Thursday, August 16, 2012

Onshore treatment of asylum seekers is the only option

Open letter to Josh Frydenberg, Member for Kooyong.


A quick note to let you know that I completely disagree with government policy - which I note that you support - for offshore treatment of asylum seekers.

This will not deter asylum seekers from getting on boats to get to Australia.

In addition, offshore processing:
- is not consistent with human rights standards and UN treaty obligations
- will not provide appropriate accommodation;
- will not provide access to education, and to mental and physical health services;
- will make asylum applications much more difficult to process
- restricts merit-based application review by senior officials and NGO representatives
- has no oversight and/or monitoring of conditions by civil society.

I ask you to reconsider your position on this reprehensible policy.  Onshore processing is the only human and effective option.


Peter Campbell

See also


Grant said...

Peter, some of your statements make sense, but you need to remember that a Gov is elected by the electorate to carry out the electorates requirements. If, with illegal entry by boat, the Fed Gov is told by the vast majority of Australians (through public, and private polling), to stop the boats, and if the Gov does not comply with the requirement, then at the following election the Gov will be held accountable.
Add this issue to the Carbon Tax, unsourced funding for Gonski ($5 bil), NDIS ($7 bil / year), Denticare ($5 bil) (some of these will fizzle after the initial flag waving when funding is not forthcoming) and there is very good potential for a change of Gov at the next election.
From UN figures, there are around 2 mil people sitting around Asia, and our part of the world, looking for a better life for their families, and Australia has offered up to 20,000 places, although the Gov will obviously have to close the door when we hit around this figure, with the Navy and Army needing to get involved in shutting the door (could be messy, although out of sight).
Anyway, I think a future Gov will eventually return to the 1950's - 60's doctrine that all refugee costs need to be sponsored by other than Gov's (my wife and her family needed full sponsorship with 6 months expenses covered, then to be returned to original location unless fully self reliant by that time). It was a good incentive for the family to get their act together.

Peter Campbell said...

Grant, given offshore treatment of asylum seekers is inhuman and breaches human rights and UN Conventions, I think it should be decided by a referendum. If a majority of people in Australia support it then so be it. But the decision will then be a real one rather than a political one.

Also note that requesting asylum in Australia when arriving by boat is NOT illegal.

The carbon tax is good - it is already sending clear price signals to big polluters to clean up their act - and providing investment for clean renewable energy.

We clearly need to spend more money on public education to be a clever country. I will put up a post on this.

Grant said...

Peter, I agree totally about a referendum, but suspect that the Fed Gov knows that the numbers would force them to rip up the UN Convention Signing, which would look bad for the Gov. We still have a major problem how to stop the boats, as sooner or latter refugees arriving will be treated in Australia like they are in Europe. Just pushed out into the street and told to look after themselves, with no working rights. We already have over 37k people waiting in Vic for Public Housing, with the Fed and State Govs not having money to build the homes required.

With the Carbon Tax, I agree it is sending signals to business, who are just pushing price increases to the consumer. Not as Carbon Tax Increases (that apparently is illegal to state), but just as Increases in Business Production Costs.
Clean Renewable energy is also a bad joke as I found when I screwed up part of my research before having solar panels fitted. With panels fitted, I have been advised by all energy retailers that my Peak cost per KW hr is to jump from 28c / kwh to 40c / kwh (30% penalty for panel generation).

As for 1. Gonski, 2, NDIS, 3. Denticare, you will have by now seen my thoughts were correct. No Gov has the money, so all will look at starting some expenditure in 2014, MAYBE. Remember the classic statement by another PM "No Child Shall Live in Poverty" or more recently "There will be no Carbon Tax from a Gov I Lead", so I would not hold your breath for any / much expenditure in the next few years. Maybe like the VFT project that has been Gov Policy for the past 40 years, and how far has that progressed?