Now that the dust has settled on the end of Tony Abbott's prime ministership, it is time to put to bed the myth that Abbott stopped the boats. That is a great piece of spin, but Tony Abbott did not stop the boats. The game changer was the announcement by Kevin Rudd on July 19, 2013, two months before the election, that any persons arriving irregularly by boat would not be settled in Australia. Boat arrivals fell quickly and dramatically as a result of this announcement, coming on top of other measures the Labor government had already taken.
In fact, Tony Abbott kept the door open for tens of thousands of boat arrivals in the first place. His failure to support the Malaysia Arrangement in September 2011 resulted in the surge of boat arrivals over the next two years.