WITHIN a week Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be jetting to Indonesia to talk asylum seekers, boat people and people smugglers with our largest neighbour.
It will be Mr Abbott's first overseas trip as Prime Minister and "turning back the boats" was an election pledge on which he must act.
The reality is that no Australian government can totally stop every boat from making the three-day trip to Christmas Island.
There are an estimated 11 million refugees in the world and the number of displaced people continues to grow with hundreds of thousands of Syrians leaving that country.
Mr Abbott's discussion with Indonesian Prime Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be delicate.
Indonesia is just as keen to stop displaced people using its country as a staging point and stretching the resources of an already poor country.
Some of these people are genuine asylum seekers but many are also economic refugees. Regardless, they saw Australia as a relatively soft option under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
For most Australians the argument is not about refusing to accept refugees or asylum seekers, it is the sense of injustice that these people are jumping ahead of other refugees who have applied to come to Australia and are waiting in camps in Asia.
These "legitimate" refugees haven't destroyed their papers or paid people smugglers.
It is also about stopping adults and families from risking their lives on this dangerous boat trip and instead entering Australia through the front door.
Australia bumped up its humanitarian intake from 13,750 to 20,000 last year - that rates us second to the US (52,500) in total numbers but first in the world on a per capita basis.
We are a generous country and politicians who paint the federal government as inhumane are way off target.
In a world where increasing numbers of people are being displaced, Australia must also be in charge of who, how and when people enter this country.
We are currently spending $4 billion a year on this problem largely because the tough love of the Howard era was watered down under Labor.
The new government will send a clear message. The Manus Island and PNG solution will remain and temporary protection visas will be reinstated, which provide three years' protection but denies the major attraction of family reunions.
Mr Abbott has also appointed Major General Angus Campbell to bolster our northern border. Boats will be turned back when it is safe and over a period of several months the message will get through that the best and safest way to get to Australia is through a proper camp.
The idea by lawyer Julian Burnside to dump all boat people into the Tasmanian community while they are awaiting processing rates a close second in the stupidity ratings to Mr Abbott suggesting he will buy fishing boats from Indonesians.
Tasmanians are welcoming of genuine refugees but we shouldn't be the national dumping ground for a failed border protection policy.