The Chaos that awaits if we allow same sex marriage to go ahead.

As the conversation has been going round and round in circles for some time, and we have descended into some murky waters (pun not intended) entirely unrelated to the original post, I am disabling comments on this post.


365 thoughts on “The Chaos that awaits if we allow same sex marriage to go ahead.

  1. Good call.
    I’ll be back.
    Oh, and people could end up marrying clones of themselves.
    Lovers of themselves perhaps.

  2. Moving right along… (down the slope, that is…)

    In line with heterosexuals being unable to marry if they are siblings or cousins, will there be rules preventing brothers marrying each other now that NZ has said gays can marry? If so, why?

    What possible reason could anyone give for sisters to not marry one another because they are sisters? Or female cousins. Or male cousins?

    How will eligibility for marriage, then, be defined?

  3. Admirably liberal of you Steve. I didnt realise you supported homosexual marriage, let alone incestual marriage. I myself wouldnt go that far.

    Just goes to show.. you dont know who you are talking to.

  4. >Are you married, EYES?<

    Not currently.
    And how could a true Christian engage in betrothal, under a redefined ungodly definition of marriage?
    It is still greater to let your yes be yes, an your no be no,then to make a vow and not fulfil it.

  5. I have to wonder what the problem with so called incestual marriage would be for two women or two men. It’s not as if they’re going to be able to produce offspring. Why would you of all people have a problem, if they love one another and want to share their loving relationship.

    I’m sure you must have considered these things when you lent support to same sex marriage, wazza.

  6. Don’t be daft, Greg! Now that NZ has opened the floodgates they’ll have to legislate for all the little add-ons you forgot to factor in.

    Why would siblings need to be sterilised to marry? Is sister going to impregnate sister, or brother impregnate brother? They are already technically sterile in their relationship by virtue (wrong word) of their same sex inability to impregnateone another.

    If they require surrogacy for children from their union they would be no different to any other homosexual or lesbian couple, who already seem to have parental rights.

    But they can’t exactly impregnate each other, can they?

    So why object, from your perspective, to their marriage too?

    That’s the point!

  7. Yes but a brother and sister could impregnate each other…and it just seems that you seem to want to go down the slippery slope of just allowing anything to happen. If brother can marry brother because they can’t impregnate each other, then according to your reasoning, if they are willing to be made sterile brother can marry sister.

    There are already laws against family members marrying each other. I can’t see any reason why that would change. Do you know of any gay brothers who live together as a couple now? What makes you think it would happen in the future?

    We don’t marry to have children, we marry for love and I can’t see how your argument will even come up. Straw+man= Steve’s argument.

  8. What a load of codswallop, Greg. That is not what i am saying at all.

    Why would I say a brother and sister could marry if they were sterilised? That is a nonsense argument you made up to cover the ridiculous mess the NZ government has placed its nation in by opening up to the next stages of marriage demands, which will come, maybe not straight away, but give it time.

    You don’t think gay couples want children? That argument is not borne out by fact. Gay couples have been using surrogates to give birth for some time now. Elton John and his ‘husband’ have just had ‘their’ second child by a surrogate mother. They are not alone. gays want the whole deal. They want family.

    The marry for love alone argument is liberal irrationality at its most pitiful. The fact is that most couples marry for love and for children. Thy want family. It is built into them by God, being his plan for the human race.

    Just because some couples choose to have no children, or are unable to, doesn’t make your argument at all logical.

    Look around you, Greg. Children everywhere. Population growing. Australia will reach 22 million this year. There is a baby boom on.

    Couples want families. If gays are saying they want to be treated as ‘normal’, surely they want the whole box and dice.

    You really haven’t worked this out very well, have you?

  9. It’s not a nonsense argument. You are arguing that brothers who want to marry brothers should be allowed to by virtue of the fact that they can’t impregnate eachother. The same logic says that sterile different sex siblings should be allowed to marry. If one is wrong, both are wrong. You are creating an argument that doesn’t even exist in anyone’s mind.

  10. You’re not making sense Steve. I’m not saying same sex couples don’t want children, of course they do…and I don’t have a problem with that.

    I thought you were arguing that the next logical step in this ‘slippery slope’ was same sex siblings wanting to marry and we shouldn’t have a problem with this because they can’t impregnate each other…which is of course true, however that leads to what I argue that then you would need to allow different sex siblings who are willing to be sterilized to be able to marry.

  11. So if this was a heterosexual relationship I gather this guy would still be deported according to Morrison.

    Gay Brisbane man faces deportation to Pakistan and possible jail as relationship not recognised

    A gay man who has been living in Brisbane for four years will be deported next week after his application for a partnership visa was refused.

    This will put him at risk of being jailed in the country of his birth for being openly homosexual.

    Ali Choudhry grew up in the United States and has few contacts in Pakistan.

    He cannot read or write the local language.

    He has been in a relationship with Brisbane brain surgeon Dr Matthew Hynd for the past four years.

    Mr Choudhry and Dr Hynd were one of the first gay couples in Queensland to register their civil union on March 12, 2012.

    It was a significant day that they celebrated with family and friends.

    Nearly two years later, Mr Choudhry’s application for a visa recognising his relationship with Dr Hynd has been refused.

    He says he cannot understand why theirs is not considered a legitimate long-term partnership.

    “We applied for a partnership visa to try and keep me here, and keep us together,” he said.

    “For us, for whatever reason, it took about two years, and then even after all that time, it came back as a no.”

    Fears imprisonment in Pakistan

    Mr Choudhry faces harassment and possible life imprisonment in Pakistan for being gay.

    Dr Hynd says they do not know what to do.

    “The worst case is, Ali will be deported next week on his birthday,” he said.

    “You know, what do we do now? To go back to a country where, you know, there is life imprisonment for being gay.

    “And, I mean, he grew up in America, he’s never lived in Pakistan.

    “By country of birth, yes, but this is a country where he doesn’t read the language – he can speak it – but how are you supposed to then get a job?”

    Survived floods to set up business

    Mr Choudhry lost all his possessions in the Brisbane floods.

    He has since set up a photography business in Brisbane, but is preparing for deportation on January 8.

    “Marriage equality and things like that are things that really do need to happen and happen soon, sooner than later,” Mr Choudhry said.

    Two weeks ago, he was notified that he must leave Australia after his visa review application to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison was also rejected.

    Mr Choudhry has now lodged an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal.

    Mr Morrison was not available for interview.

    His spokesman said in a statement that same-sex couples are assessed no differently from heterosexual couples regarding immigration matters.

    The spokesman said while they cannot comment on individual cases for privacy reasons, all applicants must meet relevant criteria to be granted a visa and that these extend beyond whether there is a genuine and ongoing relationship.

    Dr Hynd says the ramifications of the visa rejection for both of them are dire.

    “We have no idea what else we can do other than invite maybe the Immigration Minister into our bed and say, hey, this is two guys sleeping in the same bed.

    “If you do not believe that, you know, we’re in a relationship, then I just don’t know.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-03/gay-man-faces-deportation-to-pakistan-as-relationship-not-recog/5183462

  12. If being gay was a crime punishable by indictment in Aus.,lets say a two month imprisonment, then Choudhry MAY not be able to leave Aus for two years.

  13. Surely this is an issue with Islamic aversion to LGBT rights in Pakistan, not whether or not a man can be seen as de facto with a man in Australia. In fact, although homosexual acts are legislated against in Pakistan, there is a growing tolerance, so the claims may be exaggerated.

    The marriage laws are clear in Australia, and only recently emphasised in the High Court as being between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others. Therefore, regardless of the couple’s affection or relationship, it could not be legally federally seen as a de facto relationship.

    They must have known the risks involved before they embarked on this attempt at circumventing the law. In fact, they were probably attempting to set a legal precedent which others could then have manipulated.

    Thee is no requirement on law to show sentiment.

  14. Same-sex de facto relationships have been recognised under Australian law siince 2008. Therefore there was no attempt to circumvent the law.

    I would like to say it was a nice try, Steve, but there is no requirement to show sentiment.

  15. I did say federal law. As I understand it, most de facto arrangements are under State or Territory laws. Immigration comes under Federal law, and doesn’t have to recognise State or Territory law.

    I’m not saying it is morally right or wrong, but there is no reason to recognise a partnership if it doesn’t come under the Marriage Act. The Attorney General’s office is very strict about who is registered as married and who isn’t, and this has been the case under Labour or Liberal Governments.

  16. In fact, I am wrong about this, and it seems the only reason I can make out for not being allowed in is that the application was not made outside Australia.

    The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) allows you to live in Australia if you are the spouse or de facto partner of:

    an Australian citizen
    a permanent resident
    an eligible New Zealand citizen.

    The Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is the first stage towards a permanent Partner visa (subclass 100). You lodge only one application for your temporary and permanent visas and pay one application charge. Your application is processed in two stages, about two years apart.

    You must be outside Australia when you apply and also when the Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309) is granted. You can be in or outside Australia when Partner visa (subclass 100) is granted.

  17. Hold that thought.

    It seems I am actually partly right. Wrong about de facto when it comes to opposite sex relationships, but right about same sex relationships. Because the legislation on same-sex relationships is mostly State or Territory applied, there are differing applications between jurisdictions.

    State and Territory legislation mostly apply to property and family law, not migration.

    Although Partner visas can be applied for by those who are either spouses or in a demonstrable de facto relationship, the Federal Government doesn’t recognise same-sex couples as spouses or, therefore, de facto partners when it comes to migrants.

    The most likely way, as far as I can make out, that same-sex coupes can get an application through is by demonstrating interdependency, but there are a great many hoops and hurdles to this.

    It appears to be quite complex.

  18. Well, no, the legislation has recently been changed to include same sex couples, so there must be other reasons for the refusal. As Morrison’s spokesman said, “same-sex couples are assessed no differently from heterosexual couples regarding immigration matters.”

    “The spokesman said while they cannot comment on individual cases for privacy reasons, all applicants must meet relevant criteria to be granted a visa and that these extend beyond whether there is a genuine and ongoing relationship.”

    So I think you’re looking in the wrong place for this one.

  19. It change in November 2009.

    Australian Migration Regulations Partially Recognise Same-Sex “Marriages”

    by Mark Webster, Acacia Immigration Australia – 28 October 2009
    Australian Migration Regulations will be changed from 9 November to partially recognise same-sex relationships which have been registered in an Australian state or territory.

    Currently, applicants for permanent visas, partner visas, student visas and general skilled migration must show 12 months of cohabitation before they can include a same-sex or interdependent partner. Applicants also in general need to show that they have lived together for 12 months to be sponsored by an Australian same-sex partner for an interdependency visa.

    However, from 9 November, people who have registered their relationship with an Australian state or territory will be exempt from the 12 month cohabitation requirement. Whilst Australia does not recognise same-sex marriage, certain states and territories do allow such couples to register their relationships – states where this is possible include Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.

    Couples will still need to show that they are living together, but will not need to show 12 months of cohabitation as is currently the case. State legislation would not in general specify the sex of the people in the relationship, and so there would be the possibility of heterosexual couples who register their relationship instead of getting married taking advantage of the new changes.

    Whilst this is a positive development, it is somewhat disappointing that only relationships registered in Australia are eligible for the concession. Marriages or registrations which have taken place in overseas countries which recognised same-sex relationships are still not recognised in Australia.

    It has been possible since July 2009 to include same-sex partners in most applications for Australian visas providing the applicants can show that they have been living together for the required amount of time. In this case, they are treated as a defacto couple. For permanent visas, you must in most cases show that you have lived together for 12 months, but for temporary visas, 6 months is generally sufficient (except in the case of student visas or provisional skilled visas).

    So what’s this article all about? It makes no sense.

  20. Sorry! I was arguing with myself there! Must be the slow traffic on the site! I think I’ve sorted it now!

    The ABC report was something of a detour from reality to its own agenda.

  21. By the way, George Takei…of the good ship Enterprise and going where Noam has gone before fame, has waged into the battle on Facebook, encouraging all of his fans to sign an online petition.

    This is such a beat up, this story; I guarantee that this Ali guy has overstays his student visa and failed to lodge his application and await approval from overseas, as the rules explicitly state!

    This is not a gay rights issue…it’s an illegal overstaying issue!

  22. And a possible beat up by the ABC reporting team, who claimed the relationship was ‘not recognised’. Who’ have thought they’d stoop that low?

  23. So I take it if they were a married hetro couple, the partner would still be deported?

    Btw one of the first acts of the LNP government was to make null and void all gay civil unions.

    “Premier Campbell Newman revealed last week that the changes were made to appease Christian churches who were “offended” by a marriage-type ceremony for same-sex couples.”

  24. “This is such a beat up”

    “And a possible beat up”

    Jeff Poole Arbitraryname
    03 January 2014 4:14am

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    60
    What a snide little bigoted statement…
    I’ve known Ali and Matthew since they got together.
    The only thing that’s not being told here is the sheer incompetence of the Department of Immigration. Ali had the misfortune to live in St Lucia and his house was completely flooded out during the Brisbane floods – he lost everything.
    But of course that means nothing to the little Hitlers of the Immigration department who demanded scraps of official paper that are now part of the seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay.

    Jeff Poole StuSydney
    03 January 2014 5:05am

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    9
    Immigration incompetence at the very least.
    Ali lost everything in the Brisbane floods, and wasn’t able to live at home for quite some time afterwards. But the department kept sending letters to his flooded out address.
    Then they marked him down for not replying in time.
    Make your choice – deliberate incompetence because he has a ‘terrorist’ surname, or because he’s gay or just sheer stupidity.
    http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2013/s3919984.htm

    Jeff Poole GinnyA
    03 January 2014 5:07am

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    6
    Which is why the Immigration department official told Ali to find himself a friendly woman and marry her…

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/03/australias-convoluted-visa-laws-force-committed-gay-couples-apart

  25. “This is such a beat up”

    “And a possible beat up”

    Jeff Poole Arbitraryname
    03 January 2014 4:14am

    Recommend
    60
    What a snide little bigoted statement…
    I’ve known Ali and Matthew since they got together.
    The only thing that’s not being told here is the sheer incompetence of the Department of Immigration. Ali had the misfortune to live in St Lucia and his house was completely flooded out during the Brisbane floods – he lost everything.
    But of course that means nothing to the little Hitlers of the Immigration department who demanded scraps of official paper that are now part of the seagrass meadows in Moreton Bay.

    Jeff Poole StuSydney
    03 January 2014 5:05am

    Recommend
    9
    Immigration incompetence at the very least.
    Ali lost everything in the Brisbane floods, and wasn’t able to live at home for quite some time afterwards. But the department kept sending letters to his flooded out address.
    Then they marked him down for not replying in time.
    Make your choice – deliberate incompetence because he has a ‘terrorist’ surname, or because he’s gay or just sheer stupidity.

    Jeff Poole GinnyA
    03 January 2014 5:07am

    Recommend
    6
    Which is why the Immigration department official told Ali to find himself a friendly woman and marry her…

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/03/australias-convoluted-visa-laws-force-committed-gay-couples-apart

  26. Did he apply from outside Australia as the rules say a partner visa application must be done from? No. Did he wait outside Australia for confirmation and initial approval? No. Beat up? Yes. Gay issue? No? Islamic name issue? No. Immigration issue? Possibly.

  27. And a possible beat up by the ABC reporting team, who claimed the relationship was ‘not recognised’. Who’ have thought they’d stoop that low?

    According to Mr Choudhry’s social-media posts the reason the Govt had given for rejecting his application was:

    “(we) do not consider that you are in a long-standing relationship.”

    His relationship was not recognised.

  28. Well he only moved out of his own house last year, so I’d have to agree with the govt. The fact is though. That the government has rules and this situation didn’t comply. Gay or straight, he’d be getting deported.

  29. You can apply for an Onshore Partner Visa from here. You don’t need to be overseas.

    Partner Permanent (subclass 801) and Temporary (subclass 820) Visas: Australia Inshore

    Subclass 820 visa enables you to enter or stay in this country on basis of your de facto relationship or marriage to your partner for a period of up to two years. After the expiry of two years, you might apply for a subclass 801 visa provided your marital relationship still exists. For either of these visa types, your Australian partner should be the sponsor.

  30. Living together is only one factor in determining whether a de facto relationship exists. They had a civil union in March 2012 not long after it became available to same-sex couples.

  31. Two houses destroyed in floods.
    To be deported back to a country he hasnt lived in for a long time.
    Where he may very well be persecuted.

    But as Steve said there is no requirement to show sentiment.

    Just like there was no requirement for the Good Samaritan to show sentiment.

  32. Typically, wazza misquotes me.

    I actually stated that there is no requirement in law to show sentiment.

    If you are going to quote me please use the whole quote to maintain the context.

    Of course the law is the law. A magistrate is bound by the law to make a judgement. Sentiment is not part of it. He may be able to include mitigating circumstances in sentencing, but the law is its own arbiter and dispenser of justice.

    Of course, in life, we show sentiment and we make decisions based on emotions, compassion and mercy at times.

    That is the difference, Biblically between law and grace.

    But why would you expect wazza to grasp anything Biblical?

  33. And the article in the ABC was misleading. They did not factor in other possibilities in the judgement. They made an assumption it was made on discriminatory grounds. The statement from the Government denied this.

    Poor reporting, but Bones took the bait.

  34. Where did they make an assumption that the decision was made on discriminatory grounds?

    It is not poor reporting at all, you made all the assumptions. If you cant read a simple news story from last week, why should I believe that you can interpret a Biblical story from 2000 years ago correctly?

    You have an awful lot of faith in the integrity of the Government, except of course when its Government-owned media.

  35. The title says it all, wazza!

    Gay Brisbane man faces deportation to Pakistan and possible jail as relationship not recognised

    You have an awful lot of faith in the integrity of ABC reporting.

  36. So he gets a reprieve and nothing from the blah-blah bros, Bones and wazza?

    Ali Choudhry was due to be deported tomorrow from Brisbane, where he has been living for the past four years, the ABC reports.

    Mr Choudhry and his partner, neuroscientist Dr Matthew Hynd, registered their civil union in March 2012.

    But Mr Choudhry’s application for a partnership visa was declined by the government, which ruled it did not consider him in “a long-standing relationship”.

    The couple has lodged an appeal to the decision with the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT).

    Mr Choudhry was told this morning he will be allowed to stay in Australia beyond tomorrow’s deadline, the ABC reports.

    A petition created in support of the couple was delivered to Immigration Minister Scott Morrions’s Sydney office today with more than 120,000 signatures.

    Mr Choudhry was born in Pakistan but grew up in the United States.

    They must have submitted their application before 12 months was completed as Greg suggests. Perhaps, having been given a reprieve, they can reapply.

    If he grew up in the US, did he not have a Green Card, or the ability to live there rather than Pakistan?

    He has now lodged an appeal to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) and the Immigration Department says he can remain in Australia on a bridging visa while the appeal is considered.

    “A bridging visa is granted whilst an application is being processed. At no time was Mr Chaudry in danger of being deported,” a spokeswoman for the Immigration Minister said.

    Mr Choudhry says he met with authorities on Tuesday morning.

    “The official told us that until MRT makes their decision I’m OK to stay in the country,” he said.

    “But he was adamant not to give us anything in writing even though we asked him several times.”

    Mr Choudhry was born in Pakistan but grew up in New Jersey in the United States before going to university in Canada.

    The spokeswoman for Mr Morrison says same-sex partners are assessed no differently than de facto heterosexual couples.

    She says Mr Choudhry did not satisfy the requirements for a partnership visa.

    “Mr Choudhry came to Australia as a student in 2009. He applied for a further student visa in March 2011 but was refused as he had not enrolled in his course,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

    “He was then unlawfully in Australia for four months before lodging a partner visa application.”

    So there were several other factors involved in he refusal, and none of them had anything to do with his sexuality.

    Bones knew this and said nothing.

  37. But Bones, of course, lists some comments from a Guardian piece by serial gay rights activist reporter Senthorun Raj, who spills the beans.

    Following changes to immigration laws in 2008, same-sex couples have been able to access partnership visas for their de facto partners. In response to questions on the issue, the immigration minister’s spokesperson noted that: “same sex couples are assessed no differently from heterosexual couples regarding immigration matters.” Yet, as Choudhry points out, this obscures one rather important fact: unlike heterosexual couples, same-sex couples do not have the ability to get married to simplify the burdensome bureaucratic process.

    Yes, there you have it, the reason for the beat up. The lobbyist using the situation to exploit his goal for ‘equal marriage’.

    This never had anything to do with facts. The truth is that Choudray was illegally resident in Australia even whilst he was in a gay relationship. Of course the Immigration Department were going to be cautious about his motives.

    I’ll expect to cop an earful form the Blah-Blah Bros on this because they are pro-gay marriage. But going on mere facts the whole story was a fabrication by the Guardian in the first place. And the ABC is in a gay relationship with the Guardian anyway.

    Cheap journalism on the slippery slope.

  38. The title says it all, wazza!

    Gay Brisbane man faces deportation to Pakistan and possible jail as relationship not recognised

    You have an awful lot of faith in the integrity of ABC reporting.

    More faith in the ABC than in your reporting of the facts.

    The reason given by the Govt for denial was that they didnt think they were in a long-term relationship.

    This may or may not be discriminatory, but it is a fact.

  39. She [Government spokesperson] says Mr Choudhry did not satisfy the requirements for a partnership visa.

    “Mr Choudhry came to Australia as a student in 2009. He applied for a further student visa in March 2011 but was refused as he had not enrolled in his course,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

    “He was then unlawfully in Australia for four months before lodging a partner visa application.”

  40. Choudry is trying to circumvent the lawful method of gaining a residential visa, ad is using his sexuality as a weapon, certain marriage equality activists are also using this as a weapon in the war to gain marriage rights for gay couples.

    The ends do not justify the means.

    He could attempt an asylum application – but the fact that he has never lived in Pakistan and is not fleeing anything but his own stupidity does not make him a refugee – he should be deported, or, which would be better for him, he should leave of his own accord, return to the US, or some other country, and then redo his partner visa application.

    This sort of dishonesty does no good whatsoever to the push for marriage equality

  41. Besides which, the article from the ABC Bones put up also contained the claim by Choudhry that, “Marriage equality and things like that are things that really do need to happen and happen soon, sooner than later.” He was clearly hinting that the issue was over his relationship with his partner and not the fact that he had broken Australian immigration laws.

    The ABC report was more accurate than the Guardian article Bones subsequently referenced at least.

    wazza,
    “If you cant read a simple news story from last week, why should I believe that you can interpret a Biblical story from 2000 years ago correctly?”

    Thanks for that, wazza. Why should you indeed. Why should you believe anything the Bible says, eh?

  42. ““He was then unlawfully in Australia for four months before lodging a partner visa application.”

    Which hints that the reason for denial may be related to the fact that he was unlawfully in Australia for four months.

    But the letter said that the Govt does “not consider that you are in a long-standing relationship”

    In any dispute both sides will bring in a whole heap of info, and will re-write history to support their position. Stuff they said was relevant before will suddenly become irrelevant when challenged and they will deny they even considered it. The Government is not necessarily different in this respect.

    But the ABC has reported correctly and Steve owes them an apology for all the slander against their organisation. Especially when contrasted with all the incorrect information that Steve has put out on this thread (most of which was refuted by Steve himself)

    —-

    Why should you believe anything the Bible says, eh?

    Err, no the question is why should I believe anything you say about what the Bible says? See the difference?

  43. Ali Choudhry’s deportation put on hold

    The deportation threat came in late 2013 when a partnership visa application was rejected by the Department of Immigration on the grounds that his relationship with Hynd, a Brisbane neuroscientist, was not considered legitimate, referring to a sub clause that stated they did not consider couple to be in a long-standing relationship that was defined as at least two years.

    They said that despite being in a relationship for four years come February, living and filing taxes together, having joint bank accounts and wills and even entering into a civil union in 2012 before it was removed by the Queensland Government – their relationship legitimacy was rejected.

    A spokesperson for Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told the Star Observer that “the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, on considering Mr Choudhry’s claims, did not consider that they were compelling.”

    Choudhry and Hynd were concerned their civil union may have been ignored by the immigration official who handled their case.

    “Despite submitting legal evidence of our civil union, unfortunately our immigration official has not taken that into account based on the written evidence that we have received back in being denied our partnership visa.” Hynd said.

    Before the 2011 floods, Choudhry had applied to extend his student visa. However, unknown to him, follow-up paperwork requesting immigration matters such as health checks was sent to his flood-destroyed home.

    Choudhry was later requested to meet with immigration department officers to make sure he was still in the country – despite the fact he had been filing tax returns, studying and working – and was then informed that his visa had been denied because he did not lodge the missing paperwork.

    “Our next course of action was to file an application for a partnership visa,” Choudhry said.

    “Fast forward two and a half years and we were still waiting on a decision, even though partnership visas typically only take eight to 10 months to be approved. Unfortunately our application was rejected, and our most recent appeal directly to the immigration minister was denied.”

    http://www.starobserver.com.au/news/ali-choudhrys-deportation-put-on-hold/115338

    They were rejected on 820, a temporary Onshore Partnership visa.

    There is no requirement to lodge a partnership visa from outside the country.

  44. wazza, (ever playing the man),
    ‘But the ABC has reported correctly and Steve owes them an apology for all the slander against their organisation. Especially when contrasted with all the incorrect information that Steve has put out on this thread (most of which was refuted by Steve himself).’

    Apparently it’s our ABC so we can have an opinion especially when so much of their reporting is based on opinion and not just reporting the facts. It’s not so much what they said but what they implied and what they left out.

    There’s a whole lot of difference between slander and criticism. I don;t see how a public organisation is defamed because someone claims they misled people through their report. t’s not. It’s a counter-opinion to their own.

    Secondly, the conversation I had with myself was complicated by the innuendo in the suggestive nature of the original piece, that the couple were being discriminated against, which was clearly shared by Bones, otherwise why would he have quoted it?

    I corrected myself publicly and stated I was wrong about something. I could have just cut the whole section out since you were sound asleep on the other side of the planet when I made the comments, but I decided that would be dishonest since I had made the comments, so I let them stand.

    There’s no shame in being wrong about things as long as you learn from it and are honest about it.

    As you’re never wrong about anything I know it must be difficult for you to even consider what you’d have to do if you ever realised you’d said something you later changed your mind about or discovered was incorrect.

    I don’t think I owe the ABC anything, frankly. In my opinion they have been a front line promoter of left wing politics, especially Green philosophy, for as long as I can remember.

    I think they owe the country an apology for spilling the beans about the Rudd Government spying on Indonesia (via a source wanted by the US Government for stealing sensitive state secrets) directly after the election when Abbott was only days into his tenure, and not, if they were going to do it, whilst Labour was still in power, which is when the information first came to light, and under whose Government the spying took place.

    Of course, being left of centre yourself you’d agree wholeheartedly with most of what the ABC claims to report in an unbiased way, and would not see it as leaning towards socialist policy.

  45. Steve prefers neutral press like the Daily Telly, or The Sun

    Murdoch and his influence on Australian political life

    In 2007, journalist Ken Auletta spent a great deal of time with Rupert Murdoch while writing a magazine profile of him. Auletta observed that Murdoch was frequently on the phone to his editors and this prompted him to ask: “of all the things in your business empire, what gives you the most pleasure?” Murdoch instantly replied: “being involved with the editor of a paper in a day-to-day campaign…trying to influence people”.

    ….Murdoch uses his newspapers ruthlessly to make or break governments or parties. Given that he controls 70% of the capital city newspaper circulation in Australia, his moods and beliefs are a material factor during elections in Australia. Prime ministers and opposition leaders seek his favours but are grateful if they can just have his neutrality.

    After the 2010 election – which resulted in a minority Labor government – Murdoch summoned his Australian editors and senior journalists to his home in Carmel, California. He made clear that he despised the Gillard government and wanted regime change. In 2011, Murdoch met Abbott and told his editors he liked him. His newspapers (a couple of which had actually supported Gillard in the 2010 election) thereafter campaigned strongly against the Gillard government, particularly on the issues of asylum seekers and climate change.

    http://theconversation.com/murdoch-and-his-influence-on-australian-political-life-16752

  46. “I think they owe the country an apology for spilling the beans about the Rudd Government spying on Indonesia (via a source wanted by the US Government for stealing sensitive state secrets) directly after the election when Abbott was only days into his tenure, and not, if they were going to do it, whilst Labour was still in power, which is when the information first came to light, and under whose Government the spying took place.”

    Well that is again just supposition – there is no evidence that the ABC or the Guardian delayed publication of the documents for the purpose of political embarrasment. Talk about blaming the messenger. The Aus Government is tapping the phone of the President of a sovereign nation with whom we are meant to have cordial diplomatic relations. But the only reprimand is for the people who inform us of this fact.

    Abbott could have easily neutralised the issue by saying it was done by Labor and that the new Govt would not do anything of the sort.

  47. Bones,
    ‘he controls 70% of the capital city newspaper circulation in Australia’

    Ha ha ha! There’s misinformation soundly blocked into a suggestive phrase for you!

    He doesn’t ‘control’ 70% of capital city circulation. He owns 32% of circulation and 70% of the buying population prefer his publications to the alternatives, which are for the most part left wing rags.

    The people who purchase his newspapers are not ‘controlled’. They pay for his papers by their own free will.

    Sucked in again, Bones.

    And wazza defends treason.

  48. The ‘70% ownership’ lie was put out by Rudd, sustained by Gillard, and perpetuated by left wing rags. Like ‘The Conversation’!

  49. Hell it’s 100% in Brisbane.

    Murdoch’s got the whole city to influence with his Courier Mail.

    But Steve can’t accept Murdoch is a bad guy.

  50. Treason???

    Section 80.1 of the Criminal Code, contained in the schedule of the Australian Criminal Code Act 1995,[3] defines treason as follows:

    “A person commits an offence, called treason, if the person:

    (a) causes the death of the Sovereign, the heir apparent of the Sovereign, the consort of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (b) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister resulting in the death of the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (c) causes harm to the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister, or imprisons or restrains the Sovereign, the Governor-General or the Prime Minister; or
    (d) levies war, or does any act preparatory to levying war, against the Commonwealth; or
    (e) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist, an enemy:

    (i) at war with the Commonwealth, whether or not the existence of a state of war has been declared; and
    (ii) specified by Proclamation made for the purpose of this paragraph to be an enemy at war with the Commonwealth; or

    (f) engages in conduct that assists by any means whatever, with intent to assist:

    (i) another country; or
    (ii) an organisation;

    that is engaged in armed hostilities against the Australian Defence Force; or
    (g) instigates a person who is not an Australian citizen to make an armed invasion of the Commonwealth or a Territory of the Commonwealth; or
    (h) forms an intention to do any act referred to in a preceding paragraph and manifests that intention by an overt act.”

    How is it treason to report on the actions of your government overseas – no matter how reprehensible their conduct?

    I’m glad you will never have any position of influence – you are a little Hitler.

  51. LOL, wazza. I think he’s wanted for treason in the US. Which is why he’s hiding out in Russia. You must try to become more global in your thinking.

    Bones, you’re the one whose pushing the Murdoch thing. I don’t even read very much of their ragdom. I actually get most of my news from the BBC and Aussie stuff from ABC, which one has to carefully sift through, but they do tend to have the monopoly on news outlets in the Antipedies. Which is why they are shamefully short of the centre by a few degrees left.

    My point was on the in error made by the left, politicians and journalists, who have claimed he has a 70% controlling interest in the media. He doesn’t. People who do buy newspapers tend to purchase his rather than Fairfax, which is so far gone it’s almost extinct. I wonder why.

  52. Espionage is probably a better description of the charges than treason. Snowden was a CIA employee and NSA contractor, working on computer technology, with access to sensitive documents. He must have signed some kind of official secrecy act. The Guardian claims that it has only released 1% of the information it has at its disposal via Snowden, and there will be more to follow. You don’t think this is a problem obviously, but it is clear the Guardian and it’s complicit feeder system the ABC are not using it to further conservatism.

  53. So are you still claiming 70% ‘control’ of the newspapers in Australia?

    The Guardian fact checks its own false claims:

    Mr r Murdoch is entitled to his own view… he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.” – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, press conference, 6 August.

    One of the more spirited discussions of the first week of this federal election campaign has concerned whether News Corp Australia, as our largest print media company, has a vested interest in the election outcome.

    After a front page of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph declaring: “Finally, you have a chance to… KICK THIS MOB OUT,” and a tweet from Rupert Murdoch questioning the cost of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Prime Minister Kevin Rudd responded at a media conference in Brisbane: “Mr Murdoch is entitled to his own view … he owns 70% of the newspapers in this country.”

    This statement is factually incorrect. According to the Finkelstein review of media and media regulation, in 2011 News Corp Australia (then News Limited) accounted for 23% of the newspaper titles in Australia.

    In a rebuttal of Kevin Rudd’s claim, Sally Jackson from the Australian observed that News Corp Australia accounts for 33% of the newspaper titles that have sales audited by the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

    But Rudd’s claim has more validity if we focus on newspaper circulation. Many of the newspapers listed are highly localised and have small circulations.

    News Corp Australia titles account for 59% of the sales of all daily newspapers, with sales of 17.3m papers a week, making it Australia’s most influential newspaper publisher by a considerable margin.

    Among capital city and national daily newspapers, which are by far the most influential in setting the news agenda, News Corporation titles accounted for 65% of circulation in 2011. Fairfax Media, the next biggest publisher, controlled just 25%. Those figures may have shifted slightly since then, but there is no doubt that News Corp Australia is our most dominant player – as academic Matthew Ricketson pointed out in the Conversation’s media panel blog, it owns 14 of our 21 metro daily and Sunday newspapers.

    An International Media Concentration research project, led by Prof Eli Noam of Columbia University, found that Australian newspaper circulation was the most concentrated of 26 countries surveyed, and among the most concentrated in the democratic world.

    Two newspaper owners (News and Fairfax) accounted for 86% of newspaper sales in Australia in 2011, as compared to 54% for the top two newspaper owners in the UK and a lowly 14% for the top two in the US.

    It is not the purpose of this fact check to consider whether that translates into political influence over governments and the electoral process. But it is important to note that this concentration of newspaper circulation exists at a time when the overall number of newspaper sales is declining. Newspaper sales per 100 Australians were 9.7 in 2011, as compared to 21.9 in 1987 and 13.0 in 2000.

    The major reason for this decline is the migration of news consumption to the internet, where news.com.au and other News Corp sites face stronger competition from ninemsn, Yahoo!7, Fairfax Media, the ABC, and other sites such as the Conversation, Crikey, On Line Opinion and Guardian Australia. The extent to which some of these sites either gather original material, or have the influence of the News mastheads, is certainly debatable, but the online news environment is far more diverse than that for print newspapers.

    But Kevin Rudd’s claim that Rupert Murdoch – or News Corp Australia – “owns 70% of the newspapers in this country” is, as a factual statement, false.

    LOL! So now media circulation amounts to media ‘control’. It can’t eve get it’s own factcheck right.

  54. Manning is in jail, wants a sex change and has apologised for ‘hurting the US’, Snowden is on the run in Russia, Assange is in hiding from extradition to face sexual assault charges, and Rodman is… well, there is no word to describe his actions.

  55. Manning is in jail, wants a sex change and has apologised for ‘hurting the US’,

    Either that or the death penalty.

    Hard choice that one…..

  56. Pretty sure it was Hugh Thompson who spilled the beans and was castigated for it.

    He told his helicopter crew to train their guns on US soldiers while he rescued civilians.

  57. Btw on the wikileaks video leaked by Private Manning

    The official statement on this incident initially listed all adults as insurgents and claimed the US military did not know how the deaths ocurred.

    (Just like My Lai was a success with 128 Viet Cong partisans killed in the official combat report. ).

  58. Powell is a case-study in how to be an up-kissing, line-towing establishment figure.

    Tom Glen wrote to inform the military command of the indiscriminate murder of citizens

    When Glen’s letter landed on Powell’s desk, he did a quick investigation, but didn’t interview the soldier and dismissed his charge as unfounded. In a memo dated December 13, 1968, Powell wrote: “In the direct refutation of the portrayal is the fact that relations between American soldiers and the Vietnamese people are excellent.” Case closed.

    http://www.towardfreedom.com/special-reports/452-deconstructing-powell-1003

    Powell is a hero who nearly became President. The ones who blew the whistle on My Lai were derided as traitors for a long time and had various parts of animals placed on their front lawns.

    What Would Steve have done?

  59. Probably one of the many Americans who petitioned the President over the conviction of the good ol US boy, William Calley.

    His sentence was reduced to 3 and a half years house arrest and a Presidential Pardon.

    The only person to be convicted for the rape and slaughter of 500 villagers, mostly women, children, infants, and the elderly.

  60. I think you’ve taken this rather further than I did, Bones. I was pointing out that the information being gradually released by the Guardian through the ABC was being used in what looks like a politically targeted way.

    Perhaps you think that the release of the information only weeks into the new Liberal Government’s tenure was coincidental, and the embarrassment and blame it suffered, despite not being responsible for the original action under the Rudd Government, was an unfortunate sideshow to important news.

    Or the breakdown in diplomatic relations between Australia and Indonesia, for which the Abbott Government was extraordinarily held culpable by left leaning media outlets, especially Fairfax, was not politically motivated opportunism by the leftist Guardian, ABC and Fairfax journalists and editors.

    Plus there was the damage done to the reputation of Australia through the actions of the media. It was a rough introduction to leadership for Abbott, and one that he and his team did well to steer away from disaster. It was interesting that it coincided with the launch of the Guardian in Australia and they piggybacked the ABC to gain a position in the media market.

    I am all for whistleblowing where it exposes injustice or exploitation, but there is a vast difference between whistleblowing in a specific case where facts are known but covered up, and opportunist espionage where a large body of information is randomly stolen and released to the media or to nations with an interest in knowing rivals’ secrets.

    And there’s a difference when the media has access to so much information it has to sift through until it finds a story. That is not whistleblowing. That is grandstanding.

    It is also real media control – the potential for manipulation, and not, as Greg implies, ‘control’ because an outlet has a large circulation.

    The reader has a choice, so is in control of what they read. If they wanted leftist political bias they could buy Fairfax rags, but the fact they don’t tells us they are in control of what they buy and what they read.

  61. By the way, I think the Guardian and the ABC, as well as the BBC, are terrific news outlets and do give a decent spread on the news.

    But let’s not try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes in attempting to claim they are not biased in any way towards the left of centre.

    We didn’t come down with the last shower.

  62. I was pointing out that the information being gradually released by the Guardian through the ABC was being used in what looks like a politically targeted way.

    Information released by the government is in a politically targeted way.

  63. So according to Steve, stealing information is only OK if you are the government. A nice Western government not one of those nasty teatowel-head governments.

    And its OK for these nice governments to keep secrets about potential human rights abuses.

    Tony Abbott has defended his government’s secrecy over its treatment of asylum seekers, saying he would not give information that would help a war enemy.

    “If stopping the boats means being criticised because I’m not giving information that would be of use to people smugglers, so be it,” Mr Abbott told Network Ten on Friday.

    “If we were at war we wouldn’t be giving out information that is of use to the enemy just because we might have an idle curiosity about it ourselves”.

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tony-abbott-compares-secrecy-over-asylum-seekers-to-war-time-20140110-30lyt.html#ixzz2pzLhnNTF

    We are not at war with People smugglers – they are small business people who have seen a need and fulfilled it at a handsome profit. If they were in Australia they would be local Liberal party members.

  64. Bones,
    Information released by the government is in a politically targeted way.

    Of course, but it doesn’t claim to be the unbiased media. Why are you making an equivalence where there could be none? The ABC is an Australian tax-payer funded institution which should show impartiality politically. It clearly doesn’t.

    wazza,
    ‘they are small business people who have seen a need and fulfilled it at a handsome profit’

    Yeah right. For a political animal you are pretty naive. The alternative definition is ‘opportunist sharks who prey on the desperate’.

    Is it war? I don’t know. Probably not. The people smugglers are certainly using covert tactics to determine their strategies, however. But if their operations are prevented the avenues will become less controversial and confused, less expensive. And safer.

    Australia already has a sound policy regarding refugees and asylum seekers. They are welcome, but through the right channels.

  65. I always feel that we’ve come near the end of an argument when someone like Bones resorts to insults which target my local church for no apparent reason, especially if it has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject.

    It seems a petty put down to me, and one I have never used, not knowing which church the protagonist attends, nor finding it relevant to our discussion, which should remain one on one.

    It’s one step away from slapping a man’s wife to make a point to him when he is standing right there in front of you.

    I am surprised, then, when someone as insistent on justice and equity as wazza stoops to this kind of personal attack.

  66. Greg, you’re a nob.:D [this comment was left as it is by the moderator as the comment is factually accurate and a good reflection of who I am]

  67. As for the media block out by the government over naval operations against people smuggling, I think it is very obvious that the smugglers were using the daily news updates by the former Government to strategise operations, and it was being run with military precision. Hence the large volume of fully paid up voyagers being freighted across the sea from Indonesian bases. Massive sums of money, paid by passengers, were being exchanged to fund these trips. There are allegations that some of the Indonesian military could even be involved.

    Telegraphing every move to satisfy a ravenous media sector under former government has proven to be ill-advised.

    Maybe the journalists will have to get off their butts and do some leg work in the field to get their daily information.

  68. Maybe the journalists will have to get off their butts and do some leg work in the field to get their daily information.

    If chaplains aren’t allowed in detention centres, pretty sure journalists wouldn’t be.

    Gee, I wonder who we have to rely on for information?

    Mr Scott “It’s a secret” Morrison

  69. [this comment was left as it is by the moderator as the comment is factually accurate and a good reflection of who I am]

    lol.

    Group hug?

  70. Quotes from this thread :

    why would you expect wazza to grasp anything Biblical?
    blah-blah bros, Bones and wazza?
    And wazza defends treason.
    For a political animal you are pretty naive

    And…

    am surprised, then, when someone as insistent on justice and equity as wazza stoops to this kind of personal attack.

  71. You’re missing the point, wazza. You went after my church, not me. You called our pastors opportunist sharks who prey on the desperate. This comment had nothing to do with the thread or conversation. If you are going to dish out mud try to do it in a more manly way. Say what you have to to me. No problem. I can sling it back.

    Speaking of dishing it out, Dennis Rodman loses it…

  72. So its OK to go after me and say I support treason – but not to go after my church because that would be below the belt.

    This after your series of articles comments deriding other Churches, mainly the Catholic church but also extending to Church of Christ, Uniting Church etc. etc.

  73. Was Dennis Rodman a whistleblower?

    Surprised you haven’t mentioned Lord Haw Haw, Quisling, Benedict Arnold, Guy Fawkes and of course, Judas Iscariot.

    Mordachai Vanunu’s my favourite traitor though.

    Decided to spill the beans on Israel’s secret nuclear bombs after accepting Christ.in Sydney.

  74. Wazza, if you can genuinely, before God, in all honesty, say that you said what you did about ccc and it had nothing to do with the fact that I am a member of a c3 church, I will apologise and move on.

    I do not know which church you attend, so I have never had cause to speak ill of it, and nor would I unless it was the given topic and even then it would not be to get at you. The same goes for anyone contributing to this site.

    However, if there are topics we discuss or author posts on which involved church groups we may be involve with directly or indirectly I see no issue with this. Bones and Greg recently added a post which was derogatory towards the overseer of our movement. I did not complain. It had a relevance and was Bones’ opinion, backed up by Greg. If I want to comment I will.

    If you can honestly say you didn’t add the comment with my association with C3 in mind I will apologise.

  75. I don’t know why I added Rodman, Bones. It seemed topical, controversial, and the thread is well off the original subject anyway. You’re right. He’s not a whistleblower. Are the others, though, really? Or are they opportunists engaged in espionage? Do you think they actually had any idea of what they had in their possession? Even the Guardian has only gone through 1% of Snowden’s material. A true whistleblower knows why he is revealing vital information. Did they have a clue what they were unleashing?

  76. Do you think they did it to make money Steve?

    What would you do if you knew your government was involved in systematic murder?

    Bradley Manning Uncovered U.S. Torture, Abuse, Soldiers Laughing As They Killed Innocent Civilians.

    “Manning was under the impression that his leaked information was going to really change how the world views the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and future wars actually,” Navy Capt. David Moulton, a forensic psychiatrist testifying in Manning’s defense, told the military court on July 14.

    “It was his opinion that if through crowd sourcing that enough analysis was done on these documents, which he felt to be very important, that it would lead to greater good, that society as a whole would come to the conclusion that the wars weren’t worth it, that really no wars are worth it.”

    Here are some of the documents and revelations Manning leaked to the world from the small, sensitive, compartmented information facility in Iraq where he worked as an intelligence analyst from 2009 to 2010.

    1. The ‘Collateral Murder’ Apache helicopter video

    Seen above

    2. The Reykjavik-13 cable

    The first of Manning’s leaks to be published, it caused an immediate sensation in Iceland for its frank discussion of U.S. indifference toward problems in the small island nation’s banking sector.

    3. The Iraq War Logs

    As part of his work as an Army intelligence analyst, Manning had access to a wealth of sensitive Army documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Called SIGACTS (significant activities), in military parlance, they detailed nighttime raids and improvised explosives attacks with intimate on-the-ground reports from U.S. troops.

    Manning gave WikiLeaks nearly 400,000 SIGACTS from Iraq. They were published in October 2010. The Pentagon had always maintained that it did not keep track of civilian casualties in Iraq, but the independent Iraq Body Count website used the SIGACTS to confirm and update its count of deaths in the conflict.

    As of this month, the Iraq Body Count’s Josh Dougherty related, the organization had added 4,000 deaths to its database as a result of Manning’s leaks and was likely to add another 10,000.

    “These and thousands of others like them are known to the world today only because Bradley Manning could no longer in good conscience collude with an official policy of the Bush and Obama administrations to abuse secrecy and ‘national security’ to erase them from history,”

    4. The Afghanistan War Logs

    On July 25, 2010, just a month after Manning was arrested, WikiLeaks published 75,000 SIGACTS from the Afghanistan battlefield. The New York Times, which participated in their publication, said they offered “an unvarnished, ground-level picture of the war in Afghanistan that is in many respects more grim than the official portrayal.”

    5. Detention, abuse and torture

    Manning’s leaks included more than 700 Guantanamo detainee files, many revealing that the U.S. had little reason to continue holding its prisoners. The 250,000 State Department cables he leaked detailed U.S. diplomatic pressure on foreign countries to ignore or excuse extraordinary renditions carried out by the CIA in apparent violation of international law. They also showed that the U.S. routinely failed to investigate reports of prisoner abuse and summary execution by the Iraqi military.

    6. U.S. complicity with repressive Arab regimes

    It was no surprise to many living in the Arab world that the United States routinely collaborated with Arab dictators behind closed doors while proclaiming its commitment to democracy in public. Manning’s leaks of sensitive State Department cables, however, laid bare the American hypocrisy in the Middle East. By some accounts, they served as a catalyst for the regime changes around the region that would come to be known as the Arab Spring.

    In particular, the cables highlighted corruption within the regime of former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The first batch of cables about Tunisia was released in November 2010, two months before Ben Ali fled the country.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/bradley-manning-leaks_n_3788126.html

    She should be celebrated as a hero and a prisoner of conscience.

  77. Why Edward Snowden Leaked the Secret NSA Information

    In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” but “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”

    Snowden realizes he’s risking his life — his house, his freedom, his girlfriend — by leaking this information. “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building,” he said.

    http://www.thewire.com/national/2013/06/why-edward-snowden-leaked-secret-nsa-information/66041/

    Strange opportunist!

    Wonder if he’s enjoying his ‘reward’?

  78. I consider Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden to be brace courageous individuals who had the safety fo the world in mind when they leaked their documents.

    Same with wiki leaks founder Julian Assange

  79. Steve’s opinions on the asylum seeker issue :

    asylum seekers : They are welcome, but through the right channels.
    people smugglers : They are opportunist sharks who prey on the desperate.

    If someone is desperate it means they have no other options. But Steve says they have other options – therefore they are going of their own free will. But then the smugglers cant be preying on the desperate and are not opportunists.

  80. So no apology, wazza. OK.

    It’s not true that people seeking asylum do not have options if they have the financial and managerial capacity to organise themselves into risky boat journeys from Indonesia. Their journeys are highly organised and planned.

    They must know that there are official channels through which they need to go to enter Australia. What they are doing is bypassing this and entering in a way which the Australian Government has declared illicit.

    In effect, you are proposing that the people smugglers become the new border control for entry into Australia. You are promoting the agencies which are taking huge sums of money from would-be Australia immigrants to take the highly risky journey from their homeland to Indonesia and on to Australia.

    There are countless destinations for the truly desperate, but they traverse a third of the world to enter the most desirable nation on earth.

    There have to be entry regulations into Australia for obvious reasons. But Australia has always had a large intake of refugees and the system they have devised is fair, thorough and very well articulated. Anyone seeking entry into Australia has the option of taking the correct route through the authorities.

    They will receive great assistance from the Government to arrive and settle in the country.

    What you are saying is that there is a better way to bring people in and that is through the new border control of people smugglers.

  81. What you have said is that people smugglers are opportunists who prey on the desperate.

    But how can they if the people seeking asylum are not desperate?

  82. Well, the logical solution is that if entry by boat is diminished significantly the problem will be removed and all entry will be through regulated means and the authorities will once agin have full control over their borders.

    No one is against refugees and asylum seekers coming into the country. The are countless agencies willing, ready and equipped to assist them integrate into Australian society.

    What you are proposing is a sustained arrangement by which an illicit trade in people trafficking is empowered to be maintained, and even escalate, costing the families transported far more than if they entered by authorised means, and, of course, costing the tax-payers of Australia billions to rescue, verify, accommodate, and, if necessary, repatriate if and when they are found to be opportunists rather than genuine asylum seekers.

    I am for refugee and asylum seeker intake, but, given the isolated nature of Australia as a vast island in a remote location and hostile environment, there must be clear measures by which people seeking to enter on a long term basis are vetted according to set procedures by the authorities.

    I don’t see how your proposal holds water when the Australian governments of all sides have made it clear we have a desire to allow genuine refugees and asylum seekers access to the country, but through sustainable means.

    It is imperative that Australia maintains its sovereign authority over long term arrivals, and, given that it has signed up to UN conventions on this matter, they have placed themselves in accord with international law, but not at the expense of relinquishing control over entry.

  83. So which is it?

    1. The Asylum seekers have other options, therefore the people-smugglers arent preying on their desperation

    2, The Asylum seekers are desperate (and the people-smugglers are preying on that desperation).

    No. 1 or 2 ?

  84. It’s always been weird that Australians are so scared of migrants and the number of migrants coming into Australia.

    Tokyo has the population of Australia in one city.

  85. I think what you are forgetting here, or leaving out of the equation, is the fact that Australia does have a regulated intake of refugees and asylum seekers and it is generous.

    You never mention this, only the illicit trade in people being forced on the Australian authorities by unscrupulous dealers, as if it is the only way refugees and asylum seekers seek entry.

    Maybe it’s time for some honesty in this discussion and rational thinking rather than political point winning and attempts at making the other side of an argument look evil and callous.

    I am very much for refugee and asylum seekers being admitted into Australia, and have worked with many to help integrate them successfully, but surely even you must realise that Australia needs to be in control of its borders and determining who arrives on a permanent or temporary basis.

  86. Well Tokyo didn’t grow that large over night, did it? And presumably they can sustain that level of population. Can you imagine the difficulties if, say, Perth were to double over night? They already struggle with their water levels and housing.

    I think you are noble in ideals but far from pragmatic at times.

    Tell us your plans and costings for the necessary infrastructure to accommodate a large influx of migrants.

  87. Maybe you could agree to adopt Mr Abbot’s vision to open up WA around the Ord River and create thriving new communities in the north of Australia. How long would you give that? Ten, fifteen, twenty years? Thirty? Fifty?

    And in a country you claim is warming to an alarming degree!

    What is your plan for housing, jobs, food supply, transport, including your budget?

    I think your long and short term vision for increased population through a migrant program is admirable. But you need to show us how and when you will accomplish this goal.

  88. And fuel, of course. How will you power your new population revolution?

    Tokyo is powered through fossil fuel, nuclear and hydro. So are you going to dam a few more rivers, build nuclear reactors and increase fossil fuel power stations?

    Come on, Bones. Surely your new world won’t be run with wind farms blighting the countryside and destroying bird life?

    Your vision, please…

  89. Bearing in mind, of course, that Australia is currently $667billion in debt, following six years of Labour spending.

    Six years! How does a government go from a surplus to that degree of debt in just six years?

    But, on to the subject of your infrastructure changes and vision, a reminder that you don’t have much money to spend. In fact the current Government is saying, correctly, we need to cut expenditure on services.

    Over to you…

  90. Tony Abbott’s back or is it Cory Bernardi?

    Australia is founded on migration and refugees.

    The Aborigines didn’t get any say on whether they approved or not or how many people they would take in.

    It’s ok for Kiwis though to hop on a boat, come over and stay indefinitely though.

    New Zealand migration to Australia soars 40 per cent

    New Zealand has now lost 12 per cent of its population to Australia, as Kiwis search for work and higher pay across the Tasman.

    http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/new-zealand-migration-to-australia-soars-40-per-cent/story-fnixwvgh-1226790754690

  91. Surely you dont think that the asylum seeker issue is about limiting population growth.

    There are about 170,000 settlers who come to Australia every year,

    Add to this about 400,000 students and people on long-stay work visas.

    Compared to this the average 8,000 people arriving by boat is “half a bee’s dick” ie. nothing.

  92. wazza,
    ‘Surely you dont think that the asylum seeker issue is about limiting population growth.’

    I think I’m on record as saying…

    ‘I am very much for refugee and asylum seekers being admitted into Australia…’

    So, no I’m not, but Bones raised the issue that Tokyo had a huge population, therefore Australia should have more. Well, Tokyo hasn’t grown to where it is overnight. They have a different climate, an=have been around as a nation far longer, and have the infrastructure in place.

    I’m asking how he will build the infrastructure for his rapid influx of refugees, and how he will finance it in the present climate.

  93. So we have unlimited intake from New Zealand, even if they arrive by boat or via a people smuggler.

    Yet the desperate are punished.

    Jesus would be impressed.

  94. For goodness sake, Bones. Australia has an agreement with New Zealand. It’s hardly the same thing.

    The Australian and New Zealand Governments have had arrangements in place since the 1920s to facilitate a free flow of people between the two countries.

    The 1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement has allowed Australian and New Zealand citizens to enter each other’s country to visit, live and work, without the need to apply for authority to enter the other country before travelling.

    http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/17nz.htm

    Since the 1920s, Bones.

    This is getting silly.

  95. Anyone with half a brain knows that more people = more services = more jobs = good.for the economy.

    But according to you there is no climate change and God will provide an infinite supply of fossil fuels.

    So there’s no problem at all.

    Migration biggest contributor to population growth

    The ABS says almost 15 million migrants are expected to arrive in Australia over the next six decades, bringing the country’s population to 46 million.

    Australia’s population is projected to double by 2075 with migration as the highest contributor.

    The Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows almost 15 million migrants are expected to arrive over the next six decades, bringing the country’s population to 46 million.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/11/28/migration-biggest-contributor-population-growth

  96. But do you for one second think that New Zealanders arrive in Australia without a passport?

    If they have a New Zealand passport they are authorised to visit, live and work in Australia. So they have a form of ID, and are not breaking any immigration laws.

    Special Category Visa
    Since 1 September 1994, all non-citizens in Australia must hold a visa.

    The Special Category visa (SCV) is a temporary visa introduced for New Zealand citizens. A New Zealand citizen wanting to enter Australia needs to present a valid New Zealand passport and incoming passenger card for immigration clearance. By doing so, New Zealand citizens are considered to have applied for a visa and, subject to health or character considerations, will be granted an SCV. This visa is recorded electronically and the person’s passport may be stamped, showing the date of arrival in Australia.

    However, there are limitations, for instance not being able to vote in elections in Australia.

  97. Steve obviously doesnt have faith that God will provide prosperity for the nation – the pie wont grow hence we have to limit the number of pieces of the pie.

    #inconsistent

  98. As I have said, Bones, I am all for people coming into Australia. I don’t know why you’re acting as if I am not. I have said it is a good thing, and yes it is good for the economy, and, if it is a gradual increase, the infrastructure will manufacture itself.

    The other point I have made is that you seem to be locked into the delusion that the only refugees are those who come by boats without authorisation, but that is simply false.

    Up until 2007, when the Labour Government opened the ocean to people smugglers, the majority of refugees entered through legal means and were authorised to come into the country. This, I am saying, is the proper way for migrants to enter, and should be encouraged.

    If the passage of boats from Indonesia is diminished effectively to a small trickle, if not completely, the problem of loss of border control to people smugglers will be eradicated and we can return to sensible immigration flows.

    So you are missing entirely what it is I am saying. I am for immigration, but Australia should have the say in who comes and how. There should be a controlled, organised, authorised movement of people into the country.

    You are the one who is bringing up ridiculous scenarios like matching the population of Tokyo in one hit.

  99. wazza,
    Steve obviously doesnt have faith that God will provide prosperity for the nation – the pie wont grow hence we have to limit the number of pieces of the pie.

    This is a patently stupid and incorrect claim. You are either a complete fool or deliberately ignorant of anything I have said.

    The nation, of course, will prosper if the people who come here work, use their talents and skills, and became part of society, and I am all for immigration, and from all walks of life, and have been actively involved in assisting people to find work, integrate and become part of the community, both in Australia and in UK.

    If you and Bones are going to make ridiculous statements about what I have said in all earnestness there is no purpose to continuing with you.

  100. So we take in as many people who look and sound like us.

    But those who are the most desperate we keep in a concentration camp.

    It’s interesting that Morrison, the Pentecostal, denies chaplains to these people.

    I’d have thought he’s be trying to save their souls from hell before sending them back.

    But it’s ok, Brian is one of his mentors.

    Morrison is now a Pentecostal and thus part of the most rapidly growing denomination in the land. He worships at an American-style mega-church called Shirelive in his constituency, where the gospel of prosperity is preached in an auditorium that can accommodate over 1000 evangelicals. With its water baptisms and designer-shirt pastors, Shirelive has close ties with the better-known Hillsong community. The founder of Hillsong, Harley Davidson–riding pastor Brian Houston, is one of Morrison’s mentors.

    The more publicity that came Scott Morrison’s way, the more hardline he became. So much so that last February, on the morning when victims of the Christmas Island boat people tragedy were due to be buried in Sydney, he launched an ill-tempered attack on the government for paying for family members to make the long journey from Christmas Island. Among them was Madian El Ibrahimy, a detainee at the Indian Ocean detention centre, whose wife, Zman, four-year-old son, Nzar, and eight-month-old daughter, Zahra, had all died at sea. “Do you think you run the risk of being seen as heartless on the day of these funerals to be saying — to be bickering over this money?” asked ABC reporter Barbara Miller, whose report that morning was broadcast on AM. Morrison replied: “When it comes to the question of do I think this is a reasonable cost then my honest answer is, ‘No, I don’t think it is reasonable.’” Seasoned commentators struggled to recall a nastier instance of gutter politics from a senior politician since the heyday of Pauline Hanson. Labor accused him of “stealing soundbites from One Nation”.

    it was left to Joe Hockey to condemn the remarks: “I would never seek to deny a parent or a child from saying goodbye to their relative.” Then came an acid shower of criticism from party elders. John Hewson called his comments “inhumane”. Malcolm Fraser was scornful: “I hope Scott Morrison is just a fringe element in the party.” More woundingly, Bruce Baird also slapped down his one-time protégé: “I’m very disappointed that Scott would make those comments. It is lacking in compassion at the very time when these people have been through such a traumatic event.”

    Chairing the meeting in Tony Abbott’s absence, Julie Bishop had opened up a discussion on which issues should be prioritised in the new year. “What are we going to do about multiculturalism?” Morrison was reported as saying. “What are we going to do about concerns about the number of Muslims?” Morrison later noted: “The gossip reported does not reflect my views,” which fell short of an outright denial.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2012/february/1328593883/nick-bryant/so-who-bloody-hell-are-you

    That explains why he’s a prick!

  101. Actually you’d think Morrison would just unleash Brian, Phil and his prosperity pimp pastor. They could give them 10% of their money and just wait for God to bless them.

  102. I gather Scott’s Bible doesn’t have this

    41 “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; 43 I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’ 44 Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not [a]take care of You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

    It’s only Muslims and non-Christians who get to burn forever.

  103. ‘I was a stranger and you took me in’ (Matthew 25)

    Well not really, according to Scott Morrison.

    In her article in the SMH on 3 November 2012, Jane Cadzow describes Scott Morrison as ‘a devout Christian who worships at Shirelive, an American style Pentecostal Church. The Shirelive website says its members believe the Bible is the ‘accurate authoritative word of God’.

    Formerly, Scott Morrison belonged to Hillsong. In his maiden speech to the House of Representatives in 2008 he said ‘from my faith I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness’.

    I am confused.

    The Torah, which is a key part of the Jewish/Christian tradition places great store on welcoming the stranger. The Torah repeats its exhortation more than 36 times. ‘Remember the stranger, for you were strangers in Egypt’. This caring for the stranger is repeated more than any of the other biblical laws, including observance of the Sabbath and dietary requirements…

    As Leviticus 19 puts it, ‘When an alien resides with you in your land, do not molest him. You should treat the alien who resides with you no differently than the native born among you; have the same love for him as for yourself; for you too were aliens in the land of Egypt.’

    The Gospel of Luke asks ‘Who is my neighbour?’ and then tells us the story of the Good Samaritan. Matthew’s Gospel tells us about the Holy Family’s flight from the ‘slaughter of the innocents’ to safety in Egypt. They were indeed fortunate asylum seekers in that the Pharaoh was generous and did not play to public prejudice by calling on his subjects to ‘stop the donkeys’.

    Scott Morrison has been hostile to strangers and demonises asylum seekers and refugees at almost every opportunity.

    He has said that they bring disease ‘everything from tuberculosis and hepatitis C to chlamidya and syphilis’. This assertion was rejected by an infectious diseases expert, Dr Trent Yarwood.
    He told 2GB Talkback radio audiences that he had seen asylum seekers bringing in ‘wads of cash …and large displays of jewellery’. Desperate people will bring whatever portable assets they have.
    According to leaks from the Shadow Cabinet, and according to Jane Cadzow, Scott Morrison suggested that the Coalition ‘ramp up its questioning to … capitalise on anti-Muslim sentiment’. He used the dog-whistling defence that he was only listening to what people are saying ‘we’ve got to listen to what their concerns are’. But please, lend me a megaphone!
    In early 2011 he complained about the cost of holding funerals in Sydney for asylum seekers who died in a shipwreck off Christmas Island. An eight year old, whose parents had both died in the shipwreck, was one of 21 people flown from the Christmas Island Detention Centre to attend the funeral ceremonies. Scott Morrison said these were ‘government-funded junkets’ and that the relatives would be ‘taking sightseeing trips and those sorts of things’. He later apologised for the timing but not the content of his remarks.
    Only last month, he called on the government to suspend asylum seekers being released into the community on the basis of a single violent attack. Fairfax Media pointed out that these people were about 45 times less likely to be charged with a crime than a member of the general community.
    Time and time again, Scott Morrison injects hatred towards the ‘stranger’.

    Perhaps he reads a different translation of the Bible.

    That other biblical scholar, Tony Abbott has supported him every step of the way.

    http://johnmenadue.com/blog/?p=189

  104. The member for Cook, who counts Desmond Tutu and the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce among his heroes, reportedly argued in shadow cabinet that the Liberals should exploit community concerns about Muslim immigrants.

    Tutu can’t be that much of a hero.

    He would be appalled at Morrison’s unjust policies towards the desperate.

  105. “Maybe it’s time for some honesty in this discussion and rational thinking rather than political point winning and attempts at making the other side of an argument look evil and callous.

    Actually the other side does a damn good job of it.

    Scott Morrison’s maiden pariamentary speech
    :
    From my faith I derive the values of loving-kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others;

    That’s nice rhetoric, Scott, but the truth tells a remarkably consistent story about you.

    September, 2006, in Crikey, Lawyer Ifran Yusuf reminisced about the Howard descent into racist attitudes. In 2001 Yusuf had stood for the Liberals in the Western Sydney electorate of Reid. In part, he wrote, “the 2001 election when Howard’s NSW campaign manager Scott Morrison threatened me with disendorsement if I so much as spoke about the grief of an Afghan Australian who had lost two nieces when they drowned with hundreds of other asylum seekers fleeing the Taliban.

    Morrison apparently denied him permission to publish it saying – “it compromises the party’s stand on security”.

    http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/the-public-life-of-scott-morrison/

    I suppose Shirelive lifts Scott Morrison as an example of a successful.prosperous Christian when he has trampled over people to make his way to where he is.

    “What do they teach Pentecostals down there?

  106. Bones,
    So we take in as many people who look and sound like us.

    Where did anyone say this? No one did. You made it up.

    What I have repeatedly said is that we should encourage migrants and support them. My reference to skills was to the undoubtably abilities that migrants have traditionally brought to the nation. We have a wonderfully divers culture, and one which has largely encouraged integration and cooperation amongst different migrants to contribute to society. It is a success story in Australia and an example to some the nations which have seen problems where integration has not been as successful.

    But those who are the most desperate we keep in a concentration camp.

    The unfortunate thing is that we do not know who is genuinely desperate and who is faking. Of course, people seeking entry need to be processed. They also have to be, sadly, in a secured facility, because, as we have seen, some are prepared to bypass Australian custom regulations to destroy property and enter the country regardless of our laws.

    Your rhetoric is, of course, aggressive and emotive, and perhaps for sound reasons because no one wants to see people have to be put behind razor wire whilst their viability for entry as refugees or asylum seekers is scrutinised and verified, or rejected.

    But the people who come this way know that this is the process they will have to go through. They pay for it. They know before they leave the point of departure that they risk failure to enter.

    But you continue with this viscous attack on those who are charged with stopping this illicit trade in people’s lives, and the difficult processes they have to go through before being granted entry, as if it is the only way that refugees and asylum seekers can enter. This is a patently false position.

    You should, by now, be ashamed of your persistent refusal to acknowledge that there are designated means by which refugees, asylum seekers, and for that matter, people seeking to come to work in the country, can officially enter the country, and Australia has traditionally been generous towards people seeking entry.

    Your spiteful attack on Morrison because he is a Pentecostal is a bitter disgrace. You seek any means to pour scorn on Pentecostals. It has boing to do with anything I am talking about. It is a product of your own malice.

    If the boats are stopped the problem is removed. Tens of thousands of migrants will still be able to come into the country by legitimate and merciful means, without the prospect of being rejected or, worse, drowned at sea.

  107. I thought Scott Morrison was the disgrace.

    But you agree with him.

    Go figure.

    Must be a Pentecostal thing.

    Knew it was lurking underneath the surface.

  108. I don’t think I said I agree with Mr Morrison, or any of the claims you made against him. I just said your attack on him for being a Pentecostal is a disgrace. And it is.

    You also called Ps Bonhomme of Shirelive a ‘prosperity pimp’ which is outrageous. You really do need to work on your discussion skills, because you are a rude, obnoxious man at times.

  109. Cost of boat arrivals of refugee claimants under Labour – from May 2013.

    The asylum seeker budget has blown out by more than $3.2billion since the government’s February forecast, as Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor admitted the record rate of boat arrivals ”is not acceptable in terms of the risks to human life, or the impact of the budget”.

    On top of the $3.2billion extra required to intercept and detain asylum seekers arriving by boat – as well as caring for those in the community – the government will channel an extra $943million in foreign aid money to supporting asylum seekers over four years.

    Australia will divert the foreign aid funding to caring for asylum seekers on Australian soil, capping the amount at $375 million a year.

    The budget for the 2013-14 year alone will be $2.8billion, and the government calculates that in the four years to 2015-16, it will spend $8.1billion on asylum seekers.

    But the government will also be forced to beef up funding to cover legal expenses increasingly incurred by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship fighting court challenges lodged by asylum seekers against their negative refugee determinations in the courts.

    It has allocated an additional $16.6million over two years to help the department fight challenges.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/boat-arrivals-cost-blows-out-by-32b-20130514-2jkq8.html

    It blew out. So it was far more than predicted from February to March 2013 by $3.2billion.

    The reason? A record rate of boat arrivals in those months.

    As a result foreign aid was diverted from those nations in need of aid to the boat refugees.

    One of the things which leftists rarely discuss is the cost. Now I know we should spare no expense in helping a person in need, but when it comes to illegal activities and supporting those who are knowingly attempting to enter through unauthorised means, do we have a responsibility to curb that activity so that we can concentrate our aid funding efforts on those whoa re willing to comply with the systems in place which promote authorised entry?

    Let’s say we sift through Labour’s backlog of boat people and allow most of them entry should they be able to demonstrate that they are genuine refugees or asylum seekers, but, at the same time, seek ways to decrease the traffic in human cargo from Indonesian ports into the ocean between Indonesia and Australia.

    Would you support a strategy which allows entry to legitimate asylum seekers who have come by boat under Labour’s cost intensive open door policy of February to May 2013, but seeks to prevent the same ease of transport into Australia by boat by, say, May 2014?

    Or are you of the opinion that the former Labour policy of allowing refugee boats to enter Australian waters to be processed offshore at the cost of billions of dollars which could be used in other areas to support genuine refugees and asylum seekers who come by authorised means?

  110. Yes Scott, we know about your comlaints about government spending.

    In early 2011 he complained about the cost of holding funerals in Sydney for asylum seekers who died in a shipwreck off Christmas Island. An eight year old, whose parents had both died in the shipwreck, was one of 21 people flown from the Christmas Island Detention Centre to attend the funeral ceremonies. Scott Morrison said these were ‘government-funded junkets’ and that the relatives would be ‘taking sightseeing trips and those sorts of things’. He later apologised for the timing but not the content of his remarks.

    Thing is the Bible says more about welcoming strangers than gay marriage.

  111. Another look at an election piece on the ABC site from September last year.

    Can either side of politics stop the asylum boats?

    Both sides of politics in Australia are promising to smash the business model of people smugglers – but can it be done?

    About 25,000 asylum seekers have arrived in Australia by boat over the past 18 months.

    People smugglers charge between $7,000 and $20,000 to get people to Australia by boat, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

    “It’s very big business,” says Sebastian Baumeister from the UNODC.

    “If you would calculate this by an average of $14,000 you come up with a quite high amount (about $350 million).”

    He says people smuggling is a high-profit, low-risk business, which has easily adapted to recent changes in government policy.

    “I don’t believe that you can fully stop boat arrivals coming from Indonesia to Australia,” Mr Baumeister says.

    “The challenge is to get the organisers, but most of them are in the countries of origin and transit, and it’s very difficult to get hold of them.

    “Since 2009 we have had a significant number of people arriving. This also has built up and revitalised (smuggling) networks, knowledge and experience. They have got better at what they do.”

    Mr Baumeister and other academics believe breaking the people smuggling business model will be very difficult.

    However, it’s a goal both sides of federal politics are committed to.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-13/is-stopping-the-boats-possible/4685444

    What does people smuggling cost [per person]?

    Organiser in source country $4,000
    Fraudulent documents $400
    Bribes – law enforcement and border officials $2,500
    Logistics – air $700
    Facilitator based in Malaysia $1,700
    Facilitator based in Indonesia $3,000
    Sea voyage $5,000
    Total $17,300

    (Source: UNODC)

    So the Labour Governments under Rudd, Gillard and Rudd again not only failed to curb people smuggling but actually increased it into a burgeoning industry costing Australian taxpayers billions and refugees millions whilst people smugglers made easy profits from those with the capital to take the risky journey, which was estimated to have claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people lost at sea.

    One would think that, despite Rudd’s last gasp attempt at stopping the boats, he would not have had the resolve to carry through with the process required to end the trafficking of people.

    However, now that there is some evidence that the Abbott Government is showing signs of successfully diminishing the flow of boats from Indonesia, despite the setbacks incurred by a loose media campaign which attempted to sully the relationship with Indonesia, it is clear that it is indeed looking as if it is possible to at least slow down the traffic and persuade would be migrants to use the authorised channels.

  112. You always know when Bones has lost an argument and has no more to say when he starts throwing insults at people in a vile manner.

    The interesting thing is that he is vainly attempting to make a person look as if he is not Christlike whilst being blatantly un-Christlike in the manner of his condemnation.

    Next he’ll be attempting to condone his use of malicious accusations against people by saying Jesus did it.

    LOL!

  113. Bones, in a flash of inspiration,
    ‘Thing is the Bible says more about welcoming strangers than gay marriage.’

    That’s not hard, because it says nothing about gay marriage, nor would it.

    But who is saying Australia is not welcoming strangers? No one except you and wazza.

    I have said at least five times that strangers, that is refugees and asylum seekers, are not only welcome but, I think, necessary to the future of Australia. I have also pointed out, several times, that Australia is very generous in its allowance of migrants into the country.

    No one is disputing this.

    But you have got it stuck in your vainly stubborn head that the only way a refugee or asylum seeker can enter the country is on a boat from Indonesia. Which is patently untrue.

    By far the greater number of migrants come by authorised means. They are processed. They go through thorough procedures. They are accepted as genuine refugees or asylum seekers, given visas, and allowed entry.

    We do welcome strangers.

    Tens of thousands of them.

    With open arms.

  114. The interesting thing is that he is vainly attempting to make a person look as if he is not Christlike whilst being blatantly un-Christlike in the manner of his condemnation.

    Then you say Christ was un-Christlike in his condemnation of the Pharisees.

    He would condemn Morrison as well.

    It’s a matter of calling a spade, a spade or in this case a turd, a turd.

  115. Oh gosh, you really have a problem with Pentecostals, don’t you Bones. I think that puts you at odds with God.

    But I wasn’t quoting the Pentecostals when I pointed out it is costing billions. I was quoting form the last election campaigns of Labour and Liberal, and even the ABC pitched in. Those are the quotes I gave you. You are the only one harping on about Morrison.

    You, of course, being of the left, think there is an inexhaustible supply of finance for everything to do with anything (like pink bats) and would place your children and children’s children in abject debt to pay for your socialist policies.

    Come on, Bones says, let’s tax our own children and their kids for several generations to fund our socialist programs. Forget about expedience, pragmatism and wisdom. Live now and pay later.

    No, Bones. What Jesus says is that we should count the cost of building. If you can’t afford to finish what you start, you’d better look at another way.

    And your rudeness and flair with insults is only making you look pathetic.

  116. Bones,
    Then you say Christ was un-Christlike in his condemnation of the Pharisees.

    As predicted, right on cue, Bones attempts to condone his vile language.

    No one mentioned Morrison but you. As I said ages ago I have not supported or condemned his attitude. All Is commented on was that it was wrong to condemn him for being a Pentecostal.

    I guess, since you are unable to comment on the arguments I put up, you are finished with the discussion and off on on of your insult-fests, so I’ll leave you to Greg to sort out.

    Bye!

  117. Gee bye.

    Better go and tell some gays they’re going to hell and preach about how evil people smugglers, Labor and illegal refugees are..

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Scott believes in the Pentecostal teaching that those who are prosperous are blessed by God while those who aren’t are cursed.

  118. Most of Australia seems to agree with Steve and Scott

    Australians want boat arrivals treated more harshly: poll

    “Most Australians think asylum seekers who arrive by boat are not genuine refugees and there is strong support for the Abbott government to treat boat arrivals more harshly.
    A nationwide opinion poll by UMR Research shows that 59 per cent of people think most boat arrivals are not genuine refugees.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australians-want-boat-arrivals-treated-more-harshly-poll-20140108-30g97.html#ixzz2qEbU6gWt

    Reminds me on 1930s Germany.

  119. But I wasn’t quoting the Pentecostals when I pointed out it is costing billions.

    Its only costing billions because of all the off-shore detention centres we have to maintain. And we have to establish and maintain them because of Australia’s cruel policy of deterrence.

    I actually think Clive Palmers policy makes a lot of sense. They are spending $15,000 to get here by leaky boat and we are spending much more than that trying to keep them away. Give them a $700 plane ticket to Australia. When they come here have a two-day assessment of their claim for asylum. If they fail, ship them back, otherwise let them stay.

    This would cost a few million at most.

  120. A nationwide opinion poll by UMR Research shows that 59 per cent of people think most boat arrivals are not genuine refugees.”

    Just goes to show how the majority can get it entirely wrong – close to 90% are actually found to be legitimately in need of asylum.

    Steve, the folks who come by boat are not breaking any laws by doing so – they are supported in doing it by international conventions which we are a signatory to.

    I think i’ll take Julian Burnside’s word over Scott Morrison or Tony Abbott’s

    The debate about asylum seekers was poisoned from the beginning by the Howard government, which spoke ominously about “border control”, and referred to boat people as “illegals” and “queue-jumpers”. By that bit of dog-whistling, then-prime minister John Howard conveyed the idea that boat people were a risk to our community: that they had committed an offence by coming here and that they had behaved with some degree of moral obliquity.
    Asylum seekers do not commit any offence by coming here. Under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights every person has the right to seek asylum in any territory they can reach. It is a dismal reflection of the state of politics that Mr Morrison frequently refers to asylum seekers arriving by boat as “illegals”. He knows it is a blatant lie, but he also knows that it works.
    As for “queue-jumping”, leave aside that there is no queue where boat people come from, the etiquette of the checkout at Coles is not how it works when you are running for your life.
    “Border protection” is a grossly misleading term, used by both major parties. It implies that boat people are a threat to us. They are not. We do not need to be protected from asylum seekers: they need to be protected from their persecutors.

  121. Steve – Here is a map of countries who have signed on to the refugee convention – the grey countries have not – there is one country between where our refugees come from and Australia that is a signatory – Cambodia!

    If you had a choice of trying to get to Australia or Cambodia which would you choose?

  122. I want to employ the boat people.Here’s what I’m thinking,
    bring them all over here and make a few big Congo lines of boaties from the coast, all the way to inland Aus. Dig some big holes in the middle of the desert somewhere and the boaties can pass buckets of sea water from the coast and dump it in the desert in order to create an inland sea/oasis type thing.
    This will prevent the sea-level rise.

    Now I’m going to need some funding and some tents.

  123. wazza,
    I actually think Clive Palmers policy makes a lot of sense. They are spending $15,000 to get here by leaky boat and we are spending much more than that trying to keep them away. Give them a $700 plane ticket to Australia. When they come here have a two-day assessment of their claim for asylum. If they fail, ship them back, otherwise let them stay.

    So now you’re going to join Bones in voting for Palmer!

    This scheme is impossibly unworkable and very badly worked out, showing a complete misunderstanding of international conventions.

    If the Government of either side could have got away with ‘a two day assessment’ they would have done so years ago.

    But the Australian legal system has at least four tiers of courts they can go through through appeal systems with a willing lawyer, and there are a great many of those, like Julian Burnside, who would take them through this system, which could go on for at least two years at the taxpayers cost, including accommodation, welfare, etc., and is one of the main reasons they now having to be processed offshore.

    ‘A plane ticket to Australia’! Brilliant! So I only have to claim, from anywhere in the world, asylum and I get free passage to Australia at the cost of the Australian tax-payer, with no passport, no visa, no identity check, no health check. What Genius thought that one up?

    And the fact that you think this makes sense tells us everything we need to know about your ability to think things trough carefully and pragmatically.

    The reason they can come here in a leaky boat is Rudd’s folly of dismantling the system which kept boat arrivals down to three a year in 2007.

    Again, no one is saying no to refugees, only to people smuggling operations.

  124. Once again we ask you Steve = where do people from Sri Lanka, Afghanistan Iran etc go to join the que for residency here ion Australia? Where is the nation that they could stop at that will give them safe harbour, food, the ability to work, education for their children?

  125. They apply through the UNHCR, who refer them to Australia, amongst other nations, for resettlement.

    The offshore resettlement component comprises two categories of permanent visas. These are:

    Refugee—for people who are subject to persecution in their home country, who are typically outside their home country, and are in need of resettlement. The majority of applicants who are considered under this category are identified and referred by UNHCR to Australia for resettlement. The Refugee category includes the Refugee, In-country Special Humanitarian, Emergency Rescue and Woman at Risk visa subclasses.

    Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP)—for people outside their home country who are subject to substantial discrimination amounting to gross violation of human rights in their home country, and immediate family of persons who have been granted protection in Australia. Applications for entry under the SHP must be supported by a proposer who is an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen, or an organisation that is based in Australia.

    Of course, it goes without saying, I would want to come to Australia or Canada because they are two of the best nations on earth to be, but I think you are painting a worse picture of the rest of the world than necessary. There are still conventions to follow for the seeker as well as the receiving nation.

  126. Greg, I don’t think you should allow Bones to continue in this vein. It is both caustically wrong, and not helpful.

  127. Steve must be impressed at how those of his ilk, such as Scott Morrison, have been able to so demonise refugees that 59% of Australians think they should be treated more harshly.

    “You are a disgrace to our nation

    I was appalled at the results of the recent poll reported in the Sydney Morning Herald that revealed, for whatever reason, most people want the Abbott Government to treat asylum seekers more harshly than the disgustingly inhumane levels they currently do. It was noted, disturbingly, that:

    A strong majority of Australians, 60 per cent, also want the Abbott government to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.”

    It is obviously not good enough that the:

    Manus Island’s detention centre has been described as cruel, inhuman, degrading and violating prohibitions against torture in a detailed report by Amnesty International.

    The most extraordinary claim in Amnesty’s report is that drinking water in the largest compound . . . is limited to less than half a litre a day.

    “A dozen bottles a day for nearly 500 men, according to the staff who supply them, or less than a single 500ml bottle per person, an amount that is clearly insufficient, especially given the heat and humidity.”

    Or that an:

    . . . independent body of psychiatrists, psychologists, GPs and other medical professionals and advocates gave advice to the government about the serious mental health impacts of offshore processing and long term detention.

    The living conditions in the facility are hot, extremely cramped and poorly ventilated. There is no privacy. The conditions in one dormitory were so bad that Amnesty International considers the accommodation of asylum seekers there a violation of the prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment. ”P Dorm” is a World War II building with a low, curved, metal roof. It sleeps 112 men on bunk beds arranged with no space between. There were no windows, and two standing fans. As a result, the smell is overwhelmingly bad and the heat is stifling. Asylum seekers reported finding snakes in the room and flooding when it rained.

    As the week progressed, we witnessed a string of unnecessary humiliations.

    The men spend several hours each day queuing for meals, toilets and showers in the tropical heat and pouring rain, with no shade or shelter. Staff refer to them by their boat ID, not their names. Almost all are denied shoes. Most have had their possessions confiscated by people smugglers or staff on Christmas Island.

    Pointless advice, apparently, as sixty per cent still want the Abbott government to increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.

    I now have a message to that sixty per cent: You are a disgrace to our nation.

    It is highly unlikely that any of that sixty per cent will read this post but I have the satisfaction of telling The AIMN’s readers what I think of those disgraceful human beings and I can only hope that my feelings are widely disseminated. I would like to hope that my feelings would not only be widely shared, but widely supported.

    This message comes with the warning that course language will be frequently used. I won’t be holding back.

    To that sixty percent:

    You are disgusting pieces of low-life shit.

    You’re no doubt mildly pleased that asylum seekers are forced to live under conditions condemned by Amnesty International but it still isn’t good enough. What would make you assholes happy? No, on second thoughts, I’d dread to know what would really make you happy: I’d find it even more shameful to accept that we share the same nation and I can assure you that a high degree of shame already consumes me. And disgust. And anger.

    What is truly disturbing, nay frightening, is that you possibly represent the views of the majority of Australians. Sixty per cent of them to be precise. That means we have a nation that is predominantly populated by the lowest common denominator when it comes to compassion for the plight of human misery. In other words, we are predominantly a nation of heartless, selfish, ignorant, racist bastards. And you sixty percent have proven to be heartless, selfish, ignorant, racist bastards because you want the Abbott government to increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.

    I have no idea why you are the way you are and I don’t know where you came from. I didn’t grow up in an Australia where heartless assholes like you dominated the social landscape. What happened? Were you simply born a nasty piece of shit or was it external influences like the fear mongering mainstream media in this country that caters for your Neanderlithic intelligence. Or maybe you’ve believed the equally racist Abbott Government – don’t get me started on them or their resident Darth Vader, Scott Morrison – or that xenophobic freak John Howard. Or maybe you await your daily dose of instructions from that screaming idiot Alan Jones on how to run your life. Perhaps you were among the angry mass that came down from the trees pumping with racial hatred when Jones urged his listeners to:

    “Come to Cronulla this weekend to take revenge. This Sunday every Aussie in the Shire get down to North Cronulla to support the Leb and wog bashing day . . . “

    If any of those poor sods locked up in those filthy detention centres – you know, the ones that aren’t getting treated harshly enough – if they ever make it to this ugly country, what would you like done to them? I can’t imagine how horrific it might be, though I’m sure it’d be something ghoulish enough to satisfy your heartless souls.

    As I said, you (and your ilk) are a disgrace to our nation. And what a crying shame that sadly, you are our nation.”

    http://theaimn.com/2014/01/12/you-are-a-disgrace-to-our-nation/

  128. Bonhoeffer? You’re no Bonhoeffer. For foul language and false accusations? I think not. I’m asking Greg for some protection from your vileness, not to silence your opinion. Opine away, but drop the invective.

    So, Bones, are you proposing that Australia opens its borders to all-comers? No passports required? Or visas?

  129. Well, thanks for that, Bones. Nice to hear the voice of reason and grace.

    About ten comments ago I asked you the following questions, which you bypassed. It could have saved us a whole lot of foul invective if you had simply responded in a calm manner…

    Let’s say we sift through Labour’s backlog of boat people and allow most of them entry should they be able to demonstrate that they are genuine refugees or asylum seekers, but, at the same time, seek ways to decrease the traffic in human cargo from Indonesian ports into the ocean between Indonesia and Australia.

    Would you support a strategy which allows entry to legitimate asylum seekers who have come by boat under Labour’s cost intensive open door policy of February to May 2013, but seeks to prevent the same ease of transport into Australia by boat by, say, May 2014?

    Or are you of the opinion that the former Labour policy of allowing refugee boats to enter Australian waters to be processed offshore at the cost of billions of dollars which could be used in other areas to support genuine refugees and asylum seekers who come by authorised means?

    So I have actually said that those who are presently detained should be processed as soon as possible and allowed visas if they can show they are genuine refugees.

    But I think it would be expedient to slow down significantly the trade in people smuggling and leave the intake to the UNHCR who can then refer those asylum seekers to Australia for processing.

  130. “So I have actually said that those who are presently detained should be processed as soon as possible and allowed visas if they can show they are genuine refugees.”:

    I actually think that they should all first memorise the Book of Matthew!

  131. Steve, on Clive Palmers asylum seeker policy :

    And the fact that you think this makes sense tells us everything we need to know about your ability to think things trough carefully and pragmatically.

    If this is a compliment then I accept it, I do try to be careful and logical in my deliberations.

    If it is not, are you sure that its not your abilities that have become impaired in the manner you imply for my faculty for reasoned thought?

    More than 96 percent of applicants for refugee status are ‘plane people’ – they have arrived by plane on other visas (or forged docs) and then sought asylum. What we are discussing is just the other 4% that had to go by boat. And experience and statistics suggest that the boat-people are twice as likely to be judged to be genuine refugees.

    The plane-people by contrast are released into the community while their applications are assessed. They have access to the legal system that you so wish to deny them, or at least their fellow-travellers on boats. And its not the end of the world, everything hums along quite nicely. The boat-people on the other hand are locked away on remote islands for years on end, mostly so they cant claim asylum in our country, or access the rights and priviledges that any decent liberal society should extend.

  132. Wazza,
    More than 96 percent of applicants for refugee status are ‘plane people’ – they have arrived by plane on other visas (or forged docs) and then sought asylum. What we are discussing is just the other 4% that had to go by boat. And experience and statistics suggest that the boat-people are twice as likely to be judged to be genuine refugees.

    Well, you’re the first to acknowledge this, so good for you.

    So in regard to the other 4%, do you not think it would be expedient to clear the backlog of those detained under Labour policy as soon as possible, but at the same time make it more difficult for people smugglers to put people on dodgy boats on dangerous sea voyages?

    I am not wishing to deny anyone the legal system. I am saying Palmer is completely wrong to suggest they can be processed in two days. He is the one, therefore, denying access to lawyers, because, otherwise, how else would they appeal a decision against entry under his two day turnaround scheme?

    It would never happen. The lawyers would be in like Flynn, and there would be appeals all the way up to the High Court.

    I know you’re a better thinker than that, which is why I pressed you.

  133. What do you mean I’m the first to acknowledge this?

    Do you acknowledge it? What do you have to say about the blatant discrimination based on mode of transport?

    How can you justify billions of dollars being spent on the 4% of the asylum seeker community who come by boat, while the others are free to enter the community?

    You make a show of being concerned about people smugglers putting people in danger, well allowing them to come by plane is the best way to ensure their safety. And it would smash the people-smugglers business model (lucky they arent big business or otherwise they would claim compensation from the govt)

    Unfortunately I can’t be sure that you are a better thinker than shown by the sloppy regurgitation of populist right-wing ideas here, but I’m hoping other readers might start to think for themselves.

  134. People coming by plane have passports, visas or ID. Boat people are often advised to come with no identification. No ID, no proof of where they came from.

    I had been saying for comment after comment that you and Bones seemed to be fixed on talking about asylum seekers as if it was only those coming by boat who were seeking asylum when there are countless others coming by authorised means who are gaining entry because their journey is according to Australian standards. They have already been recommended in most cases by UNHCR who work with Australian authorities.

    You were the first to acknowledge that this is the case, and that Australia has a generous immigration policy which allows several thousand people to enter legally every year, and it was a relatively small percentage which attempts to bypass the system.

    You and Bones were acting as if there were no others coming in and claiming that Australia was a wicked nation towards asylum seekers, which it clearly is not.

    You are claiming that people coming in boats organised by people smugglers are in the same category as those who come by plane, but, according to the Australian Government they are not. I did not make the law, the legislation or the rules. I am just telling you what the situation is.

    Bones’ extraordinary attack on the character of people he clearly hates completely ignored the fact that all I was doing was raising an issue which many people see as complex and difficult to solve, and requires careful consideration and wisdom, but, because not everyone agrees with his thinking he believes it is Christlike to level wicked and slanderous accusations at them.

    Bones is not interested in trying to work through the issues. He just wants to bludgeon everyone into capitulation to his bile. Some of us see through his vagaries.

    It costs billions to process the people who come without visas by boat because they are coming by unauthorised means, often without identification, and so have to be processed off-shore until their legitimacy as refugees or asylum seekers is clarified, which could take weeks unless they are able to show where they came from and why, which is difficult without identification, and to ensure that there are no fugitives from the law in other nations seeking entry, and a number of other important issues.

    If refugee claimants arrive on Australian soil they have to be afforded the full weight of the law in their case.

    Mr Palmer’s claim that they could be assessed in two days is ludicrous because, in the case of those who are rejected, once they are on-shore, they have to have access to legal aid, and are permitted, under Australian law, to appeal if their request is denied, and can go to several different courts to fight their case, which could take years, not days.

    I hate the detention camps. They are a vile stain on the nation. They are against everything Australia stands for. I have seen the camps. No one should have to go into them. But be in no doubt that, unless they are so callous they do not say anything to refugees, the people smugglers know very well that it is likely that refugee claimants will have to spend time in a detention camp, and must let their clients know this is part of the risk they take if they undergo the voyage.

    I have to wonder if the people smugglers ask voyagers to sign a disclaimer in the event of death at sea, long term detention, or rejection of their application.

    It is the persistence of the people smugglers which has forced Australia’s hand. Both major parties in the last election promised to do all they can to stop the boats. It was becoming a human disaster, and too many lives were being risked and lost at sea. One is too many. A thousand is a disgrace.

    I think the idea of paying for refugee claimants to come into the country to have their applications processed is as ludicrous as Mr Abbott’s idea of buying Indonesian fishing boats, which, thankfully, he has dropped. It is on the level of Ms Gillard’s cash for clunkers. In fact it is much sillier than either.

    As someone said, ‘does Mr Abbott know how many leaky fishing boats there are in Indonesia?’

    Does Mr Palmer know how many people there are who would love a free flight to Australia to chance their arm at gaining refugee status? And if they fail entry? Who pays for the return flight?

    Maybe if you sit down and think about the two day turnaround and cash for flights ideas for a few minutes over a coffee you’ll work out why they are so obviously politically juvenile and unworkable.

  135. The two-day thing was me quoting Palmer from memory – don’t get hung up on it. Whether it takes two days or two years is immaterial, the principle is the same. Maybe it is politically juvenile and unworkable, but that would not necessarily make it any worse than the current situation.

    Most of the 94% of asylum seekers coming in on planes do so by first applying for another visa – eg. student or tourist. Then when they get here they claim asylum and in most cases they are not locked up, they can remain in the community while their claim is assessed. Being tourist visas, I don’t think there are health checks etc.

    Now if we accept this method of entry for some asylum seekers, and allow them free access though the community while being assessed – why not others?

    (edited by moderator for unnecessary abusiveness)

  136. Well, I’m not, so you can fire away, but it is meaningless.

    I simply agree with the the thinking that it would be better to diminish the flow of boats from Indonesia by preventing the opportunism of the people smugglers. It looks as if the current Government is succeeding with this. Then the detention centres can be dismantled and refugees and asylum seekers can continue to come to this wonderful country and become part of the cultural mix it is.

    The previous Government reluctantly realised its error and tried to make amends towards the end of Rudd’s second run as PM. They made such a hash of the whole thing that it is they you should be challenging and questioning. The Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Governments will go down in history as the most profligate, incompetent Governments in the history of Australia. They have to take responsibility, along with the people smugglers, for the deaths at sea of at least 1,000 people.

    Since there are people who have been allowed to travel in boats they should be processed with all due attention and speed and those who are found to be genuine asylum seekers given entry.

    That way we will have a clean slate and no one will be at risk of dying at sea in a leaky boat, the smugglers business model will be severely damaged, and Australia will have regained control of its borders.

    ‘Most of the 94% of asylum seekers coming in on planes do so by first applying for another visa – eg. student or tourist.’

    They arrive with identification in the form of passports, visas or papers, and have a place of embarkation clearly mapped on their passport. They are more easily identifiable as genuine or not. You cannot get onto a plane without identification. You cannot enter Australia without the correct papers and identification.

  137. They have to take responsibility, along with the people smugglers, for the deaths at sea of at least 1,000 people.

    That’s the biggest load of tripe I’ve heard in a long time. Why do they have to take responsibility? Does the RTA have to take responsibility for every road accident death? Does Holden have to take responsibility for every person killed in or by a Holden?

    That’s the kind of logic that Tiny Rabbit is using to foist an unnecessary and expensive royal commission into the Pink Batts scheme upon the Australian tax payer…that Rudd has to take personal responsibility for the deaths that occurred whilst the scheme was in operation.

    Rubbish – the whole idea of anyone being responsible for the deaths is preposterous – no one is responsible – they happened, and its a tragedy – the people chose to take the risks knowing that others had died before them, its a calculated risk on their behalf which led to tragedy for some..for too many – but its not anyone’s ‘fault’

  138. wazza,
    The two-day thing was me quoting Palmer from memory…

    Well how was anyone to know that? You mean you made it up? And then said you thought it was a good idea?

    It would have been kind of you to point that out several comments ago so that I didn’t have to walk you through why it was such an unworkable idea. At least you’re coming to realise how it would be challenged by legal aid straight away, I suppose.

    And paying for flights? Is that made up too, or did he really say it?

  139. So, Greg, the Labour Government overturned the former Governments closed borders policy and they allowed the boats to start coming again, and, despite constant warnings of the potential tragedy, refused to take it back to where the boats were prevented from coming, used the navy as a taxi service, and you say they have no responsibility?

    Why didn’t the Labour Government insist on safety checks and seaworthiness of the vessels being used to transport people since they had depend the borders? Why didn’t they act when it was clear the people smugglers were prepared to scuttle vessels to force the navy into rescue operations?

    There is always someone responsible for preventable deaths. That is why we have border controls, safety regulations for seaworthiness, passenger numbers, trained skippers and crew, life rafts, life vests, flares and everything else that goes into nautical safety.

    Some of the crews torched their own boats.

    But it’s no one’s responsibility! Right!

  140. Greg, the reference was to the fact that Steve thinks the detention centres are “a vile stain on the nation” and that the treatment is callous and against everything that Australia stands for – and yet he supports them!!!

    If you support treatment that is vile and callous, my view is that you are being vile and callous.

    I simply asked how that strategy was working for him, because I myself don’t think it is working.

  141. Well at least Steve can no longer claim the high ground over Catholics when he’s been wholly indoctrinated with right wing propaganda.

    The reality is that boat arriving asylum seekers are kept in worse conditions than paedophiles, rapists and murderers and we are in clear violation of our human rights obligations.

    Australian Human Rights Commission

    The Commission has raised concerns over many years that the system of mandatory detention leads to breaches of Australia’s international human rights obligations. For instance, Australia has binding obligations under article 9(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)[31] and article 37(b) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)[32] to ensure that no one is subjected to arbitrary detention.

    The Commission’s concerns about Australia’s system of mandatory detention are shared internationally.[33] The United Nations Human Rights Committee has repeatedly found Australia to be in breach of its international obligations under article 9(1) of the ICCPR.[34]

    According to the UN Human Rights Committee, the prohibition on arbitrary detention includes detention which, although lawful under domestic law, is unjust or disproportionate.[35] Therefore, in order for the detention of a person not to be arbitrary, it must be a reasonable and necessary measure in all the circumstances.[36]

    Under Australia’s system of mandatory detention, the detention of an unlawful non-citizen is not based on an individual assessment that the particular person needs to be detained. Persons who are detained cannot seek judicial review of whether or not their detention is necessary. Under the Migration Act there is no time limit on how long a person can be detained.

    These aspects of Australia’s immigration detention regime can result in people being subjected to prolonged and indefinite detention, in breach of Australia’s international obligations.

    The Commission has repeatedly raised concerns about the significant human impacts of mandatory immigration detention, including the deterioration of the mental health of detainees (see section 2.4 below).

    The Commission has long recommended that, instead of requiring the mandatory immigration detention of broad groups of people, a person should only be detained if it is shown to be necessary in their individual case. Further, time limits for detention and access to judicial oversight of detention should be introduced to ensure that if a person is detained, they are not detained for any longer than is necessary.

    A further concern is that the conditions for and treatment of people in immigration detention must comply with Australia’s international human rights obligations. Key amongst these is the obligation under article 10 of the ICCPR to ensure that all persons who are detained are treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity. Guidelines for the implementation of this obligation and other human rights standards are contained in the Commission’s publication Human rights standards for immigration detention.[37]

    The Commission has conducted several visits to immigration detention centres to monitor conditions of detention.[38] The Commission has raised concerns about the conditions in many of Australia’s immigration detention facilities and has found that many are not appropriate places in which to hold people, especially for prolonged periods of time.

    Australia’s mandatory detention system has also attracted criticism due to its cost. In 2011–2012 immigration detention cost the Australian taxpayers $1.235 billion.[39] It has also been questioned whether mandatory detention effectively deters people from seeking asylum.[40]

    2.2 Children in detention

    There are particular challenges relating to the situation of children in immigration detention. The Commission has repeatedly raised concerns about the mandatory detention of children, the number of children in immigration detention and the prolonged periods for which some children are detained.[41] As at 5 September 2013, there were 1,428 children in closed immigration detention.[42] The average age of children in closed detention facilities was 10 years old.[43]

    The Commission welcomes the movement of a significant number of families and unaccompanied minors from closed detention facilities into community detention since October 2010. As at 5 September 2013, there were 1,395 children in community detention.[44]

    (a) Mandatory detention of children

    The CRC requires that a child should only be detained as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time.[45] Australia’s system of mandatory detention requires that children remain in closed immigration detention until they are granted a visa or removed from Australia, unless the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (the Minister) decides to make a residence determination allowing them to live in community detention.[46]

    The Commission requested from the Department information regarding the length of time children had been held in immigration detention. This information had not been provided at the time of publishing.

    In 2004 the Commission released A last resort?, the report of the National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (National Inquiry).[47] The National Inquiry found that Australia’s system of mandatory immigration detention of children was fundamentally inconsistent with Australia’s obligations under the CRC; one reason being that the detention of children is used as a first (rather than last) resort.

    Since the release of A last resort?, the Commission has welcomed positive changes including that children are no longer detained in high security immigration detention centres and the affirmation by the Federal Parliament in 2005 that minors should only be detained as a measure of last resort.[48] However, as mentioned above, as at 5 September 2013, there were still a large number of children being detained in closed immigration detention facilities.[49]

    (b) Conditions of detention for children

    In addition to its general obligation in relation to all persons in detention under article 10 of the ICCPR, Australia has a specific obligation under article 37(c) of the CRC to ensure that children in detention are treated with humanity and respect for their inherent dignity.

    The 1,428 children in closed immigration detention as at 5 September 2013 were held in the following facilities:

    Construction Camp APOD, Aqua/Lilac APOD and Phosphate Hill APOD on Christmas Island
    Wickham Point APOD, Blaydin APOD and Darwin Airport Lodge APOD in the Northern Territory
    Brisbane and Melbourne ITA
    Perth and Sydney IRH
    Leonora APOD in Western Australia
    Inverbrackie APOD in South Australia
    Pontville APOD in Tasmania.[50]
    The Commission has raised concerns about the conditions of detention in some facilities in which children are detained. For example, the Commission has concerns about the impact of detention in harsh physical environments in remote locations (such as at the Leonora APOD),[51] and the lack of appropriate recreational spaces, activities and access to education in facilities such as those on Christmas Island.[52]

    The National Inquiry also found that children who are detained for long periods in immigration detention facilities are at high risk of serious mental harm, which may amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in breach of the CRC.[53] The impacts of detention on mental health are discussed in section 2.4 below.

    (c) Unaccompanied minors in immigration detention

    As at 19 August 2013 there were 358 unaccompanied minors in immigration detention facilities around Australia.[54] Their ages ranged from 7 to 17 years.[55] In 2013 the majority of unaccompanied minors were held at Pontville APOD.

    The Commission visited Pontville in May 2013. The Commission raised concerns about the prison-like nature of the infrastructure at Pontville, which gave the facility a harsh and punitive feel. The Commission was also deeply concerned by the level of despair and anxiety expressed by those unaccompanied minors who had been held there for a prolonged period of time. Between 1 January 2013 and 14 August 2013 there were reports of 50 incidents of actual self-harm and 49 incidents of threatened self-harm at Pontville.[56]

    At 5 September 2013 there were 227 unaccompanied minors held at Pontville. Since this date the Australian Government has transferred a significant number of unaccompanied minors from this facility into community detention. On 21 September 2013 it was reported that there were no unaccompanied minors detained at Pontville.[57]

    Australia has obligations to children who arrive in Australia unaccompanied, especially those who are seeking asylum, to ensure that they receive special protection and assistance.[58] Australia has an obligation under the CRC to ‘ensure alternative care’ for these children.[59]

    An important element of the care of unaccompanied minors is effective guardianship. In the absence of their parents, the legal guardian of an unaccompanied minor has the ‘primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child’, and is under an obligation under the CRC to act in the best interests of the child.[60] Under Australian law, the Minister is the legal guardian of ‘non-citizen’ unaccompanied minors.[61]

    The Commission has a range of concerns relating to unaccompanied minors in immigration detention. Most significantly, the Commission is concerned that the Minister’s role as guardian of unaccompanied minors creates a conflict of interest, as the Minister is also responsible for administering the immigration detention regime under the Migration Act and for making decisions about granting visas. Given these multiples roles, it is difficult for the Minister, or his delegate, to make the best interests of the child the primary consideration when making decisions concerning unaccompanied minors.

    The Commission has repeatedly recommended that an independent guardian be appointed for all unaccompanied minors in immigration detention, to ensure that their rights are protected.[62] In 2012 the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Immigration Detention Network also recommended that the legal guardianship of unaccompanied minors in immigration detention be transferred from the Minister.[63]

    3.1 Human rights concerns with third country processing

    The Commission would expect that arrangements for third country processing would comply with the following requirements:

    Be consistent with the principle of non-refoulement by ensuring protection for asylum seekers from removal to a country where they face a real risk of significant harm.
    Not breach the requirement to ensure protection from arbitrary detention.
    Provide adequate safeguards for children – particularly those who are unaccompanied.
    Ensure appropriate conditions for detention which respect the inherent dignity of the human person and do not amount to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
    Provide for independent monitoring and oversight of facilities – to ensure compliance with human rights standards, including the adequacy of conditions.

    The Commission has repeatedly expressed concerns about how the current approach to third country processing addresses these issues.[149]

    In June 2013 the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights (PJCHR), having inquired into the regional processing legislation, concluded that the ‘measures as currently implemented carry a significant risk of being incompatible with a range of human rights.’[150]

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/asylum-seekers-refugees-and-human-rights-snapshot-report/2-onshore-detention-and

  142. I suppose Jesus would argue that it’s ok to keep people in concentration camps.

    (c) Conditions of detention

    The Commission is concerned about the numerous reports that highlight the poor conditions in the regional processing centres, and the impacts on the physical and mental health of detainees. In particular, claims have emerged of repeated incidents of self-harm and attempted suicide on both Nauru and Manus Island, as well as claims of rape and ill-treatment on Manus Island.[164] Since transfers began in September 2013, the Department reports that there have been 105 incidents of self-harm on Nauru, and 24 incidents of self-harm on Manus Island.[165]

    Prolonged detention had devastating impacts on some asylum seekers who were detained on Nauru and Manus Island between 2001 and 2008.[166] Some were diagnosed with a range of mental illnesses including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, adjustment disorder and acute stress reaction.[167] There were also high levels of actual and threatened self-harm among these people.[168] Further, there was heavy use of medication including anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, psychotropic and sleeping medication among people in detention on Nauru and Manus Island.[169]

    The Manus Island regional processing centre remains temporary. Accommodation for single adult males is in tents, and families (when they were on the island), were housed in demountable dongas. In June 2013 UNHCR noted cramped, crowded, hot conditions, hygiene concerns, and insufficient division between families and single adult males. UNHCR found that the conditions on Manus Island were harsh and remained below international standards.[170] Permanent facilities are planned for a location in the main town on Manus Island, Lorengau, and the Australian Government recognised the urgency of completing such facilities.[171] Building was expected to start in July 2013 and be completed by December 2013.[172] However, building has not yet started and there is no clear timetable for when works will commence. Instead, the temporary facilities are being expanded to accommodate post-19 July 2013 arrivals.[173]

    In December 2012 UNHCR found the conditions in the Nauru regional processing centre to be ‘harsh and unsatisfactory’ with similar concerns to those on Manus Island: the extreme heat, overcrowding, and lack of privacy.[174]

    Since that time, construction of more permanent structures on Nauru improved the accommodation for a time. However, following the riot in July 2013, asylum seekers are again accommodated primarily in tents. After the riot, staff from the Nauru regional processing centre published a statement describing the conditions for those in detention as ‘cruel and degrading’.[175]

    The Commission considers that detaining asylum seekers for a prolonged period of time in temporary facilities where some must live in tents, are subjected to harsh weather, have little privacy, and access to only basic facilities, may breach international human rights standards regarding the conditions and treatment of people in detention.

    The harsh conditions of detention may also lead to breaches of other human rights, such as the right to an adequate level of health care.

    The PJCHR expressed concern with the ‘absence of legally-binding requirements relating to minimum conditions in regional processing facilities’, and considered that the Australian Government had not demonstrated that the conditions were consistent with the provisions of the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the CRC and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT).[176] The PJCHR found that the cumulative effect of the third country processing arrangements was likely to have a significant impact on the physical and mental health of asylum seekers, contrary to the right to health,[177] and the prohibition against degrading treatment.[178]

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/publications/asylum-seekers-refugees-and-human-rights-snapshot-report/3-third-country-processing

  143. Btw our Pentecostal Minister for Racism and Xenophobic Affairs hasn’t finished punishing asylum seekers yet much to the delight of the 60% of Australians who have fallen captive to this wickedness. But it’s Labor’s fault…

    During the closing days of the 2013 Federal Parliament, Scott Morrison devised new laws for the granting of protection visas that would make Heller’s Yossarian let out a respectful whistle.

    In short, to be eligible for a protection visa under Morrison’s new laws, you must apply for a visa in Australia having arrived after fleeing your homeland for fear of persecution. But if you arrive in Australia without a visa because you fled your homeland for fear of persecution, you’re not eligible for a protection visa.

    Put another way, the only people who are eligible for a protection visa are those people to whom we have already granted a visa.

    These regulations weren’t passed by parliament but on Morrison’s whim….

    It is Labor that Morrison will blame when refugees are refused protection. (Sound familiar) It is Labor that Morrison will blame when they are taken into detention indefinitely. It is Labor that Morrison will blame when refugees are transferred to Manus Island or Nauru.

    And so Labor is faced with the choice of staring down Morrison as the 90-day deadlines ticks down for each applicant, or allowing Morrison to reintroduce temporary protection visas.

    It is Labor that must decide whether to pretend the new laws really exist and act accordingly, or put its faith in the legal process to strike them down.

    In the end, this issue isn’t really about asylum seekers. It is about the subversion of our legislative processes for political gain. It is about the abuse of power by the Government to deny the legitimate will of those elected to represent us in the Senate

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-02/keating-morrisons-cynical-catch-22-ploy-on-asylum-seekers/5181902

  144. Heres what Mungo McCallum has to say about Abbott and Morrison. The whole article is worth a read, however my favourite part is this:

    Operation Sovereign Borders is in real danger of spinning out of control.

    Not only are Generalissimo Tony Abbott and his First Sea Lord Scott Morrison now firmly ensconced in Fantasy Land (the happiest kingdom of them all), but their fantasies are becoming a serious risk to Australia’s reputation and even its wellbeing.

  145. Here is another section worth considering:

    In Australia, a total of 7,983 boat people arrived in 2011-2012 – the time the great panic over unauthorised arrivals set in. In Italy, 30,100 migrants arrived by boat from North Africa between January 1 and September 30 last year. Yet the Italian government handled the situation calmly and humanely – there was never any talk of using military operations to turn boats back, or of offshore prison camps, or of temporary protection visas or any of the paraphernalia of cruelty successive Australian governments have employed as a deterrent. Instead, the asylum seekers were recognised by everyone from the Pope down as neighbours in need – not always refugees in the full and technical sense, but the wretched of the earth, to be treated with compassion and understanding.

  146. Bones quotes : The United Nations Human Rights Committee has repeatedly found Australia to be in breach of its international obligations under article 9(1) of the ICCPR.[34],

    Its funny how Australia (including Morrison) rejected the Malaysian solution as a matter of legal principal on the grounds that Malaysia was not a signatory to the UN convention on refugees, yet we who have signed up to the convention are repeatedly breaking our commitments and yet hardly anyone bats an eyelid.

  147. This is the kind of thing that happens when you get wrapped up in the laws and lose sight of the human issues.

    The letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

  148. So we have quotes from Julian Burnside, Mungo McCallum, Siohbhan Keating, a veritable who’s who of left wing commentators, thrust at us by Greg, Bones and wazza as if they have the handle on the nation’s interests.

    Burnside and McCallum have been wrong about so many things they have written on the ‘unbiased’ ABC over the last few years it is hard to know where to begin. They are two of the reasons people claim the ABC shows a bias towards the left.

    Siobhan Keating is a Melbourne Barrister practising in human rights, administrative law, employment and industrial law, and disability insurance law. She is briefed by trade unions, advocacy groups, community legal centres and law firms. She is also a member of the Labour Party. What a surprise.

    By the way, Bones, the Humans Rights Commission website was the one which confused the issue over whether gays could be allowed entry into Australia because its information was out of step with immigration changes and was the reason I had my argument with myself. Their site, which I referenced, was two years out of date on the issue.

    Look fellas, I know you are all left leaning so now you are going to bombard the thread with left leaning articles and claims and there is no way that I want to be swamped with lengthy articles by people who have been shown to be wrong in the past because of their support for Labour policy, and will be again.

    Today’s news is that Morrison has announced he will shut down four detention centres. Clearly he is confident the flow of boats is slowing.

    If you left leaning types want to persist with your oped propaganda finalé go ahead, but I think I’ll leave you to it. I only request that you desist from name calling.

  149. You support and call for continuation of treatment that you recognise is callous and vile. Yet you say that you yourself are not callous.

    Please explain.

  150. wazza, don’t confuse what I have actually said with what Bones has claimed for me by a contrived association with all he sees as evil. He has basically ruined this discussion with his contrived and vitriolic claims.

    The detention centres should be shut down with all expediency, but to do this we need safe borders, and to do this the boats must be slowed down to near zero. Meanwhile, under Labour, the offshore centres were filled to overflowing, which has been a human disaster.

    Labour has filled and built additional detention centres which must now be closed, as they are being.

    Meanwhile the backlog of refugee claimants should be processed as soon as possible.

  151. Steve’s argument:

    The only way we can stop treating asylum seekers poorly and living in appalling conditions is to stop them from getting on boats and coming to Australia. In other words make it as difficult as possible.

    Just as well Steve isn’t Italian, he’d hate it there. Wonder if the Italians have thought of that brilliant argument? I mean apart from the Fascists?

    Italian navy rescues over 1,000 asylum seekers from boats in 24 hours
    Updated Sat 4 Jan 2014, 11:40am AEDT

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-04/italian-navy-rescues-over-1000-migrants-from-boats-in-24-hours/5184536

  152. So explain what is wrong with What I posted from Julian Burnside and Mungo McCallum? Don;t tell me they were wrong once – tell me why what they said in the articles i posted was wrong! Ad Hominem is not an acceptable form of debate Steve.

  153. To quote Steve: I hate the detention camps. They are a vile stain on the nation. They are against everything Australia stands for. I have seen the camps. No one should have to go into them. But be in no doubt that, unless they are so callous they do not say anything to refugees, the people smugglers know very well that it is likely that refugee claimants will have to spend time in a detention camp, and must let their clients know this is part of the risk they take if they undergo the voyage.

    Are you then supporting the camps as a deterrent?

  154. Look Greg, post what you want to. I am just saying I am not interested in wading through reams of leftist propaganda and arguments on a thread which is already off beam.

    I am interested in your opinions and what you have to say, but I know what these people are going to say and they have often been proven wrong.

    Bones, predictably, sneers at the closure of four of Labour’s camps. He doesn’t see it as a step forward.

    You are all in agreement with one another. Talk about it amongst yourselves. I just don’t want to be constantly put down for my views when you are adding leftist propaganda to your own at such a rate that, on my own, it is difficult to read through everything and comment and know I am about to be insulted by Bones as well.

    If you can live with the prospect of more deaths at sea that’s up to you. I think that era should be ended.

  155. Ok, put simply – we had just over 9000 refugees come to our shores by boat – we tried to get rid of them.

    Italy had over 30,000 come by boat from Africa – they brought them in and dealt with them in a humane manner.

    whats the difference and why should we not operate with our small numbers who come in the same way as Italy with their large numbers?

    I do not see ho Mungo or Julian have been proved wrong, nor do I see how that negates the truth of what they are saying. Abbott and Morrison have been proved wrong too – but you seem hell bent on accepting every piece of drivel that comes from their mouths.

  156. Greg, I went through McCallum’s piece. It was his usual anti-Abbott diatribe. It was mostly conjecture and opinion. Nothing of substance.

    Why not go through a list of McCallum’s contributions and give us one good reason to not suspect he is as anti-Abbott as Bones. It is pointless reading such biased opinion because all they do is confirm the bias.

    You think he’s wonderful. Why wouldn’t you. You’re cut from the same cloth. Therefore you miss the bias and see it as logical commentary. Same with Burnside. He is a known opponent of liberal views and especially of Abbott. He has typecast himself.

    They are Labour hacks ensconced in ABC land to keep the party machine in motion.

    McCallum actually calls Abbott ‘the enemy’ in one article. How can anyone be bothered, as a centrist, to take notice of what he has to say?

  157. I have already stated where I disagree with Morrison and Abbott, so don’t come the raw prawn with me, Greg. I disagree with much of what they say. It is Bones who confused the issue with his attempted and contrived association. As I said, Bones has ruined the discussion with his bias.

    Good day to you, sirs.

  158. If Italy only had Scott Morrison, this wouldn’t have happened.

    Many of 250 Drowned Migrants Were African Christians Fleeing Persecution

    So reports World Watch Monitor on the tragic Lampedusa shipwreck off Italian island.

    Mussie Zerai, chairman of the migrant-focused Habeshia Agency based in Rome, told WWM:

    “I look at the list of the survivors and 90 per cent is Christian. They are coming from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The situation is very bad because politically in Eritrea there is a dictator and they live without any type of freedom or democracy. Many Christians are persecuted because of their faith. It’s not easy for them to live in Eritrea at this moment.

    An Italian newspaper, La Stampa, reports the story of one such passenger.

    More than 40 percent of immigrants to the European Union are Christians—the largest population of any religious group, according to Pew Research.

    Almost 10,400 Africans migrated into Europe via central Mediterranean Sea routes to Italy in 2012, reports the BBC. Approximately 20,000 migrants have died trying to reach Europe from Africa over the past 25 years, according to WWM.

    Pope Francis, who visited Lampedusa in July to observe its migrant arrivals, said the incident was “shameful,” and asked for prayer for “those who have lost their lives.”
    The World Evangelical Alliance also mourned the incident:

    “Most of the women, children and men who lost their lives were desperate victims of the violence and chaos of the failed state of Somalia and of the oppression and persecution of the heavy handed regime of Eritrea. Crossing the Sahara and then the Mediterranean Sea, they risked everything in search of the safety and peace that many of us take for granted.”
    In May, religious persecution in Eritrea reached its “highest-ever level and [is] getting worse,”
    reported WWM. Eritrea ranks No. 10 on the World Watch List of Christian persecution, while Somalia ranks No. 5 and Ethiopia ranks No. 15.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/october/lampedusa-shipwreck-migrants-eritrea-somalia-persecution.html

    If only Italy had a policy of deterrence, this wouldn’t have happened.

    The selfish bastards even passed through other countries to get there.

    And paid people smugglers.

  159. You still havent commented on whether you support the “vile and callous” concentra..detention centres? Do you support them or not?

  160. As I said, Bones has ruined the discussion with his bias.

    You don’t have to read the bible to know that what you are suggesting is inhumane and antiChristian.

    Personally, it’s a bit like discussing the merits of apartheid or the Final Solution.

    I get more passionate over that than who someone prays to.

  161. I worked with a guy who had been a refugee from Vietnam. He told me they were in a boat and when they entered Malaysian waters, they were met by a Malaysian boat who told them they would be towed in. But they towed them out to sea and then cut them adrift.

    They thought they were going to die for sure, but they were rescued by ships that he said were from the Vatican. The ship took them to Rome and he did his last two years of High-school there.

  162. Wazza, if you read back you will see that I stated that it was the people smugglers who were possibly callous, not the detention centres. You have, once again, misquoted me because you didn’t read what I wrote.

    I don’t like the detention centres, and hope they will be shut down at the earliest expedience.

    All this because you all think the ABC was correct to expose Australia to the ire of Indonesia just as the then new Abbott government was making headway with a bipartisan approach to stopping the people smugglers. The damage from the interference caused by this intrusion was potentially incalculable, and all because the ABC and Guardian are so bitterly against an Abbott government. It was a wicked act and positioned the ABC as the leftist organisation they always denied they were.

    Which was the original discussion point, and which was corrupted by Bones’ propaganda assault against Pentecostals.

  163. It’s odd that the only person to mention Jesus on this thread is the pseudoChristian.

    Special mention to Eyes for mentioning the Bible and a solution about as workable as Steve’s (ie memorising Matthew).

  164. They thought they were going to die for sure, but they were rescued by ships that he said were from the Vatican. The ship took them to Rome and he did his last two years of High-school there.

    Bloody Catholics.

    Now they’re helping people smugglers.

    It’s their fault people die at sea!

  165. To quote Steve again : To quote Steve: I hate the detention camps. They are a vile stain on the nation. They are against everything Australia stands for. I have seen the camps. No one should have to go into them. But be in no doubt that, unless they are so callous they do not say anything to refugees, the people smugglers know very well that it is likely that refugee claimants will have to spend time in a detention camp, and must let their clients know this is part of the risk they take if they undergo the voyage.

    Having read the quote in context I do not see that you were calling the people smugglers callous. You were calling the requirement for detention in the centres callous.

    Do you still say that the detention centres are a vile stain on the nation?

    If so then why support them?

  166. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has indicated he will no longer hold a weekly press conference to update journalists about the Government’s border protection operations.

    The Government has not held a briefing on Operation Sovereign Borders since December 20, after previously holding them on a weekly basis.

    Mr Morrison, who will hold a briefing tomorrow morning, has told the ABC’s 7.30 program that the briefings will now be held on an “as-needs basis”.

    The briefings will now be replaced by a written statement unless there is something significant to report.

    “We will issue a statement on the numbers of arrivals and the transfers, and we will hold operational briefings – like we will tomorrow – when we have something to say and when we have something to report,” Mr Morrison said.

    “We will do them on an as-needs basis to detail operational matters that are able to be released and we’ll respond to questions there.”

    However, Mr Morrison said he would not comment on reports of a protest on Christmas Island in which six people engaged in a hunger strike are thought to have sewn their mouths shut.

    “We don’t comment on protest activity. We don’t publicise it because publicisation of that sort of behaviour, if it occurs, is exactly what the perpetrators want,” he said.

    “That’s in the best interests of everybody – those who are the allegedly taking those actions and those who are seeking to manage those centres – it’s in all of their best interests and not to engage in that game.”

    The Immigration Minister also declined to comment on how many boats have been towed or turned back to Indonesia in the past month.

    There are reports as many as five have returned having been intercepted by the Australian Navy.

    “It’s not secrecy for secrecy’s sake, it’s secrecy with a purpose and that’s to protect the operations we undertake,” Mr Morrison said.

    Moved families will be put in ‘appropriate accommodation’
    Mr Morrison confirmed earlier today that he will close four detention centres on the Australian mainland, in a move he says will save the budget $88.8 million a year.

    Although it is cheaper to process asylum seekers on the mainland, Mr Morrison said it “doesn’t stop the boats”.

    “We’ve always said that offshore processing is the way to handle those who have arrived illegally by boat and that’s what we’re doing,” he said.

    “Offshore processing is the policy that we’ve long held the view of.

    “It’s what’s been successful in the past and it’s proving to be successful again together with other measures.”

    There are 285 asylum seekers affected by the move – some of which are members of family groups.

    Mr Morrison says the family groups will be put in “appropriate family accommodation”.

    “It’s always our preference with families to locate them in community detention,” he said.

    “There are limits on the number of places available in community detention, but that’s my preference and it’s my priority.”

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-0…eker-b/5200158

    Yep.

    Get em off the mainland and send them to the appalling Manus Island.

    Good one, Steve.

  167. Asylum seeker allegedly threatens to blow up plane to Christmas Island
    By Karen Barlow
    Updated 11 hours 36 minutes ago

    An asylum seeker has been charged with making a bomb threat on a plane taking him from Perth to the Christmas Island detention centre.

    It is alleged a 27-year-old Lebanese national threatened to blow up the chartered jet which was transporting him and other asylum seekers last Thursday.

    The Australian Federal Police say he has been charged with making a false threat.

    He briefly appeared in court yesterday and will reappear on March 10.

    It comes amid reports of building tensions among the more than 2,000 asylum seekers inside the Christmas Island centre.

    Several sources have told the ABC that what they call a “substantial” hunger strike is underway and about six detainees have sewn their lips together.

    It is understood they are protesting against conditions inside the detention centre.

    Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young says tensions are rising because asylum seekers are being held in detention for far too long.

    “Sources inside are telling me there’s a large number of people on hunger strike including a handful of people who’ve disturbingly sewn their lips together,” she said.

    “This is a reminder of the horror days of what used to happen under the last Coalition government; very vulnerable people pushed to their absolute breaking point.”

    Senior government minister Kevin Andrews, who has previously held the immigration portfolio, says it is regrettable asylum seekers are reportedly harming themselves.

    “Any sort of self harm is to be regretted wherever it happens and we’d hope those sort of actions don’t continue into the future,” he said.

    Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has declined to confirm or comment on the reports of the protest.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-01-14/asylum-seeker-threatens-to-blow-up-plane-to-christmas-island/5198566

  168. Try reading this very slowly, wazza:

    unless they are so callous they do not say anything to refugees, the people smugglers know very well that it is likely that refugee claimants will have to spend time in a detention camp

    The people smugglers, if they say nothing about detention centres, are callous.

  169. Manus island was a Labour compromise camp. Rudd’s solution. It is a hell hole. Stop the boats and the problem leaves. No boats, no camps.

  170. And how do you stop the boats? By turning them back or even getting a lifeboat and taking them back to Indonesia. But as Indonesia has pointed out that makes you a people smuggler.

  171. The lifeboat idea is another poor one. I am not the navy or the person solving the problem, but if it saves lives at sea the people smugglers must be deterred from sending unsafe vessels into the ocean. It should be the responsibility of Indonesian port authorities to prevent boats laden with people from leaving their shores. They are putting lives at risk. The ultimate responsibility lies with them. They are clearly not ignorant of what is happening. The suggestion is that some are complicit.

    Are you a lawyer, wazza? Am I on trial?

  172. Steve believes these people should be stopped.

    Many of 250 Drowned Migrants Were African Christians Fleeing Persecution

    “I look at the list of the survivors and 90 per cent is Christian. They are coming from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The situation is very bad because politically in Eritrea there is a dictator and they live without any type of freedom or democracy. Many Christians are persecuted because of their faith. It’s not easy for them to live in Eritrea at this moment.”

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/october/lampedusa-shipwreck-migrants-eritrea-somalia-persecution.html

    Then the problem will all go away.

    Or more likely become someone else’s problem.

  173. F**k me, now it’s the ABC’s fault.

    No boats, no camps.

    You could also argue no Jews, no camps; no blacks, no apartheid.

    What really is the issue here?

    Do we really have to show the world we are complete arseholes because we don’t want their trash?

    Instead of cleaning our act up and treating people with dignity and providing proper housing, facilities (which is apparently bad) we instead shift them into concentration camps and because that makes us feel bad we’ll tow them back to some shithole.

    Where the f**k is the gospel in that?

  174. I’m through with sitting back and letting your accusative simpleton garbage go through to the keeper, Bones. I’ve turned every cheek several times over now and run out of cheeks to offer.

    If you want a discussion, fine, but it’s high time you stopped the deliberately wrong interpretation of what I have been saying and the continual slimy, snide invective.

    You have to be the all time antisocial ad hominem attack dog propagandist. The whackipedia of ill will. The Voldemort of blogdom. You make Bob Ellis look rational.

    You lay down false assumptions about what people say and then apply layer upon layer of misinformation to the artificial image you construct, framed in disparaging remarks, alarmist exaggeration and feigned offence.

    You are like a latter day Frankenstein creating a scary monster out of pieces of imagination googled, gathered, garnished with vitriol and hoarded in your mind, excentrically glued together and animated by puppetry, smoke and mirrors, to present to an unsuspecting world as a real person who happens to have the same name as the commenter you are argueing with at the time. If you only realised that the image you have crafted is a reflection of your own neurosis.

    There is barely a thing you have falsely claimed about my opinion which has an ounce of truth. Your gift of fabrication of facts makes ‘The Illusionists’ look like an amateur magic show.

    You are an utterly air-sucking waffle-spewing fly-blown vexation to anyone dealing in a reasonable exchange of views.

    I mean, how does anyone have a decent discussion with someone like you?

    If you don’t totally get your way you are going to carry on like an overindulged brat as you throw yet another tantrum and insult the crap out of people, their friends, their influences and even their church, going on and on and on, until they grow so tired of your false allegations and twisted claims that they either leave you to your ignorant opinions or shake their head in disbelief at how someone like you can work in the education system with children and be so blindly ignorant to any one else’s understanding of the world or consideration of how problems could be dealt with.

    You don’t have a clue how to conduct a balanced, sane conversation.

    You should donate your negatively fertile imagination to Hollywood horror writers. You’d scare them senseless.

  175. Greg, there doesn’t seem to be a greater level of compassion shown by Italy towards boat refugees. They come under criticism from the UNHCR. It seems the incident you outlined was isolated, and Italy has asked the rest of Europe for a joint initiative to combat the problem as they are seen as the gateway into Europe for migrants crossing the Mediterranean. From Struggles in Italy, a blog which is a watchdog of Italian migrant programs.

    History of the CIE

    The acronym “CIE” in Italian stands for “Centro di identificazione ed espulsione” (Center for Identification and Deportation). These centers were first established in 1998 following the approval by the centre-left government of the anti-immigration law known as “Turco-Napolitano”, from the name of the promoters. These centres, initially known as “Centri di permanenza temporanea” (Temporary Detention Centers), serve to detain “illegal” immigrants (i.e., those without papers) while the police identify them. The “Turco-Napolitano” law turned the “reception camps” into detention facilities. In 2002, a more restrictive law was passed: the so-called Bossi-Fini law. Moreover, in 2011 the same government passed a law that extended detention times to a maximum of 18 months, nine times longer than in the past.

    Legal and cultural framework

    Recently, even the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) has complained about the conditions of refugees and migrants detained in Italy, many of whom are actually asylum seekers. These policies concerning migrants derive mainly from the common European framework in which the free circulation of people inside the European borders is permitted, while at the same time tending to exclude non-European citizens. The definition of “Fortress Europe” is useful in explaining this concept. (“Fortress Europe” is the name of a website which constantly supervises the European and especially the Italian legal system in regard to migrants).

    Similar detention practices are widespread across Europe (like Greece, Spain, and France), and the common European legal framework enforces the restriction of migrants’ movements. The EU legal framework also supports integration policies for regular immigrants, and this is where Italy distinguishes itself from many other countries: the country’s recent laws greatly stress criminality and focus much less on rights. The fact of being detained simply for being an immigrant, without any law-breaking, is, in itself, mostly exclusive to the Italian legal code. The situation can become difficult given that Italian law recognizes as Italian only those individuals born to two Italian citizens. If one of the parents is a non-EU citizen, she/he must achieve citizenship while risking detention in a CIE. The risk is even higher for those who have been living in Italy for many years, and whose visa renewal depends on a regular job contract.

    In Italy, especially since the 1990s, there has been a growing public discourse on criminalizing migrants, which has been fueled by the mainstream media and even by institutions, not only by right-wing parties, as the “Turco-Napolitano” law demonstrates. The xenophobic and often racist behaviour of some political organizations (Northern League, PDL, and the fascist organizations Casapound and Forza Nuova ), the slaughter at Firenze, and the Torino pogrom are just a few examples.

    There have been an estimated 20,000 deaths at sea of people seeking refuge in Europe. No one is taking responsibility. Newspapers like the Guardian blame the fortress mentality of the Mediterranean nations, including Italy, and for policies which shut out asylum seekers, many of whom are fleeing nations engaged in civil wars and seeking a peaceful life in Europe away from the continuing conflicts of the Middle East.

    Europe, meanwhile, is seeking ways to create better surveillance systems to be able to preempt the possibility of boats sinking, which may include more sophisticated tracking systems and coordinated naval and coastguard presence.

    There are certain isolated incidents, such as the sinking of a boat which got into trouble only a mile from safety, which wasn’t assisted by Italian coastguards but by fishermen. There was a huge loss of life and widespread condemnation of Italy for allowing it to happen. Then the rescue of 1,000 refugees in boats, which took place a matter of months later, when Italy reacted well and they were rescued.

    But the follow up to this is another story, because being rescued is one thing. The Australian navy has rescued thousands of boat people. It is what happens to them next which is also important.

    Someone here has suggested that Italy is somehow more humane than Australia, but this is not borne out, it seems, by fact.

  176. Of course the real problem for Mediterranean Europe is the ongoing Middle East conflict, whereby the nations there are destabilised by religious and political jostling for power.

    No mention has been made, yet, of the various civil wars which have caused displacement, mainly throughout the Middle East. if these were ended and a peaceful solution could be found for those nations there would be less likelihood of displacement of people on religious and ethic grounds.

    The main problem is at the source.

    This is a separate problem to the one Australia is facing. Indonesia is the ‘Italy’ of the Southern oceans, the Gateway to Nirvana Australia the ultimate destination. Clearly Indonesia needs help (even if it doesn’t know it), or pressure applied, with its problem of refugee claimants arriving on its shores and seeking transportation to Australian waters, where they will be rescued by the Australian navy and taken in convoys to detention centres to await their fate.

    Of course, if they came by plane in the first place the arduous sea journey would be unnecessary, if, as wazza claims, they can just arrive with fake ID and a genuine or fake story.

    Or, better still, they can go through the UNHCR and be found a place of refuge. The thing is, it might not be Europe or Australia or Canada they end up in.

    But it’s got to be better than the Middle East struggle for power.

    See how I said all that and didn’t mention Islam once.

  177. You have to be the all time antisocial ad hominem attack dog propagandist. The whackipedia of ill will. The Voldemort of blogdom. You make Bob Ellis look rational.

    That has to be the best, funniest and most creative set of descriptors I’ve yet read on this, or any, blog! Steve, you win the internet today.

    With regards the Italian refugee stuff – are you telling me that even they are not the Nirvana of Assylum, the Utopia of Refuge, the Valhalla of Protection? Is there anywhere on this earth that has the recipe right?

    I think that until we have a world without borders, a world where we are all simply citizens of Earth, we will continue to have dramas and wars and crisis upon crisis.

  178. Steve, would tow their boats back. That’s what Jesus would want. I mean Steve rants and raves about Christian persecution but they’re only allowed to escape by plane, with a visa and without paying people smugglers. We must stop the boats.

    African migrants risk lives to flee war and persecution

    The latest tragic incident of hundreds of African migrants drowning in European waters tells a wider story.

    Scratch beneath the surface and for many of the migrants, their stories are not only of wanting a better life. Often they will be of fleeing persecution or conflict at home, and paying their life savings to smugglers who promise their passage to the safety of European shores.

    The sinking of a boat carrying around 500 migrants October 3, killing at least 181 of them, is the latest in a long line of accidents in which vulnerable migrants pay with their lives after the failure of vessels often described as “unseaworthy”.

    Father Mussie Zerai, Chairman of the Habeshia Agency, which works on behalf of these migrants, says he believes the majority of those involved in last’s week’s shipwreck were Christians.

    “I look at the list of the survivors and 90 per cent is Christian,” he said. “They are coming from Eritrea and Ethiopia. The situation is very bad because politically in Eritrea there is a dictator and they live without any type of freedom or democracy. Many Christians are persecuted because of their faith. It’s not easy for them to live in Eritrea at this moment.”

    An Ethiopian migrant who survived the same crossing hit the European media last year when five human rights groups wrote a letter to the Netherlands then-minister of immigration and asylum affairs, to plead for him to be given the right to remain.

    Abu Kurke Kebato, in his early 20s, was one of only nine survivors in a boat carrying 72, which had left Libya, only to languish at sea for two weeks before drifting back to Libyan shores.

    Kurke Kebato told the BBC that he had then been arrested by the Libyan authorities while “on his way to church” after his arrival back in Libya.

    “Upon his forced return to Libya in 2010, Mr. Kurke Kebato was then detained for eight months during which time he alleges he was subjected to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” wrote the five human rights organisations.

    He then made a second attempt to reach Europe, with his wife, and this time they were successful. However, the couple were set to be deported from the Netherlands until human rights organisations intervened. He now lives there and says he is “happy in a democracy”.

    The UN High Commission for Refugees’ Adrian Edwards agrees that many migrants seem to have little choice but to flee their home countries when it becomes a matter of life and death.

    “You have to think of the tragedy that lies behind this, which is that many of these people are likely to have been fleeing war, fleeing persecution, fleeing human rights abuses in their own countries, so this is a tremendous tragedy of multiple layers,” he told the BBC.

    The ship had travelled from Libya, but many of its passengers had already travelled a great distance in their quest to reach Europe. According to the UN, most of the passengers on the boat, which sank nearby the island of Lampedusa off the coast of Italy, were from Eritrea and Somalia, about 2,000 miles from Libya’s coast.

    The number of immigrants dying while attempting to reach Europe’s borders in the last 25 years has risen to almost 20,000.

    Pope Francis, whose first official visit was to the island in July to witness the mass migrant arrivals, condemned “global indifference” to the plight of immigrants, and said the incident was an “outrage,” calling Friday a “day of tears”.
    Figures from the UN say 3,000 people try to flee Eritrea each month, while human rights groups have said the country is becoming a giant jail, with estimates of around 10,000 political prisoners.

    Somalia, meanwhile, has been ravaged by two decades of war and large parts of it are under the control of Islamist militant group al-Shabab.

    More than 30,000 immigrants have journeyed to Italy by sea so far this year, including 7,500 each from Eritrea and Syria and 3,000 from Somalia, according to the UN.

    Fr. Zerai says the international community must do more. Granting asylum to a few is not enough, he says.

    “All mass media, all international organisations and civic society need to push the international community to do something to change the situation,” he told World Watch Monitor. “In Eritrea, even in Ethiopia, we need more freedom, democracy and peace. That is the solution. We can give them asylum, but that is not the solution.”

    In May, World Watch Monitor reported that religious persecution in Eritrea is at its “highest ever level and getting worse”, according to Christian charity Open Doors International.

    The number of Christians incarcerated in Eritrea because of their faith is thought to be around 1,200, according to the charity, although some estimates claim the figure is as high as 3,000.

    Eritrea is ranked 10th on the World Watch List, which ranks the 50 countries in which Christians are most under pressure for their faith.

    “When Christians [in Eritrea] are discovered, they are arrested and held in shipping containers in military camps. At least 105 Christians were arrested in 2012, and 31 Christians were reported to have died in prison,” the World Watch List reports.

    http://www.christiantoday.com/article/african.migrants.risk.lives.to.flee.war.and.persecution/34302.htm

  179. John Lennon almost got it right. I think ‘Imagine’ had the right sentiments, wrong theology.

    He got it spot on.

    No hell below us, above us only sky.

  180. African migrants risk lives to flee war and persecution

    That’s Labor, Kevin’s and the ABC’s fault.

    Never fear. Scott will keep the bastards away.

  181. Steve’s version of education:

    Teacher Steve: So class, we need to understand how great our country is. Look at these countries on this map, Eritrea and Ethiopia where Christians are being persecuted and arrested.

    Little Greg: That’s terrible. Surely we should help these people.

    Teacher Steve: We do, Greg.

    Baby Wazza: How?

    Teacher Steve: We tow their boats back. Oceans are a very dangerous place and people smugglers aren’t nice men. And we don’t tell anyone about it.

    Class: Ohhhhhh.

  182. I think thats a bit unfair, I think his main strategy is to make the detention centres so vile and horrible that they will act as a deterrent to people running for the lives. Basically make sure that people would rather die than come here.

    Because we wouldnt want anyone to risk their lives – that would be unethical.

  183. Bones can’t find anything to logically criticise about what I say about the situation in Australia so he has to switch to the Med, for which Australia has no jurisdiction. He should be on meds.

    ‘Steve, would tow their boats back.’

    Show is where I have said this. I haven’t. In fact most of what you attribute to me you have made up.

    Now I don’t know how Greg wants to play this, but, rather than have to put up with you making statements contrary to what I actually say and then having to remind everyone I haven’t said that, i think it would be better for you to stick to what I actually do say.

    Are you saying, however, that 20,000 drownings in the Mediterranean is an acceptable price to pay for refugee claimants?

    Are you saying that 1,000 people lost at sea between Indonesia and Australia is an acceptable price to pay to gain entry into Australia?

    Are you saying drowned refugees are merely collateral damage in your open the channels to unsafe boats overcrowded with paying clients attempting to enter Australia continuation of a scheme which even the Labour Party was seeking to abandon because o the level of outcry from people who were upset at the loss of life off their shores?

    If it were possible to prevent these deaths at sea would you recommend the means?

  184. That’s a risk desperate people are willing to take.

    Like running through the wire of the Berlin wall or escaping a concentration camp.

    Most of the prisoners who revolted and broke out of Sobibor Concentration Camp were killed.

  185. It’s a bit hard to work out what he’s advocating apart from it’s Indonesia’s, Labor’s, Kevin Rudd’s, the Left’s and the ABC’s fault that people are coming by boats. And they cost too much to house, feed and treat with any dignity.

    So long as we ‘stop the boats’.

    He wants to keep Jesus out of it though.

  186. So let’s get this straight. You think that people getting onto boats in Indonesia, which is not at war with anyone as far as I remember, should take the risk of drowning at sea, as some 1000 have since 2007, and this is acceptable collateral damage.

    This you attempt to compare with people fleeing from actual conflict in North African nations going through civil wars. Well, to the latter, I would agree, there is degree of urgency and expediency to assist those at risk. 20,000 lost at sea, however, is too high a price to pay.

    I am not and have not at any time said abandon these people or ignore their cries for help. The international community clearly has to find a way to manage the flow of people seeking a peaceful life in another land.

    As to the former, 1,000 people lost at sea is unacceptable. It is unacceptable because it is avoidable.

    From 2002 to 2007 there were negligible boat arrivals. Therefore no loss of life at sea. The migrant intake by safe means continued and there were thousands coming into Australia via the UNHCR on legitimate visas by legitimate means.

    From 2008 when Rudd, breaking his promise, dismantled the Pacific Solution, over 30,000 boat people risked the journey. This means that, at a conservative estimate, one in thirty people who leave Indonesia in an unsafe boat will perish at sea.

    Rudd opened Christmas Island detention centre in 2008 to cope with the growing numbers of people crossing the sea and keep them offshore. Up to 450 per month were, by now, crossing the sea in dangerous boats.

    Not only this, but, to thwart any attempt by the Australian navy to turn the boats back, the crew were scuttling the boast with passengers on board to force the hand of the navy to rescue them. They would have rescued them anyway, but the callous nature of the people smuggling gangs was such that loss of life was for them a necessary part of the business model they present.

    They were not fleeing Indonesia. Indonesia is a peaceful country. They were using Indonesia as a stepping stone into Australia by unauthorised means.

    They were paying an average of $14,000 per person for the trip from their homeland to Christmas Island, presenting huge rewards to unscrupulous people smuggling cartels, many of which were involved in other forms of organised crime.

    There is no comparison to the situation in the Mediterranean, and no evidence that Australia is in any way worse than European nations in their handling of the people arriving by boat. In fact, the government of Australia has always had a will to open the borders to migrants, but through safe and authorised means.

    Of course it is the right of every person to take the risk of sending their family out into dangerous waters in unsafe boats to seek asylum. I support this right. It is also the right of every nation to have right of entry, safety measures which protect lives, and correct migration laws in place.

    At the last election one of the issues was the drowning sat sea and the unacceptable loss of life. Both major parties promised to do someone about it because there was outcry from Australians at the unnecessary loss of life at sea. It was the game changer.

    The rest of Australia sees what bones and wazza refuse to see, that deaths at sea are not acceptable to Australians, who know that they are preventable.

  187. So what is your solution to the problem of people dying at sea? Do you support the measures being taken by the govt – ie. detention centres and turning back the boats?

  188. What is your solution, wazza, more to the point?

    And, are you agreeing with Bones that the deaths at sea are a necessary part of the risk people take to come to Australia from Indonesia, even though they are preventable? I’ll give you one more go at this to establish your position on drownings at sea.

    If you are, like most of Australia, appalled at the deaths at sea, what is your solution?

  189. When did boat people become a major political issue in Australia?

    Strangely enough nothing to do with deaths at sea. Just good old xenophobia.

    The term “boat people” entered the Australian lexicon in the 1970s when boats carrying refugees from Indochina began arriving in Australia. The then Liberal prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, says he was advised to introduce mandatory detention at the time but refused on compassionate grounds. Fraser allowed the asylum seekers who arrived by boat to be processed on Australian soil and his government supported 200,000 more refugees being resettled in Australia after coming through camps in various parts of Asia.

    The arrivals were not greeted with open arms by all parts of the community, some claiming they were “pirates, rich businessmen, drug-runners and communist infiltrators” and in 1977, the Darwin branch of the Waterside Workers’ Federation called for strikes to protest the “preferential treatment of refugees”.

    Between 1976 and 1979 a total of 2,059 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat. By 1982 that number had fallen to zero and another boat carrying asylum seekers did not arrive in Australian waters until 1989. Labor leader Bob Hawke became prime minister during that time but did not make any major changes to asylum seeker policy to deter the boats. His successor, Paul Keating, introduced mandatory detention in 1992.

    The number of asylum seekers travelling to Australia by boat fell from 216 to 81 the year after the policy was introduced, but in 1994 it climbed to its highest level of the decade, 953.

    Asylum seeker policy was one of the most contentious issues in the lead-up to the 2001 election. It was exacerbated by what became known as the Tampa affair – in which the Norwegian ship MV Tampa, carrying rescued asylum seekers, entered Australian waters without Australia’s permission – as well as a separate incident when Howard claimed that asylum seekers had thrown their children overboard. The claims were found to be false by a Senate inquiry.

    Between 2002 and 2008, 25 boats carrying asylum seekers arrived in Australian waters. The number began to rise sharply in 2009, when 60 boats arrived, followed by 134 boats in 2010, 69 boats in 2011 and 278 boats last year, according to figures from the parliamentary library.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/19/did-howard-solution-stop-boats

  190. If you are, like most of Australia, appalled at the deaths at sea, what is your solution?

    That’s bullshit.

    You’re lying out of your arse.

    Consider:

    A strong majority of Australians, 60 per cent, also want the Abbott government to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.”

    Congrats to demonising asylum seekers.

    On the 10th December 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald reported from Wikileaks that a ‘key Liberal Party strategist’ told a US diplomat in Canberra in November last year, that the issue of asylum seekers was ‘fantastic’ for the Coalition and ‘the more boats that come the better’.

    Yep, seem worried about deaths at sea.

    Howard’s NSW campaign manager Scott Morrison threatened me (Ifran Yusuf Liberal candidate) with disendorsement if I so much as spoke about the grief of an Afghan Australian who had lost two nieces when they drowned with hundreds of other asylum seekers fleeing the Taliban.

    Yep really worried about deaths at sea.

    Btw my solution is to let them come to the mainland and treat them as human beings.

    Like Fraser did.

  191. Consider the European reaction to deaths at sea to Australia’s.

    Why should we care about lives lost at sea?

    A state funeral will be held for asylum seekers who drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa last week. What can Australians learn from the way Europe responds to such boat tragedies, asks Claudia Tazreiter.

    Sydney has just witnessed a spectacle of Naval power and ceremonial pomp with the Review of the Fleet, marking 100 years of Australia’s Navy. For an island nation such as Australia, the Navy holds a special significance, protecting a country surrounded by a vast, expansive sea.

    Over the weekend news also emerged of a boat tragedy off the southern Italian coast near Lampedusa where up to 200 people lost their lives in an attempt to reach Europe’s shores from North Africa.

    The Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta and the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barrosa have visited Lampedusa to pay their respects to the dead.

    At this visit the Italian Prime Minister announced a state funeral for those who have drowned. Such an act of public respect is difficult to imagine in the Australian context.

    Why is the Lampedusa tragedy important for Australians? Why should we care about lives lost at sea? And are there any lessons to be learned from how Europe responds to such boat tragedies?

    Deaths at sea are not new to Australians. Hundreds of men, women and children have drowned in the waters between Indonesia and Northern Australia.

    A number of coronial inquests have highlighted the shortcomings in both detection and rescue efforts.

    Since the Siev X incident in 2001, which claimed 353 lives, the death of asylum seekers at sea attempting to reach Australian shores has become all too common. It is estimated over 1,100 people have lost their lives in asylum vessels off Northern Australia since 2001.

    About two weeks ago news emerged of the latest boat tragedy in the waters between Indonesia and Northern Australia.

    It is believed 52 people drowned, mostly women and children. They had fled from the conflict and instability in Northern Lebanon that has spilled over from Syria.

    Remember, the countries in the region, including, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are hosting more than two million Syrian refugees.

    There is a startling contrast in the rhetoric coming from European and world leaders responding to the Lampedusa boat tragedy compared to the rhetoric from Australian leaders on asylum seeker boat deaths. Australians know all too well the language and emotive descriptors of asylum seekers arriving by boat: illegals, queue jumpers, ‘scum of the earth’ (in association with people smugglers), potentially nasty criminals, in short, people who are intent on disrupting the Australian way of life by not waiting for an invitation to enter.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Coalition’s election campaign slogan ‘stop the boats’ has quickly been replaced by a more cautious approach to the complex terrain of governing, including the reality of engaging in more careful diplomacy with Indonesia than the cavalier approach of buying Indonesian vessels – a policy trotted out during the election campaign and quickly abandoned.

    In Europe, Pope Francis has called the sinking of the boat in Lampedusa and the resulting loss of life a disgrace, saying, “Let us unite our effort so that similar tragedies do not happen again”.

    He called for a “day of tears”.

    The Italian Prime Minister called the accident “an enormous tragedy”. Lampedusa’s mayor, Giusi Nocolini said, “These are refugees. We have a duty to take them in. They must be respected”.

    Perhaps most striking have been the comments by the Interior Minister, Cecile Kyenge, who called for Europe to take action on the problem, stating that “we cannot underestimate this situation. We are witnessing a human tragedy [that affects] all the countries of Europe”.

    Certainly Europe is no nirvana for asylum seekers and other irregular migrants. But why are the reactions to the human tragedies of lives lost at sea attempting to find refuge so shockingly divergent in the European and Australian case?

    It can’t be that Australians are hard-hearted, unaffected by the suffering of others, obsessed with Kafkan rules of entry that no refugee can comply with (make sure you have valid papers or you’re not here).

    We might be reminded that Europe has a long and painful history of creating refugee crises and failing to protect people from the excesses of violence and annihilation. In a recent article on the history of the French city of Marseille, Neal Ascherson writes of the scores of refugees who came to Marseille in the early 1940s, “penniless and exhausted, often with the wrong papers or none”.

    Among these crowds were intellectuals and artists whose names we recognise; Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil, Arthur Koestler, Walter Benjamin, Marc Chagal and the young Claude Leví Strauss.

    The story for some of these individuals ended well, with journeys facilitated through smugglers and illicit routes to London or New York. For many others the journeys ended in death.

    The conundrum of the refugee’s dilemma remains as stark as it did during World War II. It is beautifully captured by a extract from W.H. Auden’s poem, Refugee Blues.

    The consul banged the table and said,

    “If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”:
    But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

    Prime Minister Abbott’s negotiations at the APEC summit in Bali can have no more important agenda item than leading the debate in mapping out a more humane approach to irregular migration in the region.

    Surely the strength of the global economy is understood as pegged to stability, peace and thriving communities.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-10/tazreiter-lives-lost-at-sea/5014526

  192. Steve, I’ve already given you my solution which you picked apart. Ok, fine.

    So what’s your solution. Do you support detention in the vile detention centres which you say are against everything Australia stands for? And/or do you support turning back the boats? Or is there a third way?

  193. How successful was John Howard’s Temporary Protection Visas?

    Did John Howard’s Pacific Solution stop the boats, as Tony Abbott asserts?

    Howard introduced TPV visas in 1999, following a global spike in refugee numbers during which 3,721 asylum seekers arrived in Australia by boat.

    In 2000, the year after TPVs were introduced, the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat dropped by about 800 to 2,939 people but then rose again in 2001 to 5,516 people.

    During the 2009 estimates hearings, the then immigration minister, Chris Evans, argued that this was evidence the policy did not deter asylum seekers. “In fact, in the period after that there was a huge surge. Our figures show that in that period the percentage of women and children went from around 25% to around 40%. We saw more women and children taking the very perilous journey to come to Australia by unlawful boat arrivals,” he said.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/19/did-howard-solution-stop-boats

  194. Steve is the only person I know who will fight tooth and nail to defend something that he will never admit that he supports. He does this for churches as well.

  195. Wazza, once again, are you agreeing with Bones that the deaths at sea are a necessary part of the risk people take to come to Australia from Indonesia, even though they are preventable?

  196. By the way, I also gave you my solution at least three times but Bones was so busy demonising Scott Morrison, John Howard’s pet cat , Tony Abbott’s tortoise, and anything else to do with the Liberal Party, that you probably missed it or got hold of the wrong end of the stick – the same end Bones is pulling on with friction flaming fervour. You can both pull on it together.

    So, wazza, are you agreeing with Bones that the deaths at sea are a necessary part of the risk people take to come to Australia from Indonesia, even though they are preventable?

  197. Wazza,
    Steve is the only person I know who will fight tooth and nail to defend something that he will never admit that he supports. He does this for churches as well.

    What you mean is you can’t find a way through to condemn me without lying so you make things up which sound OK but are as flawed as your argument which condemns people to die at sea.

    I thought this was a discussion about whether the ABC was justified in releasing sensitive information which ultimately soured relations with Indonesia in the very first weeks of the new Abbott government.

    Now you’ve turned it into an inquisition about the way I put forward issues you clearly don’t have the capacity for considering.

    Your complete inability for seeing more than one perspective is typical of slow, lazy thinkers, which is worse in your case because I think you probably do have a decent intellect and ability to construct reasonable arguments, but your prejudice and bias prevents you from looking at other options.

    Plus you are easily swayed by witless imitators of outdated socialist ideals and fake piety like Bones, who is so struck by his own clever emulation of other people’s ideas that he can’t stop looking at himself in the mirror, but still missed the beam in his eye.

    It’s great to have people who toe the party line. They’re the foot soldiers of the revolution. The cannon fodder for the bourgeoisie. The proletariat dead meat dangling on the a union bosses’ trouser hem, licking their bootstraps unimaginatively enthralled. And such are you and Bones.

    Show us some solutions wazza. Use your intelligence for once and get your head out of Bones’ leaky gas oven.

  198. I’m glad Greg is on the lookout for ad-hominem attacks and unnecessary abusiveness. I guess since he’s left your comments alone he must think they were necessary abusiveness.

    Look, in all seriousness the issue is a complex one, and there are no easy solutions.

    But any rational and moral response would surely turn in the direction of greater compassion for the asylum seekers. Being vile and nasty and breaking out commitments to human rights hasn’t worked as a deterrent and now Australia is going down the path of pulling some legally questionable stunts (possibly people smuggling by shipping people into Indonesian waters) and hushing it all up. This is a situation that is ripe for abuse because no one is watching and keeping the officials to account.

    This is all due to a political situation that used the worst aspects of populist sentiment and fear and inflamed them for political ends. Not only is it costing us billions but it is making us into monsters. We unleashed the tiger and thought we could keep it under control but now it is getting away from us.

    The deaths at sea are a direct result of our policies. The law is that people smugglers boats are sunk when they are detected, so the smugglers are hardly going to provide an expensive, sea-worthy boat if they know they are likely to lose it. My view is that as politically sensitive as it is, we need to allow asylum seekers to come by plane in order to stop these deaths. The risk that we take in doing so is a price well worth paying to show humanitarianism, compassion and dare I say it – it is the Christian thing to do.

    But if you are going to support this situation, stand up and be counted. Say that you support the treatment as a deterrent – that may be a defensible position. But dont creep around criticising the response of the left and the overwhelming majority of Christian churches.

    But know this, if you support injustice, abusiveness and manipulation for political ends then you are jointly responsible for the action and be it on your head. For as much as you do it to the least of these…

  199. What would you rather people do Steve; wait in Indonesia where there is no UNHCR office, where they can’t work or get an education for their children?

    You’re absolutely right Steve, the deaths are preventable…but stopping people from coming is not simply not the only way, it is the worst way to do so!

    How might we prevent the deaths? Here are a few ideas:
    Fly them over.
    Provide after boats.
    Establish a processing centre in Indonesia.
    Stop thinking we are part of America and recognise we are part of Asia and start working with our neighbours instead of seeing them as the enemy.
    Build a bridge for people to walk or catch a taxi across.

    The last thing we need to do is to stop them coming.

  200. Let me correct myself, I was wrong about there being no UNHCR office in Indonesia…in fact there are 6 offices around different parts of the archipelago.

    Playing the waiting game in Indonesia

    News Stories, 30 October 2013

    JAKARTA, Indonesia, October 30 (UNHCR) – Ardi Sofinar’s phone never stops ringing. He answers every call calmly and patiently, even in the middle of the night. “The refugees and asylum-seekers call when there are problems or disputes,” said the UNHCR protection associate in Medan, Indonesia. “They call because they trust that we can help.”

    Ardi is one of four UNHCR staff members based in Medan, covering a large geographical area with more than 1,100 asylum-seekers and refugees. The agency now has six such outposts in the Indonesian archipelago to assist the growing number of people seeking safety from conflict and persecution back home. Some arrivals mistakenly see Indonesia as an easy departure point for Australia, and risk their lives on smuggling boats that too often sink along the way.

    In the last five years, UNHCR has seen the number of refugees and asylum-seekers approaching UNHCR in Indonesia increase 18-fold – from 385 in 2008 to 7,218 last year – a trend that is straining processing capacities. There are currently more than 2,300 refugees and over 7,600 asylum-seekers in the country.

    “In Indonesia, UNHCR processes asylum claims in the absence of a national legal framework that can do so,” said Manuel Jordao, UNHCR’s representative in Indonesia. “We have expanded our outreach in response to the growing numbers but cannot match the capacity of a national government.”

    In Jakarta and the six outposts, UNHCR staff register arrivals who wish to seek asylum, conduct interviews to determine refugee status, and seek solutions for the refugees. They also caution people against the use of smuggling boats or other illegal transport routes that could put their lives and the lives of their families at risk.

    Those who are intercepted when entering or leaving Indonesia irregularly are taken to immigration detention centres (IDCs) run by the Indonesian government.

    At Belawan IDC, one of 13 such locations holding refugees and asylum seekers across the country, detainees share rooms that are locked from 10 at night to 10 in the morning daily. In the day time they come out to watch TV and take turns at communal cooking. Overcrowding is a constant problem. In April this year, violence broke out between two groups from Myanmar, resulting in eight deaths. The cells have been repaired since, but some inmates are still traumatized.

    “I am afraid of the fighting. I left Sri Lanka because of violence but I found it here too,” said Siva,* an ethnic Tamil refugee who prays he will be released soon. UNHCR advocates with the authorities for all refugees and asylum seekers to be released from detention to community housing managed by the International Organization for Migration. Vulnerable people such as women, children and the elderly are prioritized for release.

    Hussein* fled Afghanistan for Iran and over the course of 15 years found his way to Indonesia with his wife and two children. They have been living in a community housing project outside Medan for about a year now, surviving on monthly allowances from IOM.

    “Our main expenses are groceries and things for the children,” said Hussein, aged 30. “We cook for ourselves and can move freely. I used to go for English and computer classes outside, but now the teacher comes here twice a week.”

    While daily life is tolerable outside of detention, many struggle with the uncertainty. Nadir,* 16, has been living in a shelter for unaccompanied minors in south Jakarta since April. Run by the Church World Service with UNHCR support, the shelter’s calm and nurturing environment belies the turbulent lives of the young refugees and asylum-seekers living here.

    Five years ago, Nadir fled Afghanistan for Quetta, Pakistan, and became the man of the house after his father and brother died. The ethnic Hazara did odd jobs to support his mother, sister-in-law and her three children, but after 18 months left for Iran to escape the rising violence against Shia Muslims.

    Three years later he was deported from Iran to Afghanistan, and made his way back to Pakistan to find that his family had been resettled in Australia. A family friend paid for him to be smuggled from Pakistan to Indonesia, where he planned to catch a boat to Australia.

    “Australia asks: Why do you jump queue? But they don’t know how long the queue is,” said Nadir. “Everyone who takes this journey, there is something that forces us to do so. But we are treated like criminals. They don’t see the other side.”

    When he fell on hard times in Jakarta, the teenager aborted plans to take the boat and approached the shelter for help. He is looking forward to discussing his asylum claim with UNHCR, and hopes that he will be recognized as a refugee so that he can be reunited with his family in Australia.

    For many refugees who cannot go home for fear of persecution, resettlement to a third country feels like the only way out for now. But the queue is long and there are a very limited number of spaces made available by resettlement countries. UNHCR submits the most vulnerable cases for consideration.

    Outside Medan, Hussein and his family are hoping for some good news. They have been interviewed by Australian officials for potential resettlement. “I know Australia is a multicultural country, there is no discrimination,” said Hussein. “My kids will have a good education. Maybe I can find work again.”

    UNHCR has consistently advocated that refugees need more timely solutions, be it resettlement, more opportunities in host countries or voluntary return when conditions improve back home. Referring to the alternative, UNHCR’s Jordao said, “After all they have been through, it would be unconscionable to drive them to such desperation that they would consider risking their lives on dangerous and exploitative boat journeys.”

    *Names changed for protection reasons

    By Vivian Tan in Jakarta, Indonesia

    The best way to prevent deaths is I think for us to spend the money we would use on detention to support people living in the community in Indonesia while they await processing. We also new to increase the number of refugees we accept into Australia.

  201. Thank you, Greg.

    In the last five years, UNHCR has seen the number of refugees and asylum-seekers approaching UNHCR in Indonesia increase 18-fold – from 385 in 2008 to 7,218 last year – a trend that is straining processing capacities. There are currently more than 2,300 refugees and over 7,600 asylum-seekers in the country.

    So since Kevin Rudd removed the Pacific Solution, as I said earlier. He unwittingly created a working model for people smugglers. He was warned about this, of course, but he went ahead anyway, I guess, at the zenith of his honeymoon popularity, trusting his ability to think on his feet and come up with something brilliant, which never happened.

    I notice that earlier Bones left out the years 2002 to 2007, just prior to Rudd’s election win, when there were negligible boat arrivals in Australian waters, and, therefore, no deaths at sea. You will never stop the boats completely, but a diminishing of the amount of boats attempting the journey must be a priority if Australia is to be able to shut down the detention centres.

    I do not like the detention centres. They were a short term option up until 2008 when the Rudd and then Gillard Governments began the process of overwhelming already overcrowded detention centres. They were never built for this.

    I have consistently said the solution must be bipartisan. Indonesia and Australia must be allowed to work out a way to prevent the loss of life at sea by deciding on a way to shut down the people smugglers in the first place, and a means of processing asylum seekers before they attempt to get into Australia.

    Naturally, Indonesia, which is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Asylum Seekers, being a proudly independent nation state, would not want the apparent ignominy of becoming an offshore processing base for Australia, not publicly anyway.

    The point of the discussion originally has brought us full circle, because, as I said in the first place, the ABC’s and Guardian’s wilful disruption of the work being done early on in Mr Abbott’s tenure as PM scuttled the opportunities being afforded of a bipartisan approach to the dilemma.

    Disclosing the Snowden files at this time was a disaster for any work being done behind the scenes to produce a bipartisan solution. I would liken it to an act of journalistic vandalism, if not media treason. They knew exactly what the outcome would be. It was politically motivated sabotage.

    I must admit, when I read the breaking story I did what many people must have done and let out a gasp of unbelief at the appalling timing and disgracefully wicked opportunism of the release of information.

    I expect many hardline socialists thought it was a politically tremendous move, but there are lives at stake and all political motives should have been buried so that a reasoned process could be undertaken.

    It seems that somehow the Abbott Government has recovered the position, however, and it looks as if they are gaining cooperation from Indonesia, albeit in a covert way, in some of the operations taking place. Is there a time for secrecy in operations? Of course. One of the faults has been the way in which Labour and their media helplings telegraphed every move they made during the mass movement of people by people smugglers.

    So, whilst I do not like the detention centres, they are there, and they are filled with people who have entered under the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd Governments. I have said they should have their cases reviewed with all expedience and the detention centres emptied with all haste.

    This can only happen, however, as the people smugglers’ operations are shut down, which will require a bipartisan approach, both internationally and politically. Rudd/Gillard/Rudd have created a Catch 22 for themselves and then for the succeeding Government. It is not impossible to resolve, but now, as a result, it cannot work without some unfortunate pain.

    It will also require the cooperation of the UNHCR as an intermediary between Indonesia and Australia in working through the backlog of people who are seeking asylum and have landed in Indonesia. This is probably the most crucial area because if it is not worked out properly it will open up another trade route for the smugglers who are based outside of Indonesia at the points of origin.

    People on the move need to have the full cooperation of the UNHCR both from the point of origin, where possible, and the gateway, or processing point for assessing their viability as refugees or asylum seekers. The middlemen, the people smugglers, must be cut out of the equation.

    All of these things I have outlined before. There is, as wazza says, no simple solution.

    The media has to stop sensationalising the issue politically. They have to stop taking sides and being accusative for a while. They have to support moves to end the regime of criminal gangs who prey on asylum seekers. They have to allow Australia to strike up an accord with Indonesia to bring down the people smuggling operations operating from their shores.

    This is not time for political point scoring. The electorate was sick of the posturing before the election and calling out for a bipartisan political solution without one or the other side demanding they sign off on one or the others’ policy they didn’t agree with. The media has to take some of the responsibility for the way things have worked out. They are as culpable as anyone, apart from, perhaps the people smugglers.

    The other issue surrounds the reason people are on the move, which mainly emanates form the volatile situation in the Middle East. Thee has to be some kind of resolution to the conflict, which is both religious and political. The world needs to stand up and be counted.

    OK, not a perfect solution, filled with ifs and buts. If I had the perfect solution I’d probably be in Parliament, Immigration, or working for the UN as an advisor. I’m not that bright.

    Now, I’ve put a case. I ask that, if you comment, whether you appreciate it or not, you do so in a civil manner so that I don’t have to continue to respond in kind to the previously annoying ad hominem and disingenuous criticism of my opinion or position.

    We’re grown men, not thugs.

  202. THE federal government is under pressure to respond to reports Australian navy personnel fired shots as part of an operation to turn around a boat carrying asylum seekers from Indonesia.

    A local police commissioner from southern Java, who did not want to be named, told Fairfax Media that villagers plucked a number of asylum seekers from the water on January 8 after their boat was turned back by Australia.

    After speaking to those on board the boat, the officer said the navy had “shot into the air just to scare them”.

    “The boat hadn’t reached Australia – they were still at sea but they said they could already see Christmas Island,” the officer said.

    “But they said the Australian navy then drove them away and escorted them until they entered Indonesian waters again.”

    The boat had been carrying 25 people – including four children – from Bangladesh and Myanmar and two Indonesian crew.

    Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said Immigration Minister Scott Morrison must respond to the report.

    “The Australian people deserve to know what’s going on here,” he told ABC radio.

    Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said every day there were more concerning reports of actions taken on the high seas.

    “The possibility of shots being fired is really alarming,” she told ABC radio.

    Meanwhile, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has indicated that Australia could be going further than turning boats back, by potentially facilitating the movement of asylum seekers.

    Dr Natalegawa was responding to the federal government’s admission that lifeboats have been bought – reportedly to send asylum seekers back to Indonesia.

    “Developments of the type that has been reported in the media, namely the facilitation by way of boats, this is the kind of slippery slope that we have identified in the past,” Dr Natalegawa said.

  203. This is not time for political point scoring.

    Bahahahaha

    What fantasy world do you live in?

    It’s the coalition’s big carrot.

    Remember Tampa. Or Morrison’s vile comments about asylum seekers.

  204. Someone who knows what he’s talking about.

    Vietnamese refugees were a boon, not a burden

    Malcolm Fraser

    Our two major political parties should be congratulated on one thing: they both seem to have found new ways of taking Australia’s approach to this problem to new depths, to new lows. And they do this even though they know a solution exists – but it is a solution they have never sought. After the end of the Vietnam War, with tens, even hundreds of thousands of people fleeing from Indo-China, procedures were put in place that did work.
    This resulted, so far as Australia is concerned, in a dynamic Vietnamese Australian community, energetic, innovative and contributing enormously to the culture and development of this nation.

    A holding centre was established in Malaysia, with Malaysian approval and the United Nations’ involvement. Malaysia was happy to co-operate because it knew Australia, the United States and Canada were going to take tens of thousands of people out of that centre, so Malaysia would not be left with a settlement problem that would be quite beyond its capacity.

    We now need the same kind of arrangement again, with a centre in Indonesia. We would need the agreement of other resettlement countries, such as the US and Canada, because the numbers are greater than Australia alone could handle.

    That procedure worked before; there is no reason it should not work again. It might improve relations with Indonesia, which cannot be very happy because out of our increased humanitarian intake, only a couple of hundred have been allocated to relieve the pressure on Indonesia.

    What we did in the past worked. It could work again. Why has nobody, in government or opposition, tried to adapt that to today’s circumstances?

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/vietnamese-refugees-were-a-boon-not-a-burden-20130728-2qsh4.html#ixzz2qVyijQON

  205. How come we don’t give state funerals to asylum seekers who drown on their way here?

    Instead we whinge about the cost of flying their families around.

    Howard and his acolytes have poisoned this country with their opportunistic, malicious brand of politics.

  206. “I thought this was a discussion about whether the ABC was justified in releasing sensitive information which ultimately soured relations with Indonesia in the very first weeks of the new Abbott government.”

    Actually it was originally supposed to be about gay marriage. But as with most posts, somehow it eventually involved swearing, attacks on Steve, pentecostals, Steve, the liberal party, and Steve.

    And of course, there just had to be an embedded youtube about Nazis and Jews.

  207. Good contribution as usual. Conveniently overlooking the attacks on Kevin Rudd, the ABC, Labor. Steve even blames Kevin Rudd for asylum seeker deaths at sea!

    But yeah it’s interesting the way that Pentecostals are more interested in money and attacking the Left than say, showing compassion.

    Some Christians have a problem with the concept of sharing and that borders are human inventions like fences around a house.

    Btw I was thinking about you when I put the ‘Escape From Sobibor’ video in.

  208. Its good to see that in the midst of the asylum seeker debate someone is willing to speak up for the oppressed, the down-trodden the unfairly abused.

    Good on you Q, Steve thanks you.

  209. “Btw I was thinking about you when I put the ‘Escape From Sobibor’ video in.”

    Thanks. I’ve seen it before though. Not sure why you were thinking about me though.

    “Good contribution as usual.”

    Thanks.

    “Its good to see that in the midst of the asylum seeker debate someone is willing to speak up for the oppressed, the down-trodden the unfairly abused.”

    You mean Steve?

  210. If it were up to me, I’d let in just about anyone who wanted to come. Especially if they were desperate enough to risk their lives.

    Just pointing at that once again, it’s everyone against Steve, and what started as a post about gay marriage ended as attacks on Abbot, pentecostals, personal attacks, and included nazi movies.
    It’s a strange pattern.

    But if that’s what everyone likes, go ahead.

  211. Yeah, you really stood up for Steve. You spoke truth to power.

    What do you think about this guy. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-refuses-to-intervene-in-visa-case-of-student-attacked-by-neonazi-gang-20140116-30whj.html

    22-yr old student Minh Duong gets attacked by neo-nazis, and nearly beaten to death. Because he has to recover in hospital for months, he dosent go to uni. Hence his student visa is reduced by one year, and he is classed as an unlawful non-citizen. He goes back to Vietnam and is told that he has overstayed his visa so cant come back in for 3 years. Scott Morrison sees no reason to intervene.

  212. If it were up to me, I’d let in just about anyone who wanted to come. Especially if they were desperate enough to risk their lives.

    So we agree.

  213. “So we agree”

    Probably. In that I’d love to see Australia take in freedom/democracy loving people. As many as we can,

    And I agree with you Aust really should/could be able to support a much larger population if people put their heads together.

    But, I realize there are huge practical problems – which is what Steve is pointing out. People keep ignoring the fact that he says he has worked with refugees/migrants. He’s not heartless at all.

    But in theory, I think Aust should take in all the Christians fleeing the Middle East. I think Aust should have been able to take your St. Louis Jews. And moderate Muslims who are totally opposed to the Taliban and Sharia law.

    The time will no doubt come when there will be new cities all over the currently uninhibited places.

    I’ve been out of the country for a long time so I don’t know as much as you all. Just going by the posts here.

    On the other hand, I’d closely monitor refugees once they are here – and probably be called draconian and racist for it.

    But where I am, as a foreigner I have to have ID on me at all times and can theoretically be arrested for not having it. But I don’t have a problem with that.

    Still think the agro level could be toned down.

    Life’s short.

  214. Still think the agro level could be toned down.

    You obviously haven’t heard Abbott and his minions when they were in opposition.

    Would be great if there was a workable solution and it wasn’t dragged up as an election issue to prey on people’s racist attitudes like the Tampa was made into.

  215. Malcolm Fraser dealt with far more refugees than we have and in a humanitarian way. He has had experience with balancing the sovereignty of Australia’s borders with the human dignity of the asylum seekers. He would certainly know more than Steve does.

    But Steve says of him:

    Fraser lost credibility politically long ago and is just a grandstander who wishes he was still PM. He betrayed his own side of politics years ago. He’s no longer a liberal. More Green than Hanson-Young. Makes Brown look human.

    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/kevin-rudd-worse-than-judas/#comment-48417

  216. Bones, your problem is the way you make everything into a party political broadcast or election campaign. You’re Question Time on heat.

    I have given my opinion as it stands. It is subject to change or revision. it isn’t on party lines. It is what I think should happen.

    I am not Morrison or Abbott or Howard.

    If you look carefully you will see that I have said exactly what you lauded Frazer for, that refugees should be processed in Indonesia through the UNHCR. That is precisely what I articulated just a few comments ago.

    The reference to Frazer you gave as one of your Steve-stomping points was cut from another discussion where he supports Sarah Hanson-Young, who is a light-weight Green activist in a political hat, with no responsibility whatsoever for decent policy only opposition for opposition’s sake.

    To pull off the Indonesian solution there must be bipartisan support and strategic planning.

    The ABC and Guardian sought to destroy this.

    This whole thread demonstrates that you are completely unable to grasp a thing anyone says no matter how clearly they spell it out.

    If you can’t discuss issues without having to put people down or attack someone you don’t like you are no more than a thug and a moron.

    You are more intent on finding ways to demonise Pentecostals than discuss the issues.

    You still haven’t given us a clue what your solution is, only insults, anger and expletives.

  217. Bones,
    You obviously haven’t heard Abbott and his minions when they were in opposition.

    Always looking for ways to condone your bad manners.

    “Jesus did it!”

    “Abbott does it!”

    No. It’s all your own work, Bones.

  218. Bones, your problem is the way you make everything into a party political broadcast or election campaign.

    Bahaha

    You’re a Liberal Party billboard.

  219. Gosh, where would I start? I probably have a better understanding of issues people face when dealing with difficult situations such as seeking asylum when offered passage by unauthorised routes, gays in genuine long term relationships wanting to marry a same sex partner, gays being gay and wanting to be accepted as believers, how to approach a more balanced theology of prosperity and suffering, presenting the gospel of healing in a way which doesn’t exclude those who are weak in faith, seeing Catholics as people who love God but have been presented with unbiblical traditions, articulating the concept of hell with a more defined reference to actual scripture, looking at the concept of the origins of life as a bigger scientific challenge than Genesis can answer, and many other things I have on the go.

    I don’t see that we should never stop learning, do you, or rethinking what we have been taught, or revising what we think we know.

  220. The reference to Frazer you gave as one of your Steve-stomping points was cut from another discussion where he supports Sarah Hanson-Young, who is a light-weight Green activist in a political hat, with no responsibility whatsoever for decent policy only opposition for opposition’s sake.

    Actually, it was in response to this.

    Malcolm Fraser on Coalition asylum plans: no limits to the inhumanity

    Former Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser speaks to Guardian Australia about a “breach of common decency”

    There are no limits to which the opposition will not go to demonstrate inhumanity to people with a significantly demonstrated need. [This is] inhumanity demonstrated against some of the most vulnerable people in the world.

    This is a total reversal of some of the values Australia had become renowned for. It saddens me to think that the Liberal party, and as I understand it also the Labor party, are thinking of additional ways to make their policies more brutal.

    The policies have become so unreal, so inhumane overall, it’s very hard to look at just one aspect, which increases the uncaring nature of the opposition. The terrible thing is that the opposition and the government both believe they can win votes by behaving in this way.

    I don’t really believe they can.

    I believe these steps have gone so far that people will be looking for alternatives to voting for either Liberal or Labor.

    Neither of them deserves to win. Neither of them deserves to govern. Certainly neither of them deserves to have control of both houses of parliament.

    I hope it [the policy] would [be subject to a high court challenge] I can’t make a judgment to the law in relation to that, but one of the aspects of the policy as I heard it was that there’s not going to be any appeal, that one person is going to make a judgment that asylum seeker’s claims are valid or invalid, and as I heard it that was the end of it.

    No appeal. No judicial review. So the Liberal party, having demonstrated its intent, I would have thought that they would be very careful in the people they chose to make that decision, so that they would have a very large number judged not to be asylum seekers.

    We are not only breaking all the common rules of decency, we’ve breached our obligations under the refugee convention. We’ve breached our obligations under UNHCR. Any idea of duty of care to the vulnerable is totally out of the window.

    I know that from correspondence I get, and people speaking to me from overseas, that this has already damaged Australia’s reputation and it will take decades to recover.

    https://signposts02.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/kevin-rudd-worse-than-judas/#comment-48415

    The man knows more about compassion than pastors who supposedly have God’s right ear do.

  221. Well leftist compassion is easy when there’s no one to pay the price, and you’re an ex-prime minister who’s promoting a Greens candidate In an election.

    I think it would be compassionate to give everyone a house, land, free transport, free food, money in the bank and never have to work a day, with guaranteed education for the kids and health care, travel to a nice place for annual holidays away from the grind of not having to work, no taxes, no responsibilities and no worries.

    Unfortunately, in this world as it is , none of these things come for free, and someone has to pay.

  222. More Scott Morrison insanity:

    Minh Duong case: Vietnamese man awaiting medical treatment after neo-Nazi bashing is banned from Australia
    7.30 BY LOUISE MILLIGAN
    UPDATED 56 MIN AGO
    VIDEO 6:24 Bashing victim fights student visa cancellation
    VIEW TRANSCRIPT
    7.30
    A Vietnamese man awaiting medical treatment after being bashed by Melbourne neo-Nazis is in limbo after being banned from Australia for three years.

    In 2012, Minh Duong was punched and kicked by two men 70 times, stabbed, and had a brick smashed over his head with such force that the brick broke in two.

    His front teeth were smashed out in the racial attack and he is still awaiting $25,000 worth of dental treatment.

    Last week Mr Duong was forced to leave the country after immigration officials at Tullamarine airport flagged that his student visa had expired in March last year.

    He disputes that, claiming to have written confirmation from the Immigration Department that his visa did not expire until March 2014.

    But despite his claims, Mr Duong was forced to leave the country as an “unlawful non-citizen” and is now residing in Ho Chi Minh.

    He has also been told by the Immigration Department that he is not allowed to return for three years.

    A petition with 67,000 signatures demanding that Mr Duong be allowed back into Australia to receive medical treatment and graduate from university was delivered to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday.

    However, in a statement to 7.30, Mr Morrison’s office maintained that Mr Duong departed Australia as an unlawful non-citizen since his last student visa had expired.

    The statement said Mr Duong would be supported by the Australian embassy in Vietnam.

    The Immigration Department also said that it was investigating the apparent contradiction between its records and Mr Duong’s and that it takes instances of fraud seriously.

    Community rallies around victim of horrific bashing
    Adrian de Luca, a Melbourne musician fighting Mr Duong’s cause, says Australia has a responsibility to the Vietnamese man.

    “We have to take care of this young man,” he said.

    “He’s an international guest – he’s not a refugee, he’s not come here illegally, he’s not an illegal immigrant.

    “Our citizens damaged him [and] our citizens should fix him.”

    Detective Acting Sergeant Kevin Burke, who investigated the bashing, wrote a letter to the Immigration Department outlining Mr Duong’s injuries and asking the department to take the crime into account when making a decision.

    “It’s certainly one of the most shocking and serious assaults that I’ve attended in my time as a detective and certainly my time in the police force,” he said.

  223. They should have kept Minh and sent the neo-nazis to Vietnam with “Ho Ho Ho Chi Min” tattooed on their foreheads”

  224. Well leftist compassion is easy when there’s no one to pay the price, and you’re an ex-prime minister who’s promoting a Greens candidate In an election.

    So compassion has a price?

    Does Jesus agree with that?

    I’d say the Greens are on Jesus’s side on this.

    Not quite sure where that puts you.

  225. It says ‘leftist compassion’, not real compassion.

    Leftist compassion says, ‘let the overcrowded, unsafe boats keep coming by the hundred’.

    The cost: thousands of people, one in every thirty, is lost at sea (there may be more, but we’ll probably never know).

    So, yes, here is a price to leftist compassion.

    If you want to enter into a discussion about the compassion of Jesus you would have to believe in miracles, healing, deliverance and salvation.

    But there is a cost to following Jesus, too.

    You still haven’t acknowledged that I gave you exactly the same strategy for handling refugees in Indonesia as your hero Mr Frazer.

    It would cost you too much to accept that I had said something you’d have to agree with.

  226. Well leftist compassion is easy when there’s no one to pay the price.

    Unfortunately, in this world as it is , none of these things come for free, and someone has to pay.

    Bingo! thats what it is all about. We’d like to be compassionate but it costs too much money.

    Australia is in an almost unique position in that it is an island nation which has caused us to believe that we have “sovereign borders”. In most other countries the borders are known to be leaky, and they more or less live with that. The US takes advantage of the cheap labour of illegal immigrants from the south.

    But we sit here on our little island of rack-offness and try and make it more risky and unpleasant to come here. Starting to become people smugglers ourselves now in a dangerous arms race of vile-ness and calousness.

    I costs about a $2 billion a year to be this vile. How much would compassion cost?

  227. Undeer the Labour/Greens pact, even mark Latham was incensed at the lack of compassion being displayed, but Sarah Hansen-Young couldn’t have cared less and took no responsibility.

    As news of the disaster broke, former Labor leader Mark Latham took aim at the Greens and the Labor Left, saying the “so-called compassionate” approach of onshore processing was causing deaths at sea. “You can’t be compassionate and you can’t have a good heart, you can’t have a good soul, if you encourage people to get on boats that sink,” Mr Latham told Sky’s Australian Agenda.

    “And people just need to understand that the real compassionate policy is to stop the flow of the boats.”

    Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young yesterday stood by her party’s policies. Pressed on whether the Greens accepted responsibility for the tragedy, Senator Hanson-Young said: “Of course not. Tragedies happen, accidents happen.”

    Those rescued identified themselves as being from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Dubai and were last night being cared for in the town of Prigi in eastern Java.

    Reports said there were about 40 children on the boat.

    One Afghan survivor, 24-year-old Esmat Adine, gave rescuers an estimate for how many passengers were on the boat. “He did not know exactly how many passengers there were, but he said that four buses with around 60 or more adult passengers each had turned up to the port where they set off,” he said through a translator.

    Adine said the boat had been heading towards Australia’s Christmas Island. It is not known what caused the accident although overcrowding was firming as the main contributor.

    Yoso Mihardi, a spokesman for the Trenggalek district government, said the boat had a capacity of 100, “but it was overloaded with 250 people”.

    “That, combined with heavy rain and high waves, might have caused the boat to tip over and capsize,” Mr Mihardi said.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/boat-tragedy-linked-to-smuggling-mastermind/story-e6frg6so-1226225309847

    Yeah, just another way of saying ‘sh*t happens’, eh! There’s Green leftist compassion for you.

  228. Great to see you reverting to Christianity, Bones. I think your Bible version needs some work on it though.

    I take it then, since wazza hasn’t responded to my requests to see if he agrees or not, that you and wazza are OK with the drowning at sea.

    Over 1000 people lost at sea, including women and children is acceptable to you.

    It is a worthwhile price, in your estimation, to pay to demonstrate compassion towards people using people smugglers’ operations to risk the ocean in overcrowded unsafe boats.

    It is acceptable collateral damage for you to watch people flail about in the water off Christmas Island.

  229. I take it then, since wazza hasn’t responded to my requests to see if he agrees or not, that you and wazza are OK with the drowning at sea.

    Just like I’m Ok with people getting machine gunned escaping from a concentration camp.

  230. I take it then, since wazza hasn’t responded to my requests to see if he agrees or not, that you and wazza are OK with the drowning at sea.

    That dosent even warrant a response except to say that barring a plane crash, my proposal is the only one that guarantees no asylum seeker will drown at sea.

    If the drowning of these people was really your first concern you would be outraged at the needless loss of life and would advocate an urgent and radical solution – not the ones you are defending now but wont admit to supporting.

    Shame on you for using their deaths to support your faulty and cruel argument.

  231. It would have been easy for you to have said you consider the deaths at sea to be tragic and unwanted, but you sided with Bones and consider them necessary collateral damage when the deaths are avoidable through a bipartisan arrangement with Indonesia.

    You are now starting to fabricate everything I have said about how to deal with the situation in a cooperative way and still maintain high numbers of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia safely.

    Yes we are surrounded by sea. That is the point. It is risky, especially in overcrowded, unsafe boats which are scuttled on purpose at sea.

    The shame is your willingness to perpetuate the tragedy when it can be prevented.

    You actually surprise me, wazza. Bones doesn’t. But I have always considered you to be a reasonable person.

    Are you sure you don’t regret the loss of life?

  232. No, necessary collateral damage was what happened in your war with Iraq.

    Remember that?

    So don’t turn this around and claim the moral high ground. You are of Morrison’s ilk and his bigotry has been exposed.

    Shame on you for using their deaths to support your faulty and cruel argument.

    It’s weird isn’t it.

    Like claiming the Holocaust was doing the Jews a favour.

  233. It used to be that the church had a prophetic voice which opposed the government when necessary. The Catholic church performed this function for decades as did the non-conformist churches – and they still do.

    Now the modern churches just agree with the Government of the day, take their penny and seek patronage and influence in the political process.

    The deaths at sea are a tragedy caused by our fear of the outsider. Those who should have spoken up and given enlightened leadership long ago have followed the crowd in order to seek more influence. They have deliberately taken the broad road.

    Are you a Prophet or an Influencer?

    C3 has grown to become one of the largest and most influential churches in Australia. c3collegeonline.com/mod/book/tool/print/index.php?id=37

  234. Settle down, Bones. You’re heading off in so many tangents you’re in danger of exploding all over the blog.

    You were the one who likened overcrowded unsafe boats filled with paying refugees to people fleeing machine gun fire.

    What, are you now saying Indonesia is firing machine guns at refugees as they leave their shores? Indonesia is a peaceful democratic nation. How could this be?

    Your last comment about the Jews and holocaust being a favour for them should be removed.

    Just because you have no conscience about deaths at sea doesn’t mean you can throw careless and abusive accusations at people you disagree with.

    My argument, in fact, saves lives and keeps alive the hopes of refugees and asylum seekers.

  235. It used to be that the church had a prophetic voice which opposed the government when necessary. The Catholic church performed this function for decades as did the non-conformist churches – and they still do.

    You still find many in the Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Churches providing that prophetic voice.

    Unfortunately some have become enamoured with popular politics and personal piety.

    I mean you can see how Christians can ignore the basic words that Jesus said.

    Some of the most bigotted Christians in history were very pious.

  236. I hope the moderator is consistent and removes your disgusting posts that in some way we view the deaths of refugees as anything but tragic.

    It’s quite despicable that you’re using people’s deaths to prop up an inhumane political position.

  237. “Bingo! thats what it is all about. We’d like to be compassionate but it costs too much money.”

    That’s exactly right.

    There’s Steve’s position right there.

    Nothing to do with deaths at sea.

  238. You are caught out by your own words, Bones. You are now trying to spin a few yarns to cover your shame, but it won’t work.

    I gave you and wazza reams of commentary space to adjust what you said, but he remained silent and you pressed on in deeper.

    The deaths at sea were and are avoidable. We should do all we can to prevent them.

    The overcrowded boats were and are a potential death trap. Any sensible compassionate person will do all in their power to stop them.

    There are still thousands of refugees and asylum seekers coming in. The door is open. We welcome them. We will assist them. They will bless us and improve our community.

    If those who are there can be processed in Indonesia through the UNHSC and Australian Embassy, that would be a good outcome. I don’t think the Abbott Government has plans for this, and there I probably differ with them.

    I would like to see the detention centres closed, but this will require an end to unsafe, overcrowded boats crossing the sea.

  239. That’s not even an argument, Bones. It’s a contrivance to evade the reality of your position.

    It’s merely a sign that you’ve run out of ways to beat the wrap that you consider drownings at sea a necessary part of risking the sea voyage from Indonesia to Australia in overcrowded, unsafe boats crewed by fishermen with instructions to scuttle the craft at the first sight of the Australian navy.

    You have a warped view of compassion if you think it is expressed by allowing people to die at sea when it is preventable.

    And the false impression you have attempted to spin about my no wanting refugees to enter Australia or be financially, socially and vocationally supported is evidence of your reluctance to admit that someone else might have a workable alternative to your own scheme, which, if it is aligned with Labour/Green policy from 2008 to 2013, has been a disaster, especially in terms of loss of life at sea and incarceration of refugee claimants.

    I know for certain you could not have read the comment I made outlining what I thought would be a good way to approach it, even though it was a request by you and wazza. If you had read it you wouldn’t be making these irrational an ridiculously false claims.

  240. This investigation shows that the rate of Asylum seekers was higher under Liberal prime-ministers (Howard and Abbott) than under the Labor ones.
    http://www.smh.com.au/data-point/asylum-seeker-death-toll-passes-grim-milestone-20131001-2uqmj.html

    I don’t agree with the premise that if I don’t support your harsh and vile policies that I am accepting drownings at sea.

    And I’m sure that the families of those who died would be horrified to see you use their personal tragedy to try and wedge the left and deny other asylum seekers their natural rights.

    Arent you ashamed?

  241. Astonishing!

    You produce figures which demonstrate the very point that travelling by overcrowded unsafe boats from Indonesia has caused the deaths of at least 1100 people, and still you say that the imperative to prevent people from the risks involved, which is shared by the vast majority of Australians, is a nonsense.

    You call drownings at sea, however many they might be, a necessary side effect of permitting people to launch out into the deep when the truth is that it is possible to seriously reduce the numbers of boats taking this journey with the cooperation of Indonesian and Australian Governments.

    You then, along with Fairfax media, make the extraordinary claim that the deaths at sea are the responsibility of the present Government, when the clear fact is that, since 2008, when the Pacific Solution was dropped, there have been over 1000 deaths at sea, and they all came under the Rudd/Gillard watch.

    The article you produced from the very biased Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald, has to go back 25 years to trump up its percentages, and completely ignores the most important demographic that from 2002 to 2008, after which Rudd changed the policy, there were very few boats attempting the journey and no drownings. None.

    That is the important demographic. It was possible to prevent deaths at sea by diminishing the number of boats taking the journey.

    Anyone can make figures say what they want if they meddle with them enough. Did you think I came down with the last shower or something that I can’t see right through this subterfuge in a few minutes? Do you think I have not thought carefully about my position and the difficulty presented by all the issues? It is a very complex and demanding situation. I don’t envy the Government or Opposition their choices.

    I do not agree with all that either side says, as I have pointed out. I have just stated my position, under a very strong assault from you and especially Bones.

    I may be wrong. I may be right, but my intentions are to try to think through a solution that works. If you can find a better way, then so be it and I wish you well, but attempting to crush my ideas or input because you want to prove a Pentecostal wrong, or whatever your motive is, is pointless and crude.

    And you have the audacity to call the solutions I put up in all faith for you to peruse and comment on ‘harsh and vile’ when it is obvious to anyone that actually cared to read them that they are far from ‘harsh’ and far from ‘vile’.

    Please, as a matter of record, outline what I proposed so that we can see if you actually read and understood what I took time to present to you for your counsel and consideration, and which you made no comment and no response about, either you or Bones, but merely continued bombarding me with trumped up charges which do not come anywhere near the actual presentation.

    No. I’m not ashamed. I have never sought a ‘wedge’. I hope our Government can save lives and allow refugees and asylum seekers fair entry into Australia.

    You may have experienced a ‘wedge’ in your own conscience because you surely were complicit with Bones’ unbelievable admission that the deaths at sea are a necessary side effect of people taking the risky journey. You not only failed to deny it, but you actually joined Bones’ unbelievable foray into comparing the loss of life at sea with machine gun fire at the Berlin Wall, the holocaust, and the like.

    That ‘wedge’ you are trying to slip into the conversation is actually the lives of hundreds of people, who must have known the risk they were taking, but nevertheless, in the future, can be saved if Indonesia and Australia act sensibly to slow the boats, or at least regulate the flow of refugees in some way.

    I gave you my thoughts in all good faith, and you have slapped me down with this latest coarse falsehood.

    I thought you to be a reasonable person to discuss issues with.

    You are clearly not.

  242. I think that it’s time to put an end to this conversation…it’s heading nowhere and is deteriorating. I think it fair enough to suggest that we, none of us, has any desire to see anyone die in their attempt to get here. I think we all want a safe hammer manner with in which people can claim asylum in Australia. To claim otherwise by any of us is disingenuous and lacks the understanding we all have that we love our fellow humans and we are each as strident as we can be in our efforts to make this world a better place. I will be closing off comments on this thread late today. Please do not drag the conversation to another thread.

  243. Look at it this way, wazza, why not take away all the traffic lights, speed limits, roundabouts, road markings and road signs from the highways and cities and just say the deaths and carnage that would ensue were merely the risk people take when driving from one place to another.

    There would be outcry, because people know there was something which could be done to reduce accidents.

    Or remove air traffic control from airports.

    Or reinstate gun ownership, but without the necessity of a license or safe storage.

    Or get rid of the customs and excise departments altogether. Have no security checks at airports, docks and harbours.

    We have major health and safety campaigns for Australians. Some even seem overbearing, such as cigaret packaging and alcohol age limits and labelling, food regulation, restaurant and café´kitchen regulations, but they do save lives.

    Why would’t you want to save lives at sea? Why are refugees less important?

  244. You’ve got to be kidding. If you want to save lives at sea, give them plane tickets!!!!!!!

    Thats what I’ve been saying all along. Why do you persist with this madness? Are you just trying to decieve me or have you also deceived yourself?

  245. The Navy seems to be doing more than the ABC to piss off Indonesia.

    Indonesia demands suspension of Australia’s asylum operations

    Minister’s spokesman says incursions into Indonesian waters were ‘a serious matter in bilateral relations’

    Indonesia has demanded Australia stop the asylum policy “operations” that resulted in the Australian navy entering its waters and revealed it will step up naval patrols of its borders, as the incident heightens diplomatic tensions between the countries.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/17/australia-apologises-patrol-boats-indonesian-waters

    Maybe that was the ABC’s fault.

  246. How dare the Guardian report on that!!! It’s embarrasing for the Government.

    There’s always a greenie or muslim or abc journalist (or ideally a greenie muslim abc journo) that you can blame if you are backed into a corner. Was Waleed Aly on the boats? Can we get him on there somehow?

  247. Amazing how the Indonesians suddenly have a navy!

    Next they’ll anounce they have customs and border checks for people departing Indonesia for other countries.

    Given how hard it is to get into Indonesia without a passport and visa, it is astonishing how easy it is for overladen, unsafe vessels to leave the place.

    But I find it incredible Bones and wazza can mock deaths at sea with their juvenile jokes.

    The free money for air tickets scheme wazza is proposing is about at the same level of incompetence as most of the Labour schemes of the Rudd/Gillard era.

    Bones voted for Palmer, and now wazza promotes one of his loopiest schemes. That says it all.

  248. But let’s compare their jesting with reality.

    Plane crash theory: Well, every aircraft that leaves one country for another is checked for safety on many levels.

    It is cleared for take-off. It is cleared for landing on the other side. There is air-traffic control.

    Passengers cannot leave without correct paperwork, border checks, or enter on the other side without correct paperwork and border checks.

    The aircraft cannot carry more than the designated numbers of passengers.

    Everyone has a seat belt, life jacket, oxygen mask, and there are life rafts and escape plans for emergencies.

    The pilot is in contact with air-traffic control at all times during the journey.

    The flight is not overcrowded or in unsafe vessels. The crew is trained for an emergency.

    There has never, to my knowledge, been a fatal air crash in the history of Australian public international aviation.

    By comparison, the refugee sea journeys are fraught with uncertainty and danger, and there is clear evidence of many boats sinking and huge loss of life.

    On concerts: Hillsong concerts cannot go ahead without major safety checks and permission. Security is high and safety paramount. Hence the argument in the article. There is no recorded evidence of a fatality at any Hillsong event.

    Your own jesting works against you.

  249. Unfortunately, in this world as it is , none of these things come for free, and someone has to pay.

    That’s what it boils down to.

    Show me the money.

    Typical Pentecostal thinking.

  250. On concerts: Hillsong concerts cannot go ahead without major safety checks and permission.

    ‘‘We contacted the venue and strongly advised against running the event without a development application and their response was that it was too late and the event had already been planned,’’ he said.

    Fancy belittling young people getting injured.

  251. We’re not mocking the deaths at sea, we’re mocking you, you turkey!!!!!

    You refuse to consider the safe option of plane travel because it costs too much, then use the deaths at sea as some kind of shield against any criticism.

    Get behind me Satan.

  252. It’s not about the cost, goony bird, it’s the ridiculous assumption, which is on a par with Mr Abbott’s policy to buy Indonesian fishing boats, which he has now dropped.

    Did he realise how many dodgy fishing boats there are in Indonesia?

    Likewise, have you worked out how many people would take advantage of a $700 ticket free offer into Australia without passports, visas, reference from the UNHCR, in the hope of convincing whosoever of their viability as refugees?

    And, should they fail in the proposed two day assessment, who pays to send them back to wherever?

    And, are you stripping them of the appeals process?

    You can’t completely, as Mr Abbott will discover, because they will still have the high court, so a two day turnaround is a pipe dream.

    So it’s not about the money, dummy. It’s a totally impractical unworkable solution.

  253. Or…

    Why do you think they are not flying into Australia in the first place? Why isn’t it already happening? Because the airlines are more organised than Indonesian people smugglers when it comes to identification, and no one gets unto a plane without a passport and visa.

    Therefore, they would have to have travel documents to leave Indonesia, and to arrive in Australia.

    Which means that the only way they could get into Australia on a plane from Indonesia is by being processed in Indonesia through the UNHCR and the cooperation of Australian authorities, probably through the embassy.

    Which is exactly my plan. Exactly.

    Except the refugees, who have demonstrated that they have enough finance to pay an average of $14,000 to the people smugglers, could probably afford their own passage by plane should they recieve visas.

    If not, then we could consider funding their passage, once they have been identified as genuine refugees and asylum seekers and authorised to enter Australia.

    Again, you are caught out by your own desire to score points rather than work through the issues.

  254. As for Bones, his continual cheap shots are an indication of his true character. Considering his feigned aversion to prosperity, he sure is loose with other people’s finance.

    That is so typical of the left, green or red. Run up the bills on badly worked out policies, such as pink bats, useless bird killing windmills, redundant desalination plants, pointless school buildings, endless ideas conferences and repeated commissions, centralised beaurocracy, taxes on business, climate commissions, globe trotting junkets, the Swan era cash splash, to send us deep into the financial mire.

    Tax the next generation into a Greek economy of dependence, entitlement and debt. The kids can pay.

    Being pragmatic, which a word I have used often, includes how we use the wealth we have.

    We should spare no expense in assisting genuine refugees and asylum seekers. I totally agree, and have said this several times.

    But, if, as Bones brought up earlier and was the context of what I was saying, you want to increase population to emulate cities such as Tonyo, which was his example, then you have to budget and plan for the infrastructure, and you have to do so gradually, not suddenly.

    It is easy to twist around what a person says and make it into something sinister. Giving a measured response to what a person actually says takes courage and integrity.

  255. Why do you think they are not flying into Australia in the first place? Why isn’t it already happening? Because the airlines are more organised than Indonesian people smugglers when it comes to identification, and no one gets unto a plane without a passport and visa

    Where’s the Australian embassy in Afghanistan? How do you get a visa? When you’re fleeing for your life do you do that with some urgency or do you wait for travel documents which give the authorities in the place you are fleeing the heads up as to what you are planning? Do you stick around or do you flee?

  256. How many visas (eg tourist, student) do you think Australia grants people from Afghanistan compared to the UK or USA? They arent stupid. They know that they are likely to be refugees and will claim asylum.

    Being pragmatic, which a word I have used often, includes how we use the wealth we have.

    But I thought you were a prosperity Christian, which surely means that God will make us prosperous if we do the right thing. If God can bless us 1000-fold for donating to a ministry, will He not also do the same for helping the refugee?

  257. Greg, I was specifying those people who are seeking asylum from Indonesia who are already there. Maybe you haven’t been following, but that main discussion is on the people who claim refugee status who have arrived in Indonesia and seek passage to Australia.

    I did not mention Afghanistan. That is a whole different ballgame. There is an Australian Embassy in Kabul, by the way, but it doesn’t issue visas. The nearest High Commission is in Islamabad in Pakistan.

    But for Afghanis the solution isn’t a trip to Australia. It is assistance from the UNHCR.

    Australia has no jurisdiction in Afghanistan. Afghanis need to approach the UNHCR, who are very active in Afghanistan, as the following information tells you.

    A list of UNHCR Partners in Afghanistan:

    Implementing partners
    Government agencies: Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation
    NGOs: Afghan Community Rehabilitation Unit, Afghan General Help Coordination Office, Afghan Planning Agency, Afghan Public Welfare Organization, Afghan Society Relief and Care Organization, Afghan Unique Development Organization, Afghanistan Agency for Integrated Development, Afghanistan Human Resources Development Agency, Afghanistan Reconstruction and Planning Department, Afghanistan Rehabilitation and Education Programme, Agence d’Aide à la Coopération technique et au développement, Agency for Farming Support, Alfl ah Institute of Higher Education, Ansari Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan, Central Afghanistan Welfare Committee, Communication Development and Social Affairs Charity, Cooperation Centre for Afghanistan, Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance in Afghanistan, Danish Refugee Council, Development and Care Group, Development and Humanitarian Services for Afghanistan, Development of Afghan Women Organization, Engineering Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan, Greenway Organization, Gruppo Volontariato Civile, Human Dignity Society, Humanitarian Action for the People of Afghanistan, Humanitarian Organization for Local Development, International Rescue Committee, INTERSOS – Italy, Justice and Civil Society Support Organization, Mediothek Afghanistan, New Consulting and Relief Organization, Norwegian Project Office- Rural Rehabilitation Association for Afghanistan, Norwegian Refugee Council, Organization for Relief Development, Organization of Human Welfare, Reconstruction and Social Services for Afghanistan Organization, Sanayee Development Organization, Shafaq Reconstruction Organization, Social Service Organization for Afghan Returnees, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Voluntary Association for the Rehabilitation of Afghanistan, Warchild UK, Watan Social and Technical Services Association
    Operational partners
    Government agencies: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, Ministry of Urban Planning and Development, Ministry of Water and Agriculture, Ministry of Women Affairs
    NGOs: ACBAR (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief & Development), Danish Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee, Norwegian Refugee Council
    Others: Asian Development Bank, ILO, IOM, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNMACCA, UNMAS, WFP, World Bank

    Many Afghani refugees are returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan and Iran.

  258. Are people even reading Steve’s posts?

    “But I thought you were a prosperity Christian, which surely means that God will make us prosperous if we do the right thing. If God can bless us 1000-fold for donating to a ministry …..”

    Lol
    Steve, looks like you’ve won when Wazza comes up with a Bonesian attack like that!

    I think Greg’s plan to close the thread makes sense.

  259. wazza,
    But I thought you were a prosperity Christian, which surely means that God will make us prosperous if we do the right thing. If God can bless us 1000-fold for donating to a ministry, will He not also do the same for helping the refugee?

    Where did you get your doctrine of 1000 fold blessing for donating to a ministry?

    And where did you get your doctrine of God making us prosperous if we do the right thing? Unless you mean the right thing is to repent and receive Jesus as Lord. Well that is the doorway to blessing, sonship and responsibility with suffering.

    I know you are being sarcastic, but you have never heard a 1000 fold anything from me. Please explain how you reach these doctrines. With scripture please. What is prosperity and where does it come from? Define prosperity.

    As for helping the refugee, everything I have said has been about helping refugees. It’s only in your imagination that you think otherwise.

    We don’t help refugees for any reward. It’s what we do. They are our neighbours. God will always supply, but we also have a duty of care.

    I think you have confused what I say with what you think we believe. You got your doctrine out of a cornflake box or a ‘discernment site’.LOL!

    You can’t believe everything you read at so-called ‘discernment sites’ like c3churchwatch and groupsects. They only report bad news, gossip, false media reports and innuendo. Good news is out of bounds for them. Sound teaching is anathema to them. Reasonable reasoning is beyond their capacity.

    I am all for opening up for more refugees to make Australia their home.

    I repeat. I believe in helping migrants come into free nations.

  260. Well, I see a conflict between the way churches encourage people to tithe/give in faith that God will bless them, – and the way they are so concerned with the finances of the country.

    They seem to think God blesses individuals financially, but cannot/wont do it at the national level.

  261. Q- If it were up to me, I’d let in just about anyone who wanted to come. Especially if they were desperate enough to risk their lives.

    Can’t you even defend your own argument?

    You are aware that Steve believes you’re responsible for asylum seeker deaths for your “leftist compassion”.

    Get you cheerleader outfit off and grow some balls.

  262. wazza,
    They seem to think God blesses individuals financially, but cannot/wont do it at the national level.

    ‘They’? Who? The mysterious ‘they’ strike again!

    Your claim – God blesses individuals financially but not at a national level. What utter nonsense that is. You made it up.

    Australia is one of he most blessed, prosperous nations on earth. It has natural resources the rest of the nations of the world would die for. It has been voted the best nation on earth to live.

    The very reason so many people who claim to be refugees travel thousands of miles over hazardous journeys and risk their lives n the lives of the wives and children is to come the greatest and most peaceful nation o the planet. And one of the most prosperous.

    But our infrastructure is on he edge, so we have to plan for a bigger country with more people, but carefully and methodically so that the next generation is able to cope with the increased population in a pan which is mainly desert.

    God is blessing Australia because Australians are some of the most generous and cringe people in the world, and give millions to worthy causes.

    Of course God blesses people. He also blesses nations. Righteousness exalts a nation.

  263. This government is a broken record

    Aid groups accuse Coalition of broken promise after it announces new cuts

    All funding for environment programs to end, as Coalition focuses aid on countries it needs to support its asylum policy

    Organisations such as Care, Save the Children, Caritas, ChildFund, Plan International and the Fred Hollows Foundation – who have partnership agreements with the government – have had their current year funding cut by about 8%.

    They say that means they are losing money already allocated to programs related to water and sanitation, elimination of violence against women, disaster reduction work and small-scale agriculture, among others.

    The organisations say the cuts clearly break a Coalition promise not to cut their funding when it announced a $4.5bn cut to the aid budget over the next four years two days before the federal election.

    She said the government would now consult NGOs and other governments to set benchmarks and stricter reporting standards to ensure future aid spending achieved its objectives.

    Julia Newton Howes, chief executive of Care Australia, said her organisation had lost $500,000 from a $20m budget this year.

    “This is for aid we had already programmed this financial year. We are now going to have to scramble to work out where we can cut,” she said.

    Newton Howes, who is also vice-president of the Australian Council for International Development (Acfid) said it was “particularly disappointing that the government is making cuts it promised it would not make before the election”.

    The government has minimised cuts for countries in the region and those involved in its asylum policy.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/18/aid-groups-accuse-coalition-of-broken-promise-after-it-announces-new-aid-cuts

  264. Old Bones has been seething all the way through this discussion. He’s like a steam kettle someone forgot to turn off. Hopefully he’ll dry up soon.

  265. Anglican Church caring agencies condemn Coalition asylum seeker policy

    Leaders of Anglican Church caring agencies meeting today condemned the Coalition policy announced concerning asylum seekers, as “a retrospective, cruel and unnecessary policy targeting vulnerable and dispossessed people.”

    The comment was made in a statement by Dr Philip Freier, Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne, who chaired the meeting, and also the heads of nine Anglican welfare agencies including Mr Tony Nicholson, Executive Director of the Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Mr Paul McDonald, CEO of Anglicare Victoria.

    Their statement continued: “Stripping those already in Australia of hope is unspeakably cruel.

    “Our history shows what outstanding citizens emerge when compassion and practical assistance are offered to those who seek refuge.

    “Already our agencies are receiving anguished and confused calls from asylum seekers in our care, alarmed by today’s announcement.

    “They are troubled, but we are all demeaned by today’s announcement.

    “It is not our habit to comment in the middle of election campaigns, but today’s announcement is so appalling in its lack of compassion that we cannot remain silent.”

    http://www.melbourne.anglican.com.au/NewsAndViews/Pages/Anglican-Church-caring-agencies-condemn-Coalition-asylum-seeker-policy-000450.aspx

  266. From the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council

    Ten steps to welcome asylum seekers

    1. Be informed
    Know the facts. Contact one of the agencies listed for accurate information. ACSJC has publications; NSW CLRI has an education kit.

    2. Spread the word
    Inform others of world events, which cause people to flee their country.
    Participate in education campaigns targeting racism.

    3. Speak of asylum seekers as people
    Establish personal contact, friendship, understanding and acceptance.

    4. Make a contribution
    Offer financial or other support or voluntary services for asylum seekers’ assistance centres.
    Provide a travel pass or phone card for an asylum seeker.

    5. Visit a detention centre
    Identify an asylum seeker and visit her or him.

    6. Be a mentor and friend
    Mentor a person with a temporary protection visa in the workplace.
    Befriend these people in the neighbourhood or your local church.

    7.Advocate
    Monitor parliamentary bills.
    Draw attention to legislation; the removal of basic human rights; discrimination; conditions in detention centres; inadequate representation.

    8. Use the media effectively
    Be alert to the use of manipulative language in the media: newspapers, talk-back radio; television.
    Write letters.

    9. Encourage others
    Encourage family, friends and colleagues to participate in some of these activities.

    10. Pray
    Use the accompanying Prayer Card.

    A prayer for asylum seekers

    Lord,
    No one is a stranger to you
    and no one is ever far from your loving care.
    In your kindness watch over refugees and asylum seekers,
    those separated from their loved ones, those who are lost,
    and those who have been exiled from their homes.
    Bring them safely to the place where they long to be,
    and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need.

    http://www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au/publications/ten-step-leaflets/108-ten-steps-to-welcome-asylum-seekers

  267. The election’s over, Bones. The Liberal National Coalition won with a large majority. The Greens vote shrunk. Labour were saved from utter oblivion by a last gasp change of leader and Rudd saved the day. Incredibly, some people voted for Clive Palmer and he actually won a seat in the Parliament.

    So you can stop campaigning now. It’s over.

  268. From the Uniting Church

    Asylum Seeker and Refugee Policy

    We approach the issue of asylum seekers and refugees in the context of the words of Jesus. He spoke of a new community established on righteousness and love, and based on a fellowship of reconciliation — a community in which all members work together for the good of the whole. In essence, working for this kind of society is our contribution to civil society. When we work for freedom, human rights and the common good of the community we are expressing our faith. It is an outworking of the community of God.

    1. The human rights of all people must be upheld at all times.All people should be treated with respect and accorded the dignity they deserve as human beings. We must uphold the rights recognised under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All people have a right for their cultural background to be respected. We must uphold the rights recognised under, and fulfil our obligations under, all UN treaties that Australia has ratified, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The rights of asylum seekers and refugees must be upheld at all times. We must fulfil Australia’s obligations under the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees. We must strive to meet recommendations made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in recognition of its mandate to lead and coordinate international action for the world-wide protection of refugees and the resolution of refugee problems.
    2. The Australian response toward asylum seekers and refugees should be culturally sensitive and should take into account the situations from which people have come.
    3. Australia’s policies and legislation should reflect a commitment to the rights and safety of asylum seekers and refugees and should clearly distinguish these from issues of border protection and security, and from attempts to deal with people smuggling.
    4. There should be no discrimination in the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and humanitarian entrants.
    5. We must use appropriate and sensitive language when we describe and discuss refugees and asylum seekers. Government policies and statements must not use language that encourages fear and hatred towards refugees and asylum seekers.
    6. We must help those who come to Australia seeking asylum. On arrival, asylum seekers should have access to the protections afforded to them in international law.
    7. Asylum Seekers must have full legal rights and protection.
    8. We must help those who come to Australia for resettlement.
    9. Australia’s policies and legislation should refer particularly to the rights and needs of child asylum seekers and refugees.
    10. Australia must take a truly global approach to refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced persons. We should not continue to place the burden of processing refugee claims onto poor and developing countries.
    11. The immigration system should be accountable and transparent.
    12. People whose refugee claims have been rejected and who are waiting to be returned should be treated justly and humanely.

    http://www.unitingjustice.org.au/refugees-and-asylum-seekers/uca-statements/item/477-asylum-seeker-and-refugee-policy

  269. From the Baptists

    In the light of the principles and issues outlined here, and the biblical mandate to care for the
    ‘stranger’; to support the oppressed and to express kindness, mercy and justice in all our ways

    1. Baptist Care Australia calls on the Australian Government to

    (i) Meet its international humanitarian obligations and provide a process for people
    arriving in Australia seeking protection and asylum which meets our Australian
    society’s accepted Christian standard of humanity and generosity.

    (ii) Provide humane alternatives including a reception program for asylum seekers
    that involves a humane standard of living within the community (at significantly
    less cost than mandatory detention),

    (iii) Ensure a timely and fair assessment of their claims for asylum and protection,

    (iv) Reject refoulement (that is, involuntary return to a country where persecution is
    likely to be faced). Where people are assessed as not having a need for protection
    they should only be returned in conditions of safety and dignity, with assurances of
    sustainable reintegration and external monitoring of the conditions to which they
    are being returned; and

    (v) To adopt clear, transparent processes for the review of decisions.

    2. Baptist Care Australia opposes the practice of mandatory detention both within Australia
    and beyond our borders while asylum claims are being processed. We call on the
    Australian Government to provide any asylum seeker awaiting the outcome of a protection
    order the opportunity to seek work and access essential services and other human rights
    protection.

    http://www.baptistcareaustralia.org.au/Portals/0/Governance/policy/ASYLUM%20SEEKERS%20POSITION%20PAPER%20AND%20POLICY%20august2013.pdf

  270. I looked up asylum seekers and Pentecostals but couldn’t find much apart from Scott Morrison.

    [deleted by moderator for unnecessary abusiveness]

  271. I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    Ad infinitum…

  272. I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    Ad infinitum…

  273. I case you didn’t get it…

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    Ad infinitum…

  274. Once more for the real dim-wits…

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    Ad infinitum…

  275. And finally for the dimmest wit of all, Bones…

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    I am in favour of refugees and asylum seekers coming into Australia. I think we should help them enter, settle and become part of our community. They are a blessing, on the whole, to our nation. I am not against refugees or asylum seekers.

    Ad infinitum…

  276. The Lefties probably killed Jesus too..

    Now I wonder why the Anglicans, Catholics, Uniting and Baptists haven’t adopted Steve’s, turn the bastards back policy?

    Maybe they’re all compassionate lefties?

    Oh wait, here’s a thought, maybe it has something to do with the basics of Christianity.

    Some one should tell them and Jesus that they’re actually killing people.

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