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ignoring the Gillard-bashing « Previous | |Next »
August 15, 2012

The conservative commentary about Julia Gillard being vanquished and humiliated, having retreated to embrace the Coalition policy on Nauru, and Tony Abbott wining a smashing political victory is currently washing through the media circuits. Abbott’s core position, namely that the Coalition’s policy worked and Labor was incompetent to abandon it, is still not being questioned by the media, even though the Coalition is cherry picking the Houston panel's package.


Lets be clear about one thing: the Houston panel does not think the solution to the asylum lies in the Coalition's three ponged policy of Nauru, temporary protection visas and turning the boats back. The panel talk in terms of an integrated package: in which Australia must deal with the wider region and that includes processing in nations that have not endorsed the Refugee Convention through the Bali Process. It states:

Australia needs to engage in, and help facilitate, the development of practical strategies with regional states on protections, registration, processing of asylum claims and provision of durable outcome.

This package involving a regional solution is a clear repudiation of the core Coalition deterrence policy of the iron fist that is designed to exclude aliens.

The panel members argued that their preferred approach will only have the desired effect if the whole package is accepted, rather than cherry picked. That package also involves a deterrent component to Australia’s policy (prolonged migration detention on Nauru/PNG), that is workable and conforms with reasonable human rights standards. Those standards do not appear to involve a non-custodial accommodation arrangement with Nauru and/or PNG whilst waiting out the “no advantage”period.

The panels no advantage period looks like its going to be rather long in practice. Asylum seekers would stay on Nauru for the same period of time that it would have taken them to get to Australia via assessment in other places. Would it be 15 years? Do asylum seekers sit around for 15 years or more in Malaysia or Indonesia hoping to get chosen for Australia?

No one has any idea of how long this length of time is because there is no queue.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:26 PM | | Comments (12)


" a deterrent component to Australia’s policy (prolonged migration detention on Nauru/PNG), that is workable and conforms with reasonable human rights standards. "

The Panel’s specific recommendations for Nauru are:

*treatment consistent with human rights standards (including no arbitrary detention);

*appropriate accommodation;

*appropriate physical and mental health services;

*access to educational and vocational training programs;

*application assistance during the preparation of asylum claims;

*an appeal mechanism against negative decisions on asylum applications that would enable merits review by more senior officials and NGO

*representatives with specific expertise;

*monitoring of care and protection arrangements by a representative group drawn from government and civil society in Australia and Nauru;

*and providing case management assistance to individual applicants being processed in Nauru.

The Coalition's conception of deterrence on Nauru would be more punitive as it is about the iron fist on aliens.

The talking points for the Opposition members in parliament yesterday and today is to crow that the government had 'back-flipped' and 'caved in', and that it had also come to its senses by adopting Coalition policy.

The second talking point of the Opposition speakers is that the Government's policy wouldn't work because it doesn't include Temporary Protection Visas or towing back boats.

The third talking point was that it will be the government's fault when the model fails.

The fourth talking point was that this would happen because the Gillard Government is incompetent.

The conservative's talking point in the public sphere is that those who dismantled the Pacific Solution have blood on their hands.

Gillard was looking increasingly silly for digging in over the Malaysia concept. This latest panel gave her an out rather like when you ring yourself at a party and pretend you have to leave. A real solution can start to take shape now.
As far as I am concerned a real solution is stopping people from getting into boats not managing them when they arrive.

Les, stop talking bunk.
On the topic, up late just watching the Senate, and Sarah Hanson Young put the lot of them to shame with a question over this detention period issue.
And me for again not estimating the cynicism of the two major parties.
It would be fair if Abbott's career drowned with some of the asylum seekers, but it is nothing to be proud of, with any of them.
Especially if the sorts of issues raised by Annon are again ignored.

Les perhaps you'd prefer asylum seeked to stay in their country of origin, and be killed by their persecutors, or perhaps remain in a refugee camp subject to deprivation and illness?

If the criminals didnt have boats to put people on we wouldnt have asylum seekers.

I would prefer that they are assessed externally by professionals( not blog commenters) to determine firstly what their true situation is. Then assessed in that group with all the others from other countries that wish to come here. I want an orderly,fair and thorough process conducted by professionals not wankers with a computer.

"I want an orderly, fair and thorough process conducted by professionals"

Well that sounds reasonable. Although I'd add... efficient and speedy.

Sarah Hanson Young's suggestion that the minister should accept no matter what, full responsibility for unaccompanied minors and not forward them onto Nauru/PNG was a clear display of the non thought out policy's of the greens. The next headline would be, boat sinks full of unaccompanied minors - Australia at fault.

Oldie says "The next headline would be, boat sinks full of unaccompanied minors - Australia at fault."

Not quite. The headline in News Ltd newspapers would be boat sinks full of unaccompanied minors -Gillard at fault.

The journalists would be recycling the Coalitions media release. Why is it Gillard's fault? Because she has not implemented the Howard policies in full--TPV and turned the boats back.

George says "Why is it Gillard's fault? Because she has not implemented the Howard policies in full--TPV and turned the boats back."

The Coalition is sandbagging its position when more boats arrive (ie., Nauru is not a deterrent) so they can continue to attack the Gillard Government for incompetency etc