It seems at odds with the notion of sending a tough message to people smugglers and their desperate and uninformed customers that Skytraders has required the publicly accessible Flightaware tracking system to hide the charter flights by its Airbus A319 LR or long range jet between Christmas Island and Nauru.

Do they fear the paparazzi might somehow gate crash its landings, or publicise the loadings of the those we punish as proxies for the criminals who we freely let come and go from this country because Canberra doesn’t have enough evidence or guts to prosecute and pursue the real wrong doers, who organise the boats, sell the fares, and care not whether they make it with their human cargo to Australian soil, or vanish without trace.

Isn’t publicising this enlightened, humane, family friendly, wholesome process of ruining the lives of those who actually make it to Christmas Island part of the strategy to end people smuggling?

Or are we really, truly deeply ashamed of what we are doing?

It seems that the latter might be true.

The jet concerned performs the Australian Antarctic Division flights to the Wilkins Ice Runway some distance from the Casey station during the polar summer, as well as charters to McMurdo Sound for other Antarctic treaty nations and the occasional medical rescue flight to the ice continent.

However it has plenty of spare time in which to take other government or commercial charters, and has occasionally been used to transport visiting Royalty, or shuttle the media around the region in tandem with the Prime Ministerial Boeing BBJ when the focus groups decide that a larger than normal contingent of reporters is required for far flung photo and story opportunities.

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