centres, compared with 35 per cent of 35–54-year-olds and 26 per cent of respondents over 55.

This sentiment among younger Australians carries on, as under-35s adults also believe that detention centres are unfair, as asylum seekers are just searching for a better life. Only 10 per cent of 35–54-year-olds agree with this, followed by eight per cent of respondents over 55.

 

BY STATE.

Again, Immigration to Australia found that Queenslanders were more in favour of strict border security measures – this time with almost two-thirds (64%) agreeing with the Government’s offshore detention centre policy, particularly as social housing is scarce in Australia.

This was followed by:

  • 59% of West Australians
  • 55% of South Australians
  • 55% of NSW respondents
  • 54% of Victorians.

More Victorians (35%) believe that there should be alternative solutions to offshore detention centres. This compares with 31 per cent of South Australians and an equal 27 per cent of Queenslanders and West Australians who agree.