A Post of Writing Dangerously About Refugees

Kevin Rudd has announced a radical plan to deal with the irregular arrival of refugees. Send them all to PNG, with the approval of the PNG Government.

I am going to put down my off the cuff feelings and recognise they may change between now and when I end this post.

Firstly, I am a Green and this is where this is  a dangerous bit of writing. I may end up not agreeing with our Green Parliamentarians. I will accept the slings and arrows of outraged Political Correctness as well as the anger of SHY.

My initial reaction was “That is a cruel, cynical political move which will solve the problem.”

Then I had a second thought. All we have done with PNG is to send in the Miners. PNG is a country with little infrastructure and few skills. These refugees are mostly skilled, mostly literate and mostly keen to get on with their lives. PNG is NOT Australia. Yet it is a new nation which should offer many possibilities for motivated newcomers. This move will lift the level of education in PNG. The refugees will be prime new PNG citizens. They will create a new economy in this land of 7 million.

Hmmm – Maybe it is not all bad.

Let me look a little closer at this. I have heard some people saying that this is a cruel way to treat Refugees. Does this mean it is cruel to allow PNG citizens to live in PNG? Should we be importing the entire population of PNG to Australia because living conditions are better here? Yes, the current accommodation is not good. That is one of the situations which will be improved over the next few months.

There was a dude from Amnesty International (I missed his name) on The Drum this afternoon who said that the Rudd solution was rejecting all our obligations to refugees. Sorry, it doesn’t. Regular refugee arrivals will still be accepted. Our quota of refugees is untouched. The only ones affected are those who come as customers of the People Smugglers. In fact, it could well mean that the People Smugglers change their preferred route. Instead of the very risky Java-Christmas Island route they will begin to prefer an island hopping trip from Java direct to PNG. A much safer solution which will stop the deaths at sea.

The hidden costs of the Rudd Solution will be horrendous. That is a neat dog-whistle from the L-NP to those who do not believe in our Government spending money on refugees. Even if the costs are $2 billion a year, they will be less than we are currently paying to cope with this problem.

I’m afraid just looking at facts and consequences I find I am not horrified by this idea. It has good consequences for PNG. It releases refugees into a free society earlier. It removes a problem for Australia. It will save lives.

I know my leader, Sen Milne has spoken out against this idea. Somehow I do get the feeling there is a touch of the “hair-shirts” in this. The Greens leadership does seem to have a religious quality in its ideas. That it is their way or the highway. SHY has now just decided that this will be a “disaster”. The refugees being routed through the PNG system will not be held in camps for a long time. They will be processed and released. Something that is not happening here in Australia. It seems to me that this will be better for the people involved.

OK! I will say it. Subject to deeper thought and to possible convincing arguments from those opposed.

Thank you for this solution, Kevin Rudd.

(For another perspective, have a look here  at “Ya Think”s blog” )

I have witten more on this subject. Feel free to visit more of my musings on refugees.

Another Dangerous Refugee Post

49 responses to “A Post of Writing Dangerously About Refugees

  1. Thanks Archie, you saved me a late night writing, I agree with just about everything, so far the only thing missing from the PNG rock show is time for considered thought.

    I have been slapping left & right on twitter ever since Rudd’s statement trying to get people to see past the outrage of an as yet unread, unscrutinised policy.

    As for Senator Milne, her references to PNG made my blood boil, such careless hostile & misleading remarks degrade our neighbors and give an impression its inhabited by the cannibals & headhuntes of 100 years ago.

    I found it entirely disgraceful from someone who hadn’t even seen the policy, read of the ramifications or had time to seriously consider the pro’s & cons.

    Add to this the drums moronic off the cuff segment using terms referring to it as a gulag situation & I was ready to storm buildings & punch faces.

    Well done, I applaud the effort & thought you put into words on short notice.

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    • Thank you Brooksy. I don’t expect to escape unscathed from this – I have already lost several twitter followers.

      I too get very annoyed at those who trot out a predetermined attitude to everything without looking at the facts. And I include the Greens leadership in this. If this makes me a bad Green then so be it.

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      • You did good, very good, not everything regarding refugees is the big bad, sadly many people have lost the ability to identify between the two. I have also put this on my Facebook page, I have followers who think & share… this is worthy of both…(-:

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      • I disagree, but you will never lose me. DISCUSSION is the solution to finding a viable solution. Decisions made in haste for short-term gain (as I believe this one is) often have unforeseen long term ramifications.

        Hugs, Archie!

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        • Thanks Robyn {{{return hugs}}}

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        • I’m with you Robin, I may not agree entirely with Archie’s viewpoint, but I respect him for voicing in a reasonable manner how he sees this latest policy.

          I too think that it may be a hasty knee jerk reaction, that will have ramifications not yet apparent to all, cynically put in place to win votes. However, I know that we as a nation need to find a way to protect those wanting to come here that are genuine refugees, protect them from people smugglers, unsafe boats and the high seas.

          I still believe our funds and efforts are better spent in finding a way to process the Asylum Seekers in Indonesia quickly and then rehoming the genuine folk here in Australia where they can work to support themselves and their families. I want to get rid of massive detention centres like Manus will be, with the proposed housing for 3000.

          I don’t have all the answers, and I may be wrong (a phrase you won’t hear the pollies use) but I do want us to be a humane and compassionate society as we have been in the past. We are after all a country of boat people who have been arriving for a very long time.

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          • Those who fear “ramifications” should at least be able to come up with a possible one. This new policy should let us turn our minds more to those who have been in camps for years rather than those who self select.

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    • OK – so you and I won’t agree either then! 🙂

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      • But we can smile about it. I have a feeling we are both a lot closer to agreeing with each other (one way or the other) than it may appear. It could be that we will see Iranian Refugees becoming PNG citizens and then arriving in Australia as 457 visa holders. Now THAT would be Karma 🙂

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      • Well, I dont have you’re knowledge of the process Robyn but I do have a pretty good book explaining a lot of it..(-: , and frankly the past 24 hours has been an utter maelstrom of accusations & attacks that dont currently make a lot of sense to me. I’m awaiting a chance to actually read the policy regarding the wider implications and application of what they intend. On the surface, its confrontational, but I dont have enough information to either understand or hate it and my thoughts are currently seeking wider implications from all 3 sides. First to admit im no expert, but if we dont try new things I dont think we will ever have completely viable options. As for the process onshore in Australia avenue, I dont object to that either.. In fact if you give me two days I will link you to a blog im writing with what I believe is a fair and vastly new approach to that concept too. I actually think we will generally agree on that one…(-:

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  2. I saw a documentary about Manus where the locals had so much compassion for the refugees they wanted them to be let out of the detention centre to join in with their community. What shocks me about Rudd’s policy is that he confirms that we rich Australians are put to shame by the compassion of those with far less wealth. If this was really about people drowning at sea fair enough. But this is about politics and populism and if Labor are prepared to lower their standards to this they are little better than the Liberals. So, from my point of view I think you miss the point.

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    • Thank you for your comment, Amanda. I recognise that this is a political solution but then all solutions coming from a Government are political solutions. Politics is the art of the possible and it is impossible to release these “irregular” refugees early in Australia. Howard, Abbott and Morriscum have created that situation. In PNG these unfortunate people will be released earlier than they would in Australia. In fact I can see a situation where a refugee from Iran will be able to be re-settled in PNG, become a PNG citizen and apply for a visa to Australia all before s/he would have been released into the Australian population under the present situation.

      Having said all that, I too would prefer a situation where it was possible to release “boat people” into the general population here in Aus a lot quicker. It is just politically impossible in this generation.

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  3. There is some merit in what you have written Archie, but there could be some problems ahead for refugees sent to PNG. The country already has a refugee “problem”, according to its Prime Minister. One (and, sure, it was only one) PNG citizen who appeared in an ABC report tonight was expressing objections to newcomers because they didn’t fit in, on a number of levels. Pure racism, to be sure, and I think we have the same problem in Australia.

    My hope is that the prospect of ending up in PNG will act as a deterrent to people making dangerous boat trips to get to the Australian mainland, or Christmas Island.

    Refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants are risking their lives to make these trips because Australia’s migration processing facilities in overseas countries are inadequate. That is where we have to spend more money and more effort, in order to create a safe and orderly pathway for genuine refugees.

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    • Thanks Barry – I do see the problems as well yet I feel there is also a big opportunity for PNG in this. The increase in their skill base will be immense.

      Having said that, this is a world-wide problem which will only get worse as the Climate changes!

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  4. A very well-considered post, Ærchie, especially for someone writing as the free flowing thoughts arrived, if you know what I mean. Sorry you have ;lost some Twitter followers. Maybe they should have found out more about this before they acted in such haste.

    Kevin Rudd said this attempt at a solution, to try & end the boat smugglers’ grip on the asylum seeking trade in lives, would not be popular & he is prepared to wear that. He has diplomatic skills way beyond anything the LNP could aspire to & he used them to come up with this way of making it safer for these asylum seekers. He has liaised with the UN, I believe, & did read somewhere (ABC?) that he had spoken with the UN Secretary-General. Not sure if this is so.

    It is definitely more humane for the asylum seekers to be processed & released into the community much more expeditiously than is happening now. As things stand, they aren’t allowed to work & have to exist on the kindness of strangers (NGOs) for their survival here in Australia, while waiting to see if they can stay. Now that is inhumane. At least they will probably be allowed to work in PNG & have some dignity.

    Do agree with you re the Greens as they are now. Senator Milne is the unbending, grim face of Green extremism with no diplomatic skills whatsoever. As you said it’s their way or the highway with no signs of any willingness to be accommodating in any manner. This may have been what was required in the Franklin-below-Gordon days but it is now time to be more flexible.

    This scheme is definitely not perfect, nothing will ever be so, but it sure beats babies, wives, husbands, anyone, drowning at sea. Lets face it PNG is not the a**ehole of the earth & those decrying this solution are doing this country a deep disservice by insinuating it is.

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    • At the very least, this is a circuit breaker in a very vexed problem. I hope it works as it will cause the People Smuggling Millionaires to start sending the boats along the islands instead of directly out into the Indian Ocean. Lives will be saved.

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  5. Archie, I think it might be worth looking at Shaun Dorney’s take on this policy. http://is.gd/PtVChd He’s got a heap more experience and knowledge on PNG than most of us and he’s very worried. 😦

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  6. This was originally Julia Gillard’s idea when it seemed likely that the Malaysia Solution would fail to get through parliament due to Tony Abbott’s whinge that Malaysia was not a signatory to the UN Convention – mind you he intends to turn boats back to Indonesia which isn’t a signatory either..but that’s another story. PNG is a signatory, so that is at least one obstacle overcome.

    Is this plan better than Abbott’s plan? – anything would be better than Abbott’s plan…

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  7. Thankyou for this, you have turned the anti-PNG argument on its head in an interesting way. I was initially shocked as all, but with reflection i thought it might be beneficial somewhere along the line. I’ll find your twitter handle and follow if i don’t already.

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  8. I had not heard this proposal Archie, what a inventive idea wouldn’t it be great to see a country such as PNG have something given into to it then taken from it. I feel a lot of the time people tend to not seriously think about proposals simply to keep arguing about the problem, and they are not really interested in finding a solution. It is too much of a political football. As for the refugees, well lets face the facts they are fleeing their country because of war and political persicussion. How is having a chance in the developing of a country to give a better life to their future generations a bad thing? Where coming to Australia and being handed everything as some people want to happen or only being disadvantaged because they don’t have proof of their skills with them employment wise a better options. I think our culture already show signs of the bad idea of throwing money at ‘disadvantaged’ members of society does not work. It often lead to a perception of the right to have something for nothing and little motivation to improve yours or your future generations situation.

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  9. Victoria Martin

    Debate on this is surely vital. But I think you neglect a few key points.
    First and foremost: the violation of rule of law and abrogation of international agreements. I’m sure that, let’s say Bunbury is a rather nice city. The Bunburians appear to be ok with living there. But it is a violation of MY rights to FORCE me there. Should people choose PNG: well that is another story. They COULD be given that option WHILE STILL IN INDONESIA!!!!! i.e. would you like to stay and wait here for some indeterminate time OR we have 3000 places for refugees in the community in PNG. And that is another thing. Will they be free? Or will they be interned. Without sufficient water? As is currently the case. EVERY person interned on Manus has developed mental illness. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Plus there is a difference in resistance to Malaria for those born and those deposited. To me the issue is about coercion. Why is it ok to coerce vulnerable people? However I do agree it is rather insulting to PNG (and Nauru) to refer to these countries as “hell holes”.

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    • I wouldn’t say PNG is a hell hole but a country that has had so much taken from it and very little given back, though Australia does help PNG and its people a hell of a lot. What I don’t get is this continual raving about human right ect. Nobody is forcing these people on to boats to Australia they are choosing. The amount of money paid to get on these boats show these refugee are not poor uneducated people. It is their choice to take the chance and they are for the most aware of what they are coming to if their boat is found. Trust me for every boat that is caught there is probably two getting through. Australia’s infrastructure is bursting at the seams as it is, how are we suppose to support and help these refugees. I think there a lot of people in Australia who need to put their political, religious and righteous belief in a basket and take a look at reality. To use the quote ‘life isn’t fair’ there is no such thing as a perfect solution.

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    • Oh my goodness .. you have pushed a couple of my buttons with your comments. Amazingly, I grew up in New Guinea before it became Papua New Guinea and I am incensed that people keep referring to it as a “hell-hole”. It may not be the best country in the world and yes, there are many problems but a lot of them are caused by lack of education, health, contradictions between culture and modern living. Every person on Manus Island developed a mental illness? Hmmm. Very provocative statement. Your conclusion/s are supported by what research .. the News Ltd. newspapers? The Malaria comment is just plain silly .. I went up there in 1954 and left in early 1960’s .. we did not suffer Malaria because we took medication to prevent it. This will also work for the teachers, doctors, engineers, etc., that Papua New Guinea desperately needs and will welcome with open arms, unlike Oz where most of the lowest common denominator population have been corrupted by the ultra-Right Wing fear campaigns of Messrs. Abbott and Morrison! Secondly, I now live in Bunbury and we wouldn’t actually want anyone to be forced to live here. But we would welcome you if you had the skills we require and then you would be willing to come here because we would make it worth your while. So from personal knowledge on both places (Madang and Bunbury) I reckon you need some more facts before jumping off into the deep end a la Senators Milne and Hanson-Young.

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  10. Sorry just to add, we often get caught up in the here and now and don’t look at history for answer or how to avoid mistake already made. Humans need something to believe in, to protect, to work for and improve or ‘destroy’ unfortunately, that is our nature. This is how religions and movement take hold of vast amounts of otherwise intelligent people. This is a very inserting proposal, as much as I dislike KR a big yay for bringing the proposal to the public eye. Thank you for the blog Archie.

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  11. ONE of the problems with PNG is it’s attitude to same sex relationships. It’s actually illegal there. THEREFORE, PNG is no place for homosexuals who are fleeing Iran because of persecution along those lines.

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  12. Interesting viewpoint. I may not totally agree, but it’s certainly giving me something to mull over…

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  13. If I truly believed that this policy was framed in answer to the question “How can we best help these people” then I would be less cynical but, having looked at the government smart traveller site, it seems apparent that PNG is NOT the desirable destination you describe.

    “We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Papua New Guinea because of the high levels of serious crime.
    • Pay close attention to your personal security at all times and monitor the media for information about possible new safety or security risks.
    • Large crowds and public gatherings should be avoided as they may turn violent.
    • Crime rates are high, particularly in the capital Port Moresby and in Lae, Mt Hagen and other parts of the Highland provinces.
    • Local authorities have advised of a heightened risk of armed robbery and attack at well-attended shopping centres in urban areas, including Port Moresby.
    • Since June 2011, there have been a number of violent incidents in parts of The Highlands, Oro Province, Central and Southern Bougainville, and Lae. You should exercise a high degree of caution when travelling in these areas and monitor local media reporting for information about the security situation.
    • Ethnic disputes continue to flare up around the country. Disputes can quickly escalate into violent clashes. Such clashes not only create danger within the immediate area but also promote a general atmosphere of lawlessness, with an associated increase in opportunistic crime.
    • Car-jacking is an ever-present threat, particularly in Port Moresby and Lae. Car doors should be locked with windows up at all times and caution should be taken when travelling after dark. In the evening or at night, we recommend you travel in a convoy.
    • There has been an increase in reported incidents of sexual assault, including gang rape, and foreigners have been targeted. These crimes are primarily opportunistic and occur without warning. We recommend you monitor your personal security, in both public and private surroundings, and ensure you have appropriate security measures in place.
    • Given the difficult terrain, extreme weather conditions and the condition of some remote airfields in PNG, flying in PNG carries greater safety risks than flying in Australia. On 13 October 2011, an Airlines PNG aircraft crashed near Madang, killing 28 people. Part of the Airlines PNG fleet was grounded on safety concerns but has since been cleared to fly following the implementation of additional safety measures.
    • Cholera is now considered as endemic in PNG. See the Health section for more information.
    • Wet season is from November to May. During the wet season flooding and landslides have resulted in deaths. Roads can become impassable. Check with local sources on the condition of roads and the likely impact of rain before travel.”

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    • I have seen this DFAT smart traveler statement waved all over the place.. Now go back to that site type in Bali, Vanuatu, Fiji or Egypt, Philippines, Indonesia or Malaysia and so the list goes of our preferred holiday destinations. You will find almost identical warnings for those regions which we visit in our tens of thousands and yet we constantly make it out alive..
      I understand what you’re saying, but selective vilification of PNG in this way adds little to this discussion.

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  14. The sting in the tail, for those getting on a boat is that they will NEVER be accepted here. It is about assessment AND resettlement.

    With the Pacific Solution, all knew when the temporary visa run out, they would be allowed to stay. With the Malaysia Solution, they would be given a second chance, if sent back to Malaysia. The aim was to swamp the scheme.

    With this one, it is clear. The only resettlement will be in PNG.

    I can only hope that Rudd announces big increases in the numbers we take from the region. I believe this was hinted at by Rudd.

    We have the stick, a little more carrot would be nice.

    One needs to keep in mind, Morrison had a little more than turn back the boats. He also intended to reduce by 7000 the number we take now. I wonder what Indonesia thought about that proposal.

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  15. In PNG Parliament at the moment is a bill to make PNG christian and only Christian. All other religions will be banned under PNG law. Anyone care to tell me how that will effect the refugees if it is passed.

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  16. There are no words of comfort that can hope to ease the pain
    Of losing homes and loved ones the memories will remain
    Within the silent tears you’ll find the strength to carry on
    You’re not alone, we are with you. We are Australian!

    We are one, but we are many
    And from all the lands on earth we come
    We share a dream and sing with one voice:
    I am, you are, we are Australian

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  17. I have seen on ABC a short “street poll ” in PNG. The people seemed less than thrilled about the solution. I really know little About the country but they also mentioned riots against Chinese immigrants have occurred in the past.. there is no question, politically and given the strong rejection of Australians towards “boat people”, this could be a smart move heading towards election. And trust me, I am a full believer in compromise and “vote of the lesser evil”.. but from a moral standpoint, this outsourcing of the responsibility to a country as economically disadvantaged as PNG is absolutely disgusting.

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  18. Well i guess it might make you feel better if you can justify the situation and ignore the facts…We are foisting refugees who come to us onto a third world country with severe law and order issues and barely enough infrastructure to serve its own citizens. Amazingly, asylum seekers who were previously conceived as ‘possible terrorists’ and a ‘destabilising element in our community’, have suddenly morphed into ‘educated and motivated people who will be an asset to PNG’.. We don’t want them, but they’ll be great for you! Amazing! And you ignore the reality that all this is being done not for the good of these already traumatised people, but to win a handful of marginal seats in western Sydney, whose constituents have been convinced by previous governments that they would be better off if it wasn’t for those pesky refugees.
    We have been blessed with a wonderful country with space, resources, great climate, few natural disasters, virtually untouched by warfare, and a beautiful natural environment. But instead of being grateful, compassionate and generous, we have become mean-spirited, hard-hearted and greedy. We want to be part of the international community, but we don’t want to contribute to those in international need. We are like the family member who wants to come to the big family feast, but who always expects their great aunt and grandmother to provide the food, and then won’t even do the washing up. We are a disgrace.

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    • Ann de Hugard

      You’ve said it all, Clare. This is just a cynical grab for votes with no time for close scrutiny. Wait for the stories that will emerge of self-harm, psychological distress, and suicides. But the blood won’t be on our hands any more.

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  19. “It removes a problem for Australia.” ……. What is the problem? That 600 – 700 people seek a way to stop being persecuted and killed by legally seeking asylum in Australia which is a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention? People seeking asylum are fleeing persecution which is hard for us to even imagine. It may be necessary for political reasons and elections to take a “hard line: but, ….it is a reflection on most of the population of Australian that we as a Nation have come to this and let our political system reach rock bottom – mainly based on inaccurate media reporting, slogans about boats/illegals, and a lack of understanding about what seeking asylum actually means. http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/student-resource-kit.pdf

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  20. Well Archie you haven’t lost me as a follower and you never will even if we disagree at some point down the track.The reason being all your arguments are well considered and intelligent.

    I tend to agree with what you have written in this post, it is a considered argument.

    However, what I don’t like about the policy is this, (disclaimer I haven’t read the policy but I have heard the recent radio advertisements from Gov stating no boat arrivals will ever be settled in Australia.)

    What happens to refugees who already have family here in Australia? That would be devastating, splitting families apart.

    However, the main reason I dislike this policy is the lack of Political courage shown by our Government, whether it be Gillard or Rudd. By that I mean they are re enforcing the stigma of being a refugee and somehow that it is not good to be one or to have them here in Australia especially if they come by boat because they specifically are not real asylum seekers.

    It panders to the Red Neck Bogon Racists with their slogans of “Fuck Off we’re Full.” All in order to vie for votes. True leadership means that sometimes for the benefit of the entire group / entity / nation you need to make hard and difficult decisions that may be unpopular but is good for the nation in the long run.

    These asylum seekers that arrive by boat are as you suggested mostly literate and educated, they will add value to the Australian economy and culture in the long run, it is PNG’s gain our loss. Gov’s need to take more direct action in combating racism and hate mongers in our society even if it means at the cost of losing their seats and power. You can not have good governance by popularity contests or populist governance. I always cringe every State election when the dishonest sumbag politicians have their Law & Order Auctions but that is for another post my friend.

    All the best and it was a great post by you.

    Cheers
    Lex Rex @R3x68

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  21. Ok I’m going to put it out there. Yes label me a red neck bogan if you must, me I prefer realist. Why is it Australia’s responsibility to fix the worlds problems. Oh but it is a humanitarian act. Hello, when was the last time any of you walked or drove around some of the city or town streets at night. Try it you might see a hell of a lot of Australians that need humanitarian help. Try a free clinics waiting room, or an emergency waiting room. See families fall apart because one member get sick and they can’t afford medicine or treatment. I wish that taking refugee into Australia would solve their problem but it does’t. Also the whole racism tag, hmm it is a very one sided argument. If I called an aboriginal or a refugee a name oh she is a racist, redneck bogan. But reverse the situation an I’m just being a sook, thin skinned, they are poor disadvantaged people. A community excludes a refugee they are haters, racist. Refugees that come together as a community and excludes me, well I just don’t understand their culture and am selfish. The Australian government ‘no mater what political persuasion are NOT responsible for boat people. They pay their money to participate in an illegal act, they know the consequences they are just hoping not to get caught. It is like the arguments on speeding, and police fines, stop the police from making revenue money, don’t break the law and speed. You don’t want to be in a detainment camp, apply to come to Australia by the correct way not illegal boats.

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    • I’m not going to flame Archie’s blog but I just want to ask you a question Karen, have you ever traveled outside of Townsville, Australia? Bali and Bangkok don’t count any other non English speaking country just to take in the culture history ?

      I do go out at night time and more importantly I used to go out at night time in the Sydney CBD, Kings Cross etc as a matter of course for work being an ex Detective, so what you talk about, the violence the homeless etc I have seen first hand. To conflate those issues with asylum seekers is absurd, and they are not “Illegal” they are not on “Illegal Boats” that is the mantra of the racists. I would urge you to do the simplest of google searches checking out famous refugees and see the value they have added to their various nations. If Olivia Newton John had of arrived here by boat as a child would you have rejected her as well?

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      • And how do you know I haven’t lex just because I don’t agree with you does not make me a racist or uneducated or untraveled and yes I can use google. But I also know I that one government cannot save all the refugees. And yes the boat are illegal, there are other countries in the world that would actually sink them out at sea. I do not have a problem with refugees I have a problem with refugees that jump the queue because they have money to pay the illegal people smugglers. Once again another case of Money talks Democracy walks. And lex I am not going to insult where you live but just so you know Townsville is damm lovely place to live with plenty of refugees that have relocated here, and are valued respected people in our community. And no I don’t think comparing homeless people with refugee a mistake. Life can be hell and misery no matter what country your in. What you should ask yourself is the people waiting in the camps in Indonesia less important then the ones who have money to pay people smugglers?

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        • I don’t know that’s why I asked? whether you had actually left Townsville for an O/S destination. I never suggested Townsville was a bad spot that’s your assumption. Like many other things you make assumptions without a factual basis. They are not illegal no matter how many times Tony Abbott or others suggest they are, the boats are not illegal, the asylum seekers on them are not illegal, you thinking that they are does not make them illegal. Check the facts and law on the situation. I never insulted where you live again an assumption by you. Asking rhetorical questions does not bolster your argument, what you need to ask your self is if we allowed people like Olivia Newton John, Sir Peter Ables and others in as asylum seekers why stop now? Why are there people in camps in Indo and what can we do to assist them? Contrary to popular right wing nutters and racists belief Australia is not full, and we could quite comfortably accommodate far more people, and NO I am not suggesting the population of whole nations but more much more than what we are currently allowing.

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  22. Here is the agreement for those wishing to read it.

    Click to access regional-arrangements.pdf

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  23. My first thought when hearing this proposal from KRudd, was, “This might not be what the refugees envisaged for themselves – to live in a poor country, high crime rate, third-world economy, education and health services not a patch on Australia (I’m ashamed to say). However, what a boon for PNG to have resourceful, literate, generally highly educated, courageous people coming to live there.

    PNG’s gain – Australia’s loss.

    I, too, am looking forward to a continuing conversation about this highly vexed and complex situation.

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  24. Pingback: Another Dangerous Refugee Post | Ærchies Archive - Digital Detritus

  25. I think it’s a win win for everyone except the ‘Australia by sinking boat’ organisers…..win

    The boat ppl will not drown …big win

    The boat ppl will have a place to go where they will be free to work to and make improvements…..win

    They will have a country to live in and help develope into what they and the original residents want….win

    Australia will continue to fund PNG developement and this deal will see more funds and infastructure developement providing job oportunities…..win

    Refugees will be close enough to Australia to keep in touch with rello’s who livew here…..win

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