Scott Morrison is significantly ramping up border security patrols and reopening Christmas Island to guard against a feared influx of asylum-seeker boats.
The prime minister has warned changes to fast-track medical evacuations for asylum seekers held offshore, which passed the lower house against the government's wishes, could restart the people-smuggling trade.
"My job now is to ensure that the boats don't come," he told reporters at Parliament House on Wednesday.
"My job now is to do everything within my power, and in the power of the government, to ensure that what the parliament has done to weaken our borders does not result in boats coming to Australia."
The prime minister denied his ramped up rhetoric played into the hands of people smugglers.
"I'm standing between people smugglers and bringing a boat to Australia," he said.
The fast-tracked medical transfers will only apply to the existing cohort of refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.
The prime minister pledged to reverse the laws if the coalition was re-elected at the poll expected in mid-May.
He argued people smugglers did not deal with the nuance of the "Canberra bubble" but rather the psychology of messaging about "stronger" and "weaker" borders.
"It might be all fine and nice to talk about these nuances here in this courtyard," he said.
"But when you're in a village in Indonesia and someone is selling you a product, there's no protection or truth in advertising for people smugglers."
Australian Associated Press
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