If stopping the boats wasn’t code for punishing desperate people ostensibly for their own good, I’m sure there’d be less argument in this country about how to deal with asylum seekers.
Acting like arseholes in order to deter people from attempting to bootstrap themselves out of miserable circumstances is not a solution, Pacific or otherwise. Sure, boats are dangerous. So is locking people up for indefinite periods, so is sending refugees back where they came from, so is living in limbo as a non-citizen in Indonesia, so is rotting in a refugee camp for years on end.
There are no easy answers, but if you’re looking for an applicable Australian Value, then “Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right” wouldn’t be a bad start.