Was There a Link Between Boat Arrivals and Gillard’s Live Export Ban?

Barnaby Joyce has come under fire for linking the Gillard government’s live export ban with an increase in asylum seeker boat arrivals. Here’s what he said:

During a regional leaders’ debate, Mr Joyce said the controversial decision by the Gillard government to ban cattle exports to Indonesia created immense bad will in the region.

‘When we closed down the live animal export industry, it was around about the same time that we started seeing a lot of people arriving in boats in Australia,’ he told the forum in Goulburn on Wednesday night.

When asked whether he stood by the suggestion on Thursday morning, Mr Joyce said he didn’t claim the suspension caused Indonesia to send people to Australia.

But rather it made it difficult to negotiate with the country on the issue.

‘I’m just stating the bleeding obvious,’ he told the Seven Network.

‘You don’t want to, basically, what they would determine, insult another country by overnight ceasing the supply of a major requirement of their dietary intake which is meat.’

The key point of reference here of course in June 2011 – the time when the Gillard government implemented the ban. Now let’s have another look at the graph of monthly boat arrivals under Labor:


(NB: this graph was published in The Australian on 8 May 2013).

As always, I’ll leave you to form your own opinion…

6 thoughts on “Was There a Link Between Boat Arrivals and Gillard’s Live Export Ban?”

  1. A sadly typical mainstream media response to Joyce’s comment. He made a claim of fact. You would hope any decent journalist might first ask: empirically, is Joyce right? He seems to be. Now, does correlation imply causation in this case? Which direction does any causation run? Are there any plausible causal mechanisms that might be at work? And so on …..

    But instead we get the classic post modern response: “You can’t say that!” In large part, this response is just the open borders crowd refusing to see any but the purest motives in the explosion of ‘refugee’ numbers under Rudd-Gillard-Rudd.

    All in all, I’d score this another win for Joyce with the general public.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks TES – I couldn’t have said it any better myself. Journalism has become little more than assertion these days with almost no investigation whatsoever.


  2. What needs to be assessed first, is to what degree, if at all, Indonesia ever tried to stop asylum seekers leaving for Australia. Indonesia benefits from a situation, where they milk these guys dry, before offloading them to Australia, to make room for even more “Milky Cows”.


    1. If hard numbers were available, I suspect that we would see a link between the amount of ‘foreign aid’ sent to Indonesia and the number of asylum seeker arrivals. It’s patently obvious that Indonesia controls the tap.


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