Acting Prime Minister Richard Marles has confirmed a Sri Lankan asylum seeker boat has been turned back from Australia’s border just a day after he was sworn into office.
It is understood about 15 people were on board the vessel that was stopped on Saturday by Australian border authorities off the west coast of Christmas Island after almost making it to the mainland.
On Saturday afternoon, those people were on board an Operation Sovereign Borders vessel having their credentials verified.
“There’s been a takeback procedure, which has been enacted in relation to the people on board that vessel,” Mr Marles told Sky News Australia.
Mr Marles said there were no “protection obligations” from Australia in relation to any of them.
“They have been returned to Sri Lanka, and that has happened in a very ordinary and routine way.”