14th Aug 2012
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Government backflip on asylum policy
Government backflip on asylum policy

Following an independent report on asylum seekers, produced by an expert panel, the Government has decided to adopt all 22 recommendations and will today aim to reintroduce its migration bill to Parliament.

The expert panel was put together following the recent spate of asylum boats getting into trouble off the coast of Australia. It was tasked with coming up with a solution for a safer and faster option for processing asylum seekers. The main recommendation of the panel, led by former Defence Chief Angus Houston, is that asylum seekers should be processed on Manus Island and Nauru. It has also been recommended that the Malaysian people swap should be built on further. Removing the family reunion concession for people who arrive by boat, as well as stopping onshore processing where possible, should see a reduction in the number of people jumping on boats to reach Australia.

Julia Gillard also agreed in principle with a recommendation to increase the humanitarian intake from 13750 to 20,000 people per year. In order to reach an agreement on the way in which Australia processes asylum seekers, the Government is prepared to be more flexible on its position.

However, it won’t be all plain sailing for the Government’s migration bill, with the Greens rejecting the offshore processing recommendations and the Coalition yet to respond.

Read the full story at TheAge.com.au

Time for action

Former Defence Chief Angus Houston and the panel of experts, which was tasked with recommending solutions to Australia’s asylum seeker issue, have delivered a report which will hopefully see an end to unnecessary death at sea for the poor unfortunates who seek refuge. The members of the independent panel were “deeply concerned” about the loss of life at sea and have sought solutions which are “hard-headed but not hard-hearted”.

For my mind, the recommendations seem to be on the money. Sure, they are tough and they are not perfect, but if adopted and implemented, they would provide Australia with a much better framework to help those desperately in need. The panel has adopted a “no-advantage” principle “whereby irregular migrants gain no benefit by choosing to circumvent regular migration mechanisms”. Surely this is what most people want? No body wants to see anyone who has a genuine cause for seeking asylum simply sent back to where they have fled from, but neither do they wish to see an advantage given to anyone who simply has the gall and the means to pay for a one way ticket on a shonky boat bound for Australia.

In accepting such recommendation the Government has done an almighty backflip and for this they should be applauded. Yes, applauded. This is people’s lives we are talking about. Not an extra tax, or petty bureaucracy, but a decision on whether people live or die, reach safety or are turned away without a thought or care. There are some policies which should simply be bi-partisan, where the common good should overcome the political one-upmanship and snippy comments to which we have become so accustomed.

And the loss of life is becoming increasingly worrying. Since October 2009, 604 people have died at sea while en route to Australia, compared to 360 in the eight years before that. The number of people reaching our shores has also increased, with 7500 arriving in Australia this year alone, when the number for the whole of 2011 was only 4500.

So, to our politicians, I implore you to put your petty prejudices aside and consider the migration bill which will pass though Parliament today with fresh eyes and an open mind. Don’t say no simply for the point of saying no.

Are the recommendations a step in the right direction, or is Australia still being too lenient on asylum seekers? Is it time for all parties to work together to find a humanitarian solution to the issue of asylum seekers?

You can read the full report from the panel of experts at expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au





    COMMENTS

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    Debbie McTaggart
    14th Aug 2012
    11:08am
    This is indeed an emotive subject and we are keen to receive your constructive comments on the topic. If you could put personal prejudices aside and keep comments relevant, this would be appreciated.
    BettyBoo
    14th Aug 2012
    11:56am
    Given that there is no perfect solution, I agree that this is a good start to an insoluble problem. As this is a global problem it is to be hoped that the wealthier countries of the world will put money and resources into speeding up the processing of refugees in the camps so that they don't get to such a point of desperation that they feel the need to risk their lives and those of their children on the dangerous voyage to Australia in unseaworthy craft.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    5:59pm
    I think that you got that 100% correct on the very first response. If Oz put the major part of its overseas aid for just one year into clearing the camps then there would be no boats and a manageable daily trickle of asylum seekers post the process. But hell that is way too radical for the oh so innocent so called do-gooders who play politics with desperate peoples lives.
    textappa
    14th Aug 2012
    12:57pm
    One can only hope that both the opposition and the Greens will get behind these recommendations and not play dog-in-the manger here. If the incumbent government are willing to accept expert advice and reverse their position, then they are to be applauded, not pilloried.

    While you have also stated the same Debbie, could you just refrain from inflammatory phrases like "ALMIGHTY BACKFLIP", both in your article and the head line. Once a journalist always a journalist ay Debbie. Mixed message girl - that single phrase will bring all the right wing-nuts out of the closet to politicise the discussion while you bleat about everyone putting their predjudices aside. Very mixed message. Don't bother to defend yourself - pull the article and edit it now.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    1:14pm
    Spot on - journalism versus 'points of view' - that alone could go on forever but you are not the only one to have moaned about the media writing/presentation skills on this website. I guess none of us ever stop learning.
    Drew
    14th Aug 2012
    1:27pm
    Debbie was asked to put up the warning about personal prejudices as our last article on asylum seekers attracted a large number of comments that were racist and had to be removed.
    ozimarco
    14th Aug 2012
    1:56pm
    I agree with textappa. When I read 'backflip', I thought "here we go again, more Abbott propaganda" but then, when I read the article, I found that you actually think the backflip is a good thing. If this is so, why put it in the title, anyway?
    The government has shown it is willing to compromise in order to stem the flow of boat people, unlike the LNP and the Greens, who have not moved an inch from their original positions. I think the general population has long lost patience with our politicians on this issue. Any perceived political advantage the opposition might have tried to gain from their intransigent position has surely evaporated by now. I want all our politicians to come together and solve the problem in the interests of all Australians and asylum seekers alike. Stop the political games already, and, yes, I am talking about you, Scott Morrison...
    textappa
    14th Aug 2012
    3:16pm
    Rather pathetic two-step shuffle WEBMASTER DREW, not to mention the sheer arrogance of the fob off. There are prejudices other than racial, and we are talking about political prejudices overwhelming a rational discussion of the refugee crisis which is costing lives. Your journalist has set a negative tone to such a discussion in the header, contradictory to the body of the article - though unbelievably she repeats it there amplified with an "almighty".
    You seem to be pretty quick on the draw when it comes to deleting really, really naughty offensive words like BS - so how about you show a bit of integrity and even handedness. Delete the offensive words "Government backflip on" and replace them with "Government reassesses". Surely that is within the power of someone with so grand a tile as WEBMASTER. And how many nanoseconds will it take you to delete this post, I wonder?
    Drew
    14th Aug 2012
    3:26pm
    Hi textappa,

    You are right that my title is Webmaster. That means I have to remove any swear words (with which BS is one) that any member may find offensive. I also have to go through the posts and remove any racist remarks as our company is liable for the comments put up. I on the other hand am not the editor of the website and do not make decisions on the titles of news pieces or opinion pieces.

    Personally, I don't see anything wrong with the title as Debbie has called a spade a spade.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    4:33pm
    Hi Drew - I would like to know who the editor-in-chief is. The only contact that I can see is yourself. I have asked for particular topics to be considered and sent those to you but I have had no response.

    Hi textappa - your 'political' sensitivity knows no bounds !! The Pacific Solution was destroyed by Labour in favour of a Malaysian Solution. That was denied by the high court and still is. Now the 'new' solution is the Pacific Solution [with a twist yet to be determined = length of stay] again.
    Drew
    14th Aug 2012
    4:45pm
    Hi Aquatrek,

    Anything that is sent to me that is informational is always passed onto the editor who has the same website domain as my email you have and has the starting email address of editor!

    I did reply to you yesterday on one of the topics but as you can imagine we haven't had the time today to reply to all our Q&A questions due to producing the enewsletter!

    Regards,
    Drew
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    2:00pm
    This whole Oz 'boat people' issue has so many players in it the rules become blurred. From refugee source to destination the paths are many. Why are there large camps in Malaysia ? Why is the UN so slack on this ? As for the Labour 'expert' report - the whole country has on its lips the words 'we told you so'. Shame about the 'political' deaths.
    Grateful
    14th Aug 2012
    2:19pm
    The "issue" is, what can Australia do to minimize, preferably end, desperate people drowning to get asylum from their persecutors? If we considered that and not "how do we stop the boats" we might introduce some humanity into our collective thinking.
    There ARE ways and by implementing ALL the 22 recommendations and not just cherry picking the most politically palatable ones, it CAN be done. I particularly liked Angus Houston's opening words that these recommendations are "hard headed, but not hard hearted". Let's at least give them a try and if they don't work, try, try again. Another 67 people are missing, believed drowned, from another boat that embarked from Indonesia headed for Australia. That would make nearly 800 people that we know of that have drowned trying to get here from Indonesia. Surely, enough is enough.
    slapsy
    14th Aug 2012
    3:45pm
    Is the Australian government or the opposition responsible for all these deaths?If the boats are leaving from Indonesian ports or beaches or where ever surely the Indonesian authorities are responsible for checking the seaworthiness,or otherwise, of these vessels.
    The only country who can stop the boats is Indonesia.Do they want to?
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    4:23pm
    Indonesia / Malaysia are the link pins in this debacle yet we the Oz citizens are told absolutely nothing about why these nations fail to stop, for example, a boat with over 200 persons onboard. Oz donated some patrol boats recently: where are they being used - were they part of the anti-trafficking deal ? Oz citizens are treated like mushrooms - we all know the rest of that saying.

    The LNP slogan 'stop the boats' is what any government should be striving to achieve. No wonder the LNP harp on and on about that having been achieved in the past. Personally I would rather see all asylum seekers processed on the mainland but that is not likely to happen.
    kess
    14th Aug 2012
    2:25pm
    Thank goodness for some practical solutions to this growing problem. Time for all sides to take a deep breath and think about whats right not only for the unfortunate refugees but also Australians. People get angry if they perceive that newcomers are being treated better than those who have worked and paid taxes and are doing it really tough. Think this is one of the main reasons for the discontent. Previous migrants were probably helped but perhaps not to the same great extent. We also need some real facts on exactly how refugees are helped - not just emotive and probably blown up ideas.
    NannyMac
    14th Aug 2012
    2:33pm
    When will everyone realise, and have clearly explained to them, that asylum seekers are NOT necessarily refugees. Surely, these are two constitutionally and legally separate issues, and therefore should be politically separate issues. If asylum seekers can find the money for such exorbitant fares on illegal boats, then my assumption would be that they have not had to flee from imminent torture or persecution, leaving all their wealth and possessions behind. Therefore, they should be able to afford to await LEGAL processing. This may seem like a harsh outlook, but should Australia (or any country) be held to ransom by "humanitarian" blackmail? I fully agree that genuine asylum seekers need to be processed humanely, promptly and respectfully BEFORE they reach Australia so that they can be resettled wherever and as soon as possible. Also, those denied access need to be advised promptly so that they can seek other reasonable avenues or return to their own countries if necessary.
    Anonymous
    15th Aug 2012
    4:24pm
    Excellent reasoning Nanny Mac - please join in our meeting place where we discuss issues like this in depth. You are 100% right of course.

    Time will tell if the boats actually do stop due to the proposals to not get automatic family re-union is actually imposed - then yes - as no return on the thousands of dollars often borrowed or whipped around from the family waiting happy to wait back home to fund the air fares, living expenses in Indonesia and then the cost of the ticket on a smugglers boat to arrive illegally having no visa, and in reality no call to claim asylum, as family not with you clutching all they can carry. and usually a persecuted person does not have a passport and not free to just jump aboard a flight - if cant then bring those of the family waiting safe back home here at our expense of course to join the growing long term unemployed.
    Another item which is needing discussion.
    JJ
    14th Aug 2012
    3:24pm
    Julia Gillard is to be applauded for changing her policy regarding the boat people. She has asked for advice from a panel of unbiased experts, and although the resulting advice was not in agreement with her original wishes she has wisely bowed to what has become inevitable. It may be only the lesser of evils, but at least it's a start. I will wait in breathless anticipation to hear whether Tony Abbott will accept this bill today, or whether he will find some reason reject it yet again even though it includes his own preferences.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    3:36pm
    Today on parliamentary question time PM Gillard accepted 'some' blame for the rescinding of the LNP Nauru policy that was in place when Labour took government - and that included the many lives lost. Yet despite the Houston Report there is still ambiguity as to how long the detention periods on Manus and Nauru will be. At present there is still no allowance for the issuing of temporary visas. That means that the 'solution' as it stands is not a solution at all. Boats will continue to come until laws that work are set in place. What a mess.
    Grateful
    14th Aug 2012
    3:57pm
    Sorry aquatek, but, not indicating how long people will be held in detention on Nauru or Manus are the very factors that will be acting as the deterrent that will restore the balance between those that choose the regular way of gaining asylum and those that use illegally operated boats. The way the recommendations stand now is that people could be detained for several years on Nauru or Manus to ensure that the "legitimate" refugees do not be disadvantaged by those that "jump the queue". (The "hard headed" component of the recommendations"). And granting "Temporary" visas had been PROVEN not to be a dis-incentive as over 90% of those that received them ended up receiving full asylum and that's why the current government did not support the continuation of Nauru.
    Together with increasing our intake to over 20,000 will give those that considered coming by boat an incentive to go through the proper channels and not risk their lives coming by boat. ( The "not hard hearted" component.)
    And Nanny Mac, I don't think that those who are fleeing from Afghanastan would want to stay there for too long awaiting "LEGAL processing." That's why they are fleeing.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    4:08pm
    I find your logic rather inconsistent at the best of times - you like to 'lecture' other bloggers.
    1 - When the past Nauru detention center was in place the outcome was that most asylum seekers, when suitably processed, proceeded to Oz. The boats had become a non event because the criminals were out of business. So those are the facts - not your 'interpretation at all.
    2 - In addition it has already been shown that long periods of detention mentally harms refugees. So that I may correct another of your 'interpretations' the Houston Report asks that the United Nations determine how long the refugee 'holding pattern' would be - not what you have stated = several years. Please if you are going to debate then do so with facts.
    Oldie@83
    15th Aug 2012
    11:38am
    Grateful, this passage in your reply; and Nanny Mac, I don't think that those who are fleeing from Afghanastan would want to stay there for too long awaiting "LEGAL processing." That's why they are fleeing.
    I suggest that the (mostly) young men fleeing Afghanistan should stay and try to help the Allied Forces to rid their land of tyrants in Afghanistan.
    Grateful
    16th Aug 2012
    7:50pm
    I agree Oldie, but, try defending yourself with sticks when you are opposed to bazookas.
    Oldie@83
    17th Aug 2012
    1:50pm
    Yes Grateful: Our troops are training Afghans to defend the country from the Taliban; Surely these young, fit looking men would be welcomed to join these trainees?
    slapsy
    14th Aug 2012
    3:55pm
    "Blinkers" keeps telling us that Nauru worked last time.But most people who were sent there found refuge in Australia anyway.Imagine the sales pitch from the smugglers now."come and have a free holiday in a tropical paradise with a free return flight to Australia thrown in as an extra.
    JJ
    14th Aug 2012
    4:37pm
    As a nation, we are not responsible for the conditions which cause people to flee their homelands and seek refuge here. We don't encourage them to set sail on leaky old boats in order to get here, so we are not responsible for those lives which are lost. But we do have an obligation under the UN to take on some of the refugee load, and this is something that most of us are happy to do. But the refugees must come in a manageable and orderly manner, their claims must be processed carefully and fairly, and this all takes time. Those who try to enter the country without due process must be placed to "the back of the queue" and if that means they have to wait on one of the islands, and if it takes "years" then so it must be. At least they are safe and away from the ravages of war and political oppression. It is regrettable if emotional and mental problems occur, but it is more likely that these problems pre-existed due to the conditions in the countries of origin and have been exacerbated by the disappointment of having to wait for resettlement here. I agree that more needs to be done to help these unfortunate people, but at what cost to us? We are already putting in billions each year in this process. How do other nations deal with this problem?
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    4:45pm
    If the new Pacific Solution just holds the asylum seekers for a fixed period of time , say 2/3 years, then those places are no different to the camps elsewhere. It is just moving the problem to a different location. I doubt that that will 'stop the boats'.
    JJ
    14th Aug 2012
    4:59pm
    So, what will stop them? Any ideas? And if they can't be stopped, then what do we do? Seems like we don't have many options left.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    5:29pm
    I can only guess that the Oz citizens like us are never ever told all of the facts. Governments nowadays are not transparent and are not held accountable. Why was the Howard solution so successful at the time and I mean that the boats stopped coming [that most personnel in detention were processed thru to Oz was another part of the problem = queue jumping] - why was the criminal element defeated then ? ASIO has decided to let two current Sri Lankan asylum seekers rot in permanent detention - why ?

    The countries to the north west of Oz are Muslim and have different values and laws to Oz so they are just chess pieces in the people trafficking trade. If the Houston Report is the best that can be arrived at after more than 4 years of debate and soul searching then I certainly dont have any bright ideas.

    If we were as compassionate and generous as we keep saying that we are then why dont we just accept all of those in camps and process them in an orderly fashion. One huge intake might clear the decks and get the refugee movements back to a more manageable situation for all of those involved. It would then just be a trickle to deal with on a day to day basis.
    JJ
    14th Aug 2012
    6:34pm
    I see what you are saying. What concerns me is that if we accept them all (where - into Australia to live in the community, or into detention centers?) then won't that send a message that Australia is an easy target, and "let's all go there"? I foresee that refugees will keep coming while wars and despots continue. But I would agree that the common herd (us) are kept in the dark about many things, including the asylum seeker problem. Politicians disclose only that which is advantageous to their own interests.
    Grateful
    14th Aug 2012
    8:16pm
    Aquatrek, here you go again, you have just argued with me that holding people in detention centres is harmful to their mental health. You are now arguing that unless they are detained for MORE than 2/3 years or you won't "stop the boats". Please be consistent in such a serious issue.
    aquatrek
    14th Aug 2012
    8:38pm
    Dear Grateful - you have no idea on what was said above - you have replied with a 'knee jerk' response. Read it slowly and carefully pls - Granted it was a short 3 sentence paragraph - not oodles of text but I will do that just for you now.

    I did not state that UNLESS [where did I say that ?] the asylum seekers WOULD be held for 2/3 years - I said that IF they are held blah blah blah. The fact that indefinite/undefined/long stays harms the people mentally is a FACT or dont you agree on that ?

    I also said that just another camp [Nauru/Manus] but albeit one with better facilities such as food and health service would not deter people getting on boats so as to escape camps of lesser quality - like those in Malaysia. Where did I say that I would not stop the boats ? Are you trying to confuse me ? LOL

    Now has that clearly spelt out what I was saying ? JJ didnt seem to have any problem understanding what I had said. Gawd this is tediously consistent.
    hhnash47
    14th Aug 2012
    5:53pm
    ILL TELL YOU ALL SOMETHING YOU WONT LIKE TO READ , IT IS ALL A GAME THAT IS THE GOVERMENT +THE OPERSITISION , AND ALL THE LEFTIES LIKE THE HANG ONS , CANOT GET THERE ACT TOGETHER , ,THESE SO CALLED SMUGERLERS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS ARE TAKING US ALL FOR A RIDE JUST FIND ONE OR TWO AND SEE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT AUSTRALIA , , SO PLEASE SAY THOUSANDS OF OUR OWN WHO DONT HAVE A ROOF OVER THERE HEADS OR A WARM BED OR A DECENT MEAL . WHAT ARE YOU ALL DOING , AND LETTING THESE PEOPOLE ROB THE COUNTRY , THERE WAS A OLD MINISTER IN THE UK THAT WARNED BRITAIN MANNY YEARS AGO ABOUT THIS VERRY SAME SITIUATION , HE MUST BE LAUGHING IN HIS GRAVE , HIS NAME WAS ENOCH POWELL , , GO TO BRITAIN NOW AND HAVE A LOOK FOR YOUR SELFS , ITS GONE TO THE DOGS , AND IF YOUR NOT CAREFULL THIS WONDERFUL LAND THAT YOU ALL CALL AUSTRALIA , IS GOING IM THE SAME DIRECTION SO PLEASE SAY I DDENT WARN YOU ,CALL ME WHAT YOU LIKE , BUT IVE DONE MY BIT PAID MY TAXES , NOW IM OLD AND WACTHING THIS GOVTERMENT RUIN THIS PLACE YOU ALL CALL HOME , CAST YOUR MINDS BACK SOME 20 YEARS AGO WAS IT EVER LIKE THIS THINK HARD MY FREINDS , AND PLEASE COME TO YOUR SENCES , WAKE UPP YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE TO SAVE YOUR LAND , ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????/
    Kali-G
    14th Aug 2012
    6:47pm
    EXCELLENT COMMENT.
    paquicamus
    15th Aug 2012
    1:41am
    You people are not going to be happy until ALL THESE MUSLIMS ARE PUT IN A PERMANENT DETENTION CENTRE, TORTURE, INTERROGATED THEN SENT BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRIES. May be that is the "final solution" to this impasse and it will really give the right message to anyone who want to come here. Imagine, those 40,000 blood thirsty Muslims all around Australia, waiting, for the right moment to act. That is really scary.
    I thought Your Life Choices was a bunch of good people trying enjoy retirement life but it seems to be all the contrary. So much anger, intolerance and negativity. So, I'm getting off at the next stop. Good bye......
    JJ
    15th Aug 2012
    10:02am
    No paquicamus, I am certainly not anti-Muslim, but I am afraid of the RADICAL FUNDAMENTALIST Muslim people. And they are the ones who seem to be the ones with most power and able to inflict enormous damage (remember 9/11) in order to destroy as much of Western civilization as possible. I am sure that not all Muslim people are followers of this fundamentalist doctrine, and most of the Muslims who settle in Australia are like you and I, peaceful and friendly.
    toot2000
    15th Aug 2012
    9:15am
    I think I know what will eventually stop the boats.

    Refugees will remain offshore until their claims are finalized and the UNHCR will assist in finding re-settlement in other countries, but it may not necessarily be in Australia.
    Grateful
    15th Aug 2012
    2:06pm
    That would be perfect Toot2000. But, there are people who are not prepared to wait "their turn" and are prepared to risk their lives to avoid "the queue".
    Thankfully, our Parliament has just passed the Bill which aims to remove the incentive of coming by boat by allowing our government to send all arrivals by boat to Nauru or Manus Island AND yes, Malaysia, once we are able to stich up better protections with the UNHCR. People have ignored the fact that this new Bill overules the High Court ruling against Malaysia. This Bill allows the ruling Minister to decide where asylum seekers are sent for processing of their claims but the government has assured the opposition that they would not be using that rightful opportunity until full details are given to and approved by the opposition.
    Still shainkg my head regarding the stance still being taken by some person in particular that housing the asylum seekers in tents on Nauru or Manus will be inhumane, yet, quite happy to turn the boats back and let them sink in Indonesian waters. But, I remind myself that this is not a political issue(!!!!) Let's hope that this new "spirit of co-operation" continues and we can all enjoy the great benefits that we who live on this beautiful land have been so fortunate to be given. I'm sure that none of us even contemplates getting on a clapped out old boat to escape FROM Australia!!!!
    toot2000
    15th Aug 2012
    2:22pm
    As far as I am aware Grateful, this is part of Angus Houston's plan - when their claim is eventually finalized, the UNHCR will find them a home in another country but it won't necessarily be Australia. They won't be happy Jan.
    Grateful
    15th Aug 2012
    2:29pm
    Precisely toot2000. THAT is the DETERRENT which we hope works and stops pdesperate people from risking their lives in clapped out old fishing boats navigated by 15 year olds
    aquatrek
    15th Aug 2012
    7:07pm
    Howards Nauru resulted in 45% coming to Oz/NZ and 30% going back to their own countries; as stated by Scott Morrison on an interview with 2GB. The new Nauru/Manus outcomes will be a very interesting comparison - that is they all fit onto those islands in the event that 5 years is the UN established holding period. As I have said earlier this new 'agreement' is not a solution - it has catered for 'political' wishes just to appease.

    As for the 'spin' as usual by certain bloggers; IF the boats were turned back it would only be after a seaworthy assessment by Oz Navy personnel - they would not SINK you stupid person.

    Ju-liar MUST say SORRY.
    toot2000
    16th Aug 2012
    7:30am
    Aquatrek, the story told down through the years is that 100% of refugees on Nauru came to Oz, good to know that 30% actually got sent back, sorta gives you faith that they actually knew what they were doing.
    hhnash47
    15th Aug 2012
    9:34am
    HI ALL MY FELLOW AUSTRALINS , OR SHOULD I SAY G,IDAY , OF WHICH I HAVE NOT HERD FOR A LONG TIME , ITS MUSIC TO MY EARS , TO KNOW IM IN THE BEST PLACE ON THE GLOBE , , NOW I WANT TO SAY AND IM SURE YOU ALL KNOW THIS THAT THIS WONDERFULL LAND OF OURS HAS ITS PROBLEMS , I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT TO PUT IT IN A NUT SHELL , WE SHOULD LOOK AFTER OUR OWN FIRST AND THEN HELP THOSE THT ARE IN NEED IN OTHER COUNTRYS , DID YOU ALL KNOW THAT WE HAVE O,A,P,S THAT CANT AFORD TO DIE , YES IM SERIOUS (CANT AFORD TO DIE , LIVING ON A STATEPENSION , I FIND THAT VERRY BAD WHEN WE ARE SPENDING MILIONS ON BOAT PEOPOLE ECT ECT , IT SHOULD NOT BE LIKE THAT , FOR INSTANCE THESE OLD FOLK WHO HAVE SLOGED ALL TERE LIFE , TO MAKE ENDS MEET CANT GETA DECENT PENSION , BECAUSE THE GOVT HAS NOT GOT ENOUGH FUNDS DUE TO THE BLOW OUT IN THE BOAT PEOPPLE ECT , AS SAID BEFORE IF YOU WANT TO COME TO OZ , COME IN THE FRONT DOOR NOT THE BACK , WHAT A WEAK GOVT WE HAVE , TRYING TO PLEASE EVERY ONE EXCEPT THERE OWN FLEASH AND BLOOD , WAKE UP LABOUR LOOK AT THE PICTURE OUTSIDE THE BOX , THEY ARE TRYING TO PLEASE TO MANNY OTHERS AND MISSING THE POINT , LET THE UNITED NATIONS FORK OUT SOME MILIONS OR ASK THE PEOPOLES COUNTRY FOR SOME CASH , SEE WHERE AND WHAT YOU GET , THE WORD IS OUT THERE GO TO OZ THEY GIVE YOU A HOUSE AND MONEY AND FOOD AND YOU DONT HAVE TO WORK 20 HOURS A DAY FOR A $ WHATS WRONG WITH THAT , SO OF THEY COME IN THERE RAMSHACKLED BOATS HOPEING FOR THE HAND OUTS , OF YOUARD EARNED MONEY , DOES IT MAKE ANY SENCE ! WHATS GOING ON , FOR GOD SAKE GIILARD GET YOUR BLOODY ACT TOGETHER , , PS AND IM NOT A RACISIT JUST AN O,A,P TRYING TO LIVE MY LAST DAYS AT A PACE THAT I CANT AFORD , MY GOD I COULD WRITE A BOOK ON THE SUBJECT !!!!!!!!!
    Grateful
    16th Aug 2012
    7:48pm
    Hey hhnash47. While you aRE ALL REVVED UP ABOUT POOR PENSIONERS AND HOW MUCH WE ARE PAYING THOSE AWFUL ASYLUM SEEKERS, JUST THINK THAT AUSTRALIA PAYS $10 billion PER ANNUM TO SO CALLED SELF FUNDED RETIREES, JUST 5% OF ALL RETIREES, IN TAX CONCESSIONS WHEN THEY PAY $30 BILLION TO ALL AGE PENSIONERS AND THAT OVER 60% OF THE SUPERANNUATION PENSIONS THAT THESE "SELF FUNDED" RETIREES TAKE HOME IS PROVIDED BY THE TAX PAYER IN TAX CONCESSIONS. SO MUCH FOR "SELF FUNDED"!!! BY 2015 THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT, TAXPAYERS, WILL BE PAYING MORE IN TAX CONCESSIONS TO SO CALLED SELF FUNDED RETIREES THAN ALL THAT IS PAID TO ALL AGE PENSIONERS. THANK JOHN HOWARD FOR THAT WHEN HE TRIED TO BUY VOTES IN 2007. AND JOHN HOWARD IS TONY ABBOTT'S HERO!! GUESS WHAT WE PENSIONERS CAN EXPECT FROM HIM???
    paquicamus
    15th Aug 2012
    11:31am
    G'day hhnash, take it easy, is not good for the old ticker. Next time vote Liberal and things will get better. I will. Just bring the election and the Grey power could help to make the right decision. Cheers.
    PS: I got back. Couldn't help it. I suppose hot topics would make you jump from your comfort zone!
    hhnash47
    15th Aug 2012
    12:35pm
    PAQUICAMAS , MY FREIND YOU KNOW THE SITUATION ,IF I HAD MY CHOICE I WOULD NT VOTE FOR ANY OF THEM BUT OUT OF THE TWO IN MY OPINION I CHOSE THE BETTER OF THE WORSE BUNCH , YOU KNOW ITS COMPULSARY TO VOTE , AGAIN BIG BROTHER STRIKES AGAIN ,
    Oldie@83
    16th Aug 2012
    2:32pm
    Hi, hhnash47. Voting is compulsory; correctly filling out the voting paper is not; thereby making your vote valueless. Personally I accept the privilege to vote; at least I then have the right to criticize. Maybe, just maybe we will have chance to vote for another such as 'Enoch Powell'
    Nautilus
    15th Aug 2012
    6:24pm
    A few years ago, Japan had accepted 508 refugees since 1982.

    On the other hand Australia is in the top three for accepting asylum seekers.

    That is in addition to the record numbers of migrants taken, which is the highest per capita in the world.

    Show me another country where the government continues to put its own culture and the quality of life for its children on the line.

    Yet there are some who demand that Australia lose entirely its right to decide who becomes a citizen and must open its doors to anyone (Greens policy), including economic migrants who flee fro their responsibility to improve their own country.
    aquatrek
    15th Aug 2012
    7:10pm
    If that happens then I am moving the the 'lAND OF THE lONG wHITE cLOUD'.
    hhnash47
    15th Aug 2012
    8:32pm
    HI NAUTIILUS , BE CAREFULL YOU HAVE A NAME FROM A FAMOUS SEA CAPTAIN WHO PLUNDERED THE UNDERWORLD OCEANS , AND IF THE BOAT PEOPOLE TAKE OVER OUR BEAUTIFUL LAND AND YOU ENDPP IN THELAND OF LONG WHITE CLOUD , YOU MIGHT FIND IT NO SO COMFTERBLE AS WHERE YOU ARE NOW , !!!!
    Boof
    16th Aug 2012
    12:11pm
    Well, they didn't have too much choice, did they. I'm still trying to find out who actually does the processing and checking out the so called refugee's, who pay thousands of dollars to get here, as they can't come by regular means ( an air or boat ticket. Far less cost than via Indonesian boats and throw their credetials overboard.) What are they trying to hide? If our immigration mob and Commonwealth Police have anything to do with it. We are in big trouble. So, who does the "CHECKING"?
    motaleon
    16th Aug 2012
    4:58pm
    It is comforting to see that the boat people will finish up in Nauru instead of swanning in motel accommodation in Oz, while our pensioners and homeless have to settle for less. With their board and lodging taken care of, I don't see why they should be paid a handsome salary to take care of other needs; a very meagre allowance would help reduce the 'pull' factor.
    In addition, the Australian Navy should be patrolling closer to the mainland of Oz so that they don't become a first class ferry service for the greater part of the journey here.
    aquatrek
    16th Aug 2012
    6:26pm
    Hi toot2000 - funny how a few irrefutable cold hard facts are put out in txt and the wafflers, liers, conspirators, brainwashed, ignorant all just 'shut up' !! Its the same whether the topic be the boat peoples, the NBN or anything of substance.
    battiejl
    20th Aug 2012
    7:31pm
    RUBBISH - SEND THEM ALL BACK - IF THEY WERE REALLY REFUGEES THEY WOULD STOP AT THE FIRST PLACE THEY COULD

    THEY COME HERE AFTER PAYING HUGH AMOUNTS OF MONEY - FREE CIGARETTES, HEALTH CARE, ACCOMMODATION

    PUT A SHOT ACROSS THE BOW AND SEND THEM BACK TO FIGHT THERE OWN BATTLES SAND BRING OUR GUYS AND GIRLS HOME
    hhnash47
    20th Aug 2012
    8:38pm
    TRUER WORDS COMETH FROM THE WISE MEN ,


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