There are two big communication issues in new data from Essential Research on what we think of the way government is handling asylum seeker arrivals.

Half of respondents, not surprisingly, want processing done offshore. Only a third back the idea of bringing those currently housed on Manus Island to Australia. So both major parties are on to a winner there.

But asked about the conditions of offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru, a third reckon they’re top-notch …

As far as you know, are the conditions in which asylum seekers are kept on Nauru and Manus Island good or poor?


One, for government: for a policy underpinned by cruelty as discouragement, you’re clearly failing to promote your best efforts.

And two, for the many august journals that have devoted significant space to highlighting the “rapidly deteriorating” conditions: apparently very few people are reading.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey