Father's thought bubble:
With each boat that arrives, the asylum seekers are immediately placed on a plane and taken to a UNHCR camp in varying countries. On the return trip to Australia, the plane takes 2 (or 1.5) people from the same camp for every person they dropped off.
This would allow us to select those asylum seekers that have been stuck in the camps for years, reduce the numbers in those camps, increase the refugee intake, and provide an immediate deterrence to those who have the money to pay their way to Australia.
It would cost a bit, but I would imagine the boats would stopping coming after the first couple of aircraft departures.
Unlike the Malaysian solution, it cannot have a cap or the smugglers can overwhelm the policy.
If that means we need to withdraw from the refugee convention then so be it. It is outdated anyway.