ASYLUM seekers will be warned against trying to reach Australia by boat in a series of videos and posters telling them they could be sent to Nauru or Manus Island and will not be processed more quickly than people who wait in refugee camps.
The campaign, titled ''Australia by boat? No advantage'' will start tomorrow. Videos will be distributed on YouTube and as DVDs, as well as brochures and posters targeting immigrant communities in Australia and overseas.
''This multimedia and communications campaign reinforces the message that asylum seekers should think twice before getting on a boat to Australia, because they will be risking their lives at sea for no advantage - absolutely no advantage,'' the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, said.
A coalition of church leaders, including the Anglican Primate Phillip Aspinall and Catholic Bishops Conference president Denis Hart, has issued a statement expressing ''grave concern'' at the government's offshore processing laws.
The Immigration Department videos - with narration in English, Farsi, Pashto, Arabic, Tamil, Sinhalese and Dari - include footage of the derelict accommodation at the previous camps operated by the former Howard government, even though these have been closed and have fallen into disrepair in recent years.
The videos state: ''There is no advantage in paying a people smuggler to travel to Australia. The Australian government is preparing to transfer asylum seekers who travel by boat to Nauru or Manus Island, Papua New Guinea. This includes people who arrive alone, in family groups, and children.''
Cut with clips of the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, announcing the policy, the ads repeat the phrase ''no advantage'', stating boat arrivals ''will not make it to Australia'', will ''not be processed faster'' and ''will not be able to sponsor family to come to Australia through the humanitarian program''.
Customs will disseminate the campaign through embassies, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Organisation for Migration.
Yesterday afternoon authorities intercepted a boat carrying 48 people off the coast of Western Australia.
The opposition said Australia should talk to Sri Lanka about sending them straight back without processing.