Q and A on in 5 minutes
They raised some very valid points. I thought the fact that PNG actually has some women who are taken in as refugees here to escape domestic violence is very pertinent.
The twitter comments underneath (although they irk me) were also interesting. Some who highlighted how negative this is to PNG natives. Eg. one woman who tweeted that her husband from PNG took offense to what "Australians really think of PNG people"
Some of the figures were also very interesting.
Ok so I've read the links and seen the stats... I'm sold Australia does not take enough refugees compared to other countries - so what is the ideal figure 10 times more? What does Australia do with boat asylum seekers in excess of this number? Where do they go?
So no one advocates we throw open our borders and let anyone in no questions asked - so where do they go while they are being processed - if detention centres are inhumane and there will always be a wait... Wouldn't it be crueler to settle them in Australia while they await to see if their status is approved? And if what we saw in the news of what happens when they get news they don't like and the violence that follows. I can't help but think what that may mean for safety if they weren't detained.
I asked how any solution would effect Australia economically and most of the responses were along the lines of 'other countries take more refugees so we should.' That is a good fact but doesn't actually answer the question. Pakistani economy is not something I think Australia should aspire to. I'm not sure what Austria's or Sweden economy is like. Do they provide less aid? Is it like fairy floss stated like USA and Canada - they take more but only provide aid to a certain time period and then it's up to the refugees to support themselves? Is that possibly the answer for Australia?
I totally agree with what everyone is saying about the compassionate and humane side of refugees. I just for one keep thinking ok that's a fact.... But what is the answer then.
What fairy floss said kinda stuck with me. It makes sense in my mind - to stop boat asylum seekers, it's unsafe for them and obviously seems unfair to refugees in UN camps ( although I am aware is not illegal), however the less money spent on detaining/processing boat refugees, we should use to up our quota significantly and take refugees from UN camps around the world that have already been processed, thus speeding up the process.
If asylum seekers see the process is quicker - they may be less inclined to pay a smuggler and obtain assylun that way???
In dont know if the PNG solution is the best one. But as a pp has referred to is it a short term sting to see long term benefits?
Other countries don't detain. In some ashes we don't either- it's called community placement. It's much cheaper than detention centres and is much more beneficial to the asylum seeker. No system is perfect but I think this is far better than imprisoning families who have committed no crime. Info here:
If the camps were able to run safely and effectively, all people in need would trust them and go to them- no way would I risk my children living their whole lives and dying in a camp. What kind of life is that?
I also don't think it's fair to not allow community based detention on the basis that previously incarcerated people have protested violently, therefor these non incarcerated people might be violent in the community. It's different circumstances entirely. As I've said previously, if you were locked up for years, having committed no crime, you can't predict how you might react. Everyone has a breaking point and most of these people have gone through more horror than we price lodged Aussies are ever likely to. These people need help, compassion and support- not incarceration.
To stop this thread being derailed we need to do a spin off on detention, it is a complex but worthy discussion. Mel there has been lots of research around the impacts of mandatory detention and the impact this has on mental health. It's important to remember that asylum seekers have not done anything illegal to warrant detention and that Australia has the highest number of genuine asylum
seekers globally, 94% are genuine.
I found Bill Shorten quite annoying last night, completely trying to sugarcoat the facts. I'm not sure where he was going with something he said but he tried to claim that Australia ranks third in the world, just behind the US and Canada (he may have been talking about migrants as a whole) but his point wasn't very clear. The UNHCR doesn't even have Australia listed in its top five of resettling refugees. I'll post this report again.
'One third of asylum-seekers in Australia originate from Afghanistan or Sri Lanka. However, by comparison, asylum levels in Australia continue to remain below those recorded by many other industrialized and non-indus- trialized countries.'
I really do not believe this policy is about trying to stop people smugglers. This policy is an attempt to win the swing voters. It is dependent on the people getting on boats knowing this policy and people smugglers not lying. Shorten kept pointing out last night how much smugglers lie to get people on boats but he doesn't think they'll lie about this? Yes, some may have the resources to learn about this policy but there will be many who don't.
With those resettled in PNG, will they be living in camps the rest of their lives? I kind of got that impression from Shorten and some of his explanations of what they were building for settlement.
And how was the other guy's comment 'We don't owe them a first world lifestyle.' Eeek! (Just waking up and can't remember his name!)
Regarding the PNG resettlement policy, I watched the 7.30 Report last night where Minister Tony Burke was talking about it. I note with interest that he suggested there may be an expansion of the Humanitarian program to double than what it is now. If true, this is good news. With regards to stats on genuine asylum seekers, I'm loathe to take them at face value when DIMIA's processing regime has been found to be faulty and is presently under investigation (not just for asylum seekers...other visa classes have found evidence of fraud as well). Even last night on the 7.30 Report was an admission that there aren't enough qualified people conducting assessments which means that there is no verifiable way at present to ensure the integrity of this processing system. Given that Captain Emad and his mates were found to be genuine asylum seekers and went about their merry way setting up a massive smuggling operation from Australian shores I'm not so keen to believe the numbers. Regarding the detention of asylum seekers (refugees aren't detained unless deemed to be a national security risk), by virtue of their arrival they do warrant detention. Other countries do detain too and for this reason. Australia (like other signatories to the Convention) does actually have a legal, moral as well as a civic right to detain as they are unlawful arrivals meaning that while their seeking of asylum is not illegal in of itself, their method of arrival is which allows the host country to detain for the purpose of assessment and processing. I agree with this as it is a necessary element by which refugee claims are proven. What I would like to see is faster, efficient and accurate processing of claims. With regards to assisting refugees, as I've said before I am not averse to that as long as it's not at the expense of further pressure on infrastructure where additional stresses adversely affect our resident population and cause civil unrest. Let's refrain from romanticising this. It's nice to want to be charitable but to put this into perspective, are you prepared to house them yourself? On balance, I think not. Charity groups in certain areas of the country are overwhelmed with refugee needs and are barely coping. It's like the old oxygen mask adage - you must be able to breathe first if you are able to help others around you.
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