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01 March 2014

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Thanks KJ - You are doing a so wonderful job!

Peter,

you seem to be missing the point. The question is not about what to do with illegal immigrants AFTER they arrive. The question was how to stop the boats and therefore stop the loss of life through illegal boat trips from a so called friendly country.

That has now been done or so we are told. Sure you can say this is an 'end justifying the means' argument however I can't see where in your post you suggest any better or viable alternative.

If the majority of Australians want our government to stop the boats then that is what has been achieved. What happens to those who paid to come here using illegal means is totally another question. They knew at the outset what they were doing was illegal that's why they paid their money to do it instead of applying for a place in the legal number of genuine 'refugees'.

To lose sight of the objective is to support all those who are accepting and gaining from people who are paying for an illegal service.

Thanks for your comments Peter.

I guess this probably is the wrong forum to really discuss this issue in detail, but I acknowledge that in your first paragraph you offer at least the germ of an idea about what could be done. This is more than most people are willing or able to do.

You also say that many more people arrive by plane than by boat, which is true. Of course, they almost all arrive with a valid passport and pass through our border control process in an orderly way, which the people arriving by boat patently do not.

However, you still don't deal with a fundamental problem that arises once we embark on a "humanitarian" policy approach, which is the number of people arriving by boat will inevitably swell hugely. There is no question that this will be the outcome.

How will we go dealing with 30,000 or more such arrivals per year? The logistics of managing this type of influx are very serious indeed, let alone effecting sensible placement somewhere in our community.

I strongly doubt that our prospective new citizens will share your enthusiasm for becoming tillers of soil and hewers of wood in the far north. Their aim will be to head for the bright city lights as soon as possible, as it is now.

Proponents of mass resettlement of asylum seekers need to explain to the community that is to receive them just how this will impact upon them personally. For example. how much extra tax they must pay to process, feed, accommodate, educate, train, provide health care and employ an influx of, say, 30,000 per annum on top of the net 150,000 plus now entering Australia each year as immigrants?

Right now, not a single proponent of a less rigorous policy position has even attempted to answer such questions. I submit that the reasons for this are that they either do not understand the logical consequences of their position or, alternatively, know that they cannot "sell" the proposition to the public without guaranteeing a massive reaction as people realise the enormous on-going additional costs involved.

As for the potential impact on social conditions, I shudder to think how things will go when the true xenophobes get wound up about their new and unwanted neighbours.

For what its worth, I think we must press on with becoming a more and more multicultural society but can only sensibly do so in a controlled and orderly fashion. If this means we take more asylum seekers overall than previously, then that is fine with me.

What is not fine, is allowing what is patently a criminal enterprise (people smuggling) to determine who comes here and do so using a very dangerous form of transport. That is something I and a great many Australians simply cannot and will not accept.

The Catholic Archbishop of Rabaul Francesco Panfilo visited Manus on 12-14 December 2013, but only made his report public a few days ago. If I may I would like to copy here the second part of the report. Thank you very much.
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George - I have the Archbishop's first rate report ready to roll Sunday morning as our lead article. I believe it is a rational, moderate and compelling observation, and hope that it is picked up by other media - KJ

Keith - I posted that comment then pressed preview and it disappeared with no trace and no Captcha. Maybe there's a technical glitch?
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Typepad has changed some of its protocols, including assuring that its spam filters are now world beaters - hence Captcha has disappeared - KJ

Chris - some critics do have a coherent plan.

Process asylum seekers in Australia. Don't fob off the problem to other countries that you can bully or bribe. Maybe give the legit ones (which number well over 90% of all applicants on the current stats) the chance to settle in northern Australia, establish new communities, develop agriculture etc. The Libs seem to think this is a good idea.

Asylum-seekers entering Australian territory can so so quite legally under UN laws and conventions which we signed up to (as Gary Juffa notes). Maybe the boat journeys asylum-seekers use are not legal under maritime law, but the asylum-seekers themselves are entitled to make their claims and be subject to due process and Australian protection. Many thousands arrive in Australia by plane every year (dwarfing the numbers of boat-people) and make such claims.

But remember Labor excised the whole of Australian territory from immigration and refugee conventions. And this has been upheld by the Libs.

Why vilify a class of people merely by their chosen mode of transport?

And the guilt lies with both major parties in Australia. Libs introduced the Pacific solution, Labor then tried to trump this with first the failed Malaysian solution and then resurrected the Manus solution, and the Libs now develop this further and meanwhile kick boat people back to Indonesia - which failed to take the mark. All the while outsourcing all the operational details and responsibilities of course, at the cost of billions of dollars, which was said to be part of the aid budget.

One asylum-seeker place on Manus costs Australia $900 a night.

How many PNG malaria could that treat, or TB and Aids treatments?

Both major parties in Australia are as bad as each other, and are treating PNG as a convenient dumping ground. Shame. It is sickening hypocrisy and amoral brutality.

And you could watch this -

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/01/manus-island-a-war-zone-on-night-of-unrest-video-footage-reveals

And Morrison is keeping us all in the dark about his current visit to PNG.

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/scott-morrison-staying-quiet-on-png-visit-as-riot-footage-emerges-20140301-33slc.html

Well said Chris.

Living in Sydney for many years I have at times been involved with helping some of the genuine refugees. One such organisation I helped was STARTTS - the Service for the Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture abd Trauma Survivors, which has been helping people who have undergone various forms of torture and taruma in their home country. I felt their cases were genuine refugees.

But in this morning's Sydney Morning Herald I have been reading about the service in Iran for the man who was recently killed on Manus. He was a trained architect and was just going to Australia for a better life. His life was not in danger and he had a good education and his family appear to be well off and are giving him a grand funeral. His relative, who came with him, had already worked out that he was not going to get to Australia and had returned home safely.

I just wish this sad faced member of the Greens party who keeps speaking out on TV for everyone trying to get to Australia, would start to get real. She needs to be taken around the world to see what a genuine refugee is.

Back when I was teaching, the local member, Phillip Ruddock, used to come to the school to speak to the students about the refugee problem. He said a true refugee was someone whose life was in danger. i.e. they were about to be killed.

I'm sure this does not apply to most of the people on Manus today and they should be shipped back home. The Manus facility should be closed down. PNG has got enough problems of its own to worry about. If they still want to apply to become refugees they should do it the correct way.

The critics of the current government's asylum seeker policy are long on moral and legal criticism but very, very short on a coherent alternative plan.

If Australia is to, in effect, simply open its borders to all "genuine" asylum seekers, just how is it proposed to deal with the logistical, economic and social consequences of the influx of many thousands of grateful new comers?

If not everyone can be taken in, how is it proposed to discriminate between applicants? Why would we not favour Papua New Guineans, for example?

After all, we have strong historic ties with PNG and plenty of strong moral grounds to support them in their efforts to escape the poverty and corruption that is rampant there.

Who is a "genuine" asylum seeker anyway? Someone from a poorer or more oppressive state? Someone who wants a better life and prospects? If this is so, then just about anyone from anywhere will qualify.

What is to be done about the asylum seekers' desire to bring the rest of their family to Australia as soon as possible? How are we to gainfully employ these folk, many of whom speak no English and have no employable skills? How fast can we expand our burgeoning welfare system to meet their needs and how is this to be paid for?

These and many other entirely practical questions need answers if the critics are to have any credibility with the wider Australian public.

As the previous government discovered, the politics of the warm inner glow is no substitute for dealing with hard policy questions that have to be dealt with.

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