16th Dec 2013
No assistance for asylum seekers

The Federal Government has moved to disband the independent body which provides advice on the physical and mental health needs of asylum seekers.

After recommendations from the Comrie and Palmer Inquiries, which examined immigration and mental health services following the inappropriate handling of Vivian Alvarez and Cornelia Rau, the Immigration Health and Advisory Group (IHAG) was established in 2006.  All the members of IHAG have now been sacked, except Dr Paul Alexander, who is believed to be heading a Government Advisory Panel. IHAG members claim that Dr Alexander, an Australian Defence Force medical expert, has little mental health experience.

Many of the members of IHAG were not expecting the news, Professor Louise Newman being one, "The group was informed on Friday that it has actually been disbanded, which is of course an issue of grave concern to the medical and health professionals involved," she said.

"We're certainly concerned that there's currently no formal independent process of reviewing or oversight of the situation within detention."

Associate Professor Amanda Gordon, the Australian Psychological Society’s representative to IHAG, believes that the Government has been planning to disband the group for some time, with meetings being cancelled and subgroups abolished. She also conveyed concern for the medical needs of those detained, "We are very concerned that people's mental health needs will be completely unattended to and no one will look after them," she said.

"In fact they are being only cared for in terms of security and that they are individual human beings who are going to be pawns to Government policy."

Opposition immigration spokesman Richard Marles was also surprised at the move to abolish IHAG, especially in the wake of such a damning Amnesty International report on the condition of Manus Island detention centre. "This is an inopportune time to disband the detention health advisory group at this moment because this is one of the mechanisms by which governments can ensure that appropriate standards are maintained," he said.

Read more at ABC.net.au

Opinion: Why take the risk?

The removal of the independent health group which advises on the needs of asylum seekers seems to be foolhardy at best, but sadly I fear the worst.

It seems the Federal Government doesn’t have enough on its hands with the closure of Holden, the diplomatic crises with Indonesia and Timor, the carbon tax debacle and Qantas’ plea for help. No, this little bag of issues wasn’t enough for it not to deal with, it had to go and open itself up to potential claims of not giving two hoots about the health needs of asylum seekers.

The news that IHAG will be disbanded comes hot on the heels of the announcement that the Salvation Army’s contract to provide humanitarian services to asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru will not be renewed, proving that this Government simply doesn’t care.

The concerns that Dr Paul Alexander doesn’t have the necessary experience in mental and psychiatric health should set alarm bells ringing. The research published in the latest edition of Medical Journal of Australia reveals that, in 2011, of the immigration centre detainees in Darwin who visited the Royal Darwin Hospital emergency department, 187 adult attendances were for psychiatric problems, including self-harm.

Before you all start jumping up and down and saying ‘they shouldn’t be there anyway’ and ‘they deserve it’, you’re right; they don’t deserve it and they shouldn’t be there. These are human beings and no matter what journey they embarked on, they have a right to be safe and their basic needs looked after. This is what Australia signed up to way back in 1954, when we were a nation that cared, when being a signatory to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees meant something. So before you start bleating about sending them back, perhaps you want to remind yourselves of what we agreed to be part of.

And in the true spirit of keeping the public in the dark, no-one from the Government returned any media calls for comment on this matter.

Is the Government’s hard-line policy on asylum seekers working? Who would know? Who will foot the bill for the mental health of all those unnecessarily incarcerated on Manus and Nauru? At Christmas, do you care?





    COMMENTS

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    tj
    16th Dec 2013
    10:40am
    Another beat up by the ABC and certain journalists,once again more hysterical comments by certain columnists,when i subscribed to this forum i didn't realized that that there was so much anti govt.biased.Please remember the people have spoken, let the elected people(remember the MASSIVE majority) get on with the job at least until the next election
    Nightshade
    16th Dec 2013
    2:00pm
    "The people have spoken," you say !
    From where I was standing there was nothing to choose from.
    It was a situation of a rock & a hard place, to say the least.
    The 2 party preferred system ( oh ! & we can't forget the Greens to push the unpalatable across the line ) is nothing but a fiasco.
    Do you really believe that the coalition would be governing Australia today if there had been someone to vote for - please!
    "Under my government there will be no carbon tax," she said facing the camera full on.
    Besides today, if not for much longer, we have freedom of speech, as for tomorrow who knows.
    tj
    16th Dec 2013
    4:24pm
    I have read and r-read your comment ,can't figure out where you are coming from ??
    Nan Norma
    16th Dec 2013
    10:44am
    The refugees do need to have health checks one embarking. How many might be suffering with TB and other contagious diseases. My doctor's waiting room is packed with refugees. The free dental hospital is the same. So is this independent health group is proving too costly.
    Precious 1
    22nd Dec 2013
    10:58pm
    This last week I have taken taxis home from my shopping centre..taxis driven by indian and asian ..both had terrible chesty cough wheezing etc and could hardly speak....I m not a nurse or doctor but thought these men had some condition needing x rays.....no one is interested when I mentioned this fact in conversation with others....
    Eni mentiined this fact to others...li fear TB etc coming into this country or worse....
    Aloysius
    16th Dec 2013
    10:51am
    We have insuffiicient funds in the coffers to care for all the people who want the Australian taxpayer to look after them. Get this country's economy in the black before we try to manage the rest of the world's problems. Large debt means we need to prioritise and that means look after our disadvantaged people before we look after others.
    LENYJAC
    16th Dec 2013
    11:07am
    HERE HERE 100%
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    11:28am
    DITTO.
    Who caused us to be in the position mentioned by Debbie McTaggart re spying carbon tax etc?
    Not the current Government.
    Nutriwise
    16th Dec 2013
    11:31am
    couldn't have put it better myself
    Actual Cat
    16th Dec 2013
    11:40am
    It's 'hear hear' as in "I hear you'. 'Here' is a place, like 'there'.
    Most migrants are bi or multilingual. Many Australians can't even get one language right.
    Indigenous Australians weren't too happy with the boatloads of people arriving 200 years ago either. If you read history, you'll see it repeats itself.
    biddi
    16th Dec 2013
    12:36pm
    Absolutely, Aloysius.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    12:59pm
    Aloysius - we don't even look after our own disadvantaged too well either.
    Nightshade
    16th Dec 2013
    2:05pm
    WE NEED TO SELL OFF THE AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION
    WE WILL SAVE A TON OF MONIES THERE.
    THE ABC ARE CHAMPIONS OF FREE ENTERPRISE & COMPETITION & PRIVATIZATION
    SO WHAT HAPPENED
    THEY THEMSELVES SHOULD OFFER THEMSELVES UP FOR SALE.
    DO THE RIGHT THING GUYS !
    SHUT DOWN UNNECESSARY ADVISORY GROUPS & SERVICES
    NURSE ON CALL PHONE LINE FOR ONE.
    DOCTOR ON CALL PHONE LINE SERVICE.
    AND THERE ARE MANY MORE
    nightie
    16th Dec 2013
    4:30pm
    I agree Aloysius
    I had a young refugee staying with me. Her nose job cost her $9,000 it makes you wonder does it not, she had went to the top of the queue for the dental hospital as well. As for mental health issues, I'm wondering how many have these issues before sailing to Australia. The housing crisis is also in jeopardy as the refugees more often than not jump the queue for that as well.
    Nan Norma
    16th Dec 2013
    10:19pm
    Actual Cat. The "boat loads of people 200 years ago" did not recieve hand outs from the indigious people. Very different situation.
    Actual Cat
    17th Dec 2013
    12:00pm
    Yes it is Nan Norma. I know Australia now has problems accommodating, educating and providing housing and medical services to new comers. I'm just trying to see it in a long-term perspective because on this topic in this forum, there is a lot of ignorant hateful comment. I know you'd know the facts of white colonisation here - the entire landmass was taken, the English brought deadly diseases - (smallpox, influenza) that killed thousands of Aboriginals, the Indigenous way of life was ridiculed, their customs denied. They weren't 'granted' citizenship of their own country until 1967. European countries did this all over the US, South America and Asia - that's why I'm saying history keeps repeating itself. I'm sure that Australia will be taken over by China - it's happening now economically - they are buying up "our" farms and urban property. I don't fancy being downtrodden in 'my' own country, but I can see it coming. I hope I'm wrong. Merry Christmas to you :)
    Precious 1
    18th Dec 2013
    9:06pm
    Hahaha i snt it tiime to change that statement ideals.......some so called refugees are already making up some homeless.........
    Precious 1
    27th Dec 2013
    11:13pm
    There certainly is nt enough money at all........and never will be no matter what anyone suggests......too many people on planet in certain places........
    nettiser
    16th Dec 2013
    10:51am
    From my experience persons with poor health or mental aberration are excluded from becoming accepted citizens of Australia. So if people arrive here without the usual Visa system and have medical or mental health problems, they should immediately be shipped back if they do not pass the basic medical requirement. We don't accept mental ill health as a medical illness for our own citizens.

    The mental health institutions which was where the experts once were have all been disbanded and the problems shoved over to general hospitals to cope with. These hospitals are not set up for adequate security or have personnel properly trained to deal with the many variances of mental ill health. This includes the medical staff. So what difference does it make that illegals are now receiving the same level of care of mental illness as the rest of society. It's now an equal playing field. Why should we be giving speccialised care to non residents while ignoring our own, who have either been born here or have worked and contributed to Australia all their lives. So NO I support the Government in disbanding the service and bringing it down to the standard we all find ourselves subjected to.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    11:29am
    Precisely.
    wally
    16th Dec 2013
    11:00am
    So IHAG and the majority of the doctors and professors it employs have been given the chop. What was this organisation intended to do? Was it created to provide more jobs for bureaucrats at taxpayers' expense? What exactly was it supposed to do? For example, was it to assess the mental condition of asylum seekers? If so, what was it tasked to do next? Was it to screen out those asylum seekers whose mental condition would render them "unfit" to join the Australian population and refuse them entry into Australia? Or was it to "cure" the asylum seekers after X number of days, week, months, etc. to get these people up to a standard of fitness to be allowed entry into Australia? How beneficial to Australia was IHAG anyway?
    Before we can comment on the rights or wrongs on the winding up of the IHAG programme, what was it intended to do? How well did it perform its allotted task? Did it provide a value service for the taxpayers' dollar? (which would have been a first!) How many asylum seekers were passed fit for entry into Australia? How were these decisions made? If one person in a family was deemed unfit to enter Australia, what happened to other family members?
    There are some male asylum seekers before the courts on a variety of sexual misconduct charges. Were these gentlemen screened by IHAG and found fit and appropriate to be granted asylum in Australia? Is pawing and groping females deemed a normal and acceptable form of behaviour by IHAG? Or are they all innocent?
    Has the derailing of the IHAG gravy train been a wise move? Perhaps IHAG should have been more responsible to the Australian voters and taxpayers instead of appeasing the trendy=lefty bleeding hearts that would have Australia be the nursemaid to the world.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    11:31am
    On Ya Wally
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    12:57pm
    Wally: Immigration Health Advisory Group (IHAG) was an "independent" body providing advice to the government on health and mental health needs to asylum seekers. It consisted of medical professionals, psychiatrists, psychologists and GP's. The Abbott Government intends to set up its own "advisory panel" and the only person remaining from IHAG (Dr. Paul Alexander, Chair of IHAG) will continue to provide advice to the government. Abbott said the government will still receive advice on a monthly basis of the physical and mental health and welfare of asylum seekers, but in a more "sustained" way. It's still going to cost the taxpayer, but in a more "sustained" way!!!!
    I doubt Wally that IHAG was a gravy train, these people are medical professionals doing their best in very difficult circumstances to ensure that unhealthy asylum seekers got treatment and didn't spread infectious diseases among us.
    Regardless of how these asylum seekers arrived, as Debbie indicated above, they are human beings and no matter what journey they made to get here, they have a right to be safe and their basic needs looked after. This is what Australia signed up to way back in 1954 when we were a nation that cared and when we became a signatory to the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees meant something.
    I note the Salvation Army's contract to assist these human beings will also end.
    And, according to another poster here, let them all go to Manus Island and be kept apart from the local community there, ..... I don't know what that will achieve, probably more sicknesses/diseases and mental problems.
    One has to hope that the majority of these persecuted individuals will decide not to come on these unseaworthy vessels and we will end up eventually as asylum seekers through proper channels of entry. Hard to know if it will happen, but when we all give a more human thought and feeling to these people and what they go through, think about ourselves and the comparative comfort we are lucky to live in, in this great country, it wouldn't hurt to stretch out our hands.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:21pm
    Good stuff Wally. We are controlled by do gooders, and fed crap from the ABC.
    EELS
    16th Dec 2013
    11:03am
    Good choice of emotive photograph.
    Ballgameskeith
    16th Dec 2013
    11:06am
    Notice that this item soon bought out the Scott Morrison fan club.

    Most of the previous respondents failed to notice that this organisation provided advice and not assistance, but then that's not unusual of the myopic condition of the "club".

    "wally" (no pun intended) is correct in one point, where was the review?
    Aloysius
    16th Dec 2013
    11:26am
    it was expensive advice from a highly-paid panel established by a feel-good government. Its recommendations were never going to save money. There is no point in providing incentives to asylum seekers who bypass dozens of countries to get to the one offering the best deal.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    1:09pm
    How much did it cost Aloysius? How much is the new "advisory panel" going to cost?Why is Abbott still keeping the Chair of IHAG, Dr. Paul Alexander, in the "new" advisory panel? IHAG consisted of medical professionals, psychiatrists, psychologists and GP's, what does the new panel consist of besides Dr. Paul Alexander? He can't be a one-man advisory panel.
    Sometimes things get changed for the better and sometimes they don't. The proof is in the distant future.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:23pm
    At least Scott Morrison is stopping the boats. Rudd started this fiasco and had no control. Given time the boats will be stopped again.
    geomac
    18th Dec 2013
    4:44pm
    Abbott has even gone so far as to chop a Howard panel . So Howard is to the left of Abbott ?
    Crazy Horse
    27th Dec 2013
    10:34am
    Morrison is hiding the boats not stoping them.
    Sconny
    16th Dec 2013
    11:28am
    Charity begins at home. I wonder what percentage of these so called 'refugees' are being privately funded from within and therefore are no more than economic refugees. Watch this space..there's worse to come from this mob of fools led by a mad abbott
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    11:42am
    Sconny, and your point is?
    surfer
    16th Dec 2013
    12:37pm
    Come on Sconny ---- Spit it out. Has that come from the ABC ????????
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    11:30am
    Why do we fund the ABC ? Should not they be funded by Labor ad the Greens ?
    With regards to the Health and Care of the Boat People, one would guess that it is blown out of proportion by the people who have lost their cosy little positions which would have been set up to provide them with a nice little earner. This stirring is quickly jumped upon by the media and expanded on.

    No Government could fail to treat these people with care for their well being whilst in their care. How stupid to suggest otherwise! And of course the alternative remains for them, accept a taxpayer funded return to their home country and make a life there.

    As TJ says let the Government govern and let the Opposition reflect on the position in which they have placed this country. Maybe Paul Keating was right about a Banana Republic with Labor in governance.

    PS. For all those who will jump on me for this - I am not a blue tailed Liberal supporter but a thinking Australian who has seen the damage caused over the past 7 years.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    11:43am
    Well said Dougie.
    geomac
    18th Dec 2013
    4:47pm
    Dougie
    The ABC is for all Australians and is the most trusted media source , essential poll . Not surprising though is the Tele running way behind and still losing circulation .

    16th Dec 2013
    11:34am
    Send them all to New Guinea, preferably well away from the locals. They are illegal immigrants and should be treated accordingly. The long suffering tax payers are sick of footing the bill. Wardens should be issued with gas masks for protection and leather gloves.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    1:21pm
    We are still footing the bills at Manus Island and Nauru and elsewhere. And, it is our duty to do so, under the 1954 UN Convention we signed. Note that IHAG apart from keeping the Chair of it, (Dr. Paul Alexander) is being dismantled but another advisory panel will replace it. Still going to cost us the cost to dismantle the old one, the cost to set up the new one, procedures to be put in place.
    So so so lucky we live here and are not affected by the rest of the world's inhumanities, some of which we have created in "warring" overseas???????????
    And, this is Christmas................. and we are Christians? .................
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:04pm
    I agree with Dogs Body. Fed up paying tax to keep these mongrels.
    Precious 1
    22nd Dec 2013
    11:04pm
    I heard most now going to png..lolthe locals don t likey...
    Precious 1
    22nd Dec 2013
    11:04pm
    I heard most now going to png..lolthe locals don t likey...
    Precious 1
    22nd Dec 2013
    11:04pm
    I heard most now going to png..lolthe locals don t likey...

    16th Dec 2013
    11:36am
    Get rid of the ABC as it is a corrupted entity which as taxpayers we should not have to support. No one watches their bigoted diatribe any way.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    1:13pm
    You must be watching and listening to the ABC to be able to come forth with your comment.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    6:21am
    How do you work that out Egyptian ????????????????????????????
    MITZY
    17th Dec 2013
    10:19am
    If you state that the ABC is a corrupted entity you can't take somebody else's opinion to say so, you must watch and make your own conclusions.

    I watch all channels for differing programmes and as far as I can see, none are much different to each other. However, the ABC has a lot more interesting content in its overall range of programmes and it is good value. None of the commercial channels would give the time needed to our politicians to explain their policies etc. as they are "driven" by advertising dollars.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:07pm
    ABC should be sold and the money used to pay some of the terrible interest bill which was caused by six years of Labor mismanagement.
    Jen
    16th Dec 2013
    11:44am
    Not surprising, this Government doesn't mind neglecting and demonising those who cannot stand up for themselves.

    From their own website, humanrights.gov.au: "Australia has international obligations to protect the human rights of all asylum seekers and refugees who arrive in Australia, regardless of how or where they arrive and whether they arrive with or without a visa."

    Yet, the Abbott government continue to remove their obligations.
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    12:38pm
    Sorry Jen, but of course they can stand up for themselves. If not why are they in Australia illegally and either with pockets full of dollars or money that they have sent to Australia via rellies, waiting for them to land on our shores and utilise the precious funds which we have accumulated. The Abbott government has a massive task to look after our own citizens.
    surfer
    16th Dec 2013
    12:39pm
    All caused by labor and the Rudd government. Abbott did inherit a mess did'nt he.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    1:50pm
    Surfer: Not necessarily "all caused by labor and Rudd Govt.", what about Howard committing us to the wars that caused asylum seekers to flee (Vietnam,Iraq, Afghanistan, others). Labor and the Coalition are both responsible to assist asylum seekers for the damage they caused in both agreeing to send our troops to these warring territories with our warring partners. The majority of asylum seekers go back to the end of WW2 and the UN convention we signed in 1954 to assist refugees etc. along with a lot of well-meaning nations and we've certainly been involved in a few wars since WW2.

    And Dougie: Not all of them can stand up for themselves, not all of them are wealthy, if women in advanced pregnancies and with small children deem it better to get on unseaworthy vessels in precarious conditions, and risk their lives than stay where they are being persecuted, I doubt we could ever understand our "pregnant" selves in our comfortable cocoons in Australia contemplating journeys such as these. Dougie the Abbott Government is presently wallowing in self-agrandisement at being in government and is thoroughly enjoying every moment of it. It would have been no different when the Labor Government took office six years ago. Every future politician and future PM will not be much different to the last one in office.

    Jen: It's a wonder that statement you quote above is still on the humanrights.gov.au website!

    You can't put all these people into one category, would you or I like to be "categorised" in this way?
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    2:20pm
    Egyptian, I guess that you have as much knowledge of these people as I have, very little. However if women {pregnant or otherwise} and children see that they can pay the thousands of dollars to people smugglers, then they are wealthy. Certainly wealthy in comparison to some of our indigenous people who Abbott is trying his best to assist. I am sorry but we should be looking to this point in our charitable functions.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    6:28am
    Egyptian ----- You are wrong and you know it. Howard had the boats stopped and Rudd and his cronies changed rules and policy which got the illegal immigrants coming here in droves. Don't you understand or listen to what went on????????????????? Stick to the facts. This was completely Rudds fault but what would you expect.
    MITZY
    17th Dec 2013
    10:11am
    dougie: i said NOT ALL these people.............. and you ignored the fact that they come because of wars caused by Labor and Liberal governments being involvbed with the USA and U.K. ties we foster.

    AND

    Dogs Body: In your opinion I'm wrong, but in my opinioin I'm not. We beg to differ. I understand a little more than you did when posting your assessment to me. I wasn't talKing about who stopped or didn't stop the boats I spoke about the reason why all these people flee. It is not completely Rudd's fault it is a combination of a number of factors. However, because we are getting less boats at present (although they have increased due to the fracas with Indonesia) this is partly due to Rudd's policy re Manus/Narau prior to the election. The boats had already decreased considerably when this was implemented and if we had not changed governments they would have continued to do so. There have been reports that these asylum seekers would rather drown at sea than end up in PNG.
    Have a look at today's news re Syria refugees fleeing to tent cities in Lebanon and Jordan etc. Lebanon known for its kindness has two million of these people in its country needing assistance, and is asking for UN help to assist with tents and food. In Syria there are whole families in two level homes similar to what we have here, all the modern cons, young children and they have fled in terror and left everything behind to be destroyed and are living in Lebanon and bordering countries just to surve with their life. What is a life worth? We have just over 1,000 male asylum seekers in PNG at present since the policy changed.

    Dougie/Dogs Body. If you are so passionate about destroying hope why don't you get a petition going and bombard your precious Coalition to withdraw from the 1954 UN Convention we signed as good global caring citizens. We currently don't have the best reputation globally, you might as well finish us off completely.

    How do you both feel about all these interpreters that have been assisting the US and Australia in Afghanistan? With Australia's troops withdrawing and leaving the Afghan army to continue their battles with the Taliban, these interpreters' lives are in danger. Current news suggests we should take all of them into our country because they are in danger where they are. Already one interpreter has been killed. Can they jump the queue to come here because their lives are threatened?
    dougie
    17th Dec 2013
    11:47am
    Hullo Egyptian,
    You obviously did not read my first statement in which I declared that I was not a blue tailed Liberal supporter but a thinking Australian citizen concerned about our country.
    Perhaps you should be too.
    However the pen name Egyptian suggests that you are from the Arabic states and maybe you have an axe to grind there. However I do not want my children to have to become involved in civil unrest simply because people feel that they have a right to enter our country under any means and once they arrive try to behave as they have in their home country. I have no problem with those who stand in line and are prepared to undergo the necessary scrutiny before being accepted. These people are welcome and respected by me.
    Do not critisise me for wanting a good Australia not one racked by tribal warfare within the confines of our city. ie. Try shootings and criminal activities in Sydny. Not all by imports but a helluva lot is.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:11pm
    Egyptian --- You are getting side tracked and trying to get away from the real issue. Namely the illegal immigrants costing us a fortune, and completely caused by Rudd changing the policy that worked.
    MITZY
    17th Dec 2013
    9:23pm
    Hello dougie:

    No, no, dougie, you can't "assume". I was not quite 15 years of age when I came to Australia with my parents and 8 year old brother. Each member of my family was born in a different part of England. My parents came to Australia as ten pound Poms and I came as a 5 pound pom and my brother for nothing (under age) in June 1957. We were all naturalised Australians some time after arrival. Somebody else some time ago made some racist remark about my pen name and that I should not be able to comment because I came from foreign parts!!??
    I'll explain it again. My father was in the RAF from when he left school until he was demobbed. His commanding officer was King George (the stuttering King of which the movie was made some time ago). Dad was not too happy when he did something wrong and the King said he was confined to barracks for seven days. However, with his stuttering at its worst, he couldn't get out sssssssss seven and gave my Dad fourteen days instead !! His brother was in the navy as were their father and grandfather (my great grandfather). Their sister (my Aunt) was in MI5 during WW2 doing secret deeds. She was a divorce lawyer after the war and then at age 80 she went back to University with all the youngsters and became a Q.C.
    We are 9/10ths British with a little French background and my Aunt did our heritage way way back where we are related to the very first Knights Templar Hugues de Payens.
    My father and grandfather travelled all over the world while in service for many years and spent a lot of time in India and the Middle East, my Dad particularly in Egypt and India. He was involved with the building of the very first rail line in India through his military service. We have an enormous amount of Egyptian artefacts, hence I decided on the "Egyptian" moniker. Maybe I should change it, seeing as it causes so much consternation?
    I do care about our country, very much, and I could write a book on my working careers since living in Australia. However, I also care about human life and unless we have walked a few miles in those asylum seekers shoes, we really don't know what they have experienced - again we can't assume they are all bad and evil and jumping queues.
    I have no axe to grind.
    Our governments of both persuasions committed us to wars that resulted in refugees and the very last paragraph I asked both you and dog's body how you felt about the interpreters being able to come here (jumping queues) because of the assistance they gave to our soldiers - language is a big barrier and they risked their lives assisting us and now the Taliban will seek them out and kill them, one has already been killed in the past week or so.
    I don't like people entering the wrong way either, but sometimes despair and desperation leads to risks they take.
    I read what I wrote above again and although I made several statements and asked what you thought, I can't see where I critisised you for wanting a good Australia. Probably if we had the statistics to look at we would likely find from all these different nationalities the majority are, and will be, good hard working Australian citizens and contributing to our society. Our biggest whinge always seems to be attacking Muslims, but when you see the children who have gone through our schooling and are now well educated uni graduates and in top jobs and speaking excellent English, they are not harming you or I. I think it was nice that we finally got Ed Husic as a politician, but didn't he cop some flack?
    In every walk of life we have "baddies" (what about the bikie gangs and what about these Muslim clerics etc. etc. and then there are the Priests and Clergymen who do the most terrible injustices on the innocent) but they are minorities, for every radical and deviat there are many more good people.
    What concerns me a little is the Australian-Syrians who wish to go to Syria and fight. Even though they are Syrian, they are Australian and we are not involved in Syria. I would be adamant in saying to them, if you go there to fight you don't come back to Australia ever. The current policy for the asylum seekers arriving by boat now is if you come to Australia you go to PNG and you don't ever get a chance to live in Australia. I wholeheartedly agree.
    dougie
    18th Dec 2013
    8:02am
    Good morning Egyptian,

    It was so nice of you to give a precis of your life, particularly your time s in Egypt and India. I am afraid that I cannot have the same worldly experience. You see my Great great Grandfather came to Australia in chains sent by your British Government for stealing a sheep to feed his family from this point my family have flourished and contributed to the growth of this great country and I applaud all of those who have contributed to this great cause. I have also lost relatives in the Great War and in the Second World War defending both Britain and our own great country. You say that you have walked in the shoes of the refugees for a few years. I have never walked in their shoes but in my working life I have walked beside many who have been downtrodden and relocated in their lives. I have also worked with our local indigenous people and I understand their problems in society. Much of my work was with people with disbalities and I feel that in some small way I improved their lives.
    Maybe I do have compassion but maybe it is targeted to our own deserving people.
    I seem to recall that many of the Arab nations are super wealthy from their sale of oil to the world. Do we hear much of these super wealthy helping their Arabic people.
    MITZY
    18th Dec 2013
    2:03pm
    Hi Dougie
    Enjoyed your comments. Just to clear a point, I didn't say I had walked in the shoes etc..... I said "unless we have walked in the shoes ....etc (i.e. meaning "all of us" commenting here).
    Please note I have not spent any time in the middle east (it was my father (before he married in India and Egypt and my grandfather - whom I never met, he died before I was born). However, I have been to a lot of different countries for holidays over my life-time but not in the last 25 years. What I wrote about above was just one side of my family (my dad's). My life has been full of wonderful experiences and fantastic jobs with great people to work with. Work was never for money with me, it was for loving what I did.

    On the other side, my Mother had one sister and four brothers the brothers all working down the coal mines around Newcastle/County Durham U.K. in terrible working conditions. One brother came to Australia in 1926 (paid his own way). On arrival he worked farming and later married and started a family a boy and two girls - my cousins (two of which are my best mates today the third one passed away 2.1/2 years ago). My Uncle had a heart problem and was not able to go to the Wars ensuing, but he ended up as an army cook during the second world war.
    When I eventualy married, my husband's mother was doing her English/Irish heritage and her great grandmother came from Ireland as a prisoner to this country for stealing a cloak to keep her warm. She met her future husband aboard the HMS Morley, he came as an F.A. (free agent). After slogging away in whatever tasks she had to undertake for food and a roof, they were eventually married at Parramatta by the Parish Minister (Sir Samuel Marsden) a beast of a man who owned practically the whole land area around Parramatta at one time. Marsden was well known for his dastardly deeds and was portrayed many moons ago in the mini-series "Against the Wind" about our convict beginnings. One of the actors in the series was Jon English. From humble beginnings my mother-in-law's mother produced nine children one of whom was so proud to work for the NSW railways and had the task of pulling the switch to start the electricity for the first train run by electricity. In so doing, he was electrocuted. Three more of the brothers were self-employed in those days but also extremely capable cricketers and played for St. George and NSW, one of them in the same side for NSW with Don Bradman.

    In some respects we have similarities and of course we do love Australia unreservedly. My dear husband passed away 17 months ago this week after suffering with MS for 24 years, you will understand how I feel about the workers and volunteers who help any person, whatever the disability. I looked after my husband all that time but in the last ten of those 24 years when he couldn't walk anymore I only ever asked for help occasionally if he had a fall or accident etc. I never wanted anybody else to look after him, if I could do it myself. Thank you for your work with people with disabilities, I'm sure you will have derived much pleasure from being a kind and helpful person and they would very much appreciate your efforts.
    Writing these snippets about your family should inspire you to put them down in a journal or the like. Heritage is a very "big" thing these days and everyone is going back into their pasts. I am going back in time on another side of our family at present. My Uncle who came out here in 1926 (that side) and his Australian wife (her side). She was a LAVIS and her cousin Neale Lavis was an equestrian and went to the Rome Olympics riding for Australia. Roycroft won a gold medal and Lavis one the silver for Australia in the cross country. You may recall that Roycroft rode with a broken shoulder and still won gold. Neale Lavis got a hero's welcome on his return to the country town where he lived. There is a street named after the horse he rode - the horse was called Mirrabooka. I think it sounds a bit aboriginal, must look it up and find out!
    Cheers to you and yours and have a great festive season with all you love.
    Gee, Dougie, there isn't much Egyptian in me, is there? HaHa
    dougie
    19th Dec 2013
    7:13pm
    Good evening Egyptian,

    Thank you for your story of life. You know I think that you and I could get along in life. We could debate without rancour, we could be polite but above all we could respect each others opinion and the right to have that opinion.
    MITZY
    21st Dec 2013
    10:25am
    Dougie: Thanks once again, I'm sure we could get along debating etc., I have a lot of patience and of course we all sound much better talking face to face. Sometimes words written down sound o.k. when we are writing them, but if we read them back aloud, I'm sure we would "hear" them differently. I have a lot of friends with differing political views and we manage to still be "good friends". I vote, how I see it at the time, and my voting over all those years if it was "graphed" would be "ziggyer" than the zig zag railway!
    Cheers - Merry Xmas/Happy & Healthy 2014.
    student
    24th Dec 2013
    1:02pm
    I have been away for a few weeks but I must say how good it has been to read the discussion between Egyptian and dougie. Egyptian you are a very skilled and informed debater and dougie I have seen your respect for Egyptian show in these posts. I may not always agree with your views, but you have earned my respect now. Let's hope other political foes can follow your lead.

    To all posters, gave a safe and happy Christmas.

    16th Dec 2013
    11:48am
    The medical people are concerned about their pay packet not the illegals or they would volunteer to help.

    We have advisory boards by the dozens that need scrapping.

    We pay good money for advisory boards to determine if a advisory board is required. :)
    Sconny
    16th Dec 2013
    11:51am
    my point IS ...CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
    surfer
    16th Dec 2013
    12:41pm
    Phew, Thats better Sconny, have to agree.
    MITZY
    16th Dec 2013
    2:13pm
    Bofor: So we are dismantling IHAG and replacing it with another advisory panel, so much for saving dollars. And, today, Julie Bishop and that other recently ranting woman polly introduced us to Natasha (ex Democrats leader) as the head of another Advisory Group on various women's and girls' issues such as health, education and job opportunites for our "REGION" not just for Australia. Natasha and her willing helpers will be a cost to the taxpayer, tripping overseas etc. for conferences with other like-minded advisers.
    If we don't want to help persecuted asylum seekers, why do we want to spend our hard earned taxpayer dollars this way? Haven't we just recently decreased millions of dollars from our Foreign Aid Policy, why replace it with more?
    If Natasha is so good for the job, why can't she concentrate her efforts solely in Australia for the good of our women and girls. I just can't understand the logic of this when we have such a short supply of women (and girls to come) in top, meaningful jobs in this country. How many more advisers do we need? Didn't we vote for these politicians to govern the country because we thought they were smart and clever and knew how to do the job.
    I'm beginning to think that my new little mate who I've had for just on 8 weeks, MITZY - my poodle cross doggie, has more know-how and intelligence than what we have in office!!!!
    ghoti
    16th Dec 2013
    11:48am
    Why don't we just shoot refugees and be done with it? And sell off the ABC and SBS.
    nettiser
    16th Dec 2013
    12:09pm
    Absolutely! We could then create a new series called The Down Under Games

    We don't seem to be learning the lessons of France or Angiola or Amsterdam with the problems Asylum seekers have brought to those countries and the degree to which Tuberculosis Cholera and other diseases and criminal or unwanted behavior were overlooked in being lenient to avoid world criticism about treatment of
    so called refugees.
    surfer
    16th Dec 2013
    12:49pm
    Great idea ghoti ---- Sick of do gooders, and politically correct crap. Lets get back to the Australia we grew up in. Out with minority groups. I am all for the majority. ABC must go and SBS is another pathetic channel. As for these illegal boat people, send them straight back to where they left from. Let Indonesia worry about them. They are encouraging this fiasco. Stop the livestock trade to Indonesia immediately. Process our home grown food here and export it. Good jobs for Aussies while we can never make cars any more. The world is screaming for food. So start producing it.
    Foxy
    16th Dec 2013
    5:46pm
    ....never ever thought I would agree with your Surfer - but I do .....
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    7:31pm
    You are right Surfer.

    Why should we have a TV channel that broadcasts in foreign language with the news from overseas. That is no way to encourage people to learn English.

    Same applies to people getting tested for a driving license in a foreign language, can`t recall seeing too many road signs in anything but English in Australia.


    '
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    6:32am
    Thank you Foxy--- Looks like we are on the same page at last.
    Jaguar
    17th Dec 2013
    11:33am
    Agree with Dogs Body, but disagree with surfer.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    12:01pm
    Jaguar ---- You are not one of the illegal immigrants are you ??????????????????
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:18pm
    Jaguar ---- Why do you disagree with me ??????? Don't you like common sense.?? Perhaps you are a blow in.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:29pm
    Good old Foxy, agreeing with me Wow. That makes my Xmas. Looks like Dogs Body agree with me to. Australia for Australians thats the call. Charity at home before we act like Father Xmas to the world. Look at the price we have on Carbon. Just trying to set ridiculous standards while we become a laughing stock world wide. Just as well the labor mob is gone.
    Jaguar
    17th Dec 2013
    12:47pm
    Oops sorry guys. Meant to say I agree with surfer and disagree with Dogs Body.
    Jaguar
    17th Dec 2013
    12:50pm
    Dogs Body/surfer. could be. Dad blew in on a ship in the early 50's. Not sure if he had the right papers.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    5:50pm
    Good on you jaguar-- Seems like we all agree. All having an agreeable time. Ah well at least we are all aussies. Keep your chin up after the news on the economy and unemployment. Hope we can keep our heads above water.
    Actual Cat
    17th Dec 2013
    6:50pm
    "Shoot refugees and be done with it". What a well thought out solution. All of those above who agree with the thick as two planks ghoti need an education. With ignorant nonsense like that it's clear to see you aren't ABC or SBS viewers. I guess you watch the puerile commercial channels and pay tv like all the other aggressive nasties in our community.
    surfer
    18th Dec 2013
    8:23am
    Actual Cat ---- Just take things with a grain of salt. Ever heard of tongue in cheek. Relax and get some entertainment and don't get too bogged down with politics. When all said and done, there is little we can do, but grin and bare it.
    moorlands
    24th Dec 2013
    3:42pm
    Now, does anyone still need convincing that, Jaguar, Surfer, Dogs body, Bofor, are all one and the same. ?????????????????????????????????????????
    micky d.
    16th Dec 2013
    12:39pm
    Debbie McTaggart expected us to start "bleating" - and she's right.
    Some of these so called "refugees" are absolutely nothing of the sort.
    For instance, at the moment there appears to be a very large and sustained influx of Iranians.
    Why, Debbie ?
    Is there a war going on in Iran - civil or otherwise ? From what are these persons fleeing and seeking "refuge" ? ( I might suggest that the only persons who are being most horribly persecuted within Iran are the Bahais ,the largest non-Muslim religion in that country).
    A perfect explanation is one that I heard directly from a very articulate, English-speaking Iranian "refugee" who said that she applied to the Australian Embassy and was advised that since she was over the age of 50 her application was being denied. She then added "what other option was there for me but to come illegally ?"
    That, Debbie is what I and a lot of Australians are bleating about. Why should these persons drain any of our limited resources ? Let them return home for their medical attention. They left freely of their own accord. They are free to return. If they destroyed their passports, that was their choice.
    Yes....I'm bleating.
    KSS
    16th Dec 2013
    12:48pm
    What a shame the author chooses not to research before writing the article. "the Immigration Health and Advisory Group (IHAG) was established in 2006". Actually it wasn't. It began its work on 14 March 2013 - THIS year. It replaced the Detention Health Advisory Group (DeHAG) and was given a wider brief to include " design, development, implementation and evaluation of health and mental health policies and services for asylum seekers, refugees or recently granted permanent visa holders receiving support through the department’s assistance programs". You can read the original Dept. Immigration press release here: http://www.newsroom.immi.gov.au/releases/immigration-health-advisory-group-ihag-replaces-dehag, note it also gives a list of the group's members.

    According to one member of the sacked group as quoted in the article, 'believes the Government had been planning to axe the group for some time'. If this is true does that mean the previous Governemt were actually doing the planning or is 100 days now considered 'for some time'?
    It would seem to me that most of what they were charged to do is either completed or there are other groups also working in this area who can do the same job. Whilst most Australians will feel some compassion for the genuine refugees, no matter how they arrive, Australia simply cannot afford to continue to support high cost 'think-tanks' and duplicated services.
    The Government has to make some very difficult decisions now (and into the future) and if that means that duplicated services have to go then so be it. Do we not know by now that the people in detention (who I might add include a range of law/visa violators not just 'boat people') probably suffer both physical and mental health problems? Do we not also know that detention itself may contribute to some health problems whether physical or mental? And cannot the same be said for Australian prisoners? Given that this now disbanded group were not responsible for devising individualised treatment programs for specific people in specific circumstances, what exactly is being lost? Those in detention will still be assessed, still be treated where appropriate and still have access to the same (better?) services Australians do. So again, what has been lost exactly?
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    1:57pm
    Well said, there are too many groups who have been funded to assist these illegal entrants. I also understand that the Salvation Army which is supposed to look after some of the needs of these people will have it's contract cancelled or not extended. Good on Morrison for this. Unfortunately many so called groups set up by a variety of religious and welfare agencies are there for the quid that they can make from each contract with the Government. When I have queried this with the Salvation Army I have been told this is their business arm not the religious arm.
    Same dog. different flea.
    Bella
    16th Dec 2013
    1:01pm
    I agree, anti government bias .....I have two friends who have been here for 6 years from the uk British subjects who cannot get residency ....they work are no burden to the country We are suppose to belong to the British commonwealth ? Plus they have to pay for all their own medical no health fund here for them...get the priorities right....I feel for the refugees but they get treated better than Australians and British subjects....
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    1:24pm
    Bella I agree totally, people from British Commonwealth countries should be allowed in with only medical and criminal checks.
    They should be given first preference and treated as they were when we had Ten Bob Poms after WW2.

    Once they are here for 12 months all assistance to be available.

    At least they would speak the language, well sort of :)
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    1:50pm
    Bella, You should be an Aussie wanting to visit England. No way that an older person will be granted a work visa and we have to go through the Alien queue just to visit and pay their outrageous prices just to live. Let us look after ourselves first and second and send the crumbs that are left overseas as aid.
    nettiser
    16th Dec 2013
    2:02pm
    Bofor It was not Ten Bob ( ten shillings) It was Ten pounds( 200 bob) ( approx 20 dollars)
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    4:18pm
    Hey Dougie I have been to London 3 times since 2006 and never had any worries. Maybe you should take the tea towel off your head next time :)

    But you are correct look after our own disadvantaged first.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    4:22pm
    Nettiser, I stand neglected, sorry , corrected, it was a tenner.
    There was migrant housing in former WW2 army camps at several location in the Sydney area. Warwick farm being the biggest as I recall.
    Jurassicgeek
    16th Dec 2013
    1:18pm
    prolly the best thing ...if you dont let them stay there is no need for health checks...How long are the waiting lists for dental and hospital treatment for Australians?? These aliens are getting a free ride..it just simply has to stop..look after our own people first...forget everything else till we can afford it....
    Mark
    16th Dec 2013
    1:34pm
    When any government uses terms like "operation sovereign borders", restricts information about their activities (to once a week press conferences), sub contracts their responsibilities to other countries, locks people away in what are in essence off shore concentration camps and passes oversight of the welfare away from civilian scrutiny to the military.....be scared....very scared. What is happening to my country?
    Jen
    16th Dec 2013
    2:17pm
    It's amazing that, after a lifetime of living in this country, there are so many who see themselves as charity cases, all snorting, "Charity begins at home!" Sad.
    Aloysius
    16th Dec 2013
    5:35pm
    Interesting that it's OK for our troops to live in tents while fighting for these people but they need high standard support.
    COWBOY
    16th Dec 2013
    1:44pm
    well said ALOYSIUS, WHY SHOULD THE TAXPAYER KEEP THE BASTARDS WHEN WE GIVE THEM A ROOF OVER THEIR HEAD AND SET THE PLACE ON FIRE AND PROTEST FROM THE ROOFTOP AND OUR GUARDS PUT THEIR LIFE IN DANGER GETTING THEM DOWN, I CAN GIVE THEM A SUGGESTION ON HOW TO GET THEM DOWN,IF THEY GO ON A HUNGER STRIKE WHY SHOULD WE WORRY IF THEY WONT EAT LET THE BASTARDS STARVE WHATS GOOD ENOUGH FOR THIS MOB MAY BE HAPPY IF WE PUT THEM IN THE HILTON.
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    6:38am
    They even supply condoms to the mens camps for free. No wonder we get disease from them. Send the whole bloody lot back to Indonesia instead of our live cattle.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:12pm
    I did'nt know that, What a filthy lot. Taxpayers will be wrapped to know that.
    Nightshade
    16th Dec 2013
    2:20pm
    People are leaving AUSTRALIA in droves
    Did anyone know this ?
    THE JOBS ARE DRYING UP
    NO JOB NO - STAY SORRY
    & they are either going back "to where they came from" or moving on to better economies & of all places Mexico - Chile is booming - Brazil -
    The Mexicans who illegally went to the US are going back home in droves - the US will just have to mow their own lawns from now on, hey ! - Mexico is now the place to be - American retirees are going to Mexico to live.
    Chad & Oako, lived next door they moved to Japan 3 weeks ago, Chad was offered a job with more money so they & their 2 babies left Australia .
    We have been fed a lot of cow dung about migrants wanting to come to Australia & stay forever. many of them move around the world as the job markets present themselves.
    nettiser
    16th Dec 2013
    2:29pm
    One of the great things about Australian democracy is that we can talk to our leaders. Tony Abbott has a website and an email address, he is also on Twitter and facebook
    If someone wants to start a petition on change.org and have all these comments sent to his office then i believe that is the only way we will get this sorted. I doubt anyone in Govt gets to read anything on this site or bothers to follow it up as it is just rants. Do it properly and also post a link on social media to attract more than just those on this mailing site
    dougie
    16th Dec 2013
    2:45pm
    I agree Nettiser, on several occasions I have written to members of the coalition and I have always received an answer and sometimes a phone call. I have as often written to members of Labor government and without fail I have been totally ignored.

    I have reached the conclusion that the only war in Afghanistan is a local war between factions/tribes who will fight forever and who have fought for supremacy for evermore. As such theirs is a civil war which they should be left to fight as they always have. We should not become involved in any way in local Arabic wars. Not our problem.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    catsahoy
    16th Dec 2013
    8:43pm
    TOTALLY AGREE DOUGIE, these countries have been fighting within themselves for years, it will never stop and i believe we should NEVER have been involved in the first place, refugges ariving here should just be turned around and dropped of at the first port of call, they are costing us millions,in housing, health care,while our own are left .hospitals cant cope,the housing shortage is at an all time high,wont be long and water shortage will be on again, the australian government needs to look after its own before giving these handouts, if its kept up there is likely to be civil war in our towns as the majority of people are sick of all the handouts .these people will ALWAYS BE AT WAR WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WILL NEVER STOP THIS, it has been this way for thousands of years and will continue, nothing we do will make one iota of difference.
    surfer
    17th Dec 2013
    12:15pm
    Catsahoy---- I think something is stuck. Give it a good kick.
    Abby
    17th Dec 2013
    4:25pm
    Dougie and Catsahoy
    I think you guys just may be right
    Nightshade
    16th Dec 2013
    3:27pm
    from - Barnabyisright.com
    Australia Plans Cyprus-Style "Bail-in" of Banks in 2013-14 Budget.
    "The Australian Government is beginning to make good on it's 2010 G20 commitment to implement the Goldman Sachs - chaired international Financial Stability Board's new regime for bailing out the banks using DEPOSITORS MONEY."
    ....................
    CEC Party Media Release Monday 16 Dec 2013 -
    Reserve Bank Chief Endorses "bail-in", expects it in Joe Hockey's financial systems inquiry -
    Article published in December 13 Financial Review -
    .........................
    I wonder if this "no assistance to asylum seekers" is not just a DELIBERATE & BEAT-UP DIVERSION so that the Australian people will not notice so much, what they real agenda is.
    The ABC are so good at their job - I don't believe that they would be funded by the government of Australia to the tune of massive monies, if they did not serve their masters well.
    ...........................
    The Australian banks need to be made bankrupt & nationalized or we are doomed -
    youtube :- Australian Economist Steve Keen ; bankrupt banks, nationalize financial system.
    ............................
    The US government is out of control.
    The US economy is out of control.
    The US Federal Reserve is one of the biggest enemies of mankind - today
    BRITAIN is in the same boat - malnutrition had doubled - they are starving.
    We are following in their foot steps -
    MITZY
    18th Dec 2013
    2:18pm
    Malcolm Turnbull was a Managing Director and Partner at Goldman Sachs. Maybe he's doing more work behind the scenes on Australia's Plan Cyprus-Style "Bail-In" than he is on the NBN. We don't hear very much from him these days.
    It's all bad news, every single day, whichever way you look at it.
    It's time to beat the drum and live up to the national anthem ....!! Get out there and "Advance Australia Fair".
    unicorn
    16th Dec 2013
    4:26pm
    I do beleive that certain journalists do beat up their reports whether it be to praise or condemn certain parties and am totally sick of the subject. You {Debbie} asked us before jumping up and down so I am not but I will say that these illegals who flood our shores are after more than what they are entitled to they are entitled to nothing the same as we would be if we tried going to their country. Even if we go legally we are entitled to nothing and that is exactly what they are entitled to. They get food and shelter & whinge when it is not quite to their liking. Wake up Australia you're standing in it.
    tj
    16th Dec 2013
    4:43pm
    SPOT ON
    surfer
    18th Dec 2013
    8:27am
    Totally agree with Unicorn. Sick of the bigotted media pedaling their cause like same sex marriage.
    starlite
    16th Dec 2013
    4:59pm
    These 'refugees' are not running from harm, they are running from poor to a country who will give them everything.

    They come here through 2 to 4 countries of their own culture and religion then whenthey get here they do not mix. Come and see my suburb today or any of 3 I have been to just today.

    They are starting their own countries here in ouyr backyard.

    Forget it, just send them back let their own corrupt governments look after them.

    While we're at it, throw the ABC on the boat too. It is disgusting how left they have become. Their charter was to represent Australians, NOT to educate and dictate their political views to them and then criticize them with hate if they did not agree with their left ideals.

    We need a strong government for the majority of Australians, NOT the minority.

    My view..
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    5:32pm
    Not only your view starlite, you share it with many of others, myself included.

    You forgot to put the do gooders on the same boat and let them go over and help out.
    ghoti
    17th Dec 2013
    7:21am
    Starlite: Can you give us examples of "how left" the ABC has become?
    MITZY
    17th Dec 2013
    10:27am
    In the 1950's we had ghettos of Italians and Greeks in pockets. We called Leichhardt in NSW "little Italy" and named them all "wogs". These people wer immigrants, not refugees and we still persecuted them. We have become a racist country in a lot of respects. Today, we embrace their food and cultures and it will only take another few years before the well-spoken children of these refugees are Aussies. It's happened int he past and will in the future.
    I love Ahn Do (if that's how you spell his name) he was a "boatie". And, there are so many more.
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    10:30am
    Surely Ghoti is not disputing the ABC left wing bias? It has always been thus as its journos are all unionists. Tony Jones is a classic example in that while moderating discussions he always argues for the left wing view and attacks those with conservative views.
    ghoti
    17th Dec 2013
    2:08pm
    Aloysius: I'm not disputing it, nor am I claiming it doesn't exist. I'm simply asking for examples. What, for example, is a typical "left wing view" you say that Tony Jones argues for? I'm genuinely curious.
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    6:21pm
    Dear Ghoti, a typical left wing stance is to support unionists against management and to support a welfare state rather than free enterprise.
    Aloysius
    16th Dec 2013
    5:37pm
    Give Christmas Island to Indonesia. Illegal boat traffic will be dramatically reduced.
    Radish
    16th Dec 2013
    7:46pm
    I do not believe in permanent settlement in this country for those asylum seekers who come by boat.
    This country does not have unlimited money to spend and the tipping point will come where our standard of living will have to drop to accommodate all those who come here and go onto welfare. It is a well known fact that 90% of asylum seekers are unemployed 5 years after arrival and I would suggest many will never go off welfare. Why would they want to anyway?

    We are almost at the stage where it is one worker to one on welfare. This is unsustainable
    Abby
    17th Dec 2013
    4:29pm
    I agree with you Radish
    It would be nice if we could help everybody but our dollar just does not go that far.
    nightie
    18th Dec 2013
    2:27pm
    great idea Aloysius but I say give the bastards nothing, offer it for sale say how much aid do we give each year? and double it for 20 years worth!
    catsahoy
    18th Dec 2013
    11:01pm
    EGYPTIAN, in one of the 'immigrants 'you speak of who camehere60 yearsago , as a 10 pound pom as we were called, the difference was, when we arrived my father had to have already have employment to start [he got a transfer from the S,E,C, in england and had a job waiting for him in warrnambool so we had money being earned from the get go, my mother got a job at the hospital and worked there for 20 years, we were never a drain on the australian government, i was 14 and went to work at 15 and now at 74 , married with 3 adult married children, and having worked most of my married life,feel i have contributed something to this country, these illegals arrive with nothing and expect everything, ,while our own go without, if things were stable here maybe it would be different, with HOLDEN closing down theres a few thousand that will need jobs, where are these people going to go? and do what///////?????????? sorry surfer for the multiple postings, i thought i had got that fixed, apologies to all,
    catsahoy
    18th Dec 2013
    11:01pm
    EGYPTIAN, in one of the 'immigrants 'you speak of who camehere60 yearsago , as a 10 pound pom as we were called, the difference was, when we arrived my father had to have already have employment to start [he got a transfer from the S,E,C, in england and had a job waiting for him in warrnambool so we had money being earned from the get go, my mother got a job at the hospital and worked there for 20 years, we were never a drain on the australian government, i was 14 and went to work at 15 and now at 74 , married with 3 adult married children, and having worked most of my married life,feel i have contributed something to this country, these illegals arrive with nothing and expect everything, ,while our own go without, if things were stable here maybe it would be different, with HOLDEN closing down theres a few thousand that will need jobs, where are these people going to go? and do what///////?????????? sorry surfer for the multiple postings, i thought i had got that fixed, apologies to all,
    MITZY
    22nd Dec 2013
    3:14pm
    Catsahoy: I think it must be the Christmas spirit or something, but everything I write seems to be distorted somewhat.
    When posting with Dougie over a few different things I mentioned that my Mum's brother who was a coalminer in County Durham/Newcastle areas U.K. came to Australia in 1926 at the age of 21 years and paid his own way. He wrote to my mother (his sister) for years to come and live in Australia for a better life and finally, my Mother,Father,Myself,My Brother all arrived in 1957 (I as not quite 15 years when we arrived). Dad and Mum as Ten Pound Poms, myself as a Five Pound Pom and my brother under age (8 years old) no fee. My Mum, may have been sponsored by her brother as we went to live with them for a few months until we were able to rent a home and get settled in, however I'm not sure about this as it was never discussed with me. Children were seen and not heard in those days!!! My Dad and Mum both got jobs within a couple of weeks of arriving (my Dad who was a fitter and turner and jig and tool maker as well as other talents worked at Garden Island and Mum got a job as a sales assistant in David Jones Market Street Store in the Toy Department. I had part secretarial skiols at the age of 15 because at school in the U.K. from age 13 to 15 I did commercial subjects and learnt shorthand, typing, bookkeeping etc. When we arrived in Australia I went to the Taxation Office to work for 6 months until they sent me on a course to finish off my shorthand speeds in order to get a better salary (not having the final skills accredited to me at school, I was able to do the work here). After a three months course which I finsihed in half that time I was back at the Tax Office working with a higher salary and each month the Public Service Board held "speed exams" for shorthard advancement and each faster speed you achieved you got more salary. I actually went forther than the average speeds and did advanced shorthand which court reporters and journalists used in times gone by. So, the three of us, Mum Dad and me did not have jobs to go to when we arrived, but we did within two weeks and I guess mum's brother my uncle was our support? I have friends who came from England in 1965 and they were sponsored by an RSL Club at Kogarah NSW who found them accommodation and helped them get their footing. My Dad had good credentials as he had been in the airfoce from age 15 and when demobbed many years later he worked at the Shell Oil Refinery. I guess he would have had no trouble getting work with his background. catsahoy, I also feel I have not been a drain on this country and I also have worked from age 15 to age 55 when I couldn't work any longer as my husband had MS and needed my help. Unfortunately after my first job at the tax office for eight (8) years) I had to leave when I married, that was the norm in those days. I worked in maybe half a dozen excellent jobs in private enterprise (without superannuation benefits until super became compulsory) until I was age 55 and had to give up working to care for my husband with advanced MS. At the time super contributions were 3.1/2% of salary, and the few short years I contributed netted me $8,500.
    catsahoy: the only way to stop all these asylum seekers is to withdraw from the1954 UN convention and say we are not taking any more people into our country. However, all the different nationalities we have here have helped build a lot of the infrastructure we have, and as they are helping build our future and at the same time receiving wages and paying taxes,
    MITZY
    22nd Dec 2013
    3:22pm
    catsahoy: I cut myself off in trying to delete the last sentence above starting with However................

    None of us have the answers to the asylum seeker problems here or anywhere else in the world. Maybe if we could just stop all the fighting everywhere we wouldn't have millions of people in varying countries and situations as they are today.
    You know, we all, on this site, fence and parry with each other, some more prolifically than others, some with not so nice language etc. but in the end what can we really do about the situation? We vote for the politicians we get in the hope that they can achieve what we want from them, they are not much different to us, here, and I guess they are trying their best, but sometimes achievements are hard to come by and lets face it, don't we try for a lot of things ourselves but don't achieve them either?
    Andy Leucite
    16th Dec 2013
    9:19pm
    Reading the majority of comments of ordinary Australians above, I am ashamed and frightened to be an Australian. I am an umpteenth generation, white skinned, 71 year old Australian - but I am frightened after reading most of the comments - I am not frightened of the refugees who seem to generate so much fear and hatred and selfishness in most of the contributors - I fear living in my own country for much longer where the majority of present inhabitants seem to have no heart, no humanity, and no generosity and kindness of spirit. I have travelled widely and lived and worked for periods in a number of countries overseas, and am convinced that we live in a country with the best and richest lifestyle in the world. And yet we want to build a fence around it so that we don't have to share anything with those much worse off than us. And no I am not a bleeding heart Christian. I gave religion away decades ago because I was ashamed at the hypocrisy of the majority of those who professed to be Christians. This is supposed to a largely Christian country right? Then it can't possibly be serious about claiming that: there is no Christian grace or charity to be interpreted from the nastiness, lack of charity and xenophobia reflected in most of the contributions. And yes, I would indeed be prepared to have some of my comfortable lifestyle and very modest wealth (only in comparison to those who have nothing) reduced if it meant that refugees who come here are given comfort, encouragement and a new start in life. After all, that was what was given to millions of Europeans (who didn't speak our language) and later Vietnamese who have contributed to so much of what our country is. Why have the majority of Australian hearts grown so cold? I almost expect to get bricks through my window for making my own contribution appealing for a bit of sanity, generosity and compassion from the nation as a whole. Has anyone else got the courage to stand up to the rednecks and bullies who seem to be prevalent among the mass of commentators to this article?
    go veg!
    16th Dec 2013
    10:31pm
    Andy, I don't bother reading these boring old fossils' diatribes any more - I just skim to see if anyone new writes something sensible. I agree with much of what you say and wish this profit-driven government also wasn't so hard hearted about our environment. People of our age who aren't coping have wasted their money or opportunities because we lived in prosperous times.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    10:44pm
    Andy Leucite, rednecks live in the USA so please do not try to Americanise Australian workers. If you feel so strongly why aren`t you using your modest wealth by going to these countries and helping .If we do not stand up to be counted Australia will follow the way of England, France and others.
    Too late when they start killing us on our own soil, trust me they will.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    10:44pm
    Andy Leucite, rednecks live in the USA so please do not try to Americanise Australian workers. If you feel so strongly why aren`t you using your modest wealth by going to these countries and helping .If we do not stand up to be counted Australia will follow the way of England, France and others.
    Too late when they start killing us on our own soil, trust me they will.
    Jen
    17th Dec 2013
    7:52am
    Andy, I agree 100%. It's sad to see such sourness, such meanness of spirit, such hard-heartedness in our older generation. A generation who've benefited all their lives by living in a wonderful country and, no matter their financial situation, are still in the world's top 10% of most fortunate people. Yet still feeling like they deserve more, deserve better, don't want to share, are in fact, charity cases themselves!
    Jen
    17th Dec 2013
    7:56am
    And, I should add, have lived in a country which has benefited so much from immigration from foreign countries. What a horrible, boring old place it would have been if it had just been inhabited by this soul-less lot. Vive la difference!
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    8:47am
    Andy, there are many lovely people from overseas who would love to work at your place installing driveways, restoring your roof and so on. Let them know how much is in your bank account and I am sure that their bill will not exceed that. Don't be put off by their gypsy appearance but exercise your generosity in helping these unfortunate folk from troubled countries.
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    9:58am
    Interesting that Andy abuses all who disagree with him as being rednecks and bullies but he doesn't consider himself to be mean spirited. Hmmmm!
    Anonymous
    17th Dec 2013
    6:03pm
    Andy--- You are frightened about being an Australian. What are you frightened of buddy. Safest country in the world. Travel around and see for yourself. Please come to terms with the situation here. These illegal immigrants pay $10,000 to $15,000 to get on a boat in Indonesia, so they are probably better off than some of our pensioners. They are certainly treated better when they arrive. Now I don't object to humane treatment for them, BUT our pensioners and homeless people here have to come first. So lets put everything in its right order. Stop being frightened and take a good hard look at yourself. We are being used.
    Nan Norma
    16th Dec 2013
    9:53pm
    Andy Leucite I wish I could send you some photos of MARSEILLE, France. It looks like some third world country now and the first language spoken is now arabic. I believe Paris is going the same way. As are other countries.This is what Australians are worried about. Where I live I'm seeing refugee families being set- up in up to eight government houses every week, sometimes up to forty a month, while homeless Australians are sleeping in cars. They receive everything they need. Their rent is paid for six months. This while pensioners, that have paid tax, are really struggling. People are waiting years for medical treatment.
    I admire your generous thoughts. You are a kind person. But I think the situation now is different than any we've witnessed before.
    If these other countries stopped fighting each other maybe then they too would have a better lifestyle.
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    3:52pm
    ponser EGYPTIAN, HI, i think we both would have come here under the same conditions, that is to haveemployment lined up,[like my dad at the s,e.c.]we also had to have a sponser, my uncle in our case, who guarenteed lodgings, we stayed with his family for a few months then my parents rented 3 rooms ,so of a half house, until they got a place of there own, the terms of immigration then was if, in the following 2 years you were unemployed you had to support youself , if you couldnt do this you were sent back, my feeling with the illigals,[and lets face it, thats what they are, is that they are coming in droves,with no onereally knowing just how many there are, they couldnt possibly give them all health checks, as we had to have before leaving brittan, they are immune to many of the things th they have at we cannot tolerate, we are seeing cases of T.B. again,something that was overcome many years ago,scarlet fever is another thing, plus sexual disease, asthey have never had the facilities to be clean as we have,this is through no fault of there own, but its a fact, and do we really need these diseases to come again/we simply do not have the infrastructure to deal with them all, i am anything but a heatless person,and with 5 dear neibhours we combine to give a meal a day to homeless or hungry people, we do this without any govt help, and use our own money to do this, we have a week about at each others homes, and some days have as many as 70/80 people, not a great number but we do this as some way to help those less fortunate than us, .the point is that these countries have been waring within themselves for centuries, and will continue to do this when you and i are gone, im all for helping our neibhours but not to the detriment of people who have put a lifetime of work into this country, that said, i hope you have a great christmas,and the best of health and wealth for the new year, CATSAHOY,
    wally
    16th Dec 2013
    9:59pm
    . I am gobsmacked by comments blaming Australia for the fact that refugees are fleeing their countries because Australian troops are serving there. Why are the able bodied lads seeking refugee status in Australia not serving in their national armies to crush those who threaten them? Firstly, are we supposed to believe that Australia has invaded Sri Lanka and Myanmar? Have Australian troops invaded any African countries from which Australia accepts legitimate refugees? Are you talking about Iraq, which invaded Kuwait (so Saddam Hussein could appropriate their oil) setting off the first Gulf War and started the whole cycle in the first place. Afghanistan? How many native born Afghanis are in the Taliban compared to the influx of recruits from other Muslim and non Muslim lands for the Taliban?
    If these people are fleeing to Australia because Australia has invaded their country, why didn't the Poles, Czechs,the French, Danes,the Dutch, Norwegians, Yugoslavs, Greeks and Russians flee to Nazi Germany to beg for refugee status after Germany invaded their countries? Trying to paint Australia as some sort of international villain to justify the actions of cowardly slackers trying to avoid their responsibilities in defending their homeland from fanatical tyrants is simply a grotesque distortion of what the situation is. So much for "Sisterly Solidarity" that some of our lady respondents display toward the Afghan female victims of Taliban sexist tyranny that our young refugees would abandon to the Taliban's tender mercies.
    Nan Norma
    16th Dec 2013
    10:13pm
    wally, Well said.
    Anonymous
    16th Dec 2013
    10:44pm
    On ya Wally.
    If something is not done Australia will find itself as a country full of unemployed.

    Blasted Do Gooders have no idea what they are doing.

    Probably a bunch of religious zealots hoping to book a front seat in Heaven.As others have said these people have been fighting among themselves for years and will continue to do so.
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    9:14am
    Don't understand the do-gooders who would destroy this country to assist the spread of Islam. While Christians do believe in charity, they don't earn a place in Heaven by deeds. The Old Testament required sacrifices but the New Testament over-ruled that philosophy with Christ making a sacrifice to cover all who accept him.
    Sage
    16th Dec 2013
    11:19pm
    Once again we have to suffer selective journalism to make a story. The current chair of this committee is continuing to carry out the role of this committee but now in a manner that relates to what we can afford.
    The current style of journalists,particularly the ABC, in reporting everything the current Government does in such a negative manner can only show the unfortunate bias that exists.
    It would be great if we could return to a media that reported the actual facts and not try to give me their opinion or tell me what I should think.
    Jen
    17th Dec 2013
    7:58am
    You mean like Murdock newspaper journalists?
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    8:21am
    A Harley biker is riding by the zoo in Taronga Park , Sydney , when he sees a little girl leaning into the lions' cage. Suddenly, the lion grabs her by the cuff of her jacket and tries to pull her inside, under the eyes of her screaming parents.

    The biker jumps off his Harley, runs to the cage and hits the lion square on the nose with a powerful punch. Whimpering from the pain, the lion jumps back, letting go of the girl, and the biker brings her to her terrified parents who thank him endlessly.

    A reporter has watched the whole event. The reporter, addressing the Harley rider, says: 'Sir, this was the most gallant and brave thing I've seen a man do in my whole life.' The Harley rider replies: 'Why, it was nothing, really; the lion was behind bars. I just saw this little kid in danger and acted as it felt right.'

    The reporter says, 'Well, I'll make sure this won't go unnoticed. I'm a journalist, and tomorrow's paper will have this story on the front page. So, what do you do for a living and what political affiliation do you have?'

    The biker replies: 'I'm an SAS soldier just returned from Afghanistan and a Liberal party supporter.'

    The journalist leaves.

    The following morning the biker buys the paper to see news of his actions, and reads, on the front page:

    SAS SOLDIER ASSAULTS AFRICAN IMMIGRANT AND STEALS HIS LUNCH


    That pretty much sums up the media's approach to the news these days.
    dougie
    17th Dec 2013
    1:50pm
    Remember Premier Joe and when he was given bad press he fed the chooks a little. One day when the press was really bad he organised a press conference on Redland Bay, sausage sizzle and all. The press gathered Joe turned up in his HOLDEN car and stepped out in his budgie smugglers, walked to the waters edge and did a lap around the bay walking on top of the water. He climbed back in his car and said "make something bad of that." The evening papers came and he read the headlines which said " Premier Joe cannot swim." Does this remind you of the ABC and Tony Abbott?
    geomac
    21st Dec 2013
    4:20pm
    How does relating fictional yarns have anything to do with the media reporting events ? In case you have not noticed there has been a change of govt and that govt has to be held to account . Not so much sliding by with slogans and glib one liners but accountability for actions . All govts dislike the media because thats where the public learns things the govt would prefer unknown . All oppositions love the media because they want their party to be in the news . The govt policy of shutting down information in all departments has been found to be counter productive . So much for open govt .
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:01pm
    ALOYSSIUS, i consider myself a christian,but dont really believe in heaven and hell, so dont really care where i go when i leave this place, i believe we make our own heaven and hell here on earth by our daily deeds,iv made plenty of mistakes in my 74 years,but enjoyed every minute,
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:01pm
    ALOYSSIUS, i consider myself a christian,but dont really believe in heaven and hell, so dont really care where i go when i leave this place, i believe we make our own heaven and hell here on earth by our daily deeds,iv made plenty of mistakes in my 74 years,but enjoyed every minute,
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:01pm
    ALOYSSIUS, i consider myself a christian,but dont really believe in heaven and hell, so dont really care where i go when i leave this place, i believe we make our own heaven and hell here on earth by our daily deeds,iv made plenty of mistakes in my 74 years,but enjoyed every minute,
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:01pm
    ALOYSSIUS, i consider myself a christian,but dont really believe in heaven and hell, so dont really care where i go when i leave this place, i believe we make our own heaven and hell here on earth by our daily deeds,iv made plenty of mistakes in my 74 years,but enjoyed every minute,
    catsahoy
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:01pm
    ALOYSSIUS, i consider myself a christian,but dont really believe in heaven and hell, so dont really care where i go when i leave this place, i believe we make our own heaven and hell here on earth by our daily deeds,iv made plenty of mistakes in my 74 years,but enjoyed every minute,
    Andy Leucite
    17th Dec 2013
    10:36am
    I need to point out to those who thought I was a bit mean spirited myself to not use my modest wealth in helping others, I can point out that my "modest wealth" is having a roof over my head, enough to eat, and I get a small pension. I tried to imply that my own "modest wealth" is only relative to many in the world who have none of this, in fact next to nothing, including food. In their eyes, most people in this country would have "wealth" beyond the dreams of those who have next to nothing. My wife and I have to budget very carefully to pay our basic bills. Our old weatherboard house is in constant need of repairs, and I try to do most of them myself because I can't afford to hire tradesmen. Nevertheless, I do give money to worthy causes here and overseas. I have seen 3rd world conditions overseas, close up and in person, but I don't choose to say, 'well that's their problem, if we do anything we will end up like them.' My small donations make very little difference, but if governments and the people who elect them were more charitable and supportive of those who have nothing the world would be a marginally better place. We might be slightly worse off, but most of us can afford to be. Oh, and yes 'rednecks' to live in America, but their attitudes are present in many countries, including I am ashamed to say, in this one. I am not setting myself up as a holier-than-thou saint, because I am not one, but let's all just take a deep breath and put ourselves in the position of refugees and other unfortunates on this planet, who mostly are in their dire predicaments for no fault of their own.
    Nan Norma
    17th Dec 2013
    11:04am
    Andy, Have you noticed that each generation of migrants and refugees' culture and religion has become more alien to ours. That is why they tend not to integrate with the wider community. That is why I believe it is a very different situation than it was before.
    Aloysius
    17th Dec 2013
    11:21am
    OK. Let us rescue the down-trodden Christians in Egypt rather than paying for followers of Islam whose culture is in opposition to ours and whose religion preaches intolerance for non-believers and which allocates second-class status for women. Let us help those who need assistance rather than those who pay thousands of dollars to criminal, people-smuggling gangs.
    Bella
    17th Dec 2013
    5:37pm
    Can anyone tell me why we make it so difficult for our allies who served with us side by side through the various wars, to get into and reside in our country...when we have practically an open door for our enemies? All the people we have fought against ,and try to give them human rights...now come here and want to make this country the very one they supposivlely
    Bella
    17th Dec 2013
    5:39pm
    Did not finish...are escaping from...I feel they really cause half the troubles themselves just to infiltrate into western and European society..to take over completely.
    Abby
    17th Dec 2013
    5:53pm
    You might be right on that Bella if you believe what Osama bin Laden said
    Precious 1
    18th Dec 2013
    2:23pm
    Then what will happen after another election......is this cat and mouse column posting to a favorite clique the way things will be in the future......I.d bet much money on anyone doing any better than the oresent govt......unless of course the governing of the poorer masses will be our future....heaven sakes the way its going with such venon we dont hVe a future to look forward to......is this why the atomic reservoirs are suddenly springing leaks .........
    geomac
    19th Dec 2013
    10:23pm
    Myth 6: Asylum seekers are taking our jobs
    REALITY: The Federal Government released 16,000 asylum seekers into the community as they wait for their refugee claims to be processed. They receive about $220 a week from Centrelink, most of which goes towards rent and food, but they are on bridging visas which stipulate that they're not allowed to get jobs. Nearly half of those asylum seekers are subject to the government's "no advantage" rule, which means they could be in this limbo for many years. Most asylum seekers want to work and will take jobs other Australians don't want to do, report refugee agencies, but their visa conditions make work illegal. Refugee groups say that barring foreign migrants from the workforce could create an underclass, but they also reject the Federal Opposition's suggestion of a "work for the dole scheme".
    http://www.news.com.au/world/ten-myths-around-asylum-seekers-arriving-on-boats-in-australian-waters/story-fndir2ev-1226676024840
    toot2000
    20th Dec 2013
    6:55pm
    Good to see Morrison has introduced a "code of conduct". There have been 35 asylum seekers charged with criminal offences since the election, an average of two a week. The new rule will apply to 33,000 who face having their bridging visas revoked and indefinite detention if they don't behave.
    geomac
    21st Dec 2013
    12:14am
    toot
    I had not heard of that code until I saw your post . I have a question because it seems there is some confusion . 35 people on bridging visas have had then cancelled for criminal offences . My question is when were those offences committed ? I think you see my logic in asking . there is no statement the crimes were committed since the election but the visa being cancelled . I am sure no one was caught drink driving on Nauru at the detention centre .
    The “enforceable” code will be a condition of bridging visas and their renewal. Morrison said it would allow the government to “get on with renewing visas that have lapsed”.

    The code “makes it clear that anti-social behaviour as well as criminal behaviour will not be tolerated”, he said. The Coalition promised the code before the election.

    It says the asylum seeker must not disobey any Australian laws including the road laws.

    It also bans people bullying others, or engaging in anti social or disruptive activities “that are inconsiderate, disrespectful or threaten the peaceful enjoyment of other members of the community”.

    People must obey instructions to undertake treatment for a health condition for public health purposes.

    They must also “co-operate with all reasonable requests” in resolving their status, including requests to attend interviews and provide documents.

    Morrison said: “The government makes no apologies for providing a strong and enforceable reminder of the behaviour that is expected of people living in the community on a bridging visa.” He said the government had a “zero tolerance approach,” to those who violated the privilege they had been granted to live in the community.

    The minister said that 35 bridging visas for boat arrivals had been cancelled on the basis of criminal charges since the election. Offences included murder, theft, indecent assault, domestic violence, assault with a weapon, driving under the influence and people smuggling.
    toot2000
    21st Dec 2013
    9:56am
    I don't understand your thinking Geo, who cares when it happened, it happened! Didn't you see on the news where an asylum seeker broke into a students room and raped her, and another degenerate followed a blind woman into a lift and sexually assaulted her - what a hero! We have to be protected from scum like this and now Abbott's fixed it. Sorry Geo, you don't like to hear that the government are doing good things, things that the people want, it's all doom and gloom from where your perspective.
    geomac
    21st Dec 2013
    12:19pm
    toot
    The reason is simple toot . It means the two a week since the election is false .
    MITZY
    22nd Dec 2013
    3:38pm
    Toot
    There seems to be just as much or even more violence and "King Hits" going on with drunken Aussies killing each other on our streets, young men and women and young school leavers etc. with their lives in front of them, all looking very white Australian. I wonder how many more ordinary every day Aussies are being raped and abused every day we breath the air by violent perpetrators as well as our respected "clergy". Violence is rife everywhere.
    Reeper
    21st Dec 2013
    9:24pm
    This is another beat up by this site on the current government. Perhaps some subscribers should read Larry Pickering's blog and get some honesty. This site has too strong a political agenda which it hides under the pretence of having seniors at heart. Like members of the former government this site should be ashamed of it's gutter tactics in trying to discredit the current government which does have a mandate
    Jen
    21st Dec 2013
    9:30pm
    I hope, since impartiality is important to you Reeper, that you also bleat about the Murdock papers and their gutter tactics in trying to discredit the former Government?
    geomac
    22nd Dec 2013
    2:55pm
    Excuse me Reeper but is your post a joke , satire ? A sleaze bag like Pickering for honesty ? A scam merchant and declared bankrupt , hard to sue a bankrupt you see . Gutter tactics are not on this site and its ludicrous to suggest so . Its ludicrous to suggest Pickering as a honest alternative . Surely this is a poorly thought out joke .
    Jen
    22nd Dec 2013
    4:52pm
    Yes, I neglected replying to the dopiest part of Reeper's post. Pickering for honesty? Now that's sad!
    MiningMagnet
    23rd Dec 2013
    9:09am
    It's always been interesting to me that the most vehement and vitriolic loony-right and loony-left wack jobs seem to come from imports or the families of imports.
    I grew up and went to school with heaps of poms, wogs, yarpies and frogs (that would be English, Italian/Greek, Sth African/Rhodesian and French migrants) and we learnt to exchange insults as entertainment and without malice.
    It was only after leaving school that I encountered morons who actually believed that people from different countries were actually different to them in some material ways....and acted accordingly.
    I learnt then that the bigotry process was driven by fear and greed - on one hand these poor benighted clowns are scared by anything different or that their meagre intellects cannot understand and on the other hand they are so greedy for advantage or privilege that they do not want any competition in pursuing the wealth that Australia so freely bestows on its people
    However I see these pages are littered with similar cretins and bigots who lack the generosity of spirit to be able to objectively consider providing sanctuary to people who clearly need it.
    Australia has always been a land of generosity and strength of spirit and to see such mean spirited and petty drivel being spewed forth by apparently mature adults claiming to be part of that Australia - is a shameful and degrading condition I'm really struggling with.
    To then see these pelicans repeat party-line quotes and press release detail ie they are working for and often paid by the party of their choice to ensure that the "on-line' population" stays on message is even worse - since it means this drivel is being pushed by political entities keen to take advantage of yet another group of humanity unable to defend itself.
    ...and lastly....just to reveal their even-handedness and intellectual integrity they run out the old 'left wing ABC chant' to the accompaniment of the Murdoch press. This same group of people - in their rigorous pursuit of fairness and the truth - seem resoundingly silent about the visible right-wing promotions undertaken by Pickering et al and the Murdoch press.
    Murdoch and crew must be getting very embarrassed by now at the way the ABC seems able to provide information in its news services (rather than 'entertainment and advertorial) and quality TV shows despite being on a smaller budget and overseen by the draconian hand of govt.
    Interesting to see that Foxtel gets all ABC and SBS (those govt funded TV stations that are hotbeds of communist insurrection...) shows to re-broadcast as part of its 'pay TV' packages ...for free !!! from you and I ....what such good blokes we must be to be so generous with our taxpayer funds to the most wealthy and powerful.....shame we don't seem quite so compliant or generous with those less wealthy and powerful....
    MITZY
    23rd Dec 2013
    11:07am
    Well put M.M. I was a 15 year old import from the U.K. in 1957. Love this country without reserve and all who reside in it. Definitely not one of those loony-left or loony-rights! You only have to look at the various nationalities in our school systems to see how mainstream they all mix so well. When you hear them speak, they sound like Aussies through and through. However, human nature is what it is and very hard to change people's thinking. Hopefully 2014 and beyond will be a little easier. The majority of these people, given half a chance, will make good future citizens. Season's greetings.
    moorlands
    3rd Jan 2014
    10:45pm
    Sorry M M I am extreme right wing and I am afraid that watching the ABC impartiality might corrupt me!
    Amazed
    24th Dec 2013
    6:54pm
    It is frightening what is happening with the ABC and the comments that they are making and getting away with, look at what they did with Indonesia for example, it smacks of treason. The Rudd government did the bugging and yet the ABC blamed Abbott.
    The worst thing is it is our tax dollars supporting the ABC!!!
    The looney left is also frightening with their aggression and hate that you would expect from a NeoNazi.

    90% of asylum seekers are unemployed 5 years after arrival!! How can Australia support that? I tried to employ asylum seekers and had an open mind about them, not one of them wanted to work, some did not even last a day before they came up with an excuse why they had to go home. One lady who I really liked had never worked before I employed her, she drove a better car than I did, had yearly holidays to her country of origin and resigned after 3 months as her daughters were not happy with having to help out in the house. The lady concerned did not have a husband to support her only 3 teenage daughters.

    I doubt that any Australian would want any genuine refugee turned away however the thousands that have been pouring in having been paying thousands to people smugglers to come here and throwing I.D overboard. The genuine refugees are still waiting in refugee camps.

    Do the asylum seekers even appreciate what they have been given while waiting to be processed....no they burn down the buildings that house them and riot.

    We only have to look at England and France to see how well taking asylum seekers have worked out.
    geomac
    29th Dec 2013
    11:47am
    The ABC reports news . Do you expect them to suppress the news to suit a govt ? You are deluded if you think reporting news is treason because thats what media does , report news .
    Actually I doubt your logic or reasoning or in fact your general comments . You exaggerate the unemployed figures and use the tired , baseless neonazi assertion which destroys your cred in any case . The Howard govt did the bugging of east Timor and for commercial interests not national security .
    If you want treason try Greche , Abetz and Turnbull and you might have a reasonable point . Your ABC assertion is similar to pixies in the garden . Pixies in the garden suits your comments .
    Radish
    26th Dec 2013
    8:08am
    around 24million people live in Australia. In the future where on earth are we going to get people to work to pay the taxes. according to government figures 85% of "refugees" are still on welfare 5 years after arrival. When does the string finally snap!??
    geomac
    26th Dec 2013
    3:21pm
    You seem to have misquoted a 2011 report
    The study of more than 8500 humanitarian entrants revealed that only 31 per cent of humanitarian refugees were considered "employed" after five years.

    The remainder were unemployed, retired, studying full time, engaged in caring duties, doing voluntary work or trying to start a business from which they had yet to receive income.More than 60 per cent of those people without jobs had a poor command of English.

    "Humanitarian entrants are most likely to be unemployed, even after five years of settlement," the report said.

    "There needs to be a greater understanding of migrants' personal or household dependency on Centrelink payments."

    Statistics for skilled migrant intake and family migrant intake were more positive, with 84 per cent of skilled migrants working and a little over 50 per cent of the family migrants employed.

    The report did find positive outcomes for humanitarian entrants, with almost a quarter completing a trade or university qualification within five years of arriving.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/national/a-world-of-long-term-welfare-for-refugees/story-e6freuzr-1226050094427


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