“I STOPPED THESE”! NO YOU DIDN’T! How Scott Morrison’s campaign to ‘turn back the boats’ actually destroyed Aussie ships & almost saw sailors die

EXCLUSIVE: With immigration and asylum matters back in the headlines and the Federal Government doing what it does best in demonising refugees, True Crime News Weekly can finally reveal the inside details of how Scott Morrison’s campaign to “stop the boats” during his term as Immigration Minister was more about destroying his own ships. As well as almost costing the lives of Australian sailors. Serkan Ozturk reports.

He’s the feckless political leader who gave himself a trophy for presiding over an institutional torture apparatus that has resulted in the murder and deaths of over a dozen asylum seekers, as well as prevalent sexual assaults and rapes by security guards in concentration camps – described as “mental illness factories” – on tiny, impoverished Pacific islands controlled by local Big Men and their militias.

So this week’s ‘grand announcement’ by the Federal Government was par for the course really.

In a display of great political hypocrisy and greater moral decay, it was announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the notorious Christmas Island detention centre would be reopened.

The announcement was conveniently timed just a little while ahead of a federal election that a desperate, corrupt and unlikeable government is expected to heavily rely on “border security”, “terrorism” and “national security” to secure votes from a bamboozled and weary public, while also appealing to their base of rusted-on racists.

“We have approved putting in place the re-opening of the Christmas Island detention facilities, both to deal with the prospect of arrivals as well as dealing with the prospect of transfers,” Morrison told reporters at a press conference on the morning of February 13.

The Prime Minister then told journalists that if any boats carrying refugees successfully arrived upon the shores of Australia it would all be Labor’s fault. Expect more of these dangerous refugee hordes to flood the country was the implied message.

Seeming to perfectly embody the description of Australia by one Chinese billionaire this month, as a “giant baby”, Morrison and his cronies came up with the idea to reopen the detention centre as a result of a crushing and embarrassing defeat in Parliament earlier this week.

The historic defeat came over a bill that now allows for doctors to have a greater say on whether asylum seekers currently held on Manus Island and Nauru need be evacuated to Australia for medical treatment. The shock. The horror. Innocent people – men, women, children – who haven’t been convicted of any crime being provided with basic medical services.

How noble of the Labor Party, the Greens and politicians like Kerryn Phelps and Derryn Hinch that they had to work so hard to come to that hard decision that people should be afforded appropriate healthcare. This is the level of debate we have sunk to thanks to two decades of gruesome defamation of refugees by the majority of the media and political class.

The sick trophy PM Scott Morrison awarded himself (Image: Lukas Coch / AAP)

Mainstream conservative thinking in Australia is a wonderfully nuanced and ever-changing object. One has to admit there really has been great advancements in what these marvels of political thought can offer the community, apart from self-interest, greed and jobs for the boys. Truly. Almost 100 years ago it was Reds Under Your Beds. Now, it’s Refos Near Your Beaches. Marvel at the sophistry. Stay for the rhetoric.

Let’s be clear.

How Australia treats the bodies of people who come by boat seeking asylum is simply yet another example of the non-consensual, violent, psycho-sexual battery which nation-states the world over inflict upon certain types of humans for reasons of propaganda and power.

In its true essence, the ideological basis for the Australian government’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ is much closer to a rapist performing unwanted BDSM practices on vulnerable victims than it exists to achieve any real positive political goal.

These are the unconscious desires that drive the debate surrounding the movement of refugee bodies.

We control. We abuse. We constrict. We punish. And if they still don’t obey, death is a very real option.

* * * * *

Operation Sovereign Borders first got into full swing in 2013 after the country’s new Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, ran on an electoral campaign to “stop the boats”. As described by the government itself, it is a “military-led border security operation” against desperate and weaponless asylum seekers.

The Minister responsible for the operation when it was first launched was of course the nation’s current leader – Scott Morrison.

He took to the job with some glee it must be said. It was perhaps one of the few ministerial posts he could let his inner Cronulla – his home suburb – really shine.

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One of his first acts was to commission a propaganda cartoon and then a propaganda video to scare people in the Middle-East who might have been considering escaping the global wars being played out in their backyards.

Before that, he had travelled to Manus Island to tell the asylum seekers there in-person that they would never be allowed entry into Australia. His comments that day resulted in some of the asylum seekers becoming suicidal and created long-lasting mental trauma in many others. Morrison didn’t care. He then made a video of his comments which was supposed to be played to every new arrival at the concentration camp.

In no short time, Morrison would begin to regularly crow about how he had successfully “stopped the boats”.

Amplified by his media mates at News Corp and by the likes of 2GB shock jock, Ray Hadley, Morrison earned much praise for “stopping the boats”. What a great Aussie hero.

But the full story has not been told, until now.

Just how exactly did Scott Morrison magically ‘turn back the boats’?

It’s a question that has often been asked, but a response has never been forthcoming, with the government insisting it can not comment about “on water matters”.

No matter now, as True Crime News Weekly will provide the details.

The answer is that Morrison spotted a gap in the maintenance contract the Australian Navy had with global service company Serco.

Serco had the contract to support the Australian Navy’s Armidale class patrol boats. The contract did not stipulate how hard or fast the boats could be driven. Rather the boats were serviced based on operational hours.

Each of the fourteen 300-tonne Armidale class patrol boats hulls are made from aluminium and are not designed to be operated beyond certain parameters. If they are driven too hard they essentially crack, especially around where the two heavy engines are located.

But because the maintenance contract the Australian Navy had with Serco did not stipulate how hard the boats could be driven, under Morrison these patrol boats were driven far beyond what was safe.

According to a former senior Serco executive who spoke with True Crime News Weekly, what Morrison did to turn back the boats was nothing short of negligent and likely criminal.

“What Scott Morrison did was to tell the Australian Navy, as soon as radar detected a refugee boat, to drive these patrol boats at top speed – smashing through heavy seas at close to 30 knots – and severely damaging the hulls, putting Australian Navy sailors lives at risk, to intercept the refugee boats and to tow them back out to sea, in violation of international law,” the former Serco executive said.

The damage to the Armidale patrol boats was severe and on numerous occasions the Australian Navy came perilously close to seeing an Armidale literally crack in half and sink at sea, with 21 sailors on each boat.

The damage done to the boats was so widespread it caused Serco to lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

HMAS Broome: An Armidale class patrol boat used by the Australian Navy

In 2015, Serco finally extricated itself from the Armidale maintenance contract that was set to run until 2022.

All in all, Serco lost over $200 million thanks to the cracked and severely damaged boats caused by Morrison’s campaign to “stop the boats”.

At the time, Serco’s CEO, Rupert Soames, put on a brave front and did not publicly criticise the Australian Government, on the proviso of Serco’s many other contracts with the Federal Government which now includes also providing call centre workers on behalf of Centrelink.

“We are pleased to have reached a mutually beneficial agreement with our customer on this matter,” Mr Soames said in November 2015.

“Today’s amendments represent an equitable solution for both parties. We remain absolutely focused on delivering the highest standard of operational performance on this challenging contract.”

Soames is the grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.

Our Serco source, who worked directly with the Defense Maritime contract at the time, told True Crime News Weekly that Morrison’s action definitely put the lives of Australian military personnel on the line.

“There is no doubt at all that Australian sailors lives were put at risk. It’s amazing and very lucky that we didn’t see one or more of these patrol boats sink in heavy seas due to cracking, whilst chasing a refugee boat,” the source said.

“What Scott Morrison did was unethical and illegal – but his ambition and reckless disregard for human life clearly overrode all concerns for sailors lives. That’s the real story behind the Scott Morrison who supposedly stopped the boats.”

Another source has told True Crime News Weekly that not only were sailors lives put at risk, but Navy personnel also suffered ongoing mental trauma due to the operation.

“One young man I know suffered post-traumatic stress disorder,” the source revealed.

“He found trying to rescue dead babies and others horrific. Morrison doesn’t care. He wants to open Christmas Island again.”

According to the former Serco executive, it was a given that the boats used by the Navy were not “ultra hardy” but that’s because they weren’t built in the first place to be sailed in rough open conditions.

“They were never designed to be sailed at sea at 105% capacity through heavy seas,” the former Serco employee continued.

“They were patrol boats, designed to poke around rivers and harbours, they are not naval destroyers. It’s like driving a normal car through the desert at full speed and wondering why it falls apart.

“So ScoMo ordered these boats were absolutely flogged far beyond what was safe, and Serco lost hundreds of millions of dollars. And it was because of Scott Morrison’s abusive policy directives, not because of any genuine issue with the boats.”

True Crime News Weekly has not bothered contacting anybody from the government for a response to this story. Simply because as events of this week and history shows this government deliberately lies and misleads on immigration and asylum matters, and has done so for six years now. Look at the au pairs. Look at the case of Paladin – a shell company fronted by shady military types that has received over $400 million worth of contracts to run the concentration camps that house asylum seekers under Australia’s care. At best we would receive a “no comment”.

We have too much respect for our readers and the public to waste it on spin and bullshit while innocent people continue to suffer and die for votes.

About Serkan Ozturk 201 Articles
Serkan Ozturk is the publisher of True Crime News Weekly. He is an investigative journalist and editor with a colourful career spanning across print, online, radio and television. He has had his journalism previously featured by Sydney Morning Herald, Crikey, Australian Doctor, Ruptly, Dopamine Magazine, City Hub and the Star Observer. He is a member of the MEAA.


  1. Serkan, it was rumoured that because of blowback from the Navy about being told not to save fellow seafarers in danger & being used for political point scoring, that Morrison had Defence regs altered, to remove officer & sailor legal liability from complicity in deaths, to counter Navy objections, & installed an Army officer as overall commander of OSB for the same reason. There was also considerably increased penalties for Defence personnel leaking any info whatever on social media (guaranteed jail, rather than just admonition as previously).
    The government had often been embarrassed by info coming from sailors that showed the politicians and/or Murdoch media were often lying when describing asylum seekers interactions. There is now a huge silence on social media from sailors, even anonymously, since Abbott was elected.

    Heard anything on this?

  2. You should read John Menadue. He has facts on numbers arriving & proof that the number of boats drastically dropped after Kevin Rudd decided that no one arriving on boats would ever get to Australia. Since that decision, in the last 5or 6 years, only 33 boats have been intercepted. Rudd stopped the boats.
    Most of the people who drowned at sea died because the LNP & I think The Greens, refused to vote for the Gillard governments ‘Malaysia Solution’.

  3. There is a quote, I’m not sure who by, which goes: “governments treat refugees the way they wish they could treat their own people.” Isn’t that the truth now that Dutton and Morrison want the power to spy on Australian citizens.

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