Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard insists that offshore processing of asylum seekers is still the Federal Government's preference.
After failing to get enough support in Parliament for its Malaysia people swap plan, the government will process asylum seekers in Australia using bridging visas and community detention to avoid overcrowding detention centres, 702 ABC Sydney reported Friday.
"My view is that we should be implementing the arrangement with Malaysia," Prime Minister Julia Gillard insists, though, "it would send the maximum deterrence message, be the greatest blow we could land on people smugglers and be the greatest deterrence to stop people risking their lives and getting on leaky boats."
She cites the deaths of around 400 people trying to get to Australia by boat as further evidence for the policy.
As it stands, however, "we are at real risk of seeing more boats," the Prime Minister warns, "(but) as we see those boats, it's very important we separate the problem of more boats from our views of the people on the boats, many of whom are genuine refugees fleeing circumstances like torture and genocide."
Also arriving in Australia will be 4,000 refugees from Malaysia, as the government honours its commitment to do so as part of the proposed policy.
Success for the government came in the shape of carbon pricing, though, and in response to the suggestion that consumers face an increase in prices, Gillard said "we have an investment of more than a billion dollars to work with manufacturing (and) $150 Million for food processing."
She acknowledges there will still be some flow through in prices from the carbon tax, but claims, "it is 0.7 per cent of CPI, less than a cent in a dollar, and we are providing tax cuts and increases in the pension and family payments."