tip off

How can we tell if the Malaysian deal works?

It’s not clear whether the Government’s announcement on 7 May about a deal on asylum seekers had a significant deterrent effect on boat arrivals. What is clear is that there has been a huge fall in the number of arrivals this year, even before 7 May.

The dirty secret of the asylum seeker debate is that something is stopping the boats, but it’s most likely the shift in asylum seeker sources away from the Asian region toward Europe over the course of 2010.

Having spent so long insisting “push” factors were the key to the rise in asylum seekers heading for Australia, the deal with Malaysia finally announced yesterday looks awfully like an acknowledgement that “pull” factors are critical. The test will only really come when there’s another surge in asylum seekers in our region, courtesy of civil war or, as recent history suggests is more likely, people like us invading other countries.

The deal, of course, doesn’t apply to the much larger number of asylum seekers who arrive by air, who are the subject of a strange conspiracy of silence across all disputants in the debate; the official line for all sides is that the real issue is stopping dangerous maritime journeys, but it’s odd how the “queue jumper” rhetoric seems to vanish despite the fact that people arriving by boat have a far higher success rate in applying for humanitarian visas than those arriving by air. Plainly, people coming through airports don’t push the buttons of hostility in Australians that boat arrivals do, despite boat arrivals being subjected to far heavier vetting and screening than people going through Customs on a tourism visa.

Still, the deal falls over the line for the Government: the UNHCR will be closely involved in monitoring the deal, despite not signing but merely (and pointedly) “noting” the agreement yesterday, although Labor would have been pleased the UNHCR’s statement made a clear reference to the purpose being to prevent loss of life at sea. It loosely fits the “regional solution” rhetoric that Julia Gillard has been pushing since her first frantic days as Prime Minister and her to-do list of watering down the mining tax, pandering to hostility toward asylum seekers and pretending to do something about climate change.

There is criticism both that the conditions detainees sent to Malaysia will face are too generous, and that they are too harsh, which will be spun as evidence the Government “got the balance right”. The issue of unaccompanied minors has been dealt with via a rule of “no blanket exemptions” (the Government had no choice, given any exemptions would operate like TPVs and encourage boat arrivals) but with the wriggle room that case-by-case judgments will be made.

Best of all — or should that be least worst of all — it expands, albeit only for four years, Australia’s humanitarian intake, the single best thing a wealthy country can do for asylum seekers.

What it also does is outsource a political problem to the Malaysian Government. Guarantees about the treatment of detainees sent to Malaysia won’t be worth a great deal if anything untoward befalls one of them, even accidentally — the federal government will be held responsible under the same logic that had Peter Garrett responsible for “industrial manslaughter” because of shonks in the insulation industry.

And how much is a commitment on human rights from the Malaysian Government worth anyway? This is a government with a wretched human rights record and a long history of abuse of its own citizens, let alone those from other countries. Much political damage could accrue to Labor from things that are entirely outside its control. However, it will be counting on events in Malaysia being out of the gaze of most voters, compared to rooftop protests at Villawood that are all too public.

It’s a shaky policy, with plenty of risk, and it will be hard to tell whether it works or not given the current lull in asylum seeker movements in our region. But contrary to the all the noise from both Left and Right, it’s a better policy than the Coalition’s, which consists of TPVs — that have a proven history of leading to the deaths of asylum seekers — and spending a billion dollars warehousing people in Nauru for two years before bringing them all to Australia. And if it does work, it’ll be time to move Chris Bowen to somewhere where his skills are put to better use than cleaning up one of Labor’s longest-running messes.

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  • 1
    Michael James
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Bernard, you keep forgetting the key reason that people don’t see asylum seekers arriving by air as a problem.

    1. They don’t arrive by job lot as they do in a boat
    2. Their chosen method of arrival isn’t illegal
    3. Their chosen method does not rely on paying people smugglers to be shipped here in leaky boats with the chance of drowing thrown in
    4. Anyone who gets onto a plane to Australia has had to present proof of identity at several steps of the journey, making it much harder for people with no (or discarded) documentation from arriving here.

    That’s why people arriving by air have less successful track record, because they have already been vetted before they step on a plane.

  • 2
    cpobke
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Would be interested to hear a response from someone on point 4 from Michael. It is often suggested that the absense of papers verifying identity is a core driver in the differences in processing and general level of controversy.

  • 3
    Jimmy
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    CPobke - I’m more interested in point 2 which seems to make out that arriving by boat is illegal when it quite obviously isn’t.

  • 4
    Stevo the Working Twistie
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Spot on Jimmy. Unless we have repudiated the UN Convention since I last looked? No? The fact is that arriving by boat is an act of desparation. Arriving by plane and pretending to be a tourist while planning to overstay and work illegally is the real crime.

    And how will we know the “Malaysian Solution” has worked? Simple - when Australia’s reputation as a just and fair country with respect for international law and human rights has been comprehensively trashed. Be proud.

  • 5
    skink
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly proven to be one of the most sensible leaders in the Western world.’

    Anders Behring Breivik

  • 6
    ConnorJ
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    4. Anyone who gets onto a plane to Australia has had to present proof of identity at several steps of the journey, making it much harder for people with no (or discarded) documentation from arriving here.”

    That would almost make sense if ASIO hadn’t kept people locked up for years because they couldn’t adequetely prove their identitities.

  • 7
    stephen martin
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Maybe the place of origin of arrivals has a bit to do with attitudes. Air arrivals mostly from Europe and boat arrivals from Asia. Personally I hope that this is not the case.

  • 8
    David Hand
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The pull factors attracting economic migrants has been taken away. Bernard can test this idea through observation if he wants but the rest of us know that fewer people will be willing to part with the equivalent of a first class air ticket for a dangerous ocean crossing that lands you in Malaysia.

    The problem has always been one of border control and identification, not immigration, not refugees and not islam (though I acknowledge the right has a lunatic fringe that espouses those views, they are rejected by most people).

    Border control is not an issue at an airport where each traveller must be positively identified with a passport. Though many people overstay their visas, they are here illegally, have an identity but have limited access to social services. Bernard puzzles, like so many urban left elites, why middle Australia doesn’t care about airport arrivals. Bogan western Sydney residents should in his mind be xenephobic about everyone and the fact that they’re not upsets the narrative.

    An anonymous person with not a skerrick if identification finds Christmas Island attractive because once through that channel, permanent residency is achieved if he or she is found by immigration officials to be a refugee. It used to be a channel with a 95% success rate. Not any more.

  • 9
    GocomSys
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Give the new policy a chance! Keep monitoring it! Modify it if necessary. In the meantime please stop the ongoing moronic media and LNP chatter. It isn’t helpful!

  • 10
    Phen
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    The Malaysian Solution is a rare bit of common sense and pragmatism from the Gillard Govt. Now hopefully it has its desired results as a “pull factor”-based solution.

  • 11
    fred
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Is it moral, is it legal to obstruct or stop an asylum seeker fleeing persecution from crossing the border of a safe country?

    What an infamous trade deal in misery have we done? The fate of the 800 should be monitored. Maybe our aid budget can extend to education for asylum seekers’ children in Malaysia? Another few million should be no problem?

    NB :The only way Tony and Scott can trump this one is to promise to unsign us from the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and protocols; the Convention on the Rights of the Child; the Convention against torture …

    The next drama is the selection of 1000 mandated refugees from the UNHCR pool of 93,000 this, and for the next three years ,without falling out with the UNHCR. Cherry picking is migrant selection process and out of place in a truly humanitarian program. If UNHCR refers Hazara and Iranian and Tamil to Australia for resettlement, will Australia reject them if they were on the boats intercepted in Australian waters?

  • 12
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Bernard - Why are you, and just about everyone else in the media, obsessed with these 800 boat arrivals who will be transported back to Malaysia? If the details of the policy just released by the government are to be believed, these people will be much better off than the 92,000 refugees already in Malaysia awaiting placement. Why isn’t anyone concerned about the huge number who have been there for 20+ years suffering all kinds of deprivation? Isn’t it a good thing that 4,000 of these people, who will never have the money to get on a boat, will finally have a chance of permanent refuge here. What exactly is the preoccupation with these 800 recent arrivals, when so many others deserve a fair go?
    I have written in greater depth about this on another thread, but I would just like someone to answer these questions for me. Thank you.

  • 13
    Phen
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Great comment CML. I’ve also wondered why theres so much posturing about the small number who get to Malaysia via Australia, rather than the other huddled masses there (and in other camps).

  • 14
    fred
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone monotoring the push factors driving the ethnic Shia Hazara ? Much the same as ten years ago? Is anyone doing a body count of all Hazara killed in bomb blasts in Quetta, Peshawar, etc, in drive by shootings and other ethnic motivated murders, and the numbers being forced over the border by the Iranians into a social and political quagmire ? the number driven off their lands, out of their villages as the war rages? the temporary workers and indentured labourers returning from the Middle East with no home to go back to? whose family members have scatterd?

    Bernard, please have a discussion with the Australian Hazaras and other former refugees who came by boat, and update yourself on the true life evidence of push factors. Australian journalism cannot go on reporting ABOUT asylum seekers when they have not researched locally with the survivors of the mass movement of people from certain parts of the world , and have heard und understood their reasons.

  • 15
    david
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Agreement signed yesterday, comes into force today and already the doomsday merchants are weeping and wailing before one AS has been sent to Malaysia. The stupidity is beyond belief. As GocomSys and others are saying, give it a chance. Abbott and Morrison will never shutup about it, because they are quickly running out of other cr-p to lie and mislead over. They have lost all credibility and I suspect the Govt of Nauru will not be pleased with their two fly in fly out visitors with their offering of 30 pieces of silver.

  • 16
    Liz45
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Some people still insist on either not acknowledging certain facts or being discriminatory/racist themselves.

    1. It is not illegal to arrive in Australia seeking asylum. (full stop) And a person should not be discriminated against because of their mode of travel - by air, boat (leaky or otherwise) or cruise ship or helicopter or?Australia pledges as much via our being a party to International agreements and abiding by Australian Legislation.

    2. Those who continue to refer to people arriving by boat as illegals are liars. No pussy footing around. They should know the Law by now, and it is a lie to state that these people are illegal.

    3. By sending asylum seekers off shore to be processed, it is against our commitment re the Immigration Laws we’ve committed to. It will be interesting to see what the outcomes are via the two cases before the High Court.

    To send children and unaccompanied minors back to uncertainty and perhaps neglect or lack of health, educational services etc is reprehensible.

    One way to stop the “push” factor is to stop supporting countries that kill and torture their own citizens(Burma and Sri Lanka for instance) and stop killing and maiming people in Iraq and Afganistan. We are causing much of the misery, death and intimidation that are causing people to flee in desperation.

    The non-actions re those who arrive by air is racist, classist and obnoxious! Those who arrive by plane are usually from Europe, Britain or the US - many speak English - not the same threat at all???Shameful!

  • 17
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Let’s see if money talks to you guys.

    1. the so-called humanitarian program for just 6,000 refugees costs taxpayers $360 million per annum - we give $30 million to the UNHCR to help the other 15 million refugees. So that is $60,000 for one refugee who has no legal right to come to Australia, $2 per annum each for the rest to stay where they are.
    2. A few thousand others are sponsored under a rigged program under which we only accept people if they have family, if they can benefit us and if no other country will have them.
    3. the actual asylum seekers - in the last 5 years only 36,000 have applied here, 10,000 of them sailed. It has cost just $11 million per annum to help those 26,000 who fly here and live in the community and can work, although there are 1,000 who applied before that changed who are starving in the streets on charity.

    We spent $600 million on prisons on Christmas Island, $200 million on Curtin per year, $50 million for Leonora, $50 million for Inverbrackie, $76 million for Shergar and $20 million on motels yet 97% of the applicants could have been in the community in one week because we already knew they had a prima facie case for refugee status.

    Now they want to waste $300 million to abuse and torture a random 800 people while there are 100,000 illegal workers, 56,000 overstayers and at least 1,000 girls and women trafficked as sex slaves every year.

    Stupid, moronic, lying cowards.

  • 18
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    @ SHEPHERDMARILYN - It is not about the law, and it is not about money. Whatever we do with asylum seekers, refugees, even migrants, it costs the taxpayer a lot of money.
    It is about the citizens of this country having a say, not in who rocks up on a boat, plane or anything else for that matter, but who gets to stay as a permanent citizen in OUR country.
    You may want every Tom, Dick or Harriet who turns up on our shore to be accepted with open arms, the majority do not. Its called democracy. Get over it!
    That doesn’t mean no one should come here as refugees, just that those who self select their country of refuge because they have the money to get here, should not be favoured over others who will never be able to come because they have no money. We are a wealthy country and we should take as many refugees as possible, but preferrably from our own region - Asia and the Pacific first.

  • 19
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    @ Sheppare Marilyn

    Yes you are right - “they are lying cowards”.

    Bowen promised all arrivals after announcement would be processed offshore. He lied. All from today will be processed in Malaysia.

    We sent 800 and get 4000. Great Maths

    We pay the WHOLE bill. Only from the people who waste money like there is no tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, consumer confidence, business confidence collapses.

  • 20
    paddy
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    So, as the clock is now off and ticking down….. What happens to refugee number 801 arriving on our shores by boat?

  • 21
    David Hand
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Yes, Shepherdmarilyn, it costs a shitload but it will probably stop the boats.

  • 22
    Catching up
    Posted Tuesday, 26 July 2011 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Is it push or pull to leave unsafe conditions in a country where you have no future to seek a better life with a future for you and your kids in another country.

    Which is it. push or pull? Maybe it is both.

  • 23
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    Who says we get to stop the boats you freaks? What if Kenya decided tomorrow that self selecting refugees who didn’t want to die of starvation could not enter?

    147 nations agreed and guaranteed that anyone on earth can enter any of our countries anyway they can without papers or prior permission and ask for our help so suck it up.

  • 24
    GocomSys
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Thinking outside the box!

    Let’s say we have a current government that tries, often in a very clumsy way mind you, to make a difference. On the other side we have the others who for their own devious reasons are continuously undermining it.

    The current OZ government avoided the GFC. We know what and why they did it. We know it worked.
    The current OZ government is putting a price on pollution. Is it a perfect scheme? Of course not but it is a start!
    The current OZ government is attempting to stop the people smuggler trade. Is it a perfect solution? Of course not! Is it a sincere attempt in a very small way to improve the seemingly intractable worldwide refugee crisis situation? Yes it is!

    I urge everyone to stop knocking, to look at the broader picture and become positive and pro-active.

    We can do without armchair critics.

  • 25
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Interesting fact:

    There have been more boat arrivals since Dillard announced the Malaysian solution then there was total arrivals in the Pacific Solution years of 2002-2007.

    The Malaysian Solution should help slow the boats, but there are two major flaws in the policy.

    Firstly Australia’s funding for health and education of illegals we send to Malaysia is endless. Imagine that… possible having to pay the health and education of people FOR 50 YEARS! People who should not be our responsibility and should be the responsibility of Malaysia(we are paying for 4000 we take for Malaysia remember). What are the punters going to say in 10 years time when they are told we are still paying for Gillards Boaties? I reckon they’ll be pieved. Perhaps the lefties should think things through before announcing.

    Secondly Dillard is basically making Asylum in Malaysia a two-tiered system. One where if you arrive illegally in Malaysia you get treated like dirt, but if you arrive in Australia first you get treated like a gold class citizen. Now Gillard and lefties once again in their inability to think things through have really screwed up here. This could actually ENCOURAGE people to get on a boat in Indonesia. Think about it… you could sit in Indonesia or Malaysia and be denied work rights, safety and security… OR you could jump on a boat to Australia and within a guaranteed 45 days be walking the streets of Malaysia with the ability to work, health insurance and education rights and the promise of no canings.

    Gillard could have avoided all this trouble with the Nauru solution. We know it works. We know it’s humane. But Labor and Gillard are too arrogant and pig headed to say those three simple words: Howard Was Right

  • 26
    Phen
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Ho, ho, ho - “Dillard” . From the geniuses that brought us “Ju-Liar”? How pathetic.

  • 27
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    @ Gocomsys

    Please stop being gullible

    The current OZ government avoided the GFC. We know what and why they did it. We know it worked.

    WE ONLY AVOIDED CAUSE THEY BLEW CASH AROUND THAT THE PRIOR GOVERNMENT LEFT THEM AND NOW WE HAVE A SIGNIFICANT DEFICIT.

    The current OZ government is putting a price on pollution. Is it a perfect scheme? Of course not but it is a start!

    A START BACK TO RECESSION, NEGATIVE CONSUMER SENTIMENT AND POOR BUSINESS OUTLOOK

    The current OZ government is attempting to stop the people smuggler trade. Is it a perfect solution?

    NO ITS A TERRIBLE SOLUTION, WE FLY (REPEAT FLY) THE ILLEGALS TO MALAYSIA, WE SEND 800 AND GET 4000 BACK AND PAY ALL THE BILLS.

    ITS NOT A JOKE, ITS INEPT POLICY FROM A GOVERMENT THAT DOES NOT CARE OF THE COST

    I urge everyone to stop knocking, to look at the broader picture and become positive and pro-active.

    PROACTIVE STOP KNOCKING - HELLO GILLARD IS SENDING US UNDER AND SOON TO BE REVEALED RAPID RAPID RATE. WE ARE ALREADY IN RECESSION (IF YOU EXCLUDE MINING) AND SHE WANTS TO LEVY A NEW TAX ON THAT THAT IS FINE WITH THE BIG /OVERSEAS MINERS (BHP, RIO XTRATA) BUT THE SMALL - MEDIUM ONES ARE SCREAMING

    We can do without armchair critics.

    I AM NOT IN AN ARM CHAIR, ROCKING TO RETIREMENT, ARE YOU?

  • 28
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    here is a good one - of topic, but really its on topic

    How to start a New Day with a positive outlook. Open a new file in your
    computer and name it “Julia Gillard”. Send it to the Recycle Bin. Empty
    the Recycle Bin. Your PC will ask you, “Do you really want to get rid of
    Julia Gillard?” Firmly Click “Yes.” Feel better? Tomorrow we’ll do Wayne
    Swan

  • 29
    1934pc
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Calm down Suzanne Blake you will blow a blood vessel, things are no where as bad as you appear to think, take a cold shower!.

  • 30
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Already the wheels have fallen off as Geoff Chambers and the UNHCR blow up the whole “private education” lie.

    It’s illegal to trade humans.

  • 31
    geomac
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    SUZANNE BLAKE
    Your logic and maths escape me. You say we escaped the GFC because of a 20 billion surplus yet spent 100 billion on the stimulus. Government revenue down as business tightened up with the mining sector being among the first to divest labour. 4000 refugees our way and 800 to Malaysia is straightforward if you concentrate solely on numbers but its not a maths test is it ? The stated aim is to deter arrivals by boat and for some reason arrivals have declined even before the policy was announced. Over 90,000 refugees in Malaysia and the 4000 we accept is wrong ?
    It seems to me it ticks a few boxes that some people like to use as points to denigrate boat arrivals. The 4000 are not jumping any imaginary queue and are already UN declared refugees. Be honest and say what you actually mean. You would prefer that we were not a signatory to the UN refugee process and had no obligations. I have no problem with that if its stated as a stance but get riled when its masqueraded as concern or compassion when its nothing of the sort. Australia can remove itself from the refugee convention but it cannot do so and at the same time shout about how kind and generous we are. Suzanne you put yourself in Reith and Morrison territory .

  • 32
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Who here is surprised Gillard the Gutless ended up processing the 560 Boatpeople past the Malaysian Solution announcement in Australia?

    Come on, hands up.

    The people smugglers think Labor, Gillard and Rudd are a joke, and they are right. Every time the people smugglers test Labor, we see Labor give in. Every time. Without fail.

    Heres some examples:

    1. Boatpeople blow up boat, killing 5 and seriously burning 12 and putting the lives of Australian Navy Personnel in danger - All given Permanent Residency Visas

    2. Boatpeople burn down detention centre causing millions of dollars damage - Boatpeople told they MIGHT(can’t even guarantee that one) be given temporary protection visas as punishment. Oh gee wizz, how will they cope!

    3. Boatpeople who burnt down detention centre sent to prison holding cell for a week to show how tough Labor are, but a handful of the vandals refuse to get off roof. Gutless Gillard gives in and promises none of those still on the roof will go to prison(nice reinforcement there that if you stick to your guns, Gutless Gillard will give in eventually).

    4. Kevin Rudd on hearing boat intercepted outside of Australian waters needs rescuing, decides to pull a Howard and tries to send them back to Indonesia on the Oceanic Viking. OV arrives in Indonesian Port. Rudd too gutless to use force to get them off the boat(you reckon if I played up on a QANTAS flight the police would have trouble getting me off?). Kevin gives in, promises insta-visa for all on board including individuals who arrived in Australia and were then deemed security risks.

    5. Gillard announces hand over heart… no boat people after May 7 will be processed in Australia. Fair Dinkum this time we promise! And of course… another Gillard lie, another gutless back down. The people smugglers once again see this useless weak government give in yet again and back down.

    Every time this government backs down, the people smugglers grin grows. They see how weak we are. They see how useless and cowardly our government is.

    And what happens with the next boatload of kids that come in?? Gillard the Gutless says kids will be sent to Malaysia except for “special circumstances”. That sounds like another backdown in the making.

    Labor and Gillard just don’t get it. You either implement a solution fully or not at all. This Malaysian Solution is a continuing run of half-doing their boatpeople policy. We’ll be half-tough isn’t going to work. You have to go the full hog. Boatpeople should be sent to Malaysia… no exceptions…. no special treatment when they get there.

    Anything less and the people smugglers will once again see this weak government for what it is and the business will fire up yet again.

  • 33
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    @ 1934PC

    Thanks - cold shower was good and saved hot water and more cost.

    @ Geomac

    Your logic and maths escape me. You say we escaped the GFC because of a 20 billion surplus yet spent “you mean wasted “100 billion on the stimulus.

    YES, except a lost was wasted and not just spent. And nothing wqas learned. ie Fiasco with home insulation, that caused 4 deaths, was REPEATED after they know of the issues with Solar Panel program 15 months later!!! Now we have roof fires, no deaths as yet. Complete ineptness from the Federal Government

    Government revenue down as business tightened up with the mining sector being among the first to divest labour. 4000 refugees our way and 800 to Malaysia is straightforward if you concentrate solely on numbers but its not a maths test is it ?

    Declined from what levels? Your kidding, we have had 500+ since announcement.

    The stated aim is to deter arrivals by boat and for some reason arrivals have declined even before the policy was announced. Over 90,000 refugees in Malaysia and the 4000 we accept is wrong ?

    We are lucky we are an island or we would be over run.

  • 34
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    @TTH - Do you just not read anything apart from your own list of dogma, or are you deliberately obtuse or just plain stupid? To you and Suzanne and others -

    it is not illegal to arrive in Australia by boat to seek asylum.

    Nauru worked if you ignore the fact that the people sent there were human beings, who eventually, or a large % ended up here due to their LEGITIMATE claims for asylum.

    It amazes me, that Marilyn and others have posted Legislation etc for many months now, but you lot just ignore the Laws that as we speak are still on the Parliamentary List of Legislated Laws etc.

    It’s just ridiculous to keep on ignoring facts.

    Did you read, “A Last Resport’? The Inquiry into the detention of children? Do you not care about the lives of children? Do you think that the goal is worth the human misery and human waste that is caused by draconian policies?

    SUZANNE speaks of cost! Does she even know how much Howard spent? Do you even care or read anything about those years? Did you know that ‘softer’ legislation was passed AFTER Liberal members of Parliament took Howard/Ruddock to task over the horrific incidents of abuse and neglect, such asVivien Solon and the poor woman locked in jails in the Top End for almost a year - she was mentally ill, not an asylum seeker/

    The attitudes of you people is beyond belief. What is your problem? Is it their race or what? Did you support Vietnamese people being welcomed here during the Fraser years?

    I just get so damned frustrated with the continual trotting out of bulls**t! Your behaviour is akin to kids who pester their parent for a chocolate or something. You just keep on coming back with the same old nonsense, based not on any facts or legal requirements or fact.

    The nonsense re referring to Julia Gillard as ‘Dillard’ is straight out of an Alan Jones ‘manual’? It’s misogynist and childish! Totally boringly childish and damned stupid!

  • 35
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28691.htm

    Off topic but on topic is this story about Gitmo.

    Let’s get this clear once and for all Suzanne - we do not get to deter or stop any refugee who wants to come here and ask for our help. As Chris Bowen amply explained in 2006, just a few years before he became a frigging nazi.

    http://www.chrisbowen.net/media-centre/speeches.do?newsId=2061

    Coalition attempts to excise Australian mainland from migration zone

    Posted August 10, 2006

    Mr BOWEN (Prospect) (10.17 a.m.)?In 1951 the United Nations convention for the protection of refugees came into force. The world realised the mistakes of the 1930s, when many Western nations turned their backs on Jews fleeing persecution in Germany. Collectively, we said, ?Never again.? I am sure that all of us involved in public life would like to think that we would have done the right thing in those circumstances and stood up for those facing the worst of circumstances, regardless of whether it was popular or unpopular. If the Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006 passes the parliament today, it will be the day that Australia turned its back on the refugee convention and on refugees escaping circumstances that most of us can only imagine. This is a bad bill with no redeeming features. It is a hypocritical and illogical bill. If it is passed today, it will be a stain on our national character. The people who will be disadvantaged by this bill are in fear of their lives, and we should never turn our back on them. They are people who could make a real contribution to Australia.

    This bill represents an extension of the so-called Pacific solution, in which we saw individuals who were processed offshore being treated differently from those processed in Australia. The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs said in his second reading speech that the offshore processing system had preserved ?Australia?s strong commitment to refugee protection?. He is wrong. Let us take a look at how the Pacific solution has worked in practice. This bill extends the Pacific solution, so it is legitimate to look at how it has worked up until now. Firstly, we have seen families of refugees broken up?callously and in contravention of the refugee convention. Spouses of people who have been recognised as refugees in Australia received correspondence from the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, which has been reproduced by Michael Gordon in his excellent book Freeing Ali . It states:

    Your claims have been assessed separately from your husband?s claims because you travelled at different times. Under the conditions of your husband?s stay in Australia he is not able to sponsor you. Like all refused asylum seekers you cannot remain in Nauru indefinitely. You should consider voluntary repatriation now.

    What a callous piece of correspondence. I agree with Michael Gordon, who said of that letter:

    There was only one conclusion to draw: if you wanted to be reunited with your husband, whose fear of persecution if he returned had been judged to be well founded, your only choice was to return and to convince him to leave Australia and confront the very danger he had fled.

  • 36
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    4000 refugees our way and 800 to Malaysia is straightforward if you concentrate solely on numbers but its not a maths test is it ? The stated aim is to deter arrivals by boat and for some reason arrivals have declined even before the policy was announced. Over 90,000 refugees in Malaysia and the 4000 we accept is wrong ?

    Dillards open ended commitment to look after boatpeople we reject to Malaysia is the most stupid arrangement in the history of Australian politics and this will come back to bite Labor in the arse.

    We could end up paying for these boatpeople for the next 50 YEARS. Imagine that.

    Just how bloody stupid is Gillard and Labor? Do they reckon the punters will be wanting to pay for boatpeople that have absolutely nothing to do with Australia for the next 50 YEARS? What do you reckon the punters will have to say about that one?

    Whats going to happen in the end is this will so burden Australia that in the end the government(whether Labor or Libs) will end up paying Malaysia some form of get out of contract deal, possibly in the Billions of Dollars. The amount of waste from this government is unbelievable.

  • 37
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    CRIKEY put out a list of Facts late last year I believe. It goes some way to addressing the total bs myths and nonsense being trotted out by some people! Take a look! Take a look at something containing facts not rubbish and bs. Read some of the articles/documents by Julian Burnside QC who has a lot of LEGAL knowledge re rights and responsibilities of asylum seekers and the Australian Government, plus International Law! do it PLEASE!

    It’s the hysterical bs of some people, that has fueled the mindset behind the horrific crimes in Norway. I get very frightened by people who insist on regurgitating lies and draconian bs that is unjust, unfair and racist!

    No wonder MARILYN lets loose with some colourful language from time to time. I have every sympathy!

    Perhaps you people just would like to see the Navy open fire on the boats? Perhaps that’s your solution? What you contribute on these posts is no solution, and is devoid of any humanity or sense of justice. Most of what you state is UNTRUE! and you’re too damned lazy to do some research!

    Fair dinkum!

  • 38
    geomac
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Suzie Blake
    YES, except a lost was wasted and not just spent. And nothing wqas learned. ie Fiasco with home insulation, that caused 4 deaths
    The quote says a lot about perception as against informed comment. If you took the trouble to read data on insulation fires and deaths you would perhaps be less strident in using them as some false debating point. I take it you don,t support industrial manslaughter laws as you appear to favour Abbotts lead. He also used the false accusation of blame on the government which in my view disqualified him from deserving of high office. Same amount of fires prior to stimulus but less regulation. The minority of firms that disregarded state and federal standards were responsible for the deaths , plain and simple. By your logic the health minister is responsible for patient deaths. The agriculture minister is responsible for farm deaths because a farm manager allowed a worker to operate a tractor without roll bars.
    I realise that nothing is likely to change your perception or wish to raise 4 deaths because you think it validates your position on the government. However what it does do is illustrate that you don,t care enough to chase up the data that has been written here in Crikey and elsewhere. I wanted to know because I thought it important that such an accusation be investigated. Thats why Abbott and his accusation make him unfit for office. To use 4 deaths solely for political tactics with not an ounce of integrity or for that matter any compassion is contemptible . That you follow that lead is incomprehensible.

  • 39
    david
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Liz the troll truthie, needs to come up from under the bridge occasionally for a gasp of clean air that normal people breath, in that time it uses the good ole cut and paste Lib handouts to prove it is still functioning as a troll.
    It knows not anything else, now back under that bridge truthie where you belong.

  • 40
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Liz the troll truthie, needs to come up from under the bridge occasionally for a gasp of clean air that normal people breath, in that time it uses the good ole cut and paste Lib handouts to prove it is still functioning as a troll.

    Hey David,

    How long should Australia have to pay for rejected boaties health and education in Malaysia?

    5 Years? 10 Years? 20 Years? 30 Years? 50 Years? 70 Years?

    Another day… another Dillard stuff up.

  • 41
    GocomSys
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Not worth engaging in a slanging match with troglodytes TTH and BLAKE! Signing off!

  • 42
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    @DAVID - Funy how tth is so selective. Funny how he never refers to the billions Howard/Costello ripped out of the pockets of ordinary people to foster the greed of their rich mates.

    I found the piece of paper that I wrote about the Superannuation Levy that they removed on high income Australians. A mere 600,000 high income people benefited to the tune of $2.5 BILLION and caused a big hole in the budget that could’ve provided much needed infrastructure for the rest of us!

    Funny how none of them refer to the $1 BILLION+ costs of killing, maiming and stealing the resources of the Iraqis. HOw much to date, and how much for Afghanistan? At least the same I’d suggest, particularly after 10 years.

    If we cause children and their parents to be traumatized further by their incarceration in our jails, then the country should cough up and shut up - particularly those who favour jailing babies and children, the majority of whom were found to be ‘genuine’ and in need of our protection. (A Last Resort/Inquiry) It doesn’t take rocket science to assume, that if 92 or 98% of kids are found to be in need of asylum, there parents would obviously need it too? Perhaps this logic is too much for some to grasp!

    Of course, when the trolls spew forth their vile hatred and morbid ‘fears’ it’s difficult to even get through to the few brain cells that may lerk in a dark and mysterious place - somewhere!

    Buddists believe that we have past ‘lives’? I wonder what theres were? Perhaps in one of Hitlers camps? Getting rid of the Mayans in Central America perhaps?

    I can only hope - that ‘what goes around comes around’ and/or one day they’ll get theirs!

    I’m so pleased that there are people like you here, or I’d lose all hope!

    TTH - Child! (I apologize to all children?)

  • 43
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    @TTH - If they do the right thing and lock you up, I’ll gladly contribute a small portion of my pension for your upkeep - in the cells! You can take your mate Suzanne with you!

  • 44
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Funny how he never refers to the billions Howard/Costello ripped out of the pockets of ordinary people to foster the greed of their rich mates.

    Never heard anything about that one, perhaps you can enlighten us remembering Libel Laws while you do so.

    BTW Howard posted 10 out of 11 budget surpluses. The left keep telling us about all this “waste” under Howard, yet he continued to post budget surplus after budget surplus, yet Labor haven’t posted a budget surplus since 1989. If only Labor were as “wasteful” as Howard we’d have tax cuts and budget surpluses bonanza’s just like his time in the hot seat.

    Funny how none of them refer to the $1 BILLION+ costs of killing, maiming and stealing the resources of the Iraqis. HOw much to date, and how much for Afghanistan? At least the same I’d suggest, particularly after 10 years.

    Once again… Libs = Budget Surpluses. Labor = Budget deficits.

    Anyways the Iraqi’s seem to be going pretty good now, got their own stable democracy and freedom that comes with it and troops are being withdrawn. Same thing will happen in Afghanistan just need to give it some more time.

    If we cause children and their parents to be traumatized further by their incarceration in our jails, then the country should cough up and shut up - particularly those who favour jailing babies and children, the majority of whom were found to be ‘genuine’ and in need of our protection.

    There are 3 Billion poor people in the world, what obligation does Australia have to take the lot of them, especially those who self invite?

    I agree that we shouldn’t lock them in prisons, my personal preference is to ship them back to country of origin on the next Qantas flight, just as what would happen if you rocked up to Australia without a valid passport and visa.

    The best people to decide the most needy to take up the humanitarian positions are Australia and the UNHCR in refugee camps. Not people smugglers in Indonesia.

  • 45
    david
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    GET BACK UNDER THAT BRIDGE TRUTHIE TROLL..you are not permitted to communicate with humans, get back get back, into the depths of muck from whence you came depaaaaaart oh gross thing. :P

  • 46
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Wednesday, 27 July 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    GET BACK UNDER THAT BRIDGE TRUTHIE TROLL

    So embarrassed by your party you can’t even answer a very simple question. Pathetic.

    Small business owners all over the country are hurting under Gillard taxes, yet we’ll be paying education and health costs for people that aren’t even living in Australia.

  • 47
    Suzanne Blake
    Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    @ Marilyn

    You use refugee term loosely. Some are genuine refugee and some are people looking for a better life.

    If you were Immigration Ministers, you would let 2 billion people in from Asia and Sub Continent. Cause all 2 billion would have a belief that the way of life here would be better.

    Then what is your plan? Is there a plan?

  • 48
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    @TTH There are 3 Billion poor people in the world, what obligation does Australia have to take the lot of them, especially those who self invite?

    What about the 40-60,000 people who could be here at any time - illegally? Came by plane and visa runs out, or lied on their application and fully intended to stay? What about those people? We don’t have the Fed Police going around the coffee shops or wherever checking people’s ID? Why not? Some have been here for decades? No, the motive is racism and cow towing to the far right, like you!

    As for the Senate action re the Superannuation tax cut was in the Telegraph on Thursday, 11 th August 2005 - when Howard had the numbers in the Senate. I don’t give a hoot about being sued! Go for it and have a good day!

    If Howard had spent some of OUR money on infrastructure, Labor wouldn’t have needed to - not to the extent that it has. Housing, Schools etc.
    I could’ve saved lots of money too when I was raising my kids - as long as I didn’t spend money on food, clothes etc. Having savings would not have made me a good mother, or a responsible person!

    Re our OBLIGATIONS - We have signed commitments to International Laws, such as the UN Declaration on Human Rights(take a look at article 14?) The Declaration on the Rights of the Child, the Migration Act etc - just to mention three. Why don’t you take a look at just these three, and you’ll understand what our obligations are! Don’t clog your brain with facts now! Keep on with the rubbish!

    We’ve caused the terror, misery and deaths in the countries you mentioned, but you believe that they should stay there and take it on the chin? Get killed for our cause? What sort of an attitude is that? Why aren’t those responsible treated as the terrorists they are!

    Ask the people in Iraq and Afghanistan what they think. The overwhelming majority do not agree with your glib summary. I listen and side with them!

    @SUZANNE -Those 85-90+% of people who are successful, are found to be in need of protection. I think you’re taking on the wrong person when you have a go at Marilyn. She knows more about this issue than most who post here! And has done so for a good while.
    HOw many asylum seekers have you spoken to? Where do you get your information from?

    Are you on the Review Tribunal? Met any asylum seekers; sat down and had a conversation with any? Probably not! Your humanity is rather choosey - OK for Australian people with disabilities, but not for people who we’ve made homeless, terrified and fearful for their lives?

    I’m not engaging in any more posts. It’s too frustrating and also a huge waste of time!

  • 49
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Incidently. Article 14 of the Human Rights Declaration states that any person has the right to seek asylum from persecution. That’s the rough gist of it. we’re a signatory to this, and the previous Howard Govt restated our commitment to the Dec.on the Rights of the Child! We’ve also committed to the Rights of Indigenous Peoples through the UN!

  • 50
    TheTruthHurts
    Posted Thursday, 28 July 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    What about the 40-60,000 people who could be here at any time - illegally?

    Round ‘em up and ship em out. You know why we don’t? Because if we did the leftie bleeding hearts would be on the streets protesting about that as well.

    I’ve never heard a right-winger say illegals in Australia shouldn’t be sent packing, it’s always the left fighting their open borders moral crusade.

    Some have been here for decades? No, the motive is racism and cow towing to the far right, like you!

    Despite popular left-wing talking points, the largest group of visa overstayers aren’t from old blimey but are now actually from China. So I can only assume the left will whine that Australia is racist for not doing anything about the plane illegals, but when we do something we’ll be branded racist for getting rid of all these Chinese visa over stayers.

    I do like your visa check idea though, I watched an episode of a U.K version of border security and the immigration officials were doing random checks out front of supermarkets and caught quite a few illegals this way, even running after a few of them and handcuffing them. Perhaps we could introduce a similar system here.

    Re our OBLIGATIONS - We have signed commitments to International Laws, such as the UN Declaration on Human Rights(take a look at article 14?) The Declaration on the Rights of the Child, the Migration Act etc - just to mention three.

    It’s a piece of paper with words on it, written half a century ago in a different time and place.

    65 Years Ago I’m not too sure they would have realised that international travel would become so quick and affordable to almost everyone that people claiming asylum could actually fly in a commercial aeroplane to a destination near their country of choice and then jump on a leaky boat. Back in 1948 this idea would have been inconceivable.

    There are however limitations in the UNHCR refugee convention documents. It clearly states that an “asylum seeker” must come DIRECTLY from the country of persecution to claim asylum. In my view, and most Australians I would suspect, this means anyone from Indonesia is excluded from claiming asylum in Australia.

    Under that setting, Australia has absolutely NO obligation to process boatpeople from Indonesia.

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