Senate Committee hearings on anti-refugee legislation today

The Committee hearing into the Government’s new anti-refugee legislation is being held today in Canberra. The legislation is called the Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006. I’m not sure who an ‘undesignated unauthorised arrival’ might be, but perhaps I’ll be able to find out from the Immigration Department when they appear before us. The Bills Digest produced by the Parliamentary Library which explains the Bill is available by clicking here. The program of witnesses for today’s hearing can be found by clicking here.

Even though people have had only two weeks to prepare submissions, the Committee have received 118 so far. You can access them by clicking here. There are many good useful ones amongst them. The ones from the various legal organisations point out many of the legal problems. The one from the Department is here. This one by historian Klaus Neumann (who I have referred to before) gives a good outline of our country’s less than perfect past in handling West Papuan refugees fleeing danger in Indonesia, and this one by Dr Jen Harrison, who was one of the few people able to visit refugees detained on Nauru, gives some brief but good descriptions of conditions on the island.

This article from Australian Policy Online is also worth reading. It reminds us that there are “nearly 8000 West Papuan refugees and asylum seekers already living in relocation camps in Papua New Guinea, many of whom have been there for more than twenty years.” I think it makes our fear and loathing about 43 look pretty pathetic, to put it politely.

PS If you have broadband, you may be able to listen to the Committee’s proceedings by clicking here and then on the Legal and Constitutional Committee icon.

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15 Comments

  1. Bob Correll has moved himself to utter inhumanity in just a few short months – first he claimed that even though Roqia Bakhtiyari is an Afghan citizen she is a Pakistani – I am not sure how she managed to be born in both places as Pakistan flatly refuses to give citizenship to Afghans.

    Then today I heard him say with a straight face that article 31 (2) of th refugee convention can be translated to mean that we have the right to kidnap people and move them by force to another country instead of allowing that they transit countries that cannot provide protection That surely was a fancy piece of work.

    Actually Nick Poynder probably said it all unless some of the liberals find a spine soon.

  2. here we go againe . the govt is only dowing what the majority want .im sick and tired of the govts pandering to minoritys.
    andrew i recomend that you go and visit some of the workers that are being replaced buy imported labor and ask them how they feel about it.

  3. I could do that red crab, but people fleeing persecution has nothing to do with people coming here on work visas.

    I should do a separate post on this, as it is a completely separate issue, but the loss of protections for pay and conditions is a real problem, as it allowing the government and employers to (mis)use migration to drive down wages and safety. Fixing the workplace laws would do more to address than blaming migrants.

  4. exactly. but thats how the average worker see,s it . no discrimination there.
    a post on work visas would be a good idea its realy taking of over here in the west and its not looking good at all.
    i dont have an answer as to how to prosess ppl who come here to escape perceqution but i have been informed as to how some behave after they get settled and thats not good either.

  5. Red Crab,
    I would be fascinated to see your examples of people who have come to Australia as refugees, and their subsequent bad behaviour, and what that number is a statistic, and then how it compares to a statistic of, say, the broader Australian community, or better yet: the broader Australian community within the same income bracket.

    You might be surprised at what you woudl find…

  6. red crab, the answer lies within you and the average worker – vote the Howard government out of power.

    You can’t just pick the policies that you like to support Howard on, he’s after everyone with his mean and nasty politics of hate and division.

    If you’re worried about the average worker, you can’t afford to be voting for Howard, he’s only interested in your loss of rights and decreasing your wages and benefits by tilting the scales so far in the favour of employers and big business.

    Be very frightened for the welfare and future of your children with Howard’s minimal wage conditions, they’ll be slave labour for the unscrupulous and greedy employers. They’ll be expected to jump trough hoops at the employer’s whim, whenever and wherever. The use of migrant labour is all part of the wages and conditions drive down.

  7. What will they do if the fleeing East Timorese begin to arrive – send them to Nauru and pretend they can’t possibly be refugees? There is a form of persecution and ethnic payback happening in the country right now – 50,000 innocent men, women and children face death so they have fled.

    What will Howard do if some of them make it to Australia? Spend all our aid money making a rogue army again while the rice stays locked in the government warehouses?

    Red crab – once and for all will you get this through your head and settled in your mind. Refugees fleeing terrorism, persecution, death and torture are not migrants coming from one nice safe place to another for a better life.

  8. ok i give up lets just have an open door let anyone who is persicuted or just needs a better pace to live . then lets also wait for say 15yrs then i will be interested to see what you all say then. i dont think it will be the same as it is now .have a good look outside our borders .why are coutrys like america and the u.k. tightening there borders.
    deborah good point .i remember when howard was in the frazer govt didnt vote for them then and never will i voted for the democrats who told us there would be no g.s.t. till meg lees betrayed us all .
    the howard govt would not have got in if there was any form of alterative.they wont be there next time the thing is how mutch damage will they do before the next election.
    off subject sorry ! but when are you gowing to put up a blog on inustrial relations andrew.

  9. Red crab, there are no damn doors and the human rights conventions we have signed and entered into domestic law don’t allow for number restrictions. For heavens sake we have a steel girdle around the country now to keep out 3 Afghans. How utterly deranged can we get do you think especially when one of them is a 9 year old boy.

    Pakistan 4 million, Iran 3 million, Tanzania 750,000 – I don’t here them whining and whingeing and carrying on like we do about a few people.

    Here is a fact mate – if one million people flew here or arrived here on boats in any given year claiming a well founded fear of persecution we would have just one choice – that is to hear their claims.

  10. here is a fact for you marilyn if we were to get a 1mill in population groth in perth in one year .then most of our utilitys would collapse .then we would be all in trouble then how do you plan to feed , water, house,educate and find work for thease ppl. if we are unable to look after our selves.

  11. Red Crab your references to issues on building sites in WA and imported cheap labour by a particular builder is a separate issue to that of Refugees.

    The proposed legislation is aimed at boat arrivals who would seek asylum in Australia and given that there has been about 100 people do so since mid 2003 it makes the mention of millions far fetched and fanciful.

  12. The answer is in – we will send fleeing East Timorese refugees to Nauru – we will send out the navy to capture any boats, ram them, maybe shoot at them, then kidnap the people escaping the same violence we are trying to halt in East Timor and send people to Nauru.

    There are currently 100,000 people who have fled virtual “ethnic cleansing” between warring tribes living as refugees outside Dili. Their circumstances are appalling with little protection, food or water.

    If 100 or 300 or 3,000 try to get here we will squander billions and send them to Nauru.

    What on earth would be the point as we can hardly say they should go to Indonesia for protection can we?

    The new DIMA crew sound as cold blooded and cruel as the old crew but then I guessed at the time it would be merely window dressing to appease Palmer and Comrie.

    Other shocking news though is that Australia sent 32 unaccompanied children back to the war zone of Afghanistan from Nauru – children that age aren’t even allowed to make claims for protection and on the mainland the only way they could was with a lawyer as a next friend.

    Now that is vicious. Among the West Papuans were 5 or 6 unaccompanied children whose parents will be sent to Nauru if they try to join them and they will then stay in orbit forever if no other country will take them.

    What has been forgotten is that we are talking about human lives not tins of peas or bales of wool.

  13. Patrick

    You want figures. I posted facts and figures of the gangs in Australia and hounded everybody to comment.

    Crime has more than doubled. The courts have been full and numbers of crimes gone through the roof over the years.

    What Red Crap is saying is that there are only so many jobs and so many people in Australia.

    Add it up and add water to the problem and I think I understand where he is coming from.

    Red Crab. The other problem is of course is that because the Howard Government were so busy getting the unempoyed numbers down[on paper that we forgett to train any skilled labour.

    They made sure everybody was either a casual worker to double to jobs or off Geting Smarter

    The business sector in the mean time have all gone off shore to employ people they can afford because of the labour policies that are now hitting us years after.

    M There are a thousand people each day taking Australians jobs so Red crab is worried about that.

    The biggest downfall in Australia is its welfare system if I had to pick one.

    We just cant have two thirds living off welfare and a huge overeas debts.

    Australia is hocked to the eye balls.

    M no we are not talking about tins of peas or bales of wool.

    If we were you would find that home brand tin foods is make in the UAE including baked beans.

    If we were to talk about bales of wool we would be far better off.
    Australia was made on the sheeps back and its bales of wool we should be sending instead of our jobs in the cruel live export market.

    We need to work on our own aboriginal people and get jobs and companies back into Australia.

    Red Crab is correct however its not going to be easy Red Crab.

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