It's good to finally see Abbott and his government facing some political damage from the "whatever it takes" attitude to stopping boats of civilians getting to our shores. And don't you love the government's "but you're corrupt too!" response to Indonesian complaints delivered by Abbott's personal lacky Greg Sheridan. What fun it would be to get the metadata belonging to Sheridan's mobile phone.
As I have commented several times, it is not only scandalous high seas behaviour to be using our military and customs to be stopping boats of civilians, locking them up on ships for weeks at a time, before returning them to fates unknown in countries like Sri Lanka and Vietnam; it is the most outrageous and ludicrous affront to transparency in a democratic government that it should persistently refuse to tell the voters what it is doing. (Ludicrous because its hard to see how publicity of the success of the schemes could hurt in Indonesia.)
It is, of course, extremely difficult for Labor to "score" on this issue, but here at last is one way it might.
But before the next election, it also needs to be talking to Indonesia very specifically about what is going to be done at a regional level to ensure there is no repeat of an escalation of the boats should it win the next election. (And they have to do something novel about Nauru and Manus Island too.)