Manus Island

Crikey readers were dismayed to hear details of a 17-year-old New Zealand boy being held in immigration detention yesterday, drawing connections between US outrage and ongoing Australian apathy. Meanwhile, have we become accustomed to the NBN disappointing us? 

On minors in Australian detention

Clare writes: This treatment of children is disgraceful. I have been objecting to detention of children since the Villawood days, at least the Howard government released women and children into the community after public pressure. The research on child development is well-known in the public and government circles. They know that what they are doing is wrong, damaging to children’s mental health and attachment styles and they do it anyway.

I write letters to Mr Dutton’s office and I do not even get an acknowledgement. I send thoughtful psychologically researched facts to support my request to release all children from detention. I sign petitions, I still hear nothing. At least with your voice you have a response and an opportunity to put pressure on the government to change their cruel and anti fair go policies for children in detention. Keep up the pressure.

Rais writes: Remember when Turnbull and Trump had their first phone discussion? When Turnbull told him what we do to undocumented migrants Trump said admiringly, “You’re worse than me!” Now Trump is playing catch up.


On Telstra’s NBN revamp

MJM writes: The worst aspect of all this is that no one is surprised and no one expects anything better from the NBN. We have now come to accept unacceptably low standards, to pay through the nose for no service and to ignore the lies that accompany these. This is a complete disaster, for which blame must directed to Turnbull.

Zosed writes: What a corrupt decision to sell off another essential service only for its sellers to buy a chunk of it back at inflated cost and call it NBN, with a plan to sell it back to these filthy monopolists for nothing. Liberals, i.e. the CEOs union, enriching their corporate masters at our expense.

Klewso writes: 

Symbol of


On an Indigenous Voice to Parliament

Guy Rundle writes: Last week your correspondent filed a short piece on the Uluru Statement From The Heart, and in particular, the Voice to Parliament proposal for a powerless assembly to advise parliament itself, and to make the treaty. I had a question: was it not a complex proposal to put forward in a referendum, and one that, if it succeeded, amounted to a wilful choosing of supplication? I raised seven concerns about the proposal including its role as an easy target, the frustration and division created by fake power, and above all, the contradiction of identifying the current set-up as a continuation of racism, and then working to create a chamber which would be wholly subject to its whim.

That would have been an opportunity for the National Congress of Australia’s First People to reply point by point, thus spreading the word to a readership who might well share some of my bewilderment at this proposal. Instead, their CEO Gary Oliver sent a boilerplate note which tackles none of those questions, urges me to contact him personally and offers vague optimism as a rationale.

The very start of the reply puts it better than I could. Paragraph one is a catalogue of the racist dispossession created by the Australian state, from occupation to genocide; paragraph two announces, unironically that we would like to “join Australia’s fine institutions”. If this is your game, it’s game over, I suspect.


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Peter Fray

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