Magna Carta & refugees

My favourite memory of the Magna Carta involved a group of refugees who had recently arrived in Australia after spending years being kept in the detention centre on Nauru. I’d visited them while they were incarcerated in Nauru, where they were uncertain of their future – not knowing how long they would be locked up…

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Changing Times

In the past I’d write an angry blog post on refugee rights. Now I just tweet that the ALP & Coalition both suck big time on refugee rights. (and then post the tweet on my blog) Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if the comment thread contains statements that are little more than a…

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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…

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Time to remove mandatory sentencing of ‘people smugglers’

The groups of people who have suffered most from Australia’s long-standing absurdly politicised, disproportionate and irrational debate around asylum seekers are the asylum seekers themselves. But another group who have been subjected to disproportionate and unjustified punishment who get very little attention are the hundreds of impoverished Indonesian fishermen who are subjected to mandatory jail…

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Refugee Day Rally & Refugee Week

This Sunday marks the start of Refugee Week, with plenty of events around the country to acknowledge and celebrate the contribution refugees have made and continue to make to our society, culture and economy. I’m speaking at a rally being held in Brisbane Square this Sunday from 1pm to mark World Refugee Day. I have…

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Good and bad ways to reduce boat arrivals

Peter Mares is a long time follower of refugee issues and critic of the problems inherent in the former government’s approach to asylum seekers in boats.  He wrote a piece in The Age which emphasised a point about the Howard’s government asylum policies which does not get highlighted enough. former treasurer Peter Costello wrote in…

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Refugees in Rocky

Refugees in Rocky In amongst the antagonism and angst that can surround debates about refugees, whether here or overseas, it is good to see a good news story about the positives for a family that has settled here in Queensland, and their keenness to start contributing to the community and economy in their new home….

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Wednesday night politics in Brisbane

Wednesday night politics in Brisbane Two forums are being held in Brisbane tomorrow night which may be of interest to some. One is a forum to debate Integrity & Accountability in Queensland. It is being held at the Irish Club, 175 Elizabeth St  from  6pm.  Speakers include former state Attorney-General, Linda Lavarch, journalist Tony Koch,…

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A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia

A couple more pieces about asylum seekers & Malaysia The Taiwan News http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1009086〈=eng_news reports that “Malaysian authorities have arrested five immigration officers suspected of selling ‘illegal’ immigrants from Myanmar to human traffickers” – reportedly the “first time Malaysia has found evidence that government officials were involved in forced labour exploitation” Meanwhile, http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,,25797512-7583,00.html Mike Steketee from…

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