Correction

In the article “Planners say it’s time to take people out of flood-prone areas” (yesterday, item 8), Brian Stewart was referred to as “CEO of the Planning Institute of Australia”. Brian is in fact CEO of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (Queensland).

The suggestion in the Crikey article that unsuccesfull Afghan asylum seekers could be returned to areas within the country which are not dangerous and such would not contravene our commitment to the UN Convention of non-refoulment.

Given that many of the Afghan asylum seekers are Hazaras and Shia believers, they would be automatically be subjected to various degrees of persecution or discriminiation upon arrival in Kabul. The Immigration Department has countless files which record the fact that Shia Muslims have beeb subjected to persecution over the centuries not only because of their membership of the Shia sect but also because of the long held belief by members of the Sunni Pashtun majority, that Hazara people have always been sympathetic to the aspirations of their Persian co-religionists. Furthermore Hazara dwellers are generally regarded as ill-educated “country hicks” and are accorded complete disrespect by their urban countrymen.

Apart from the fact that the Australian Government would, obligingly pass their names, in advance, to the Kabul authorities. it woukd be widely known that the potential returnees had been in Australia “bad mouthing” the government in Kabul.

With these considerations in mind, and they are facts well known to the Department of Immigration, it if extremely difficult to believe that they would not face persecution upon return to Afghanistan.

Flood blame game:

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Planners say it’s time to take people out of flood-prone areas” (yesterday, item 8) It’s now clear that most supporters of action on “climate change” are as bad as its opponents. While on the one hand there is denial of the abundant evidence of global warming, on the other hand every single extreme weather event is seized on as proof. We will probably never know what contribution the Greenhouse Effect made to the floods — or the preceding drought.

As for blaming “planners” for allowing building on flood plains, the fact is that most Australian towns and cities are built on rivers, and hence on flood plains. And to compare the Queensland government’s response to the disaster to the US response to Hurricane Katrina is ridiculous. Isn’t it possible to have a natural disaster which is no one’s fault?

Come on Lleyton, it’s time to leave:

Henrie and Jill Ellis write: Re. “The end of the road for lil’ Lleyton?” (yesterday, item 3)  My adult sons refer to Lleyton as “Lleyton loser” and rather cruelly rejoice when he is defeated because in their estimation he is a thoroughly unpleasant person despite his sporting ability. However, they remain bewildered that the mainstream media gives him such oxygen by dedicating copy to his inflated opinion of himself.

Perhaps now he will be seen for what he really is, an athlete past his prime whose attention seeking antics, churlish petulance and lack of emotional intelligence will only sully what sporting reputation he has left. Go while you still have some dignity, and go out on a generous note. Somehow I doubt that he will.

Be careful of false rumours:

Arley Moulton writes: Re. “From party ice to rent, prices are up post-flood” (yesterday, item 10) My thoughts on profiteering during this time are the same as everyone else’s. It’s awful, bottom feeder, scumbag type behaviour. But then again, so is spreading lies that result in an innocent man’s daughters getting attacked after he helped shattered people in his community during the crisis.

Contradictions on climate change:

Matt Sazon writes: Re. Tamas Calderwoods’ latest contribution (comments, Wednesday) contained its usual mix of restated nonsense that has been thoroughly debunked a gazillion times and mysterious figures. All that was missing was the ‘Linear Regression’. Some people might wonder why he persists in spite of the obvious and painful contradictions to his every word on the topic: I suggest a ‘Crikey Clarifier’ on Cognitive Dissonance could help shed some light.

The bear truth:

Kim Lockwood writes: It would be unfair to single out my old alma mater, the NT News, for this one (media briefs, yesterday), but you could guarantee they’d be the odds-on favourite to refer to “patrons dancing on stage, often bearing their br-asts”. Bear with me while I bare my … oh, never mind.

Peter Fray

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