Bartlett's Blog

Andrew Bartlett has been active in politics for over 20 years, including as a Queensland Senator from 1997-2008. This blog started in 2004 and reflects his own views, independent of any political party or organisation.

Detention Insanity

There is a well known definition of insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  The current humanitarian disaster unfolding in Australia’s immigration detention centres is a classic – and disgraceful example.

If there was one unequivocal, indisputable fact that arose from government policy and management of detention centres during the Howard era, it was that it was an incredibly expensive way of causing enormous mental and other harm to people – people who, as an aside, were neither accused nor convicted of any crime. Former Australian of the Year, Prof Pat McGorry, described them as mental illness factories, as have others.

Yet, after some promising signs of positive change in the early stages of the Rudd government, the approach in regards to detaining of asylum seekers that has been followed since by the government under both Rudd and Gillard has been almost indistinguishable from that under the Howard era.

And totally predictably, the outcome is exactly the same.  The Commonwealth Ombudsman has just announced a new inquiry into suicide and self-harm in Australia’s detention centres. ABC’s Lateline  is reporting concerns over both the adequacy of management and duty of care of asylum seekers, and the accuracy of reporting of incidents of self-harm in detention centres by Serco the private firm contracted to run these places.

So unnecessary. So unjustifiable.  So appalling. So disgraceful.

And just plain insane.


164 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. red crab

    i here all the complaining and finger pointing from all these ppl but not once have i ever herd any one of them say how they would handle the situation if it were there,s to fix i would imagine it would be quite different if they had to come up with a solution .
    oh how easy it is to take the high moral ground .

    well mabe we will see something done now that our saviours are here the greens funny thing is now they actually have to come up with the goods and be held countable.something that they have never experienced before.

  2. Marilyn

    Ah yes, but DIC’s have to protect our fucking borders.

  3. wondering

    Are there any current Members of either house of parliament against this whole disgraceful system? I feel the need to protest but don’t know where to start.

  4. red crab

    Ah yes, but DIC’s have to protect our borders.


    now the real test will begin starting this week i think the govt will fold .
    just like allways the smugglers think they are a joke and so does most of the country.

    get ready for boat loads of women and children because thats what i would send if i were trafficking people now
    and the media is going to have a field day with it .

    just imagine what the govt can get away with while most ppl are focusing on a few boat ppl. seems familiar .

  5. paul walter

    Sorry rc, I know what you are saying, but if the system can’t account for life and death matters and a rational duty of care for these people who are overwhelmingly who they say they- unfortunate refugees- its failed.
    How do you treat someone who has had to flee a war zone, lost everything and perhaps because of wars imposed partly by us?
    Surely not by locking them in a cell for months and months; no one to talk to and like you or me in that situation, suffering resulting depression and suicide or a mental breakdown, that’s not “Australian”.
    “Australian” is when you help a battler, not kick one when he or she is down, it jusn’t doesn’t seem the “fair go” to me.

  6. red crab

    well what is the solution do we just let anyone who wants to live here set up shop .with out any checks at all
    we all know the govt as did the last is using boat ppl to screen what they are really up to nothing has changed .
    i am bemused by the way some ppl seen to think that australia has imposed wars any where i think that australia has been dragged kicking into any wars they have been involved in .
    i would love to be corrected.

    as for locking ppl up i do know there is a building at christmas island that has high security to equil any thing on the mainland but its a small area .
    so how do you control a group of ppl mostly single mails that out number the whole population of christmas island just how would you protect the people whos home is there .

    its ok to say to give them a fare go thats good but at what cost to those that had no part in the decision

    you know what the govt has done for the ppl who were on the cliffs out there nothing !! .

  7. paul walter

    Not nice to read the news about the”bouncers” being sent to Xmass island to bodily haul out the asylum seekers being sent to Malaysia.

  8. red crab

    howard did it with the tampa situation now gillards doing the same thing
    its all about politics and survival
    i was rite then and im rite now
    the reason that the return of the new boat arrivals is going to take weeks instead of days is to let the media frenzy focus on something elce
    gillard has made this agreement its now going to be tested if she fails then the people traffickers have won and the govt,s credibility will be gone

  9. Marilyn

    Shut the fuck up red. I have had a gutful of your hateful racist bullshit.

    There were some questions on notice released this week that show only 40 of the 4,300 Afghans have been refused, guess that means we wasted $1 billion because of some 40 people.

    the other chart released is really interesting. Of the thousands who fly here and apply for asylum the greater the skill level of the person involved the less likely they will be deported if they are bogus and we can use them.

    The following table shows a breakdown of the ten visa types with the largest volumes
    in respect of entry visas of the people who left Australia (subject to a compliance
    related departure) following refusal of asylum claims.
    2008-09 Financial Year
    Entry Visa
    Business (short stay)
    Electronic Travel Authority (visitor)
    Sponsored Family Visitor
    Higher education sector
    Tourist (long stay)
    Business (long stay)
    Vocational education and training sector
    2009-10 Financial Year
    Entry Visa
    Business (short stay)
    Electronic Travel Authority (visitor)
    Sponsored Family Visitor
    Higher education sector
    Business (long stay)
    Vocational education and training sector

  10. red crab

    oh there you go again marilyn
    stooping to a new low and resorting to calling ppl who you have never met a racist
    i think its because you know im rite,.
    so if the govt has wasted 1billion on 40 ppl
    how much has been spent on the other 4300 ppl

    nice summery of ppl who lost there entry visas to australia but what about the 6000 or so that
    has arrived by boat?
    and you have not given me just how many ppl who had been granted avisa that was not taken from them
    i think you read too much maybe you should get out into the real world every now and then.
    if you want to call someone that over used and just about meaningless word try to back it up with some sort of balance.
    and in closing would you please show me where or when at any point iv made any sort of racist comment about anyone .

    love red


  11. paul walter

    Marilyn, Marilyn, puhleeese!
    He is only a little mite, just a nipper flea-ing the strife, you’d suspect?

  12. red crab

    come on marilyn
    you called me!! a ( hateful racist ) now either prove it or apologize
    i thought better of you
    paul thanks for sticking up for me
    but mabe a tick would be more appropriate rather than a flea
    ever seen what a tick can do?

  13. The Feral Abacus

    A curious choice on your part, Red Crab. Amongst biologists, ticks are notorious as being blood-sucking bladders that do little other than sitting around hitching a ride and spreading poison.

  14. red crab

    come to think about it that way mabe your rite
    i was thinking more along the lines of what a tick can do in terms of its ability to kill its host through a slow painful death
    my choice could have been better.heat of the moment type of thing.
    thanks for pointing that out
    but here i sit just a little mite wondering
    why people who know they are going to be detained still come and then start to complain the moment they set foot here i think that’s what they are told to do knowing that at some point there will be enough sympathy for them to force the govts hand in there favour
    thats what i would do in there situation
    and i am still waiting for the advocates academics and sympathizing people to come up with another alternative

    all they seem to do is call anyone who ask.s them for there alternative ideas a racist nipper flea . seems to me that they are happy taking the high moral ground then turning on any one that has a different point of view .
    because they know at this point there is no other option other wise they would be screaming there alternatives from the roof tops.

  15. wondering

    red crab – I may not have a monopoly on ideas about how to handle reugees/asylum seekers differently, but I know that I have put forward the idea several times that we improve our own processing system so that people don’t suffer as a result of confinement when they have comitted no crime, for one thing, and that we need to put a lot more effort as a nation into establishing mechanisms for peace in the countries where many asylum seekers come from, e.g. Sri Lanka, Burma etc. Yet you continually say that nobody but you ever says anything constructive – and I have not actually seen you say anything constructive either. What is your suggestion about the current situation in Xmas Is. apart from worrying about the red crabs? Have you ever considered that the island people themselves are not entirely as you paint them – downtrodden by the demands on their environment? You’ve heard about the profiteering, I imagine? Lots of issues there .. not a word from you.

  16. red crab

    ok as far as christmas island gos
    because that’s the place iv actually seen with my own eyes .
    first close the detention centre .
    have phoshate hill open with only 100 beds . when this is full do what was done in the past tents and camp beds no phones to replace the ones that were thrown into the see no ipods on computers only for use to prove who they are .
    and australian food only

    you will say thats inhuman and not the way of austalians but the people who came in the past were given less and they never complained
    asylum seekers to have 14days to prove they are genuine refugee.s if they can then they be given a visa with limited access to welfare and no work restrictions
    those that need more time given a temp protection visa with limited access to welfare for six months if they can prove they are refugees get the same as the others
    those that cant prove they are refugees and are dreamed to be a possible threat to what ever community the would be placed
    be told they have no chance of getting a visa
    be given the option to leave .
    there would be no appeal process
    and where possible have the interviews done buy people who were refugees and have experiences of the situations some people claim to be from.

    now you are all going to gasp and think im the worst person you think you know

    but my suggestions would soon find out who were genuine and who is not
    and i would go as far as to say there is not one single genuine refugee waiting in a un camp anywhere that would not agree to those conditions for a better life .

    your political correct ideas have sead nothing but we need to improve
    you have made no attempt at all to say how you think it should be done . now why do i think you are a politition .

  17. ken

    The problem with your ideas red are that they would upset the whole industry of people, even compassionate and polite ones like Marilyn, that now feed of those unfortunate souls.

  18. paul walter

    On another note, the high court found for the asylum seekers and their advocates, as to an injuction sought to prevent removal of aylum seekers from Xmass Island to Malaysia.

  19. red crab

    well i just watched dateline how interesting was that
    refugees that are flooding into Greece are let out of detention within 3 days how good is that maybe australia should do the same thing
    oh but after there have been let out the are given 10days to leave
    the have no rites at all !!!
    no housing no work no social security no food no mobiles no computers no cars no free medical no free education and no protection . with little hope of getting any farther because the adjoining countrys wont accept them they are worse off now than they were before they left there homes.
    so tell me where australia is treating our asylum seekers
    compared to most other countrys in the world .
    the govt is not just trying to outwit the people smugglers they are also trying to contend with a whole lot of australians that have become an industry in its own Wright and they are not going to go easy.

    so paul why do you think the advocates who are making a high court challenge are looking after the asylum seekeres who knew they were destine to be deported or are they just trying to protect there own private little money making industry .

  20. paul walter

    RC, there’d have to be an easier way to make a quid than that. I think you’d find that the industry you talk of also extends to the political right, plenty of hacks making a quid attacking the refugees in the press and so forth.
    Let’s not dispute RC’s remark concerning the universality of population movements and the disruption to the millions fleeing war zones and dire poverty, although you could draw a link to western political and economic policies over the last generation, on developing world countries as “failed states”.
    Nor should we applaud the politicians and media for their clumsy failure to ensure that if humanitarian movements occur costs and disruptions are not imposed on the working classes in the west.
    The recent events in the US show the ultra rich are the last people the rest of us should ever look to for leadership.
    One supposes there is a industry, but I think it’s an industry devoted to keeping the people divided and keeping the plutocrats in power.

  21. red crab

    Nor should we applaud the politicians and media for their clumsy failure to ensure that if humanitarian movements occur costs and disruptions are not imposed on the working classes in the west.
    i don,t think that many working class people object to some costs and disruptions that is required to help those in need but i think there is a line drawn between those that really need help and those that can afford to pay for a boat trip

    once again paul seems to be the only one who understands what in trying to say

    as far as the high court challenge buy the advocates if the govt has the appeal go in the govt favor can the govt claim cost s
    ie cost of waisted time and the money it has cost the tax payers for transport and personal sitting on chrismas island .from the ppl who made the claim in the court .

  22. BB

    No special benefits, no housing, no medical. Protect our borders.
    Don’t give them incentives to come here because the truth is we don’t want them.
    Comes to a cost to us the tax payer. If they do get asylum make them work for it because would’t we all like to get something for nothing.

  23. Marilyn

    In the last three years we have wasted $1.24 billion jailing innocent people and driving them insane.

    The cost of 1500 in the community was $15 million which includes all initial start ups.

    So who is stupid then?

  24. red crab

    thanks marilyn for your informative comment .

    is your argument so week that you constantly have to stoop to new lows calling people that don’t fit into you idea of a perfect world all types of nasty names .
    as far as detention go,s everyone with the exception of a few very young children who have had no say over there situation know that they are going to be detained for a while THEY KNOW THIS BEFORE THEY GET ON A BOAT PLAIN OR A BIT OF DRIFT WOOD . now that iv sead that

    how about marilyn you check out just how nicely the asylum seekers that go to some other places are treated while they are in detention and after there are set free into the community with an order to leave at there own cost .and mabe find out how much is not spent on them .il save you the effort NOTHING!!! .
    no food no spending money no shelter no work no social security and no help to leave
    we bend over backwards to help a few ppl who can afford to jump a expensive and dangerous boat while millions are starving in some parts of the world and then they think they have the rite to complain that there ipods need new battery’s or they throw the food into the ceiling fans because they don’t like it because its not there traditional food .
    so you just keep on calling me nasty names marilyn and what ever yo do don’t ever give up complaining that a certain group you think are hard done by are not getting a far deal .
    so every one that goes through the detention process gets some form of mental disorder or is it just the ones that maybe had it to start with and are trying to claim something because they have been knocked back . or maybe it was the two that arrived back for the second time on a boat that had current Victorian drivers licences for i.d.
    cant wait to see what you call me now

  25. paul walter

    RC, no one denies your concern or affection toward your own country. But your opponents are concerned also, they see their countries reputation as a haven for the “fair go”under threat and us selling out on our most cherished beliefs, as democratic and fair people, as to asylum seekers.
    They see that something so far good in Australians now shows a dark and cowardly underbelly, due to all the fear some politicians, newspapers and media have spread- common sense undermined by irrational “night terrors”.
    Would Australians in their right mind really applaud the amount of money spent keeping a few boat people, a fraction of our arrivals in a given year out, or feel happy at the suffering inflicted on those supposedly under our care.
    Yes, I know the borders argument is powerful, but the asylum seekers by any fair standard, are entitled to ask for help, as Marilyn points out.
    The system tried over the last decade doesn’t keep genuinely problematic people out of the country via airports, makes us look sooks for not even helping the few thousand we could help immediately and makes us look miserable Scroogy butt-rags to ourselves and to people in other civilised countries.
    Worst of all, its causing immense damage to already damaged people- it needs to be changed to suit the realities and needs of real people, not the goals of politicians feeding off ignorance and fear.
    If the current system is the best we can come up, maybe we don’t deserve Australia, either?

  26. red crab

    god point paul and i do agree with you and i also understand where the others including marilyn are coming from
    but at what point do we draw the line so we don’t make the mistakes and create the problems that other country’s have including the country’s that some of these people have come from.

    i like the comment that the first person to be givin entry to australia from the Malaysian solution a genuine refugee
    all he wanted was to get a job and learn English as quik as he could

    you just don’t hear those type of comments comming from the people who arrive at christmas island there is no doubt at all that refugees and asylim seekers all want the same thing but there expectations are a lot different .

    i hope i have worded that correctly that’s what i think is the observation of the majority of Australians..

  27. ken

    I think the people and services living off the 1.5 billion would be quite happy Paul – it’s all stimulus spending, remember

  28. Marilyn

    Red, we are the problem in this country, we stole it and never paid any rent or share.

    We wasted $772 million on locking up refugees last year while 9 million kids starved to death and what was the point?


  29. gzg

    “We” stole “this country” and wasted $772 million on locking up refugees”.

    Marilyn, your last response is confusing as I am unsure as to how your two debatable theories are connected.

    I guess though that you would embrace open borders across the globe, with unlimited funds provided to support “come ye, come all”.

    @Ken: Nice to see you continue to offer your characteristic cynical and generally on target comments.

  30. red crab

    ken i think you are not quit correct
    i think you ment to say industry
    not people and services.
    marilyn you mite see yourself as the problem but i dont see myself as any type of problem mabe only to you.
    i did not steel this country
    and i have payed my fareshare on the last 60 years or so .
    but you are correct this country was taken we are here just by luck because the British got here two weeks before the French followed closely by the Dutch and yes your rite mabe your ancestors were people who did some nasty things but not mine iv checked
    i think your rite we should not spend money locking up refugees
    we should give them the same as we give people who emigrate to this country .
    and give the money to help people who really need it .
    and i think we should be looking after our own indigenous people a lot better than we do they should come before refugees because what iv seen there conditions are far worse than most asylum seekers have ever lived in .
    and they are our first people .

  31. wondering

    Red Crab – in 2010 the aboriginal population of WA was said to be 76,218. Of Australia 562,681. A large proportion of them are in trouble – educationally, economically, medically, psychologically, spiritually. IN WA the aboriginal people are 13% of the population .. why don’t you get together with some of your friends and make up the numbers to get voted in one person who is in favour of immediately spending money to fix what everyone knows is wrong? Vote in 2 next time, 3 the next. March in the streets, write to the papers, paint on the bridges, attend parliament and the offices of MPs, and demand that something needs to be done. Sack them if they don’t raise their voices. You’ll find yourself lonely .. in the 1930s the only party that could be consistently relied upon to support aboriginal people was the commos. What has this to do with refugees? I believe you are using them as an excuse, the same as in the past you’ve used the elderly and the homeless. In truth, the 800 we are exporting or the 4000 we are importing won’t be more than a drop in the bucket. It’s hte will to allow our hearts to accept a tiny drop in our own wealth that is lacking – our own shrunken little hearts can’t say “Keep your flat screen TV, Kevin – save some children’s lives.”

  32. wondering

    How many white fullas lie in the dirt waiting to do dialysis? HOw many white Yanks and Poms are thrown into camps when they arrive by plane and overstay theri visas? How many times will we write the brown and black ones off as ” a different race” == the human race?

  33. gzg

    “How many white Yanks and Poms are thrown into camps when they arrive by plane and overstay theri visas?”

    I’ll bite. How many, black, brown or white?

    Very few I’d imagine, unless they claimed refugee status.

    What point are you attempting to make?

  34. red crab

    you really need to think outside the box if you think the govt is going to swap 800 for 4000 think again i doubt very much if the govt will be able to send anyone away and to add to that i think the people who made the agreement on both sides knew that from the begining. its just a sly way of upping the intake of refugees .
    if you think that these people who are arriving of there own free will are treated badly i recommend that you go see a movie called ( sunshine and oranges ) you mite also look into what was going on in the 50s and 60s
    regarding child immigration into Australia and the way they were treated .
    and id like you to point out just where iv referred to race of any kind.
    mabe marilyn can help you with that .

    anyway we all know and that includes you wondering that the people who arrive here buy boat know they are going to be detained while the status is being checked they know this because they are told buy the people who are in detention applying for refugee status.. and they are also told how to behave in the hope of speeding things along .

  35. wondering

    GZG – my point is that visa overstayers are actually committing a crime, while asylum seekers are not.

  36. wondering

    red crab – you may not believe this – it might not suit you to do so – but I offer you a story about what happens to people who claim to be in need of refuge when they are forced to go back.

  37. gzg

    @wondering: At the time of detention, I think your “asylum seekers” are more aptly named “aspiring asylum seekers”, pending further scrutiny from those who would protect our borders. Confirmation of asylum seeker status grants legitimacy.

    On “visa overstayers”:

    Exclusion from Australia

    Persons who overstay their visa by more than 28 days become subject to an exclusion period that prevents them from being granted a temporary visa to travel to Australia for three years. This exclusion period applies whether they leave voluntarily or not.

    Even after the exclusion period has finished, the person cannot be granted a visa unless they repay any debt they owe to the Commonwealth, including for costs of removal, or they make satisfactory arrangements to repay their debt.

  38. wondering

    red crab – and by the way, what exactly is “Australian food” anyway? Irish Stew, Scotch broth, Welsh rarebit, coleslaw, spaghetti bolognese, sweet ‘ n’ sour pork, pizza, kebabs .. ?

    You are a joke, mate.

  39. gzg

    A credible account of the treatment of “visa overstayers” here:

    I can answer the original question with accuracy as a former Northern Territory Police officer, where Police in the NT are Immigration Agents and have dealt with this exact situation a number of times ….

  40. red crab

    careful wandering you are travelling the same road as marilyn if you are not already the same person.with the name calling when your argument is week.
    you know exactly what i meant when referring to food .
    so why the childish sarcasm . there’s no need for it .

    funny thing the difference between the people who are coming to christmas island now and some of the people who have come there as genuine refugees is the original refugees grew there own food at phosphate hill camp and traded with the locals they didn’t complain and riot for the media they just got on with it .
    as far as those that are sent back to where they came from i would imagine that all avenues for them to be granted refugee status had been exhausted including all the appeals processes that are available .
    but as usual the media would tell any story a way for a certain outcome or emotional get more ratings.

  41. p.a.travers

    The detention Insanity is a mirror of the ALP and Lib war on Terror orchestrated by Rudd on Libya and other countries.The country of Libya broken .,almost now by propaganda or reality is hard to establish.Reports are not clear.The use of Gareth Evans’ works at the UNO are clearly the flesh eating toxicity of NATO bombings.I don’t really want to think about this issues,I have my own problems.Some of which are because Australia gets governments of people who worship power.Australia is now a Pariah State again, for the sadness of Tripoli is owned by the casting of shadows of Australians in the UNO.I see Andrew here,has been also blinded on the problems of countries like Libya by more pressing depressing local outcomes.Part of me is shaking inside.Rudd maybe should breathe his last breath.So Help Me God

  42. wondering

    red crab – with the utmost respect for Marilyn, I’m neither the correct age, gender or even geographic location.

    No, I didn’t know what you meant by “Australian food” .. my point was a serious one. We eat food from every land on earth these days – what do you define as “Australian food”? What was YOUR point?

    GZG – according to the law, you are right, someone seeking refugee status needs to prove their case according to UN rules – the ones we added to our own law in the 1950s. As I understand it, “asylum seeker” is the term for an applicant, and ‘refugee’ is the status you have once your case is proven. I am not legally trained, but have managed to grasp this point. I think: arriving to seek asylum into a country which is a signatory to the UN convention is NOT a crime. According to our own laws, overstaying a visa IS. How they are treated does not mean that visa stayers are not guilty of a serious offence – ask the people whose jobs they take how they feel about it. THEY are a security risk, as they evade scrutiny: ideological, criminal, medical etc.

  43. Marilyn

    We do not have to jail innocent people because they ask us for help.

    And why do our media constantly prattle about deterrence? Deterrence is illegal under international law – I think they are simply worthless rubbish.

  44. redcrab

    at what point did the people of australia actually give permission to any govt to sign anything regarding agreeing to such things as international laws or even u n charters on refugees etc.
    or did some people in the govt decide they could just do what they want with out the permission of the people if they did is it legal under our laws.

    i here another australian has paid the ultimate price for someone else’s freedom . and some of the people who australians have given there life for start to complain within hours of arriving that they are not getting a fare deal or what they think they are entitled to .

    unfortunately this time i have to agree with you the media is only after a good story and the truth is not important but we all know this so what’s the problem

  45. wondering

    red crab – before I go to another country to look after people who would appreciate the vote if they had one:

    Look up the words “vote” “democarcy” “Parliament” and possibly become acquainted with the electoral system we have here.

    The ignorance of people who start demanding to change the rules when they don’t like the decisions made is breathtaking.

  46. redcrab

    just where did i demand anything if you are talking about me that is
    i just asked a questing hopeing someone fare more knowledgeable than me could give an answer
    look up the words i did
    you have the right to vote but you don’t have the right not to vote interesting

    democracy you really think so

    parliament have you watched question time lately .

    electoral system corrupt

    its obvious you never lived in qld in the 70s and 80s and not much has changed only the boundaries.

  47. fisher

    It has been almost 11 years since the US led occupation of Afghanistan started. Apart from removing the Taliban and pursuing Bin Laden, the occupation has also focussed on bringing peace and democracy to the Afghan people. This would involve quite a lot of propaganda, selling the idea of democratic freedom if you will. Selling the idea that this freedom is worth ten years of war, thousands of deaths and billions of dollars. We have sold the Afghans the promise of a better life and it doesn’t look as though we will be able to deliver.

    Is it any wonder that some of them decide to risk their life savings and their very lives on an incredibly risky venture? How many are influenced by their contact with our brave and generous diggers?

    I agree that we shouldn’t encourage this method of entry into our country.
    I agree that this is unfair to people who are applying for asylum through the UNHCR.
    I agree that people smugglers should be prosecuted.

    I do not agree with mandatory detention of asylum seekers.
    I do not agree with the way the media and the government has used this issue and the underlying fears and prejudice of the public for political gain.

  48. red crab

    well done simple to the point and without emotion
    i cant help but wonder why Australia after following america into past disastrous ventures of war followed then once again.
    knowing that it would just be another waist of time and money and most of all Australian lives .
    knowing that the British have just recently payed the Americans for the second world war help.
    i wonder how long it will take and cost Afghanistan to pay them off for there so called freedom.

    i think detention is necessary to allow time to prove identity and legitimization of the persons claim whoever they are come from or how the arrived .
    the type of detention is the problem as i see it .

    i would like to see those that have payed for there trip to also pay for there private accommodation food and what ever else they need to live while waiting to prove there asylum claim .no freeby,s until there claim is proved .after that i also think that a six month period would have to pass before they could claim any social security payments .
    i think even saying that which most will disagree with its still more than most other countrys would offer asylum seekers .

  49. fisher

    Mate, we can’t pretend that the pantry is bare. I do not think we should hesitate to help people in need.

    What is the best way to help?
    I don’t know the answer to that.

    I also don’t know that these people are looking for a handout, I seriously doubt it to be honest. If you consider the radical action they have taken to improve their lot in life, you must also consider that they are willing to participate, they are involved in living their lives. The limited contact that I have had with people granted asylum has been through work, as in they are here working and paying tax.
    The only thing I do know is that boat people are people, for the most part they are just like you and I. Sure there are differences, but there are as many differences between myself and the bloke next door.

    At the end of the day these people are risking a hell of a lot to get here and ask for help and I am ashamed of our official response.

  50. red crab

    you are a person id like to meet one day
    some how you have been able to say in a few words what others have struggled with for some time .
    there’s no doubt that those people that have taken the risk and put them selves out there would be an asset to this country just because of the fact they took the risk
    . but there is those amongst them that are not genuine
    it is those the we need to identify and respond correctly to in an appropriate way without the political b.s.
    maybe its time to set up a list of requirements expectations and rules with no gray areas leaving no reason for argument .i think that would take away anybody’s ability to use emotion for a desired out come also take away the opitunity for any political religious or legal gain as well

  51. Lorikeet


    Such disrespect and bad language!

    I saw Sarah Hanson-Young on TV, stating that we should not put asylum seekers in detention at all.

    I find this grossly irresponsible and potentially dangerous.

  52. red crab

    mmmm Sareh Hansen-young.
    isn she from the comedy company tv show .
    if not she should be

  53. Lorikeet

    For those who wish to argue about how people of different colours are treated, consider this:

    A penguin by the name of Happy Feet had 6 surgical operations, got treated like a king for months, and has now embarked upon a cushy little journey back to the Antarctic on a fishing vessel.

    In this country, animals are more likely to receive excellent hospital and extended nursing services than anyone without private health insurance.

    I can still remember the time the government spent $1 million forcing a dying whale back out to sea, only to have it beach itself again and get on with its intended purpose …. dying.

  54. red crab

    one would have to ask themselves if there is not more to the high courts decision than meets the eye
    i dont think that the govt greens or independents will not be there at all after the next election .whats the point of electing a govt that is controlled by people who were not elected and even people like human traffickers from other country’s
    we know that there is only 4000plus in detention now so how is this govt going to feed house and check the identity and true refugee status of the 70.000 that is on its way now .
    as some people see it as this govt has let the asylum seeker industry become more powerful than the govt itself.

  55. Lorikeet

    As I see it, the United Nations wants to redistribute populations and wealth at a more rapid pace, and Australia has:

    1. one of the lowest populations in the western/developed nations.
    2. one of the lowest foreign debts in the western/developed world.

    So they are sending us more of the refugees, and the ALP has agreed to take them on a 5-for-1 basis. It doesn’t seem as if anyone has given due consideration to infrastructure provision, such as hospitals, housing and schools.

    I think when infrastructure reaches crisis point, the ALP will allow The Macquarie Bank to take over provision of these services and charge everyone large rents and fees, while rationing everything.

    I think the current problem with another GFC or a double-dip recession looming will involve Australians paying back the USA’s and EEU’s foreign debt to China.

    Economic uncertainty will also drive smaller retailers and other business people out of contention, leaving large monopolies or duopolies in control.

  56. red crab

    so what you are saying is that rudd sold us out to the united nations in regards to population growth so he could get a nice comfortable seat there in the future .

  57. fisher

    Jenny Norvick has an article on Crikey today, a thoughtful and honest approach.

    Well worth a look.

  58. red crab

    fisher i read that article and thought it was well done
    but now that unelected people have changed the law i think there will be some very interesting times ahead there will be those that will say i told you so, there will be those the will say its about time, there will be those that will say good more cheep labor and then there will be the rest that will say where has my country gone .

  59. Ken

    Red – you need to understand the difference between the judiciary and the parliament.

    The parlimanet makes the law and the judiciary either interprets the law or through the prosecutory bodies enforces the law.

    The “unelected people’ as you call the high Court judges did not change the law – they interprested the government’s actions in accordance with their interpretation of the law.

    Whatever one thinks of their decisions, I for one don’t want to live in a place where the governmentof the day can just do what they like with people having no redress to an independent judiciary.

  60. red crab

    as always you make a very good point to which i agree .
    but why has the govt come out and sead that the law has been changed .
    and why is it indicated that the same question asked some time ago had the opposite interpretation buy the same people .what has changed to make the high court change a previous decision .

  61. Ken

    Red its called political spin and bullshit and lets say and do anything to try and cvoer up the big blunder we made.

  62. Lorikeet

    Well, how about this for a different take on the matter.

    I don’t think that Labor ever intended to send the people to either Malaysia or Nauru. I think they wanted, and still want, to do away with detention centres and offshore processing altogether.

    I don’t believe we actually have an independent judiciary. The High Court just delivered the outcome that Labor asked them for behind the scenes.

    I noticed Katter’s party is rising up in the polls, along with the Coalition, while the Gillard and Bligh governments are increasingly being delivered a raspberry.

  63. red crab

    so now we have an armada of boats heading our way not just a trickle any more so where are the powers to be going to house them and just how long will it take to process claims .
    my gess is that it will take years if too many people arrive on mass oh what a mess we are in because of someone’s stubborn pride
    and before any one says that more people come buy plane boat people have outnumbered all other forms of arrival for some time now and its about to explode .
    and if anyone thinks that there has been problems in the past like riots burnings and general trouble stay tuned .

  64. appy

    Would you please give your source for those numbers, red crab? The immigration departments statistics say otherwise. The Parliamentary library sourced figures last December saying this: “More recently the proportions of Irregular Maritime Arrival (IMA) and non-IMA (that is air arrival) asylum seekers have shifted due to the increase in boat arrivals. [However, in the first quarter of 2010-11] boat arrivals still comprised less than half of Australia’s onshore asylum seekers: Boats 44% Air 56% ” (

    They go on to say : “Although the proportion of asylum seekers arriving by boat has increased significantly in the last financial year, and boat arrivals continue to be the focus of much public and political attention, they are in fact more likely to be recognised as refugees than those who have arrived by air. Dr Khalid Koser (Lowy Institute for International Policy) notes that:
    The reason this … point is important is that it means that arguably Australia is worrying about the wrong asylum seekers. Whereas the majority of those [claiming asylum] arriving by boat are refugees, the majority of those [claiming asylum] arriving by air are not.” ( K Koser, Responding to boat arrivals in Australia: time for a reality check, Lowy Institute for International Policy, Sydney, 2010, p. 6, viewed 8 Sept 2011, )

  65. Ken

    Guess what else Lorikeet – there are little men in white coasts hiding just around every corner just waiting to take you away ha-haa!!!
    To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time

  66. red crab

    my sourse comes from Christmas island when i mentioned the 10.000 the govt indicated i was laffed at and told to get real that there was at least 70.000 waiting to take the trip .
    i was also told that it was only a mater of time before a boat hit the rocks out there about three months prior to it actually happening which i indicated here

    im not interested even though i took the time to read the govts statistics
    that any one could have written even me to gain any outcome i wanted to people perceive .

    as iv sead stay tuned mabe we will wait a couple of months and then have another look hope im wrong

  67. Lorikeet

    I guess you must have been there then, Ken.

    I suggest you check the news daily and see what the outcomes are on:

    1. the fate of offshore processing
    2. the next federal election
    3. the next state election here in Queensland

  68. APPY Says: boat arrivals still comprised less than half of Australia’s onshore asylum seekers: Boats 44% Air 56%
    Thanks Appy I didnt realise that boat arrivals had increased so quickly.

    Each year the asylum seekers arriving change and with that the circumstances and how they are or should be managed changes as well. No one model fits all.
    If we were to process onshore from now on we would be flooded with boat arrivals and boat arrivals would end up being the only ones we processed as the boat arrivals are far more expensive to process.

    Security systems etc are being updated at airports etc and that probably explains why the percentage is falling and the boats rising. It seems that they will take the easier road, as cost does not seem to be a factor with many paying up to $15000 US to transit by boat.

    The latest problem I heard at a lecture last wednesday was the ethnic cleansing in Saudi Arabi of all non arabs. This will certainly add to the strain as many have lived and worked in SA for many years and are highly skilled.
    So for those that are calling for processing onshore, they should think or at least have a look at the problem before making a decision that could very well affect this nation both financially and culturally for decades to come. This is a tough decision and many groups acrosss all parties are having to come to terms with this decision.

  69. Lorikeet

    The Slave Labor Party “appears” to be pressing on with their plan to send asylum seekers to Malaysia, and are still pushing for amendments to legislation to fulfill this goal.

    It certainly seems that asylum seekers arriving by boat get most of the media attention.

  70. red crab

    i think that’s what the majority are worried about tony the financially and cultural but mostly cultural because a lot of australians think there culture is slipping away from them .
    according to the west australian today people have been ringing the detention centre on christmas island trying to book certain rooms
    how organized is that ring ring iv just payed $15K for a seat on the next boat do you think i could have a room with a view and do you have room service .
    why is not the govt charging to process these people .

  71. appy

    red crab – so you believe the people on Christmas Island about the relative proportions of boat people who claim refugee status and airline arrivals who do? Just remind me, how many people actually arrive by air at Christmas Island and claim refugee status? That’s a clever trick – you claim your sources are unchallengeable, though un-named, and anyone else’s sources (named and under national scrutiny) are unreliable. Hey, red crab, you can’t lose when you are the umpire also.

    Tony – you seem to be unaware that those statistics indicate the percentage of people claiming refugee status and their different modes of transport. There may be a larger number in the “boat arrivals” column, but it doesn’t mean the actual numbers are any higher. The stats for plane arrivals AS A PERCENTAGE of refugee claimants might be due to any number of factors – the disruption to airlines by volcanic ash for example might have affected flights from certain countries for all we know. (Granted, I can’t remember when that was, but my point is that it is a bit silly to say that the raw data have changed when it is percentages that are being compared, in which comparison only the transport factor is taken into account.)

    Boat arrivals are more expensive to process for one reason – few airline arrivals are imprisoned and they are very seldom held years, which can happen to boat arrivals. Not only that, they are held on the mainland – look up the cost of staffing Christmas Island. The taxpayer is being dudded, mate.

  72. red crab

    point 1
    plane arrivals have to have there paperwork in order to get on a plane in the first place
    point 2 boat people have no paper work as they are told to get rid of it and even there phones
    therefore its very hard to identify them especially if they dont want there past looked at
    therefore the question has to be asked why if some one is genuine and has the money also the paperwork to back it up would pay up to $15 thousand dollars risk there and some times there familys lives on a boat when the cost of a plane trip is far less than that .
    appy i think you know the answer to that don’t you.
    the money spent on a boat trip and no i.d. is a small investment and risk for the rewards .
    as some one coming by plane has to look after themselves when they get here .
    the cost to the country between the two would be i imagine quite a lot don’t people claiming asylum who have come by plain and are in the community have to look after themselves while there claim is being looked at .

  73. appy

    red crab – unless you are able to understand, e.g. the difficulties of getting out of your own country “legally” when the reason you have to leave is that you are in danger from your own government, then I don’t suppose you would have any sympathy or understanding for what such people go through. Do you think people who are kidnapped or killed by the local or national authorities in China, Sri Lanka, Iran, Afghanistan, Vietnam or Saudi Arabia can just march up to the gates of the Australian Embassy, ask for a visa and openly buy a plane ticket? A bit of informing yourself from somewhere other than the front bar in the CHristmas Island local might pay off. There is plenty of information out there, but you can lead a horse to water, etc.

  74. red crab

    appy-have a look at the front page of the west australian news paper
    then tell me again how hard it is .most of the people who are arriving now don’t seem to have had such a hard time of it they seem to just want to change there situation and the way they are doing it must seem to be the easiest way .
    i know im wrong about a lot of them but look at the paper and tell me why anyone should think differently .

  75. appy

    red crab – how do you deduce from someone’s appearance in a newspaper photo whether they have “had a tough time of it”?

  76. red crab

    did you take the time to read the article or did you just look at the picture .

    if you just looked at the pic then i suggest you think about the claims of that particular person being beaten by a serco guard would have to be a very big guard and a brave one to .
    my point is that people will and do say whatever it takes .

  77. appy

    red crab, well, unlike you, I was not there, and don’t know the exact details of the allegations. However, to deduce from the story about the Iranian man who was once a bodybulder that one … are you sure he is talking about one? .. guard was or wasn’t brave enough to beat someone whose appearance is muscly is to ignore several factors:
    *the detainees know that they will be penalised if guards report badly about them
    *the man himself may be talking about the beating of someone else who is too afraid of retribution to report it (see my first point)
    *the guards are sometimes themselves on the beefy side
    *the guards have a team of colleagues and our skewed law, plus the isolation and communication difficulties of the asylum seekers on their side
    *being muscly does not mean that someone is aggressive or even rule out their being a pacifist
    *this is a newspaper article written without first-hand knowledge by the reporter of ANY of the facts of the matter .. weren’t you the one who was claiming that statistics could be made up by the government and yet we are expected to believe somethign (not sure what your point was really) about the entire detention centres issue on the basis of one wphoto, a facebook entry, emails, and a reporter in Perth sitting down with 3 column inches to fill?
    *aren’t you the one who claimed that people on Christmas Island know all about the issue becuase theya re there, and we aren’t, so we don’t?

    Very confusing talking with you … multiply thousands of others, all equally unaware of the whole whole story (and I would be one of those) and no wonder the whole country is in an uproar.

    Oh for some decent behaviour from someone who can show a bit of disinterested leadership … and oh for someone who will put the natinal interest before short-term party political, or god knows what other dark interests are in the barrows of some of us.

  78. red crab

    appy i have to agree with you i think you are slowly getting my point .
    every one who has a part in this on going saga will and do say whatever it takes to get some advantage for there agenda
    and i mean everybody the truth is out there but is seldom told by those involved .
    as far as christmas island go,s i have spoken to people who were there when the tampa was going on ( there is another story not told in the media) iv spoken to some one who was actually there at the baby overboard saga (same thing) and the latest thing when the boat hit the island some one very close to me was there trying to pull people from the water and yes there are some things that i read that are no where near the actual truth as iv been told by people who was there .

    the article about the person i refereed to making claims and predictions about the curtin detention centre was on the front page of the west australian news paper hardly a 3 inch column .

    Oh for some decent behaviour from someone who can show a bit of disinterested leadership … and oh for someone who will put the NATIONAL INTEREST before short-term party political, or god knows what other dark interests are in the barrows of some of us.
    ( on both sides of the wire fence)

    have to totaly agree with you there .

  79. red crab

    appy i have to agree with you i think you are slowly getting my point .
    every one who has a part in this on going saga will and do say whatever it takes to get some advantage for there agenda
    and i mean everybody the truth is out there but is seldom told by those involved .

    the article about the person i refereed to making claims and predictions about the curtin detention centre was on the front page of the west australian news paper hardly a 3 inch column .

    Oh for some decent behaviour from someone who can show a bit of disinterested leadership … and oh for someone who will put the NATIONAL INTEREST before short-term party political, or god knows what other dark interests are in the barrows of some of us.
    ( on both sides of the wire fence)

    have to totaly agree with you there .

  80. paul walter

    Must admit the latest changes look “wobbly”, suspect; really a bit wanky. All shows just how iron-like the grip of the electoral cycle is on policy formation. Politics seems treacly-slow and thick in this country just now.

  81. John Ward

    Elections were always a poor substitute for participatory democracy. And elections delegate power from the people to a tiny elite easily browbeaten or bought off by major corporations. Most Americans intuitively know this.

  82. John Ward

    Don’t you guys know that corrupt PS members are selling Blank Genuine Australian Visas to people smugglers who get money from people who come here by plane as tourists.
    The Rich come by plane the poor get into debt for life to come by boat.
    In any case this is not a way to measure Government Performance on border protection. There are many more issues to address, this one is a distraction invented by John Howard to terrorise the rabble to vote for him.

  83. red crab

    got that right john ward
    as old joe used to say feeding the chooks
    and it works a treat because that’s just what they want to hear.

  84. Lorikeet

    I thought Joh’s statement about “feeding the chooks” was directed at media journalists.

  85. red crab


    thats correct and they feed it on to who ever to detract attention from the real truth.
    do you know of any politition that dose not do it from time to time .

    i don’t !

  86. Lorikeet

    Hell, the country has thousands of politicians. That’s a very difficult question to answer.

    But I think it is true that those we see in the media often tell everyone outside of their party’s inner circle anything of their choosing.

    Julia Gillard has now struck out on the Malaysian Solution, possibly a tradeoff with the opposition, now that the Carbon Tax has passed through the lower house. I’m sure the real intention was always to process asylum seekers onshore.

    Before the CT was passed, the global financial situation teetered and tottered on the brink of a Global Winter for months. Now, only one day later, the economic doom and gloom seems to be wearing a jumper, with barely a whisper of economic concern.


    What a great week.

    Carbon tax legislation passed in the lower house and asylum seekers to be processed onshore.


  88. red crab

    yep i think its a great week to
    now the greens have a problem because as the gst unstuck the democrats so will the carbon tax kill off the greens from the frying pan into the fire and they have been so full of there own importance blinded to what was really going on..
    before the next election julia will have been replaced and the focus will be placed on the greens as it was on the democrats history repeats.
    as far as asylum seekers go i think the govt will bring back some sort of temp protection visa really quickly if not already.


    Red Crab:

    I would suggest that Tony Abbott is blind, as are all those who take notice of him.

    You (and others) might like to have a read of this excellent article by Jessica Irvine:

  90. red crab

    nifty nut
    just where did you get the idea that i think abbott is the person for the top job i think there is better out there at the moment tony abbott is doing the job hes supposed to do being the opposition leader.
    and you don’t think julia would be doing the same if the roles were reversed.
    jessica-irvines article was quite good but any year 12 student could have done the same and as iv stated before written for a certain reaction.
    one small omition but if the govt is doing this for honest reasons trying ti bring down the carbon polution of the world can you explain to me why this govt is allowing australian coal to be sold to some of the biggest polluters in the world india and china .

    knowing this then mabe you could try to convince me that the carbon price is nothing more than a new tax .and nothing more

    any reduction in carbon by australia will be overtaken by the carbon produced by generators in india with australian coal

    and to think that it could not affect australian air think again it was not so long ago the the planes in australia were grounded by volcanic pollution from chilli
    mabe there are much wiser people than me out there but thats the way i see it and none of you educated people have been able to convince me otherwise
    so here is your oppitunity nifty!
    but i think you will just call me some new name but thats ok to


    Red crab,

    Your understanding of the carbon tax does appear to be a little short sighted. Try google for explanation.

    You indicate that you don’t think Abbott is the best person for the top job and that you think there is “better out there at the moment”. Who are you suggesting might be better?


    Mind you, I am not by a long shot suggesting that Abbott is the best man for the job of PM. I can’t stand him and would hate to see the twerp have any real power in this country. Just curious as to who you think would be the “best man/woman for the job” Red Crab.

  93. red crab

    my understanding of the carbon tax is probably a little short as you say and there is no denying that alternative energy is the future
    and the best way as the govt see,s it is to tax the polluters into changing there generation processes as gillard has stated but its the wrong time and she has been seen to be doing the greens will to stay in power and we should all know by now it would appear that she will do what ever it takes whatever the consequences.

    but there are very big risks with pricing carbon the corruption that went on in Germany for example was nearly enough to bring down the idea itself
    if we look at who runs and owns the power generation for example we will most likely find that it is in overseas control .
    i would predict that they are there for the money not to be nice to australians there fore i predict they will just keep going pass the costs on when the resource runs out just close them down and move on
    and then lets look at whats left of our manufacturing those that are left will just move off shore maybe to India or china where AUSTRALIAN coal will be supplying cheep power and polutiing the planet way more than australia could ever do thus wipeing out any gains made by this country in more ways than one

    so now the question to you nifty is

    if it is a good idea and the rite time WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR COMPISATION for anyone

    i think the govt has come to the same conclusions as i did and

    the greens know they have only one shot at there dream so they have forced gillards hand who we all know by now will do what ever bugger the cost .to stay in power

    as far as some one better than tony i don’t see any real statesmen or women on either side of the govt maybe you could suggest some one

  94. Lorikeet

    Yes, it’s a good question, Red Crab. I think a lot of your commentary is quite accurate, but I don’t think Labor is simply jumping to the tune of the Greens.

    Both Liberals and Labor have a huge interest in the Pagan Carbon Religion and its worldwide ramifications.


    Red Crab:

    On Oct 15 you said “just where did you get the idea that i think abbott is the best person for the job it think there is better out there at the moment”.

    On Oct 17 you said “as far as some one better than tony i don’t see any real statesmen or women on either side of the govt”.

    Such contradictions are not easy to follow.

    You state that “there is no denying that alternative energy is the future and the best way as the govt see’s it is to tax the polluters into changing there generation processes …… but its the wrong time”.

    When would be the right time in your view?

  96. Lorikeet

    Nifty Nut:

    I don’t think Red Crab likes Tony Abbott, but he doesn’t know of anyone who is any good.

    I don’t think there is any “good time” to introduce either a Carbon Tax or a Carbon Trading Scheme. I would prefer the government to follow a moderate environmental policy, which deals with pollution, but has nothing to do with a Tax on Air.

    During times of global financial uncertainty is a very bad time to tax your own citizens to the eyeballs, while the world’s biggest polluters continue to pump out loads of manufactured goods, and Australian industries and their workers go to the wall.

    I consider this a gross act of treason.

  97. red crab

    well nifty
    point one
    lets put it this way there has to be better people than abbott rudd and gillard out there some where in politics’ land who would do what is rite for the whole country and its people
    but at this point in time i personally don’t know of them but maybe you could suggest someone

    there is a lot of people in this country that have come to the conclusion that the govt has been jumping to the greens snapping there fingers since the last election
    its just that some days they jump a little higher
    and i stand by my prediction that the people will blame the greens for the carbon joke and do the same as the they did to the democrats
    if abbott games control of the lower house the first time the greens block supply he will call a instant election .

    as far as the rite time to bring in a carbon tax first with such a big thing it would have been wise to do it with a mandate approved by the people
    i.ei a mandate through the election process
    then maybe after the real people behind the push for this agenda had been identified and what they will gain from it because i don’t think its gillards idea i think she is just doing what she is told .
    the rite time i think has gone it would have been better when power generation and supply was still in the hands of state govts because they could not just walk away as private company’s could claiming that the govt made it too hard and claim compensation from the govt .
    it would be the rite time when the govt could make Shaw the jobs of those in what’s left of the manufacturing industry are safe and that the company’s just don’t say thanks for the compensation but its still cheaper to do it in another country .

  98. Lorikeet

    The right time for another Tax on Air is never. Apparently there is already one “air tax” being imposed on us under the Clean Air Act.

  99. appy

    And I just want to express my disgust and sorrow that this week another detention seeker in our care was put in a position where he could, and wished to, suicide. Our generation will one day be looked on with horror, just as the Germans of today look at their grandparents with dismay – “How could you just sit there and let it happen? ” And we are.

  100. Lorikeet


    There are much worse attitudes out there in suburbia, with people who still think the boats should be blown out of the water.

    One man I was speaking with on Tuesday calmed down quite a lot after I said the DLP would pick up the boat people and take them to the UN camps on the Thai/Burma border, and exchange them on a 2-for-1 basis for processed refugees, many of whom have been stuck there for generations.

    Onshore processing and Julia Gillard’s 5-for-1 exchange as per the Malaysian Solution both left flames coming out of his nostrils and smoke pouring out of his ears.

  101. red crab

    thanks appy and you are right on the money once again when there is rioting in the streets because of unemployment and race riots just like .what has happened in good old England our grandchildren will be saying

    How could you just sit there and let it happen? ”

    Our generation will one day be looked on with horror, just as the Germans of today look at their grandparents with dismay

    speak for yourself because if you are speaking for me you are insulting not only me but my parents and my grand parents

    you forgot to mention what the Japanese did to the australians maybe because you drive a Toyota and don’t want to upset them .

  102. appy

    Red Crab: I “drive” a Malvern Star bicycle about 7 years younger than I am, or shanks’ pony. It is dangerous to make assumptions about people you know – rather foolish when you don’t even know them.

    If you are alive in Australia now and not trying to bring about a more humane system of treating asylum seekers, you are partially responsible for what is happening. If you like it, well and good. If you don’t, have you done anything about it? If not, you bear some responsibility.

    If you don’t know, you must be living under a rock, but in case you really don’t know, read today’s Melbourne Age ..

  103. red crab

    why would i read the melbourne age when i can ring my son on christmas island who by the way is still traumatised after trying to pull people out of the water out there what’s the govt done for those australians mate il let you into a secret not much!!!.

    Red Crab: I “drive” a Malvern Star bicycle about 7 years younger than I am, or shanks’ pony. It is dangerous to make assumptions about people you know – rather foolish when you don’t even know them
    i have not seen any asylum seekers that i know of riding a melvern star iv only ever seen them driving new cars
    yep that seems fairly good advice appy maybe you should take notice of the same good advice
    i drive an old car that’s taken me many years of hard work to pay off

    have you read in the Melbourne age that 3 more boats have arrived at christmas island in the last week .

  104. Lorikeet

    I think the Malaysian government is fairly keen to make a deal with Australia. Perhaps they will now seek UNHCR accreditation, so they can empty out their detention centres on a 5-for-1 basis. I guess they wouldn’t want to pass up an excellent opportunity to reduce costs.

  105. red crab

    prediction is correct another sinking and lives lost
    and who should pop up having her say like a fly to the out house

    because of the govt inaction and perception of weakness this will happen again and again and many more lives are at risk.

    if your not already aware the waters in that part of the world can make base strait look like a mill pond on its on its worst day
    these people get onto boats that most people would not get onto to cross the brisbane river in and pay a lot of money to do so

    appy mabe you would like to bear some responsibility for that

    If you don’t know, you must be living under a rock!!

    well appy if i am under a rock it must have a much better view of what’s really going on than yours

  106. appy

    red crab – I would infinitely prefer not to hear of people dying. I think we all feel that way. Shutting them up in detention and driving them insane, however, is not really a preferable option.

    As things stand, our country has a responsibility to treat anyone landong on our shores who seeks asylum as well as we would treat our own. We don’t do that.

    And yes, you and I and all the rest of us bear some responsibility for that.

    Lorikeet – it isn’t a matter of gaining UN accreditation – we have signed up to accept, process and treat humanely people coming here to claim protection. If Malaysia did that to, and made it part of their domestic law, as we have done, they’d be under the same moral obligations, and legal ones, that we are currently failing to live up to.

  107. Lorikeet

    I thought Tony Abbott was rejecting the Malaysian Solution because of the concern that the people might be severely mistreated and caned. There was also concern about children being sent there without an adult guardian.

    I thought I heard news reports that Malaysian doesn’t have UNHCR accreditation several times.

    A 5-for-1 exchange with Malaysia would quickly clear their detention centres of those who have waited longest for resettlement. However Australia doesn’t have the capacity to house large numbers of people. Julia Gillard needs to correct the housing shortage before embarking on such an ambitious swap.

    As Red Crab has pointed out, the trip to Australia is perilous, especially when undertaken in unseaworthy, overloaded boats.

    The DLP’s idea of picking up boat people and exchanging them on a 2-for-1 basis for refugees in UN camps on the Thai/Burma border would stop asylum seekers from dying at sea. It would put people smugglers out of business, and remove the high cost of poor fisherman being arrested and jailed.

    It would also make sense to me as an individual to help clear the refugee camps more quickly, so that these problems do not arise in the first place.

  108. red crab

    As things stand, our country has a responsibility to treat anyone landong on our shores who seeks asylum as well as we would treat our own. We don’t do that.

    now there’s a statement that you mite want to think about for just a moment .

    And yes, you and I and all the rest of us bear some responsibility for that.

    ok if i agree with you on that point
    will you agree to take responsibility for anything that happens in this country good or bad as a result of us excepting anyone who claims asylum . maybe if we took a couple out of detention when they complain and let them live on palm island or maybe arrakoon settlement maybe out at one of the reserves around Alice spings .and treated them the same as our own people . maybe we should take a bit more responsibility for our own people first but that’s not news is it .

    i bet you wont you will only appear when there is a sad or a good story to be told but like most others who have your opinions will not be seen at all when things turn bad ..
    the govt could sort out the people smugglers easy but they dont want to
    you are not looking at it the way i am if the govt closed the smugglers down they would also have to close down the australian industry that has grown around it and now depends on it
    every one is profiting out of it in one way or another .

    smoke and mirrors .

  109. Ken

    Your certainly right in one thing Red if we “stopped the boats” as everyone appears to want, an awful lot of people would be crying as we “stopped the cheques”

    Reminds us that Newtons Third law remains as apposite today as ever.

    In the current hysterical debate about who is to blame for teh recent drowonings, the following is of interest. Source APH Library, ie official govt publication

    Year Boats People

    2001 43 5516

    2002 1 1 (so called pacific solution)

    2003 1 53

    2004 1 15

    2005 4 11

    2006 6 60

    2007 5 148

    2008 7 161 (Kevin 07)

    2009 61 2849*

    2010 134 6879**

    2011 (to 30 June) 28 1675***

    Read what you will into them.

  110. Lorikeet

    Red Crab:

    Yes, I’m sure SERCO is making a huge sum of money from incarcerating both Australians and asylum seekers in jails and detention centres, using the usual corporate model of:


    Judging by what I’ve seen of corporates in Aged Care, I highly doubt that asylum seekers are treated very well while detained. Even the toilet roll holders probably have a keyed lock on them.

    If common sense prevailed, the government would make building more public housing a priority, and help to clear the detention centres more quickly.

    On TV I saw aboriginal peoples living in outback NT who had no decent home, running water or electricity. The government wants them out of Cape York on a permanent basis.

    There is certainly a huge discrimination against indigenous people, while the middle classes from other nations expect to be treated like Kings and Queens and be looked after first.

  111. red crab

    thanks ken

    oh appy where have you gone now not hiding i hope .

    the only reason gillard i pushed the Malaysian option was there was a good opitunity to increase the intake of refugees under the cover of trying to stop the boats
    there intention is very clear populate at any cost.

    they don’t want to stop people risking there lives and those that don’t make it would be classed as acceptable loses .

    and according to my source there have been quite a few that left Indonesia and just did not arrive at christmas island

    if the last boat would have been further out to see they would all just disappeared like others have done before them .

  112. appy

    Ken ..

    You seem to be reading from a different set of figures.
    2000–01 for example is 54 boats 4137 people
    2001–02 ………………. 19 boats 3039 people, which is interesting in itself, to me saying bigger boats, or overloading, or both.This was the time period of the ill-fated Siev X boat sinking, how many more have been lost and skewed the figures? What was our navy, or the Indonesian navy doing or not doing?

    2002–03 …………………. no boats no people another interesting one . what was or was not happening in the rest of the world that year? Wars started? wars ended? Shift in power in the feeder areas? Stormy weather? Different lot of people coming? Sri Lankans outnumbered by Iraqis? Mere numbers don’t tell you much, unless you include all other “pull” and “push” factors.

    Red crab – you seem to be saying that locking people up in detention centres is preferable, or even in some way comparable, to the disgraceful state of aborignal communities all over the nation. Of course we should be doing better in both areas. Some “boat people” would probably thrive in places where Aboriginal people are currently unable to, because they bring different factors to the equation.

    Lorikeet: it is not a matter of getting UN _accreditation_ – if we had to pass some kind of audit to satisfy the UN that we were living up to the ideals we pledged ourselves to uphold we would fail. A country has to pass legislation internally to say that it will protect and treat anyone claiming asylum humanely, and if they can prove they are a bona fide refugee they cannot be sent back unwillingly. We promised to do that … Malaysia could promise, too, but would they do better than we do? Possibly, possibly not. John Menadue, the head of the Immigration Dept when we accepted many thousands of Vietnamese under Fraser, said today that in the short term, we ought to accept all comers, and in the long term, negotiate a better system with our neighbours. He has experience at doing it – maybe we ought to listen to him.

  113. red crab

    Red crab – you seem to be saying that locking people up in detention centres is preferable, or even in some way comparable, to the disgraceful state of aborignal communities all over the nation. Of course we should be doing better in both areas. Some “boat people” would probably thrive in places where Aboriginal people are currently unable to, because they bring different factors to the equation.

    you could be rite appy
    but it would be interesting to see how some of those complaining about such things as not likeing the food or there i.pod batterys are flat etc etc reacted if put into that situation .

  114. Appy

    Red Crab – has it ever occurred to you that such complaints arise simply because of institutionalisation and frustration? (Plus a bit of culture shock – I for one, would start to whinge after about one day of white bread, over-boiled veg and dog food .. not saying they get those, just saying that anything can be a stressor when you are already stressed .. paticularly white bread.)

    I know I’d rather be released and allowed to make my own way rather than be rotting in refugee camps while I get older and the huge debt my entire family has incurred to save my life rises and rises. I would know I am capable of working and making a contribution, but I am locked up for something I know very well is in fact not a crime.

    Petty annoyances usually do give rise to bad dynamics when people don’t believe what they are being told about their future, cannot get accurate information and are at times bullied by some poor types of people only doing the job for the big bucks.

    Gee, you might even grouse a bit if you were in the same situation – or are you game to claim sainthood for yourself?

  115. Ken

    No Appy – you linked to the source so surely you are capable of noting that the Librarian provided the data in two sets, one based on financial year and one based on calandar year, I simply picked the first set, you the second, yet why the littte attempt to discredit….says sometin about you.

    And of coruse there are all sorts of factors involved, i just suggested the variations are of interest. no doubt our friend the feral abacus woul dbe able to advise on the statistical validity of small variaitons.

  116. appy

    Ken- when something goes wrong with human communication, the most logical course is to suspect an honest error. That is what it was. I said “You seem to be reading from a different set of figures,” but didn’t realise that was the explanation.

    I would apologise if I had been implying anything, but since I wasn’t, I won’t.

    I would apologise for mis-reading the figures, if you hadn’t implied that I was trying to discredit you. So I won’t.

    Sometimes, when people says something, that is what they mean.

  117. Lorikeet


    It was me who made the comparison between asylum seekers and aboriginal peoples. I couldn’t imagine anyone being able to do better than an aborigine in Outback Australia.

    To my knowledge, Malaysia is not a signatory of the UNHCR and this is a significant issue. Perhaps Andrew could enlighten us if I am wrong.

    Malaysia could draft and pass legislation to allow the proper processing of asylum seekers fairly quickly. The Australian government could give them a good base to work with. Providing adequate accommodation could be a bit more challenging, but remember they are supposed to give us 5 processed refugees for every asylum seeker exchanged. This could lead automatically to spreading the people more thinly, which can only be a plus.

  118. red crab

    you could be right again
    but from most indications people coming by boat know exactly down to the last detail except for unforeseen problems on the actual boat trip what to expect because the are mostly in contact with there people at the detention centres who tell them exactly how it is there.

    i don’t think they should be locked up at all i think they all!! should be picked up from there boats in a limo then taken to some sort of 5 star accommodation in say Darwin or Brisbane for a day then taken directly to villawood given any thing they require from the n.s.w govt and let free to do as they please in whatever community they want without any medical , identity or criminal checks at all
    its a disgraceful that the govt wants to know personal details like that from someone who wants to live here .

    Gee, you might even grouse a bit if you were in the same situation – or are you game to claim sainthood for yourself?

    yep your probably rite again appy sainthood mite be a good option

    ( when something goes wrong with human communication, the most logical course is to suspect an honest error.)

    or just maybe its been communicated in a certain way to get a required reaction or result .

  119. Lorikeet


    Newton’s Third Law is only applicable when we are looking at people or items of equal strength across a range of considerations.

    In the example provided by Wikipedia, the 2 “equal” skaters are a man and a woman, who would probably be of unequal strength, without even considering numerous other factors.

  120. red crab

    interesting milestone this week i think 100 boats so far this year

  121. red crab

    up date another boat load arrived today .

  122. red crab

    350 asylum seekers so far this week the govt policy is really working well now

  123. Marilyn

    Red, so what? In Yemen 13,000 refugees arrived in September while we whined endlessly about 316.

    WEll on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the convention Bowen has finally gone down the road of bridging visas and equal legal rights.

    It’s only taken Australia 60 years to do what they agreed they would do.

  124. red crab

    you must be getting the news they tell you on the east coast 350 ppl arrived into western Australia in a few days just last week by boats.

    WEll on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the convention Bowen has finally gone down the road of bridging visas and equal legal rights.

    bridging visa s with the right to work but without any centre link benefits
    and there of course wont be any exploitation by unscrupulous employers .

    and equal legal rights.
    that must mean that they will have the same problems as we do to get legal aid .

    2 bucks an hour with no where to live and a 10yr wait to get legal aid dose not sound to good to me .

  125. appy

    Red crab – why don’t you actually come right out and say what you actually think about detention of asylum seekers – the topic of this tread? You make comments about how many people are arriving, always in a faintly disapproving tone: (if a recital of numbers can be disapproving, but why say it, otherwise?) but so what?

    Then you say something faintly disapproving of the way they have been treated- yet the archive tells me you have been saying the same sorts of things about 3 successive changes of policy – or however there have been under Labor.. possibly more. You never say what you would actually do, nor do you apparently make much effort to e.g. use a spell checker and grammar checker. They are not perfect, but they’d help people trying to work out what you are trying to say. You might be dyslexic, but all the dyslexics I know make an effort to be understood in a world that is admittedly tough for them. Not a criticism of your abilities, just your willingness to live in the same world as the rest of us.

  126. red crab

    i mentioned the numbers because there was a report come over the radio on the news some poly was sprouting about 300 odd per month and i thought well if that’s what there telling the people on the east coast then they should be told the truth so i did !!

    Red crab – why don’t you actually come right out and say what you actually think about detention of asylum seekers

    well at this point in time i don’t think the Govt. has any other option but to detain someone who comes to our shores without any proof of who they are and where they come from and why they are here

    i also think that some one who pays a lot of money to get on a leaky boat to come here is instructed to get rid of there i.d . and phones etc is only
    to make it harder to prove who they are and there intentions by the authority’s.

    i also think that all asylum seekers should be detained on the east coast because that’s where all the assistance for them is anyway . the fact that there is $15.000 spent on phone calls alone from Christmas island each week makes my point .

    feel free to pick on me as much as you like .
    iv been picked on by the best .
    i don’t think im dyslexic i think i am able to see things as they really are not the way some people are fooled to seeing things the way the govt and media portray them most the time .
    think about this if all you can find wrong with my comments are the grammar and spelling i think ok so far

    now you tell me!! what you actually think about detention of asylum seekers. and how ( you ) would deal with the ever increasing problem and cost .

  127. red crab

    your silence is deafening.

  128. red crab

    two months two boats sunk aprox 250 people missing who is going to take the blame for that .

  129. appy

    Not sure “blame” is hte first thing I’d be trying to do, but if you must, try this list …

    The dictators from whom they fled?
    The war that they did not start?
    The religious/ethnic/cultural/skin colour – based discrimination they faced?
    The brigands they could not fight off?
    The invaders who co-opted and then abandoned them?
    The countries along the way that can’t afford to/choose not to take them in?
    The crooks who try to sail in an overloaded boat for a livelihood/greedy motives?
    The motherss and wives of the sailors who may also have died, for nto stopping them from trying to make a living that way?
    The relatives already here who will blame themselves for surviving?
    Us, for not making more effort to organise regional systems to look after them in safer places?
    Our governments in the last 20-odd years for not putting into place a system that could cope with the inevitable demand?

  130. red crab

    you are as usual correct
    but until the Govt. and its handlers (the greens ) take away the incentives there will be many more that wont make the trip in near the future .
    my predictions are fairly good wouldn’t you say .

    our governments in the last 20-odd years for not putting into place a system that could cope with the inevitable demand

    maybe control in a safe way would be better than cope

    .The dictators from whom they fled?
    The war that they did not start?
    The religious/ethnic/cultural/skin colour – based discrimination they faced?
    The brigands they could not fight off?
    The invaders who co-opted and then abandoned them?

    and that has not been going on for thousands of years in the region most of the people are coming from .
    i wonder what the people from that part of the world did for the last few thousand years before we were here

    so what’s you solution to the problem iv given you mine when you asked for it now its your turn or like some others its easy to pick on me but note so easy to come up with a solution .

    through slight of hand the gillard Govt. had the numbers to put there plan into action question is why didn’t they .

  131. red crab

    it will be interesting to see where the australian govts priority is now regarding christmas island . with limited opportunity to land any food or supply’s.
    who will the govt,s first priority be Christmas island Australians or asylum seekers .
    in the next few weeks we all will see where the Govt. loyalty’s really lie.

  132. red crab

    a win for the greens
    nows the time for all those that have spoken up before to now stand up and put they words and spare rooms into actions
    and the govt is going to pay them for it to
    i just wonder if any of them will justify there prior comments .

    talk is cheep.

    mabe hanson has a few spare rooms i bet not!!!!

  133. Lorikeet

    Australians living on the minimum wage can no longer afford to rent a property on either the public or private rental market. They are being forced to make a choice between feeding their children and spending the night in a hotel to get their kids off the streets.

    Unless the government finally takes action to house its own homeless and destitute citizens, paying householders to billet refugees will only incite further racial and religious tensions.

    We are told that the government will pay householders $300 a week to house mostly young men in the 18-25 year age group for a period of 6 weeks, preferably in pairs to overcome anxiety, and cultural and language difficulties. Most will be refugees from places such as Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

    A woman who already takes part in the program said she gets paid $140 for the first person accommodated, and I think it was $125 for the second. I’m guessing the $300 figure is probably meant to eventually cover a family of 3 or 4 people.

  134. togret

    Red Crab – if it is a win for the Greens, it is also a win for our nation. If people in detention for what is not now and never has been a crime (seeking asylum and arriving by boat) under our own law can now get out of detention after being checked, and start to make a contribution to our national well-being, like the hundreds of thousands before them, I say hooray. We win, as taxpayers also, since the cost of this iniquitous system is skewing our bank balance as well as our national values. Good first step, I say.

    And no, Red crab, I can’t take in anyone since I don’t own my home, it comes with the job, when I am here. What I have done for years is to donate to refugee services in several ways, since I am not rolling in money, but I am at least able tocome and go from here when I like, eat what I like, speak the language I wish to, get an education, practice my religion and go to a nearby park, etc when I like. At times my ancestors of various nationalities did not have that freedom, and I was brought up not to forget.

  135. red crab

    it costs $150 a night to hire some ones spare room in Perth now. so where dose the govt get off offering $300 dollars a week to house and feed people who have payed 10 to 12 thousand dollars to get on a leaky boat to get to Christmas island then claim asylum and expect the taxpayers to cover all there costs from now on .
    and like many other advocates there are a myriad of excuses when it come right down to it funny that !

    but i really have to agree with lorikeet ,s comment

    Unless the government finally takes action to house its own homeless and destitute citizens, paying householders to billet refugees will only incite further racial and religious tensions.

    with up to 500 asylum seekers a week now arriving
    and neally all males between 18to 25 just how long would you expect this latest effort by this joke of a govt to last .

  136. red crab

    thought id just let you know because you don’t seam to get the info on the east coast like we do here 3 more boats rolled up sunday with another 305 people on them
    thats one more boat than the daily average .

    on average that would be worth 3.5 million dollars in one day to the smugglers .
    and the taxpayers are expected to pick up the bill for processing and on top of that the govt wants people to put them up two at a time for 300 a week give me a break .

    the air fair to perth from Jakarta this week was $169.
    the boat trip this week was $12.000..00

    the reason you are able to do all the things you mentioned togret is because my ancestors and some close friends prayed the ultimate price so you and i can do just that.

  137. ETS

    I think you will find all our ancestors eventually paid the ultimate price for whatever they were doing. We too will one day pay the ultimate price. But your point is fair enough, what we have today is the result of the decisions and actions of our forebears, good and bad, and us.

    What Indigenous Australians have today is very much the result of decisions and actions since 1788. What migrants have today is the result of decisions and actions since they arrived here, and we are very much a migrant nation.

    Refugees are people in need who are entitled to come to Australia. They are entitled to have their claims processed promptly and fairly. The present system is a physical and psychological burden on refugees and an unnecessary and inefficient economic burden on the rest of Australia. Surely it would be better to work with refugee groups and migrant communities to support refugees while their claims are being processed. Keep them in the community and maybe the fear of the unknown on both sides will fall away. The great majority do stay in Australia after all.

    It is so good to have a reasonable discussion without being restricted to an arbitrary 160 word limit.

  138. togret

    red crab – do you want to play the “I have ancestors / friends / family members who went to war so my statements have more moral authority than yours” game?

    Sorry, mate – not playing childish games like that. I can see your ‘went to war and “ultimate price” ‘ cards and raise you a couple of medal winners – what does that prove?

    Stick to the actual point of discussion.

  139. red crab

    At times my ancestors of various nationalities did not have that freedom, and I was brought up not to forget.
    and your point is ???
    very close to raising the race card isn’t it
    seems to be good for some but taboo for others ( well i never)
    the new detention centre at Northam is due to open soon i cant help but wonder why it is not on the east coast

    90% of guests will end up there anyway .and more than 50% of the staff will be fly in fly out from Canberra .

  140. ETS

    I think you will find all our ancestors eventually paid the ultimate price for whatever they were doing. We too will one day pay the ultimate price. But your point is fair enough, what we have today is the result of the decisions and actions of our forebears, good and bad, and us.

    What Indigenous Australians have today is very much the result of decisions and actions since 1788. What migrants have today is the result of decisions and actions since they arrived here, and we are so much a migrant nation.

    Refugees are people in need who are entitled to come to Australia. They are entitled to have their claims processed promptly and fairly. The present system is a physical and psychological burden on refugees and an unnecessary and inefficient economic burden on the rest of Australia. Surely it would be better to work with refugee groups and migrant communities to support refugees while their claims are being processed. Keep them in the community and maybe the fear of the unknown on both sides will fall away. The great majority do stay in Australia after all.

    It is very good to have a reasonable discussion without being restricted to an arbitrary 160 word limit and a topic that is closed every week.

  141. togret

    red crab – I cannot make any sense from your question/statement about “the race card”. My family has been taught that at various times and various places we were subjected to oppression and sometimes death, simply for being whatever it was we were that could be labelled as “wrong” by others. Our group might have been labelled “the next village”, “the ohter religion” “any ohter religion”, “descended from incomers”, “the wrong skin colour”, “havign the wrong political beliefs”.

    We were taught nto to hate others, but to be aware that it oculd happens again, and it is happening to not-us people today, will happen tomorrow, here and elsewhere.

    The lesson is: “Don’t judge peopleby the label they put on themselves, nor the label others put on them. It could be you, next time.”

    That’s pretty much all I have to say about this.

  142. red crab

    togret i do agree with you
    it is happening elsewhere and it will happen here in the future .
    lets just hope we are wise enough to see it coming and hope we are strong enough stop any attempts to establish it here.

  143. red crab

    interesting night on tv last night it would seam that a lot so called asylum seekers are not what they claim to be .
    and just how easy it has become for criminals to jump a boat get a free home supplied by the tax payers and set up there activity’s
    bring on the next election as soon as possible.
    maybe we can regain control of our borders before its too late.

  144. togret

    Hmmm, knowing what we know about huamn beings, the fact that A FEW people many have rorted the rules ought to surprise nobody. How many asylum seekers have you ever met, Red Crab? How many do you know, so you can judge them, if that’s how you go about life: judging others?

    Nobody supports criminals, or those who exploit others. It’s a hame if these allegations are found to be true. Respect for the ABC aside, it is only a TV show.

    If you think it is easy, , who are you and why are you writing in the name of hte red crab who was complaining about the danger thta Asylum seekers are in when they attempt to cross the INdiam ocean? Own up, now. WHo are you really?h

  145. red crab

    nobody in particular just a face in the crowd.
    red crab its not hard to work that out think about it
    and you don’t think that the abc,s allegations are true.
    there seams to be a lot more journalist,s looking a bit closer at just who is coming here now .stay tuned
    if you were wise you would look at just how much it actually costs a genuine person to emigrate to australia ( i did) then work out just how much cheaper it is to come in the back door

    .Nobody supports criminals, or those who exploit others
    are you Shaw about that statement it would seem to me that because of this govts policies we all do !! .
    just where do you get the idea that asylum seeker boats cross the indian ocean

    they cross 300 klms of ocean between Java and Christmas island its a 24 hour trip even for a leaky boat .

  146. red crab

    interesting just how quiet some people have become .
    there are now 1,000 people trying to back door australia in detention on christmas island
    that will be a cost to the tax payers of about 80 million dollars
    and a tidy profit of 12million dollars to the smugglers .
    with around 300 people arriving every week now i wonder how much this will cost australia untill the next election.
    what a nice little earner for the company running the reception centres
    and its not even an australian company.

    this govt has created a industry that they have lost control of

    so what do they do invent more taxes to pay for it .

  147. togret

    This has been asked over and over again. Red Crab – what would you do? If you were King tomorrow, what would you do?

    Come on, clearly set out a policy that would deal with:
    *the current fact that we are a signatory to conventions regarding humane treatement of refugees that are part of our own law

    * the fact that in our region there are people in conflict

    * the fact that we have a tiny peoportion of hte world’s refugees coming to our shores

    *let’s not forget the European visa-overstayers, who, in all fairness, you should perhaps consider as well in your policy.

    How would you solve Australia’s “problem”?

    Please give detailed information about how this would work, e.g. if you favour the Nauru solution, explain how this would not be dterimental to the mental health of the refugees, like last time, or explain clearly that you don’t care, if that is the case?

    Put up, Red Crab, or stop whineing.

  148. red crab

    first i would like you to tell me your perception of a genuine refugee.

    second show me positive proof that there is a risk of mental health problems which dose not originate from a situation which genuine refugees are escaping from


    we now know that most people asking for asylum and then refugee status who come here buy boat are schooled in what type of story is required to gain what they are after
    European VISA!!!! overstayers are exactly that so why bring them up there is no claim there for refugee status when they are caught they are deported ( simple) in the mean time they can only work for a little cash and claim no benefits.

    small point in our region there has been conflict for thousands of years

    i think protection visa s would be a good start.

    if this govt is not seen to be doing something the fact is that this alone will be enough to lose them any chance of retaining any seats at all in the next election.

    if i were king which i could never be there are much better people out there than me
    good question though

    one thing i would do is listen to the people and do what the majority asked i would not be ruled by a minority at the detriment of the majority to hold onto power.


  149. togret

    Red Crab:

    1. there is already alegal definiton of “refugee” in the UN COnvention and in our own law.

    2. Are the statements of eminent psychiatrists good enough for you?

    3. If someone were to arrive in Australia in a psychiatrically damaged condition, which might have somethign to do with yoru definition problem, maybe, does that make it OK that we either make it worse, or at any rate put them on Nauru and don’t give them humane treatment for tha damage?

    4. If you were put in a position where you had to satisfy the definiton mentioned in part 1, would you ask advice about the best way to answer the questions you would surely be asked? A bit like getting coached for a job interview only a bit more important, see defintion of a refugee mentioned in point 1 (especially the part about beign in fear fortheir life)
    5. In our region there may well have been conflict for thousands of years. Does tha mean that the people there are somehow less in need of our protection? Does tha mean tht we ought not to have accepted refugees from Europe after Woorld War I & II, where they have been having conflicts for .. thousands of years. What a fatuous point.
    6. It was not meant as a tribute to your character, but merely to discover whether you have anything to pout forward except the suggestion of bringing back temporary protection visas, which had hte effect of stoppign people from re-uniting with their families, as well as imposing a most wicked financial burden on people for the crime of being a refugee.

    Many epople who have been sent back to Afghanistan, for example, have been killed on return. This is relevant to the defintion of point No 1 — the part about being killed if they were to return.

    As I thought, there is nothing in your reply that relates to humanity, compassion, the fact that AUstralia probably has about the fewest refugees arriving in the OECD countries, and in contrast to the plight of much poorer countries who generously take in thousands daily at times, and struggle to feed them, but acknowledge their plight, Australia’s response to the plight of the few who make it is is beneath disgust.

  150. red crab

    another boat and another missing its a sad day.
    now go to the perthnow news site look up the article click on the comments \

  151. togret

    (While I wait for an earlier comment to be moderated, maybe I can say something else?)

    Red Crab – I’ve read the Perth now site, I’ve read the Adelaide now site – a lot of reactions written by people who clearly have no understanding of the situation – for example they want AUstralia to give Cocos and Christmas Islands to the Indonesians – they obviously have no idea WHY we hang onto them (hint: wealth for us) and most of the other remarks are as ill-informed. One Rhodes Scholar was so enraged that he couldn’t htink of much else to say than that the Prime Minister has red hair.

    Gee whiz – give her the sack now, then, in that case.

  152. red crab

    interesting that you think that Cocos and Christmas islands in anyway bring some kind of wealth to Australia
    the only people who are getting rich from Christmas island is serco
    there are only 2 other things on the island that some small amount of money can be made
    tourists is one and phosphate is the other
    the govt has just about stopped mining there with licence restrictions .
    and the tourists don’t want to go there any more because of the detention centre.

    one small point the people of Christmas island had a referendum and voted to become Australian that my friend is the only reason why Christmas island is part of Australia.

    i think maybe the only way the govt mite save some sort of face is to agree with the opposition s pacific solution and show the people that it dose not work. that’s if that is the case only one way to find out .

    While I wait for an earlier comment to be moderated, maybe I can say something else?

    which comment would that be ??

  153. togret

    Red Crab – look up hydrocarbon resources and look up fisheries resources regarding the seas and islands to our northwest – then tell me again Australia doesn’t make anything out of the “ownership” of those territories.

    For someone who claims to know about the area … wow. You have a lot to catch up on.

    the comment about another comment is that it is not visibel to you becuase it has not been moderated – nothing for you to worry about.

  154. red crab

    togret do you know just where Christmas island actually is situated.
    the is no hydrocarbon collection activity’s happening out there
    because of two good reasons
    1 ownership would defiantly be disputed by the Indonesian s
    2 its too dam deep to extract at the moment if there is any there at all
    as far as fishing goes there is no commercial fishing that i know of done by Australian fishers out there.
    3 there is no strategic value there for protection of the west coast and its resources its just too far out

    1 its too deep for net fishing
    2 most of it is marine park
    the only fishing there was a little charter game fishing but the detention centre and its uninvited guests have taken all the accommodation on the island so fishing tourists just don’t go there and the small charter operations have closed

    togret take a trip go have a look for yourself Andrew will agree with me its a wonderful place to see
    id even try to set up some fishing for you with the locals you mite even get to hear some real truth .now that would be something!!

  155. togret

    Red crab – yes, as I have mentioned before, I have been there. If you refuse to accept our economic activities in the zone, I’ll leave that for others to deal with.

    Todays’s Sydney Mornign Herlad letters page has this gem:
    “Boats of all sizes, including yachts and Indonesian fishing vessels routinely sail these waters in reasonable safety. Many convict and free settler Australian immigrants endured far more dangerous voyages. It is no crime to operate a licensed, passenger service. The crime, whether under Australian, Indonesian or international law is to negligently operate an unregistered, overloaded or unseaworthy vessel. That alone should be the criterion for confiscation of a vessel and prosecution of its crew and owner.

    When any boat, properly loaded and equipped, reaches an Australian port it should, like any airliner, cruise ship or yacht, be allowed to disembark its passengers under Immigration Department supervision and freely depart, even if to subsequently return with more asylum seekers. Australian and Indonesian acceptance of that legal traffic would eliminate the market for sub-standard refugee transport and truly ”break the people smugglers’ business model”.

    Murray Scott Heathcote”

    I’d like to know hwat, apart from prejudice, are the flaws with this?

    Someone rational, please.

  156. Ken

    Under this model they need papers, passport etc. Just as most of them did to get to Indonesia in the first place.

    I say anyone with papaers welcome and be processed like anyone else, throw them away and your not welcome.

  157. togret

    Ken, there is a lot packed into your statement. You’d need to be assured that the people who discard papers (if they do have valid papers to discard – I’m no expert in this matter, but I do know that getting out/getting in to other countries might well be an exercise in finding someone to bribe) didn’t do so on the advice of the smugglers. If we can’t get a message directly to people about the dangers of the trip – and I know attempts have been made to do this in Indonesia, at least) – how do we get OUR message across about the needs for papers when the smugglers are clearly capable of convincing people that they can deliver what they want : safety and a future free of oppression?

    I agree that checking of identity as well as health and criminal record are good things, but I feel very sure that it is not as straight-forward as you suggest. What we need is a balanced and thoroughgoing investigation of the whole process, in conjunction with other countries in the region. What helps nobody is shooting from the lip – there has been too much of that already. It does not appear to be working – neither do TPVs when family, the opportunity to work, to study, to access medical care are blocked. Is it beyond us to treat people with humanity?

  158. red crab

    Red crab – yes, as I have mentioned before, I have been there.
    ok well then if you are anything to do with asylum seekers or the govt
    you will not have been told some truths .
    i am no one and still have been told by people who were at some of these sad incidents what really happened and more.

    If you refuse to accept our economic activities in the zone, I’ll leave that for others to deal with.

    you and i both know the only economic activity out there is the bl….. detention centre !!! .

    Is it beyond us to treat people with humanity?
    what about the the bloke who had some damage to his hand last week they flew him on his own in an 80 seat plain to Perth hows that for caring
    it costs $30.000 in fuel for those jets to do that trip
    i saw something the same in royal Perth hospital and he waited for 10 hours to be seen (an Australian!!! )
    here is a small snipet you mite not have been told couple of years ago a Christmas island local went to there hospital seeking some help was told sorry where full of asylum seekers he later died hows that for humanity cant even get into there own hospital .

    i know you are going to moderated these comments but i dont know any other way to express the way i feel sorry
    where’s Paul Walter when i need him

  159. Lorikeet

    Why don’t we just collect our share of processed refugees directly from Indonesia?

  160. red crab



    we now know where the greens carbon tax is going dont we.

  161. gzg

    If we can’t get a message directly to people about the dangers of the trip – and I know attempts have been made to do this in Indonesia, at least) – how do we get OUR message across about the needs for papers when the smugglers are clearly capable of convincing people that they can deliver what they want : safety and a future free of oppression?

    Your question assumes that valid papers exist.

  162. red crab

    togret it cost the Australian tax payer aprox 80 thousand dollars for each person and more if they have special needs
    at the average arrivals of some 300 per day now its not hard to work out aprox how much this is costing.

    the govt has lost control of who is comming here now why are we picking up people from within Indonesian waters .

    we must be the biggest joke around if a few smugglers can make fools of us .

    oh just a little told you so whos turning on the greens now .


    if the govt takes away the incentives from any one who arrives by boat they wont do the trip cant blame the smugglers for tacking advantage of a stupid government .

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