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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Burmese refugees on Nauru must be brought to Australia

Democrats’ immigration spokesperson Andrew Bartlett has supported the growing calls for the federal government to immediately bring to Australia the seven Burmese refugees who are on being kept on Nauru. Senator Bartlett, who spoke with the men during a visit to Nauru in April this year, said it was simply prolonging the men’s suffering for […]

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HREOC must have access to Nauru facilities: Bartlett

Democrats’ Immigration spokesperson Senator Andrew Bartlett says it is vital that the Human Rights Commissioner is able to visit Nauru’s offshore detention facility. “Some of the refugees there now have been in detention for a year and there are reports of hunger strikes starting up, yet the federal government wants to prevent any independent scrutiny,” […]

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Out of sight, out of mind?

Two weeks ago I attended a hearing of the Parliament’s Migration Committee which heard clear evidence that Australian businesses in many areas are still finding it difficult to find available workers, for unskilled as well as skilled and semi-skilled work. This situation not only inhibits earnings for those businesses, it costs all Australians by keeping […]

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Nauru, again

I’ve just returned from a quick two day visit to Nauru – my fourth in four years. I had a look at the recently renovated facility where the refugees are staying and met with many of them. There has been a different situation each visit I’ve made, and this one was no different in being […]

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TRANSFER OF ASYLUM SEEKERS TO NAURU WONT DETER SMUGGLERS BUT COMPOUNDS HUMAN SUFFERING

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett condemned the move to transfer 82 Sri Lankan asylum seekers from Christmas Island to Nauru as a waste of taxpayers money that does nothing to enhance border protection or deter people smugglers. “Australian taxpayers and asylum seekers are the only people disadvantaged by the government’s Pacific Solution,” Senator Bartlett said. […]

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NAURU DETAINEES RELEASE AFTER 6 YEARS WELCOME

Democrat Immigration spokesperson Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed news of the release of Iraqi refugee, Muhammad Faisal from detention after a protracted battle over his security status, but condemned the extreme and unnecessary suffering that was inflicted on him. “The news that he has finally received the all clear from ASIO and can now be […]

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Last refugee on Nauru to be free

Some very welcome news has come through that the last of the original refugees on Nauru, Mohammed Sagar, has finally been offered resettlement in another country – reportedly in a Scandinavian country. I have written about him and his Iraqi compatriot, Mohammad Faisal, on this website a number of times – here and here are […]

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Out of Nauru

I’m posting this on Thursday night from my hotel room in Fiji, having just arrived here from Nauru. This post is just an initial outline – I will provide more in-depth reflections about the situation of the asylum seekers and other aspects of the situation in Nauru and my visit there in later posts, and […]

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Bartlett challenges Vanstone to visit Nauru and talk with the families in detention

Australian Democrats’ Leader Senator Andrew Bartlett has called on Federal Immigration Minister, Amanda Vanstone, to visit Nauru and meet with the families she is keeping imprisoned there at taxpayers’ expense. Senator Bartlett, who recently returned from a second visit to detainees on the island, told a refugee forum in Adelaide today that, “Australia is totally […]

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