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The consequences of turning boats back: SIEV towback cases

Twenty-seven people are feared dead after a boat packed with asylum seekers bound for Australia sank off the coast of Indonesia last week.

It’s the latest in a significant number of unseaworthy boats packed with people who have risked — and lost — their lives in an attempt to reach Australia. The government claims the Malaysia agreement is the answer to stop people risking their lives in a boat in order to claim asylum.  Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has refused to support the Malaysia deal but routinely promises to re-implement the Pacific Solution if elected prime minister. As part of his asylum-seeker policy, Abbott declares that boats should be sent back to Indonesia: “… it should be an option to turn the boats around where it is safe to do so. The Navy’s done it before, it can do it again”.

But an Australian Navy Admiral speaking at Senate estimates recently reinforced how dangerous it was to physically turn boats around. “There are risks involved in this whole endeavour,” said Admiral Ray Griggs. “There have been fires lit, there have been attempts to storm the engine compartment of these boats, there have been people jumping in the water and that sort of thing.”

Admiral Griggs was part of the HMAS Arunta crew during the SIEV 7 and SIEV 9 incidents in 2001 — incidents that unfolded at the height of the Howard government’s commitment to turn the boats back.

Griggs noted in Senate estimates that most boats that arrive these days have far less people on them and are more likely to be carrying life jackets than during the early 2000s, but that the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea “would be the prime driver in the decision making of the commanding officer”. The convention, of which Australia is a signatory of, states that “each Contracting Government undertakes to ensure that any necessary arrangements are made … for the rescue of persons in distress at sea round its coasts.”

Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison was quick to assure naval officers that they wouldn’t be held responsible for events. “Our intention is to ensure that those charged with carrying out government policy — they’re only responsible for its execution, not its enactment,” said Morrison. “We will make our policy decision and we will bear responsibility for the consequences. We won’t be putting any naval and immigration officials at the end of the stick.”

However, naval officers are bound by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea as well as Australian Occupation Health & Safety Standards.

Indonesia made it clear earlier this year that not only did it think turning boats back was dangerous, but that doing so would affect Australia and Indonesia’s diplomatic relationship.

To consider the consequences of Abbott’s proposed return to this policy, Crikey examined the case studies of boats that were previously turned back under the Howard government. In total, 12 Suspected Illegal Entry Vessels (SIEV) were intercepted by the Navy during Operation Relex, the operation aimed at turning boats around during 2001-2002. The Navy instructs were to “deter and deny” boats entry into Australia.

Of those 12, attempts to enforce the turnback policy were made on 10 occasions. During those 10 attempts, only four boats and its occupants were successfully returned to Indonesian waters. Five people died. A further occasion was attempted and successfully occurred in November 2003 to a boat carrying 53 passengers. In total Australian warships returned five SIEVs from September 2001 — November 2003. Customs — as opposed to the navy — returned a boat with 15 people on board to Indonesia in March 2004, after it was intercepted of the Ashmore Islands.

It’s difficult to get information about these towbacks. The immigration department told Crikey to contact Customs, Customs told us that the Navy was in charge during that time, so we were directed to contact Defence. Defence could only give us information on the towbacks between 2001-2003, though it did reinforce the difficulties with implementing the “deter and deny” strategy. When asked about the risks and dangerous events Navy personnel encountered, the Defence Department told Crikey:

Many of the SIEVs were poorly equipped and their sea worthiness was of a low standard. On the occasion that turnbacks were achieved, RAN personnel on the major fleet units and patrol boats remained vigilant on seaworthiness and carried out repairs to ensure safety. Food water and life jackets and navigational aids were also provided to ensure that the SIEV were capable of completely the final leg of the return voyage. The hostile behaviour of some of the potential irregular immigrants also caused safety risks to passengers and ADF personnel. Risks included: fires, flooding, deliberate sabotage of vessel equipment, psychical violence to boarding teams and each other and general threats.”

Crikey has broken down the information into each SIEV incident and exactly what happened. Much of this information is taken from the Senate inquiry into A Certain Maritime Incident, which examined the SIEV X incident where 353 asylum seekers — 146 children, 142 women and 65 men — all died when their boat sank as it attempted to enter Australia.

The most useful appendix, which relies on interviews and evidence from Naval staff on the various SIEV incidents, was produced by Rear Admiral Smith and tabled by the government members in the committee, led by Liberal MP George Brandis. Brandis, who was deputy chair of the committee, had specifically requested interviews and event summaries from the Navy. The document was tabled in order to help prove Brandis’ allegations that asylum seekers had a “repeated pattern of abuse of children” by asylum seekers, even if the children overboard allegations on SIEV 4 were incorrect.

Former Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett was involved with the Senate inquiry and told Crikey that he was “always a little bit more dubious when [quotes from the Navy are] provided by a government senator, rather than through the proper government channels”.

As a tactic it blew up in Brandis’ face,” Tony Kevin, author of A Certain Maritime Incident and currently working on new book The Four Lost SIEVS, told Crikey. Kevin says that the various admirals’ evidence was closely interrogated and that rather than proving a pattern of negligence on the part of the asylum seekers, it helped swing the opinions of many of the Senators involved in the committee towards a more sympathetic view of the asylum seekers’ level of desperation.

Kevin added that while the chronology and basic facts of the naval evidence is correct, it’s not “accurate in attributing moods and emotions and motives” of the asylum seekers and Navy staff involved.

SIEV 1:

SIEV 1, also known as The Aceng, was intercepted by the HMAS  Warramunga on September 7, 2001 as it headed towards Ashmore Island. There were 229 people on board. Crew from the Warramunga boarded SIEV 1 and attempted to turn it around and send it back to Indonesian waters, but twice the boat started to return to Australia as soon as Warramunga crew disembarked.

On the third occasion, the Master of the SIEV 1 “became nervous and after pointing to himself made slashing motions at his neck and said ‘Indonesia’,” indicating he would be killed if he returned. On the third occasion “the behaviour of those on board became abusive, with threats of harm to the boarding party, smashing of windows in the wheelhouse, and objects thrown at the boarding party personnel,” and the boarding party retreated. The next morning all 229 asylum seekers were transferred to Nauru without further incident.

SIEV 2:

Just a day later, a boat carrying 130 Afghan asylum seekers was found run aground on Ashmore Reef. The boat was in such bad condition, the asylum seekers were immediately transferred to the empty SIEV 1 boat, which still remained nearby. Crew from the HMAS Gawler searched the boat and found 30 knives on board. The following day one of the asylum seekers told navy crew that they would “throw themselves overboard if they were taken back to Indonesia”.

By September 12 a group of young men threatened suicide and began a food and water strike, but the situation had apparently calmed by the following day. On September 22 the 130 asylum seeker were transferred to Nauru to be processed.

SIEV 3:

On September 11 2001, KM Sumber Bahagi, also known as SIEV 3, was intercepted by HMAS Warramunga north of Australia’s Contiguous Zone. A total of 129 people were on board, including five Indonesian crew. The rest were Iraqi asylum seekers, including 54 children. No life jackets were on board.

When told the boat was to be turned around “the Master gestured with his hand his throat being cut indicating that he was not safe,” according to Lieutenant Commander Gregg, the executive officer of the Warramunga. Gregg also reported seeing a woman “holding a child over the side and threatening to throw the child” in to the water.

The situation was getting out of control. As Gregg explained: “The situation continued to worsen with all male PIIs [potential illegal immigrants] starting to riot and threaten the BP [boarding party] as a mass. I assessed that the situation could not be controlled without the use of high force and possibly lethal force.”

Gregg and his crew returned to the Warramunga, but asylum seekers on board the SIEV 3 attempted to run aground on to the dangerous Ashmore Reef. ” In a last attempt to avoid a SOLAS [safety of lift at sea] incident and loss of life I agreed to embark the PIIs [potential illegal immigrants] for the night.  The SIEV then turned south, missing the reef by less than one nautical mile,” said Commander Menhinick. All asylum seekers were then transported to Nauru.

SIEV 4:

Otherwise known as the boat involved in the “children overboard” scandal. On October 6, 2001 the HMAS Adelaide intercepted a boat carrying 223 asylum seekers just off Christmas Island. When the boarding party boarded the boat it found the occupants “irate, aggressive and to some extent hysterical” at the prospect of being returned to Indonesia. There were threats of suicide by asylum seekers and some began to sabotage their boat.

Fourteen people either jumped or were thrown overboard. Another boarding party landed on the SIEV 4 to regain control. There are arguments over whether the SIEV 4 was deliberately sabotaged or if it sank under strain of being towed by the HMAS Adelaide. Regardless, the boat sank and all 223 asylum seekers were put onboard the HMAS Adelaide and then transferred to Christmas Island for processing.

SIEV 5:

This was the first “successful” attempt to return a boat to Indonesia, although it allegedly resulted in the death of three men. Around 240 asylum seekers were on board the SIEV 5 intercepted near the Ashmore Reef on October 12, 2001. For five days the boat was kept in custody in Ashmore Lagoon, until it was boarded by a party from the HMAS Warramunga with the intention of returning the boat to Indonesia. The engine ignition key and fuel transfer pump had apparently been thrown overboard and the engine would not start. The cooling pump was also suspected to be sabotaged.

After repairing the engine, the return voyage to Indonesia was mostly calm until the HMAS Warramunga crew handed control back to the Indonesian Master of the boat. Lieutenant Commander Gregg explains ” A riot ensued with one group storming the engine room of the SIEV and disabled the engine. Another PII [potential illegal immigrant] lit a fire up forward and another slashed himself three times with a razor blade. Most aggressive PII [potential illegal immigrant] told the boarding officer that most would kill themselves if they were returned to ID [Indonesia].”

The boat was returned to Indonesian waters.

SIEV 6:

On October 19, 2001 a boat containing 222 people was intercepted by HMAS Arunta north of Christmas Island. It was escorted to Christmas Island and on October 22 a party from the HMAS  Warramung boarded the boat and discovered the SIEV’s engine had been sabotaged and engineers from Warramunga attempted repairs.

Those aboard the SIEV responded aggressively, starting fires, tearing up deckboards, attempting to kick out hull planks and ripping the bilge area apart,” said Commander Menhinick, commanding officer of the Warramunga. “The situation was serious enough to cause the Warramunga to go to action stations in readiness for a potential safety of life at sea situation, and only resolved when the potential illegal immigrants were shown that they were being videotaped and told that their actions would not assist their case with the Australian government.” (note: “potential illegal immigrant” was a fairly common term used in the early 2000s, even though it’s not illegal to seek asylum).

By October 28 the repairs were finished and the SIEV and Warramunga began its trip to return the SIEV 6 to Indonesian waters. Within 11 nautical miles of Christmas Island, issues developed with the bilge pumps and all asylum seekers were transferred to the Warramunga. The SIEV 6 was scuttled by the Warramunga crew and the 222 asylum seekers were taken to Christmas Island for processing.

SIEV 7:

The second “successful” return of a boat to Indonesia involved an incident where a child was thrown overboard. This time 215 people were on board the boat intercepted on October 22, 2001, near Ashmore Island.  A man dived overboard when the boarding party for the HMAS  Bunbury arrived. Another man reportedly threatened to throw a small, injured girl overboard. The boat was escorted to Ashmore Island and on October 24, 15 asylum seekers jumped into the water. A small child was also held over the side of the boat by a woman and then dropped into the water. One of the men who had jumped in earlier saved the child and all returned safely to the SIEV (this is the only time that a child was thrown overboard in all the SIEV incidents). On October 28 the HMAS Arunta arrived and the SIEV occupants were told they would be returned to Indonesia. According to the event summary tabled by Rear Admiral Smith, things got out of control when asylum seekers were told they would be returned:

Threats of self-harm and deliberate damage to the SIEV were made and attempted.  Incidents included threats to jump overboard, threats to throw a child overboard, PIIs [potential illegal immigrants] actually jumping into the water, dousing themselves with fuel, damage to guy wires of SIEV mast, damage to railings, staring a fire in the hold, and splashing of fuel on deck. PIIs broke through the SIEV’s engineering space bulkhead but were repelled by the TSE [Transport Security Element] using pepper spray.”

The SIEV 7 was returned to Indonesian waters. According to Four Corners report, three men disappeared, presumed drowned, while trying to swim ashore soon after the return.

SIEV 8:

A boat from Vietnam carrying 31 asylum seekers was intercepted by HMAS Wollongong on Octover 27, 2001 near the Tiwi Islands. When told they would be transferred to Ashmore Island, those onboard “began staging passive protest by de-rigging their awning in the heat of the afternoon sun, sitting on the awning with children and refusing to allow holding party to re-rig the awning,” said commanding officer, Lieutenant Commander Heron. “Steaming party reported to me that [unauthorised arrivals] had become angry, were ripping clothes, shouting at the steaming party and gesticulating in a threatening manner.”

This reaction was apparently because those onboard SIEV 8 believed Ashmore Island was in Indonesia. After being repeatedly assured it was Australian territory, the situation calmed.

SIEV 9:

A 30-35 metre vessel containing 149 people was detected near Ashmore Island on October 31. HMAS Bunbury boarded the boat and found that its fuel lines had been cut. The HMAS Arunta took over from the Bunbury and was unsuccessful in its attempts to repair the engine. On the morning it was found, a riot occurred on board the SIEV 9 and a man apparently threatened to throw a child overboard. “This was to be the first of several incidents upon SIEV 9 reported to involve threats to children, although witness statements in relation to the various incidents are not always consistent as to the details of the events, as might be expected in the circumstances,” says the Senate estimates report.

Later that day the same man who threatened to throw a child overboard, then attempted to throw an infant overboard. A woman struggled with the man over the infant.

The following day a riot broke out when attempted to tow the boat. A woman allegedly threatened tried to throw her baby overboard and five men jumped in to the water. There was also a hunger strike, self-harm incidents and threats to Arunta crew. “During the riots, self harm and threats to children became common place and were not seen to be out of the ordinary, almost a ‘modus operandi’,” said Lieutenant Henry in a statement. On November 9  all asylum seekers on board were transported to Christmas Island.

SIEV 10:

It was a front-page story the day after the 2001 election and resulted in a boat sinking and two female asylum seekers drowning. A fire started on board the Sumbar Lestari after fuel lines were deliberately cut when the Navy intercepted the vessel near Ashmore Island and told it to return to Indonesia on November 8. The SIEV 10 had 164 people on board, including 33 children under the age of 12.

With the boat on fire and sinking, asylum seekers jumped overboard. The HMAS Wollongong and ACV Arnhem Bay crews rescued many of the asylum seekers, but two women drowned. The rest of the SIEV 10 occupants were transferred to Christmas Island for processing.

SIEV 11:

The third “successful” attempt to return a boat to Indonesia. SIEV 11 contained 18 asylum seekers, including a baby, plus four Indonesian crew and was intercepted on December 1, 2001. Repairs of engineers and steering issues was made by navy crew. By December 13 those on board were stressed and threatening self harm and that they would jump overboard, but the boat was released off the Indonesia coast without major incident.

SIEV 12:

Another “successful” Indonesian return. A boat containing 133 passengers was intercepted by HMAS Leeuwin near Ashmore Island on December 16, 2001.

According to witness statements from Lieutenant Casey who was in the boarding party: “I saw several of the young males destroy the boom that was being used as a support for a tarpaulin on the foredeck of the SIEV.  They then proceeded to tear apart the tarpaulin and they attempted to throw part of it over the side. I saw one of the [unauthorised arrivals] threaten two members of the boarding team with a piece of this boom. At the same time I saw flames coming from the fore part of the vessel.  The ship’s boarding party quickly extinguished the fire. I then saw several [unauthorised arrivals] dropping paper, cardboard and other items into the forward hold and noted they were attempting to ignite these items. I also saw several [unauthorised arrivals] freely jumping over the side of the SIEV whilst wearing lifejackets.

As the Leeuwin accompanied the SIEV 12 back to Indonesia, there were two incidences of self harm, the boat was sabotaged twice, fires were light on board three times, a child was held over the side of the boat ( but not dropped) and there were four incidences of asylum seekers jumping overboard. But on December 20 the boat was released near Indonesia.

SIEV 14:

On November 4, 2003, Minas Bone, a 12-metre fishing boat carrying 14 Kurdish men and four Indonesian crew arrived at Snake Bay on Melville Island. It was 80 kilometres north of Darwin and it travelled to Australia undetected. The boat and its occupants were returned to Indonesia, but not after the Australia government decided to excise thousands of islands and huge parts of the Australian coastline from the Migration Act to ensure they could not claim asylum.

Jupiter:

No official SIEV number has been made public by Customs for this boat as SIEVs are their internal numbering system and only made public if required. Jupiter, a boat with nine women and six men aboard, landed at Ashmore Reef on March 4, 2004. The asylum seekers were spotted by a patrolling Customs boat out. By this stage Ashmore Reef was no longer part of Australia’s migratory zone and all 15 were returned to Indonesia.

UPDATE: This article originally said that the Four Corners report alleged that three men had drowned when returning to Indonesia on the SIEV 5. This is incorrect. Four Corners alleged that the three men drowned when the SIEV 7 was returned to Indonesia. The story has been updated, Crikey apologises for the error.

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  • 1
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps you could read Dark Victory by David Marr and Marian Wilkinson because most of the crap you have written here did not happen but 7 people did die after we returned them to Indonsia.

    4 Corners also did an excellent story about it in 2002. And SIEVX.com has mountains of information without asking the imbeciles at the navy.

    There is something forgotten among this horror and brutality - we are not talking about fucking boats, we are talking about men, women and kids.

    In response to those on the Oceanic Viking there was this exchange pointing out the law.

    L&C 122 Senate Monday, 8 February 2010
    LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL AFFAIRS
    which you sighted this boat but surely you are able to tell me at what point you believed, or you were given direction, that it was not your responsibility anymore.
    Mr Carmody—It is a bit hard to talk about responsibility. Ultimately Border Protection Command can only intercept vessels on the contiguous zone around Australia, which is about 20 nautical miles around Australian territory. So to that extent it was a long way away from being there. But we do operate with the Australian Federal Police, intelligence agencies and so on, as I mentioned before, to support disruption of ventures that are potentially seeking to come to Australia.”

    Now once people are in the 20nm zone and claim asylum we have to hear their claims by law and cannot expel them to any place and the AFP have zero legal right to be stopping and jailing anyone in any country ever.

    It’s called indirect refoulement because Indonesia is not a signatory to the refugee convention.

  • 2
    Captain Planet
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for the detailed summation.

    It is interesting to note that asylum seekers “become angry… ripping clothes, shouting …. and gesticulating in a threatening manner”.

    I think all of these are actually perfectly understandable reactions. People risking their lives, to flee for their lives, who are then thwarted practically within sight of the new home they are desperately seeking, should actually be commended for such self - restraint. Raised voices and waving your arms around? Well, what do we expect?

  • 3
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Geoff Smith told the CMI that before the pushaways the people were all quiet and compliant.

  • 4
    paddy
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Well done with this piece Amber.
    Just totalling up the numbers of refugees on those few boats, produces a (tiny) figure.
    Whilst trying to comprehend their collective suffering, produces an unimaginably larger one.

  • 5
    Marg Hutton
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    In the preamble to their dissenting minority CMI Report, Senators Brandis, Ferguson and Mason in para. 9 make it clear they are the authors of the ‘most useful Appendix’. see: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/maritime_incident_ctte/report/f01.htm

    I don’t believe Admiral Smith is the author as you claim. The Appendix is attached to their minority report and was not a tabled document.

  • 6
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    PADDY: I’ll second your comment. I suppose this whole wretched disaster is what happens when politicians act to appease the opposition and playing to a perceived audience of potential voters.

    It would be excellent if each politician did a stint in one of these camps. Not for revenge, but to make them realise they’re dealing with human beings, not playing a game of chess.

  • 7
    Whistleblower
    Posted Monday, 7 November 2011 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    As soon as the so-called refugee boats leave Indonesian waters must we fall about to make it easy for them to enter into Australia? Should we reposition the Australian Navy just outside the Indonesian 12 mile limit to guarantee the safety of these customers of people smugglers?

    The easier we make it for the people smugglers, the more will use this channel. Whilst refugee advocates get their rocks off by siding with those wishing to force their way into our country more people smugglers will be encouraged to service this channel.

    In the Middle Ages, penitents lashed themselves with whips. Now it would appear that their modern day equivalents have morphed into refugee advocates similarly working themselves up into a lather of orgiastic frenzy but on more temporal issues.

    A further example of orgiastic frenzy is the analogy of fornicating boats in the first posting above, an analogy that I have tried many times to fathom but I must have a limited capacity for imagination. The closest analogy I can come to is one about tug- boats.

    It would appear that by running around advocating that we throw Australia’s doors open to any unemployed goatherd wishing to avail him or herself of lifetime tenure on the nipple of Australian social welfare that the flow will only increase as has been recently evidenced.

    Furthermore “playing to a perceived audience of potential voters” is what democracy is all about. It is these potential voters who are having to pay the massively increased social welfare bill as a consequence of Labor dithering with border control.

    Unfortunately for the refugee advocates the majority of Australians are not empathetic to boat people forcing their way into the country which is why Labor is now falling over itself to try to control the flow. Labor whilst vilifying Howard’s Pacific Solution is desperately trying to find their own equally powerful deterrent without admitting that Howard was right.

  • 8
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Well done with this piece Amber.
    Just totalling up the numbers of refugees on those few boats, produces a (tiny) figure.
    Whilst trying to comprehend their collective suffering, produces an unimaginably larger one.”

    Well thats the point… nip the problem in the bud before it becomes a big problem.

    We have seen the results of Labors soft touch solution…. drownings, deaths, explosions, riots and violence.

    We didn’t see this during the Pacific Solution because Howard stopped the boats. You stop the boats you stop the deaths. You stop the boats you stop the costs.

  • 9
    Archer
    Posted Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Whistleblower pretty much covered it.

  • 10
    Captain Planet
    Posted Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Watching the shallow opportunistic Right trying to take the Higher Moral Ground on this issue, by erecting the smokescreen about wanting to “stop the boats” in order to save lives, when in reality they want to exploit the perceived xenophobic ignorance of the electorate for political gain, makes me feel ill.

    To claim that “stopping the boats” is in the best interests of refugees / asylum seekers is so disingenous as to beggar belief. Don’t believe me? Find a group of asylum seekers somewhere in South East Asia who are about to pay to get on a boat to Australia. Ask if they are aware of the risks. They are. Then tell them that you are going to prevent them getting on that boat - for their own good.

    They will not thank you. The only people who will thank you are the small minded, selfish and insular minority who (for some ephemeral reason) believe that Australia is in danger of being “Swamped” by little brown people who will somehow take their jobs and their houses and their daughters.

  • 11
    Posted Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    WHISTLEBLOWER and ARCHER: (1) If we allowed refugees to come to Australia straight away I dare say that this would completely undermine the people smugglers? (2) Of course, none of the people who are against the refugees arriving had no one in their immediate family who arrived by boat or plane? Not bløødy much. (3) If the spectral doors were open it could have a psychologically inhibiting effect. Once people are able to say well, “Oz will take us anyway, so let’s tough it out a bit longer. After all this regime might collapse”

    WHISTLEBLOWER: Clearly you are agitated beyond reason. No one has suggested ‘throwing open the doors’. Opening them will do nicely.

    CAPTAIN PLANET: During my protest marching days it was interesting to mingle with the Liberal Party section of the crowd. The amount of people protesting against immigration who had foreign accents was surreal. Perhaps thy felt ‘Phew, I got here, but I’m buggœred if I want anyone else coming in.

  • 12
    GeeWizz
    Posted Tuesday, 8 November 2011 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    To claim that “stopping the boats” is in the best interests of refugees / asylum seekers is so disingenous as to beggar belief. Don’t believe me? Find a group of asylum seekers somewhere in South East Asia who are about to pay to get on a boat to Australia. Ask if they are aware of the risks. They are. Then tell them that you are going to prevent them getting on that boat - for their own good.”

    The lefties have yet to tell us what happens with those sitting in the queues…. having filled out all the paperwork… having waited patiently in line in a diseased, decrepid refugee camp…. unable to afford the $20K people smuggler and organised crime fee… unable to fly through half a dozen safe havens are meant to do as their spots and constantly and consistantly filled with fake “refugees” who burn their ID papers, make up falsified stories that can’t be verified and take advantage of a loophole in Australia’s immigration system and worse then that, feeding off the SUFFERING of those who sit in camps as they steal their spots.

    How the fck do the left sleep at night? Honestly?

  • 13
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 4:42 am | Permalink

    Geewiz, who are they? The fact is we owe them nothing at all.

  • 14
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 4:45 am | Permalink

    Your logic is we kick aside the people who ask us for help in favour of those who don’t

  • 15
    Archer
    Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    @Venise Alstergren

    WHISTLEBLOWER and ARCHER:
    (1) If we allowed refugees to come to Australia straight away I dare say that this would completely undermine the people smugglers?

    People smugglers are only part of the equation. The idea is to stop the flow of boats, smugglers and illegal immigrants.

    (2) Of course, none of the people who are against the refugees arriving had no one in their immediate family who arrived by boat or plane? Not bløødy much.

    My parents immigrated here, legally, they were invited in fact. What’s your point?

  • 16
    Whistleblower
    Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    @ archer I believe my position requires some clarification.

    Firstly refugee advocates excel in promoting a single issue as a form of self gratification whilst ignoring the broader impacts of their agitation, expecting everybody else to pay for their own self-indulgence.

    My point quite simply is that Australia has become a destination of choice for would-be immigrants who can manufacture or cobble together a refugee story of some sort. This has been aided and abetted by the “welcome mat” put out by the Labor government vilifying Howard’s Pacific Solution as an act of wedge politics.

    The implications of granting full citizenship access to social welfare benefits which has significantly increased the pull factor were naïvely ignored and now that the predictable increase has occurred the Labor Party is searching for an alternative solution of equal deterrence without admitting Howard was right.

    Arguments about the push factor are irrelevant because there are millions of people in areas of social economic or military upheaval and we cannot take them all, whatever their professed refugee status. My empathy is for those professed refugees rotting in refugee camps without the wherewithal to bribe the people smugglers to move backwards in the queue when each new self appointed bunch of claimants pushed their way to the head of the queue.

    I agree that we should be turning back the boats, actively prosecuting the smugglers, and sending illegal immigrants home. This includes those who arrive by air or overstayed their visas or engage in some shonky form of vocational training .

  • 17
    Posted Wednesday, 9 November 2011 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    @ ARCHER: “”My parents immigrated here, legally, they were invited in fact. What’s your point?”“

    My point being that so many people ranting about refugees are from other countries, or sons and daughters of recent arrivals. As the famous and lean Greek writer observed and wittily termed the condition ‘The Dog in the Manger’ syndrome.

    Brush up your classics, start doing it now.

  • 18
    Andrew Scott
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    the various admirals’ evidence was closely interrogated”? This sentence doesn’t make sense to me. How do you interrogate evidence? Perhaps the admirals were interrogated? Or their evidence examined? It may seem a small point, but precision in the use of language is necessary for clarity of meaning.

  • 19
    Archer
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    @Venise

    I agree that we should be turning back the boats, actively prosecuting the smugglers, and sending illegal immigrants home. This includes those who arrive by air or overstayed their visas or engage in some shonky form of vocational training.”

    By: WhistleBlower

    WhistleBlowers views are logical. To date, the only rants I have read are from the advocates. I’m not anti-immigration, I give priority to those living in some hell hole refugee camp. To those who have been patiently waiting their turn, without the funds to secure transportation to Australia as the illegals do.

    My point being that so many people ranting about refugees are from other countries, or sons and daughters of recent arrivals.”

    Please provide some evidence.

  • 20
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    WHISTLEBLOWER: Gee thanks for attributing to me a comment I didn’t make. If you copied and pasted this mindless rant you had better check to see who did write it. I might have to ask Crikey what, if anything, can be done about people deliberately misquoting other people.

    ””“WhistleBlowers views are logical. To date, the only rants I have read are from the advocates. I’m not anti-immigration, I give priority to those living in some hell hole refugee camp. To those who have been patiently waiting their turn, without the funds to secure transportation to Australia as the illegals do.”“”

    And my name is Orphan Annie.

    Do you seriously expect me to give you chapter, line and verse of verbal comments over a period of many years? The person to really get in touch with is Suzanne Blake. Not once has she ever backed up her comments.

    In any case, why should I bother extending guidance to someone who deliberately misquotes, and attributes a poisonous comment to me? A comment which is diametrically opposed to my philosophy on this issue. Moreover he does so in a public forum. I think it’s called defamation.

  • 21
    Archer
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    @Venise,

    Oh, please, calm down. Read the posting again, it is a portion of WhistleBlowers contribution which I cut and pasted. I agree completely with the logic behind his / her strategy.

    No one is out to defame you.

    What I would like though is some sort of evidence for your claim below:

    My point being that so many people ranting about refugees are from other countries, or sons and daughters of recent arrivals. As the famous and lean Greek writer observed and wittily termed the condition ‘The Dog in the Manger’ syndrome.”

    If none is available, I have to take it as opinion. My conversation is not with Suzanne Blake.

  • 22
    Whistleblower
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    @Venise Alstergren
    Iam struggling to work out what it is I am supposed to have attributed to you. I would respectfully suggest that you carefullyread what has been written before making unsubstantiated accusations stop I think any references to “mindless rants” and giving advice to ” check to see who did write” something might well apply to yourself.

    It might also be wise for you to discuss your concerns with the Moderator. You might learn something to your benefit about checking facts.

    I might also suggest that you really read my original posting, especially the part about refugee advocates and orgiastic frenzy.

    @Archer
    Thank you for clarifying the situation with Venise.

  • 23
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    ARCHER: “”Do you seriously expect me to give you chapter, line and verse of verbal comments over a period of many years? The person to really get in touch with is Suzanne Blake. Not once has she ever backed up her comments.”“

    This particular quote was directed to WHISTLEBLOWER, also re-read the above comment-unfortunately I don’t carry a recording device in my handbag. However, I’ve thought of a wonderful example. Hitler was foreign born. He was born in Austria.

  • 24
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    ARCHER: “”Oh, please, calm down.”” Peace witless. I’ve been insulted by genuine experts.

    WHISTLEBLOWER: Why is it that the people who jump in to correct/inform the writer invariably are the worst offenders themselves?

  • 25
    Whistleblower
    Posted Thursday, 10 November 2011 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    @Venise
    For the avoidance of doubt I am copying your comment as follows:
    “WHISTLEBLOWER: Gee thanks for attributing to me a comment I didn’t make. If you copied and pasted this mindless rant you had better check to see who did write it. I might have to ask Crikey what, if anything, can be done about people deliberately misquoting other people.”

    I would like you to explain which comment I am supposed to have attributed to you, and to explain your assertion about me “deliberately misquoting other people”.

    Otherwise you should “take a Bex and have a good lie down”.

  • 26
    Archer
    Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    @Venise,

    ARCHER: “”Oh, please, calm down.”” Peace witless. I’ve been insulted by genuine experts.”

    I beg you, concede your error and have done with.

    Hitler and his family immigrated to Germany when he was three. However, If one wanted to be argumentative one could ask, would psychological testing under mandatory detention help prevent the importation of a psychopath
    (such as a Hitler) into Australia? Besides, do you see someone advocating the formation of a master race here? Removing impurities?

  • 27
    Archer
    Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    @Venise,

    “ARCHER: “”Oh, please, calm down.”” Peace witless. I’ve been insulted by genuine experts.”

    I beg you, acknowledge your error and have done with.

    May be a better way of putting it.

  • 28
    Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    coming from the Australian Open of the Slovaks versus the Greeks, and other countries at each other’s throats. How do you suppose young hoons get to hate ARCHER (Fri 11 Nov) BTW I switched on the computer five minutes ago. You seem very, very heated these past two comments. What’s the matter; do most of your victims fold after a broad side from you?

    Your first problem: Hitler may have only been three, so what? You can have the same situation amongst people who were born in Australia, or any other country; hopefully the condition doesn’t affect just Australians. Have you not seen roaming gangs of footy hoons, or fist fights at the tennis? Have you not seen the someone from another part of Europe? They get this attitude from their parents. The kids grow up hearing all the r^ac^ist cr@p. ie That Greek bustard; never trust a Greek and so on. I venture to suggest that by asking one imdividual hoon what he hated about M. XYZ He wouldn’t even be able to tell you.

    ”In the Middle Ages, penitents lashed themselves with whips. Now it would appear that their modern day equivalents have morphed into refugee advocates similarly working themselves up into a lather of orgiastic frenzy but on more temporal issues”” We so called lefties aren’t the people that the right wing indulges in. This is the template of orgiastic hatred. “The people smugglers”; the (amazing, invisible) queues of refugees”; “Boat people:, Refugees sewing their lips together to stop other people from force feeding them? Boat people throwing their children into the sea???

    ”The easier we make it for the people smugglers, the more will use this channel.”“

    Wrong. People always want what they cannot get. Once they were convinced they were Oz citizens they may stay on at their present address to have one more go at it. BTW, I’m fed up to the back teeth with your constant yarping at people to provide proof of what they say. I haven’t seen much evidence of you doing that.

    Your next problem: The item was written to me, ie @Venise on Thursday 10 Nov (It’s authenticated by Archer further down on this post). How it panned out was the heading…
    ARCHER

    @Venise

    Followed by the paragraph which everyone on the planet seems to have read followed by the word….
    Whistleblower

    NOT UNNATURALLY I took you to be the person responsible. Those were the words I saw. You can bully me until your face turns purple but I’m not going to give ground to pøør western tråsh like you.

    End of story.

    Under normal circumstances I’m the first person to apologise at even a hint of error. However, to apologise to someone who makes comments like these would reduce me to being on the same wretched level.

    ”because there are millions of people in areas of social economic or military upheaval and we cannot take them all, whatever their professed refugee status.”“

    You seemed to forget the countries that are really inundated with refugees somehow find the pace are kind enough to take more.

    ”Firstly refugee advocates excel in promoting a single issue as a form of self gratification…”“

    What utter hogwash. In my case the refugee problem was a subject which I stayed well clear of. I imagine that it was only in October that I started commenting on refugees. Nor do I intend to continue with it. I’m much happier in the political arena. What’s more you get a better class of people. I am no more of a single issue person than most other people and I certainly don’t get my rocks off by writing about refugees.

    Go to the Blogs heading, zip down to Amber Jamieson’s ‘Back in a Bit’ Scroll down to the India heading on the right hand side of the page, look for my name. Whilst you’re there look under the Middle East heading and scroll down to Oman. You will find Amber’s column is headed by a beautiful old sea plane on a blue background.

    This is my passion, my life and, at the moment everything I can aspire to.

    ”My point quite simply is that Australia has become a destination of choice for would-be immigrants who can manufacture or cobble together a refugee story of some sort”“

    I”ll try to ignore the total lack of care evidenced about these people. They are desperate. Do desperate people seriously cobble together? I know, there are little stands, serviced by um….um…..Got it! They are the People Smugglers where earning a bit more money to ‘their obscene wealth’; for a pittance the refugees can purchase different strands of ‘manufacture’ and portions of cobbled leather. In order to weave something mysterious.

    ””””“WhistleBlowers views are logical. To date, the only rants I have read are from the advocates. I’m not anti-immigration, I give priority to those living in some hell hole refugee camp. To those who have been patiently waiting their turn, without the funds to secure transportation to Australia as the illegals do.”“”

    Oh dear me, look at that pious heap of platitudes. Your heart breaks, thump, thump. The crocodile tears pour forth. You are a sham, both of you. Whistleblower/Archer.

  • 29
    Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    SORRY ALL: I managed to chop off a largish slice from the top of the comment; I don’t know how to retrieve it.

  • 30
    Whistleblower
    Posted Friday, 11 November 2011 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Venise

    Orgiastic frenzy!” QED

  • 31
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Sunday, 13 November 2011 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/disabled-boy-freed-from-adult-jail-20111112-1ncv2.html

    Another vile mess by the fucking government and whining media morons.

  • 32
    Whistleblower
    Posted Sunday, 13 November 2011 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    @SheppherdMarilyn
    Why do you think the people smugglers use under age boys on their boats? Why don’t these underage criminals carry their identity with them? If as assumed the x-ray test to determine age is not valid, then authorities should come up with a better methodology for determining the age of the miscreant concerned. If however all we do we shipthen back to Indonesia with a slap on the wrist, there is no deterrent to doing it again whilst they remain under age.

    It may have escaped your notice that a 14-year-old Australian boy is experiencing justice of a different kind in Indonesia for breaching Indonesia’s drug laws , and I suspect Australian jails are much better place than an Indonesian one.

    It should be noted that without the government managing border control, or trying to at least, your standard of living would eventually drop to that of a Third World country because millions would turn up here on our doorstep, overwhelming our social welfare justice and education systems.

    So while you’re castigating government and the media, just remember that your standard of living is a function of the determination of others to maintain control over our borders so you can get your rocks off as a single issue advocate working yourself up into a frenzy in the full knowledge that you don’t have to face the ultimate consequences of your own ideas.

    You should also note that Juliar is desperately trying to come up with a solution as effective as Howard’s Pacific Solution without admitting Howard was correct in his methodology at least because the majority of Australians do not want people smugglers operating.

  • 33
    Posted Sunday, 13 November 2011 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    WHITSTLEBLOWER: So?

  • 34
    Posted Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    WHISTLEBLOWER: “”millions would turn up here on our doorstep,”” pray tell me where on earth are the ships to carry millions of people to Australia? Whatever your good qualities, if any, logic is not one of them.

  • 35
    Whistleblower
    Posted Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    @venise
    You have committed the cardinal sin of quoting out of context. Whether it is deliberate or a manifestation of febrile incapacity I will leave it to others to decide.

    For the avoidance of doubt, I am enclosing the full paragraph from my post as follows:

    ” It should be noted that without the government managing border control, or trying to at least, your standard of living would eventually drop to that of a Third World country because millions would turn up here on our doorstep, overwhelming our social welfare justice and education systems. “

    You will note my comment includes the qualifier “without government managing border control”. It is a very important qualifier which you have chosen to ignore. It would appear that refugee advocates want to allow anybody purporting to be a refugee to just walk into Australia so government management of border control is very important whether it be Liberal or Labor.

    It is also obvious that without government intervention, refugee boats could be used many times, and it is not beyond the realms of possibility for people smugglers to buy clapped-out liners and ship in refugees in lots of 5000 at a time. Based on such an assumption using say four or five boats with one month turnaround you should then import say 300,000 a year and perhaps 1 million or so in a three-year period.

    And so to answer your question, the ships already exist. Several years ago Albanian people smugglers crammed 5000 people on a clapped-out freighter which crossed the Adriatic and was beached in Italy. So the business model exists. In this instance, the ship could not be reused because of government intervention. It could readily be seen therefore that without government intervention a ship of this type could shuttle backwards and forwards between Australia and East Africa, India, or Indonesia at least 12 times a year.

    It is the very act of government intervention in both Australia and currently Indonesia which confines people smuggling to the relatively small quantities at this stage. However the professed policies of refugee advocates would effectively lead to the dismantling of all these controls and very volumes that I have estimated could easily eventuate. Over a 20 year period 3 million is not out of the question

    You are lucky that you can pursue your position of open borders for refugee claimants without having to face the consequences of your advocacy. If you are successful in your advocacy, all effective controls would be abandoned, then you would almost certainly have an influx that of the volume that I have assumed.

  • 36
    Posted Tuesday, 15 November 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    WHISTLEBLOWER: Your original rant mentioned “millions” of people flooding into Oz; I don’t care how you try to justify this crass and sweeping statement. Now you conjure up the spectre of five thousand people cramming into one vessel-did you include a reference or two with this statement?-OK, let’s say you did. Have you any conception of the different maritime conditions between the Adriatic and the route down from a South East Asian port? Dodging the odd hurricane and typhoon. You rightards are lunacy epitomised. You are all for spouting off intangible spam but don’t take natural conditions into the equation. I’m surprised you didn’t have your spectral ship with its five thousand lost souls trawling the river Neva.

    My heart does not bleed per se. However the answer to the refugee problem does not lie through tightening up existing laws. If it did, we wouldn’t have the problem in the first place. See? Clearly you are totally deficient in the logic department.

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