Around 157 mainly Sri Lankan and Iranian refugees have been rescued after their boat sank off Indonesia.
Three are confirmed dead, and up to 60 are unaccounted for.
They were bound for what they hoped would be a new life in Australia.
But, just last week, the policy of the ruling Labor party changed, meaning refugees will now not be allowed to settle in the country.
Speaking in Melbourne Kevin Rudd, Australian Prime Minister, said: “This underlines the need for policy changes in Australia on asylum seeker’s policy which sends a very clear message to people smugglers to stop sending people by boat to Australia. We are seeing too many drownings, we are seeing too many sinkings, too many innocent people being lost at sea”
Indonesia is used as a transit point where the boats, often in not very good condition, try to get to Christmas Island, which is Australian territory.
This year alone, more than 15,000 asylum seekers have made the journey, but hundreds are believed to have died en route.