Nov 15, 2012

Inside an Adelaide detention centre: misery on quiet suburban street

Residents of Adelaide suburb Kilburn might not even know an asylum seeker detention centre is in their neighbourhood. One crusading lawyer speaks to InDaily's Des Ryan about the conditions.

In suburban Kilburn in Adelaide, amid the humble redbrick houses and the factories, Garland Avenue is a dead-end back street. Right at the end, alongside the high factory wall of TI Auto Motors, 55-65 Garland Avenue stands out from the three redbricks across the road, reminders of an earlier Housing Trust era when Kilburn was the hub of South Australia’s railway workshops.


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13 thoughts on “Inside an Adelaide detention centre: misery on quiet suburban street

  1. CML

    Well now, that’s what I call an “unbiased” report!!!!!
    I DO NOT accept that “we” are to blame for all the problems these boat people have, and all the bleeding hearts like Claire O”Connor are doing is making things worse.
    It is most unlikely that the MAJORITY of Australians will accept that boat people, who may be a security risk, should be let loose in the community. If that occurs, then we may as well give up on border security. What people like Claire just will not accept is that the citizens of this country have a right to their opinion, and at the moment that opinion is anti-boat people.
    The second mistake she makes is to accuse all of us who think this way of being anti-refugee. I, for one, applaud the increase in the refugee intake to 20,000, but reserve the right to take in those refugees who have been sitting in UN camps (particularly in our own Asia/Pacific region) for many, many years. I will never understand this “selective compassion”, as practiced by the refugee advocate lobby, where people with MONEY and from the MIDDLE EAST, are somehow more deserving than the poor and destitute in our own region of the planet, who will NEVER have the money or opportunity to get on a boat.
    And please do not insult my intelligence by telling me that rich people can also be refugees. Maybe, but I am NOT convinced. If they have the money to purchase false passports/documents (not an inexpensive business), then several airplane tickets (to get to Malaysia/Indonesia) and finally, to buy a seat on a boat to Christmas Island, then it suggests to me they could use that money to “buy” security in their own countries. None of the waffle coming from the refugee advocates even makes sense. Oh! and then there is the small matter of the destroyed documents before they reach Australia. Of course they have to do that because most of said documents are false and would diminish their ability to stay in this country.
    Make no mistake, we are being had!!

  2. shepherdmarilyn

    DIAC love this, Gillard wants it and Bowen does it.

    This country is led by mental and moral morons who are actively supported by lazy racist media in pretending that refugees who seek asylum are doing something wrong.

  3. michael crook

    Of course it is racist, but what would you expect from a nation that does not want to look at it’s own record of domestic violence and child abuse against it’s own children.
    287,000 children abused in 2009, we hate our own children why wouldn’t we be xenophobic as well. Our treatment of refugees is illegal and inhumane. Is that simple enough.

  4. Paddy Forsayeth

    As has benn mentioned a couple of times in in the Crikey comments, Australia is a signatory to the UN refugee accord. This, rightly or wrongly, permits anyone to arrive on our shores in any fashion and claim asylum. If, as CML asserts, the majority of Australians don’t want boat people then Australia has to renegotiate the UN accord and get it to exempt boat people or get out of the accord altogether. Presumably if we did that (drop it) then we would have to pick up the boat arrivals when they arrive and take them back to where they came from. What if they can’t remember where they came from(? no papers!!) where to next hmmmmm?

  5. Daniel Ruben

    I heard on ABC RN that “difficult” uncoöperative detainees were being medicated with Mirtazapine without being told what they were being medicated with. Mirtazapine is an antidepressant which also has unbelievably powerful hypnotic effects. I’ve been prescribed this drug. One 30mg dose knocks you out for dead for 12-15 hours and you wake up feeling like a zombie, groggy as hell, barely able to move. Must be a really effective way to control “difficult behaviour” and too bad if the detainee feels like total sh*t the next day.

  6. Sue Hoffman

    CML “And please do not insult my intelligence by telling me that rich people can also be refugees.”

    A refugee is a person who is outside their home country and has a well-founded fear of persecution for one of five reasons – google the refugee convention. Being a refugee is about persecution not being rich or poor.

    Sometimes rich people are targeted as they might influence others – break the spirit of a person that a community looks up to, then others will acquiesce.
    Its not uncommon for doctors to be targeted because they refuse to participate in torture or insist on treating people whatever political belief or religion they have.

    Militias can try and force wealthy people to support them to access their money to buy weapons and so on.

    If a group is targeted because of their ethnicity or religion, whether they are rich or poor is irrelevant.

    I doubt that this will make any difference to you, CML, but maybe someone else is interested in the validity or otherwise of the statement you made.

  7. Joel

    A really notable part of this is that we are torturing people – and make no bones about it, constantly switching the light on and off every two minutes is a form of torture – because of allegations against their parents.

  8. The Old Bill

    CML I may have disagreed with you over the evil internet question, but this time you have almost redeemed yourself. However I would suggest it is very hard to “buy” security in Afghanistan or any of these unfortunate countries for the price of a couple of airfares and a short boat ride.
    We also still have the moral dilemma of bombing the crap out of these countries whilst telling their citizens it is safe to be there. There again, we have totally ignored refugees from our region and anywhere else without major oil reserves since World War II, as you have so rightly pointed out, so why start caring now?

  9. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    The difficulty I have with CML’s position is that he/she separates “boat people” from other asylum seekers (who obviously come by air with passports, visas etc) and then separates all asylum seekers from those already assessed elsewhere as refugees who are assisted to reach Australia.
    Presumably CML doesn’t have any problem with ‘assessed elsewhere’ refugees (the balance of the 20,000) even if they come from the MIddle East? So the problem must be asylum seekers. Interestingly, asylum seekers come from pretty much exactly the same places and circumstances as ‘assessed elsewhere’ refugees and nearly all of them are found to be ‘genuine’. They appear, to us, to have chosen or stumbled on or simply escaped by different routes which entailed different administrative pathways, different time scales, greater or smaller risks. Whether they have genuine home-country papers (passport, visa) or whether they purchased false ones or disposable ones is pretty much irrelevant because from their point of view they all simply escaped – and now they are all seeking refuge. Does it really matter how they did it?

  10. CML

    @ HCMc – I don’t think we should be taking ANYONE from the middle east/sub-continent. At least not while there are still thousands of “processed” refugees from countries in our own (Asia/Pacific) region, awaiting resettlement in Oz.
    It is frequently asserted that we should be taking refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan because we have been involved in the recent wars in these countries. However, since John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard first sent, and then condoned the presence of our troops in these countries, without the consent of the majority of Australians, I don’t see why “we” have any obligations to these people. Perhaps all the politicians could pay for the refugees coming from these countries, and take the blame for their own stupidity.
    The law should be changed to ensure that there is a citizens initiated referendum held before Australian troops are committed to ANY war in the future. At present there doesn’t even have to be a vote taken in the parliament (about which we could at least lobby our local members), so the resulting refugee problem should be on the heads of those who made these decisions in the first place. It is unfair to expect the taxpayer to foot the bill for thousands of refugees coming to this country (by whatever means), when they (taxpayers) had no say in what caused the problem in the first place.
    Like hundreds of thousands of others, I marched in the street to protest about our involvement in both wars. “We” were ignored. Therefore, it is not “our” problem.

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