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Complicit in corruption

In June, in an interview with A Current Affair, Nauru’s Justice Minister David Adeang claimed that Nauru has “much lower” rates of sexual assaults, murder and rape than Australia and many refugee assault claims are false or exaggerated.

“[Refugees] have an accident, and they claim that a couple of boys beat them up. That hurts us. They have relationships, somebody gets pregnant, and they claim it was born out of sexual assault and rapes.”

He claimed such allegations were “political” and an attempt to cast aspersions on the Australian government’s offshore detention policies.

So how trustworthy is Adeang?

In June 2015, the ABC revealed Adeang received huge bribes from Australian phosphate dealer, Getax, in a plot to overthrow the government in order to receive commercial benefit.

When Mr Adeang was in opposition in 2009 he told former Getax director Ashok Gupta: “We can create a new business relationship that can take this country to a higher level of development and of course taking also your business to even more success”.

Mr Adeang told Getax he had the support of a number of other MPs who were prepared to desert the government.

“We give you full authority to mobilise or lubricate the MPs to secure the vote and win the battle,” Mr Gupta replied.

President Baron Waqa allegedly received $60,000 while the justice minister David Adeang — Nauru’s most powerful politician — received $10,000 per month in 2009 and 2010. Other government MPs are also implicated in the scandal.

Leaked emails show Mr Adeang solicited an additional $665,000 in corrupt payments for himself and other Nauruan politicians from the Australian company, Getax.

Nauru’s police commissioner at the time was expat and former Australian Federal Police officer Richard Britten. He began an investigation into the alleged bribes and was promptly dismissed by the Waqa government who had won the 2013 election.

According to the scathing OECD report on inaction on foreign bribery cases, the AFP are still investigating.

Phosphate Mining Case: A company allegedly bribed parliamentarians in a foreign country to obtain a phosphate mining permit. The company includes two corporate entities: one incorporated in a third country and one incorporated in Australia. Only the entity incorporated in a third country was implicated in the allegations. The AFP interviewed two complainants regarding the allegations, but concluded that the investigation could not continue for lack of jurisdiction. However, in the course of investigation, a number of unrelated financial transactions by the company were identified as suspicious. These transactions were passed to AUSTRAC, who conducted a financial analysis that enabled the AFP to establish a separate evaluation into other possible foreign bribery offences, which is ongoing.

In April, 2013, in the garden of their home, Adeang’s wife Madelyn burnt to death. A brief police statement said she was carrying a bucket of petrol that ignited. But there has never been a coronial inquiry. The island’s resident magistrate and coroner, Australian expat Peter Law, considered the police statement “woefully inadequate” and began preparing a coronial inquiry. Adeang in January, 2014, ordered Law’s arrest and deportation. Law told the ABC that there were no crime scene photographs or witness statements. Local police investigating the death were “scared of Mr Adeang”, Law said, and unwilling to interview the powerful politician.

Nauru’s chief justice was another Australian expat, Geoffrey Eames QC. “I was proposing to fly to Nauru and the government simply told the airline company not to give me a ticket as my visa had been cancelled,” Mr Eames said, naming Adeang as the visa canceller. Eames then resigned his post, telling the media: “The police obviously did not have the enthusiasm to conduct an inquiry. That’s a pretty alarming state of affairs.”

In June 2015, a Senate inquiry was told that, of the 50 cases of assault that have been referred to the Nauruan police by the Department of Immigration over the previous two-and-a-half years, only five charges have been laid. Only two convictions have been recorded.

The Panama papers revealed that Wilson Security, who runs the detention centres on Manus and Nauru, is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Raymond Kwok and his brother Thomas.

Thomas Kwok is in jail in Hong Kong, serving a five-year sentence for bribery handed down in December 2014 over his role in the former British colony’s biggest-ever corruption scandal. Raymond Kwok was also charged but found not guilty.

Nauru charges Australia extortionate visa fees of $1000 a month per detainee. That would be $6m collected this year and a higher amount in previous years. The business visas at $8000 a pop are another nice earner.

We spend about $1 billion a year on the detention centres to line the pockets of corrupt officials and businessmen who couldn’t care less about the well-being of the people they are being paid to protect.

Our politicians and police are fully aware of the corruption allegations yet they choose to believe what Adeang says regarding abuse in the detention camps rather than what countless inquiries have already revealed, and they have no qualms about enriching convicted and suspected criminals.

Why are the AFP impotent to act? Why are we relying on a Nauruan police force who are intimidated by a man whose integrity is highly questionable?

If our government continues to knowingly neglect its duty of care then they must be considered complicit in this corruption and held accountable.

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  1. bobrafto

    According to the scathing OECD report on inaction on foreign bribery cases, the AFP are still investigating.

    Why are the AFP impotent to act? Why are we relying on a Nauruan police force who are intimidated by a man whose integrity is highly questionable?

    Really how long does it take to conclude investigations of the Slipper Affair.

    What other ones have been under investigation for over 12 months?. I’ve gone blank trying to remember them.

    Are the AFP that incompetent? and I would say no but they, like all the state cops are competent in keeping the lid on political cases like the Slipper case that was investigated over 2 years ago and still ongoing.

    A complete farce..

  2. Kaye Lee

    Go to page 60 of this report (Annex 4) to see the cases that the OECD mention.

    It includes James Packer’s Macau casinos.

    “Casino Foreign Bribery Case
    In 2009, authorities in a foreign country brought charges against one of their officials for domestic bribery
    and listed two projects by an Australian casino company as “suspect projects” in the indictment.
    According to media reports, indications of bribery included the fact that the casinos were granted land that
    was originally planned for the construction of a university, and construction began before formal rezoning
    procedures were completed and recorded. Australia reported to the Working Group that the AFP supported
    investigations by the foreign authorities, but did not start a domestic investigation.”

    “Federal Police (AFP) has received 28 allegations of foreign bribery involving Australian companies and
    individuals (including the Securency/NPA case). To date, 12 of these cases have been evaluated, rejected
    for investigation, and ―terminated‖, while 9 cases were accepted for investigation but have been closed
    without resulting in charges because of insufficient evidence (i.e. “finalised”, using terminology suggested
    by the Australian authorities). The remaining 7 cases are on-going. Two additional cases involving
    allegations received before Phase 2 have also been investigated and “finalised” without charges. The
    Securency/NPA case was initially rejected without investigation when a whistleblower first approached the
    AFP in 2008. An investigation began only after the company self-reported wrongdoing to the AFP in the
    following year (see Annex IV for summaries of selected enforcement actions).

    The lead examiners are seriously concerned that Australia’s overall enforcement of the foreign
    bribery offence to date has been extremely low.”


  3. Florence nee Fedup

    I would expect with a population this small, with number of security staff, zero rates of rape, sexual and physical assaults.

  4. Phil

    Could the AFP be incompetent? It’s possible, but unlikely since no primary evidence has emerged demonstrating incompetence.

    Could the AFP be so under resourced and funded as to be incapable of diligently pursuing the cases before it, and doing so within an acceptable time frame? Quite likely if you consider all the other public service cuts that are crippling other arms of governance.

    Could the AFP be under such intense political control as to have become a patsy to the darker conservative forces underpinning this secretive and authoritarian government? Hmmmm!

  5. wam

    a former head of a party who is a lobbyist for a builder and owns investment properties is appointed to head the planning authority. Not out of context, except we go to the poll in less than two weeks.
    The incumbent is tipped to lose, despite having jeff kennett as supporter, so such a political appointment is worth a million to the father of an earlier appointment,
    There is no doubt there will be other dodgy commitments of public money this time kept secret till after the election.

  6. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I think we all know the answer why this corrupt LNP Government choose to support the corrupt head honchos of the Nauruan Government, Aedang and Waqa because they can hide away desperate asylum seekers from general public scrutiny.

    This suits monsters like Rabid, Morrisscum, Malcolm Muck and Duddon very nicely thanks very much, as long as they don’t have to pay and they get political mileage for looking tough.

    When the shame of Nauru is finally exposed and expunged, I want those notable four made politically extinct and their ugly political legacies, never extinguished.

    Stay vigilant and never forget.

  7. Miriam English

    Makes me wonder how deep the sinister tendrils of corruption reach into the heart of the Labor party too. They are, after all, the ones who struck up this diabolical deal with Nauru aren’t they?

  8. Kaye Lee


    Labor would have been negotiating with the previous President who seemed a bit more kosher.

    “Marcus Stephen would not play ball with Getax. The company’s response was to dangle an $25 million loan to the semi-broke government at 15% interest, allegedly in the expectation of a default on some onerous clauses. Default would enable Getax to take over the phosphate industry, putting it commercially in what you might call a dream scenario. President Stephen rejected the loan offer.

    The leaked emails show Getax in January, 2010, financed a lavish 14-day overseas junket for half the members of Parliament. Three of Stephen’s MPs from the junket then voted against him, creating a 9-9 Parliamentary tie and crises involving new elections. Quite a few MPs on pay of $150 a week somehow managed to buy upmarket boats and cars and roll out handsome sums to heads of voting families, according to Stephen. Adeang’s forces finally brought down the Stephen government in mid-2013.”

    It was Adeang’s mob who then upped the price on visas and made oversight impossible, sacking anyone who threatened to investigate.

  9. Kaye Lee

    As for the AFP, it seems they can move like lightning if they are filming themselves raiding the homes of Muslim teenagers or Labor staffers or if they are investigating election texts, but when it comes to Kathy Jackson or the Slipper case or any foreign bribery cases like Securency, glaciers move faster. And if you are James Packer they won’t even bother investigating.

  10. Kaye Lee

    In another alleged assault, Jazmin said a contingent of Nauruan police entered the regional processing centre and attacked her as horrified refugees looked on.

    “They just attacked me and pushed me; I screamed and everyone in the camp was watching me and crying. It was terrible.”

    The Australian-based Doctors For Refugees said the assault lasted for 15 minutes. “She was held down and beaten by police officers and guards while wearing only underwear and a top,” reads a letter from Dr Barri Phatarfod, the organisation’s convenor.

    SBS has obtained photographs of bruising on Jazmin which were apparently sustained in the assault.

    SBS sent detailed questions about Jazmin’s case to Mr. Dutton’s ministerial office, but the reply came from the Immigration Department.

    “The Department takes allegations of sexual assault very seriously and immediately refers them to the appropriate authorities for investigation – as required, these allegations were referred to the Nauru Police Force.”

    Dutton says that the Nauruan police say that the allegations that they beat her were “unsubstantiated”


  11. Adrianne Haddow

    Thank you for this article, Kaye Lee. And the will to keep these outrages in the public arena.

    We need to keep this issue ongoing. Too many human rights issues and government corruption issues hit the news, are discussed for a few days and then go somewhere to die.

    Remember Parakelia, the Panama report, the Cayman Islands bank accounts to name a few.
    Where is the discussion and outrage? All forgotten by the public and the msm. They certainly forgot long enough to get this lot of gangstas and pseudo-Christians back in government.

  12. Terry2

    So, we bribe Hun Sen the corrupt dictator of Cambodia with $55 million to accommodate – briefly – six asylum seekers from Nauru.

    In the meantime we continue to bribe the politicians in Nauru.

    We spurn offers from New Zealand to resettle 150 of these unfortunate people and break the political stand off.

    What is the constant, recurring feature in all this corruption, the common denominator ?


    This is the malignancy we need to excise as a first step towards retrieving our national self respect.

  13. Tracie

    Our politicians definitely know what’s going on.

    I met David Adeang and Baron Waqa in Brisbane in 2010. Waqa is a very large man, who nearly couldn’t fit through the door. Adeang and I had a conversation about Brisbane private schools. He was in opposition at the time, but said the numbers were increasing for him to get back into parliament.

    They were both there to see how the new constitution they had requested to be drafted was going. Australian lawyers drafted that constitution.

    Little did I know at the time that he was intent on causing as much upheaval as possible in order for an overthrow to occur.

    That should say how complicit in Nauru Australia really is, along with everything else.

  14. Kyran

    Some corrupt politicians try to conceal their corruption. The dog, Adeang, regards it as a badge of honour.
    With regard to the detention facilities, they are built on ‘private land’, not government land.
    “Gifted facilities to benefit landowners
    As well as the rent, centre landowners will also benefit from the $10.5 million redevelopment of the site, paid for by the Australian Government.
    The three-phase project includes the new air-conditioned housing that refugees are currently residing in, built on the same land as the processing centre.
    The second phase of the project will cost a further $11.4 million, and according to the agreement, the buildings will become the landowners’ property at the end of the lease.”

    If any questions are asked, you can rely on the old government two step.

    “Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection referred questions on lease arrangements to the Government of Nauru, while the Government of Nauru said it would not be responding to any questions regarding contracts or leases.”
    The article is well worth a read (hope your breakfast stays down).


    The Nauruan government website seems to be ‘down’ at the moment (I didn’t know they were doing a census), so the wiki is the next port of call for a rundown down on Adeang’s CV.


    He has a lot of form. So who exactly would commission an enquiry into this dog? The new ‘Chief Justice’ was sworn in in September, 2014, but does not appear to have done anything. Perhaps the previous ‘Chief Justice’ has an opinion on the state of the law on Nauru.

    “GE I don’t know. I don’t think the Nauruan government liked the idea of an independent judge. I’ve got no idea about the refugee issue; it would be purely speculation … I think Australia has shown itself in the past as prepared to speak up on the rule of law. They took a view of the Fijian coup, and I think as a senior funder of Nauru, we’ve got not only a right to say something but an interest in upholding of the rule of law in the Pacific region… I would have thought a strong statement from Australia to ameliorate the conditions of the children and accelerate the processes would have got an immediate response from Nauru. The bottom line is that the conditions of asylum seekers, especially the conditions for the children, were totally unacceptable and that Australia should have not only recognised it but acted on it.

    When the resident magistrate was arrested and deported against an injunction which I’d imposed on the government, it was obvious to me that the decisions being taken were being made by the minister for justice and border control [David Adeang]. [He is] the power behind the throne. I thought I was pretty secure with a lifetime appointment and a constitutional guarantee, but it hadn’t occurred to me that the rather simpler exercise was removing my visa so I couldn’t do my job.”

    Curiously, Geoffrey Eames also had conversations with Waqa about the conditions in which the refugees were being housed.

    “And the president’s response – which I would have kept confidential but I now regard what happened in the abuse of the rule of law as not requiring me to maintain confidentiality – was “I know it’s terrible, I’ve spoken to Tony Abbott and I’m proposing to him that we put the children in the airconditioned buildings.” That conversation was on 26/11/13. The breaches of the law occurred on 19/01/14. So shortly after I left Nauru at the start of December these events were obviously put in train. So far as I know, nothing happened about the children.
    So, you know, Australia has enormous power, and the president said Tony Abbott had told him if he wants anyone removed from the island [misbehaving Australian contract workers], just give him the name and he’s gone [clicks his fingers] like that!”


    Another article well worth the time to read for the full context.
    As Nauruan law is based on Queensland’s criminal justice system and appeals are made to the Australian High Court, it seems only fair that the AFP would be an impartial body that has the power and capacity to investigate this dog.
    The Nauru Police Force Police Capacity Program (NPFPCP) is a bilateral program that was established under a Memorandum of Understanding between Australia and Nauru in November 2004. The focus of the NPFPCP has been to develop and implement the foundations necessary for a professional, contemporary and competent policing organisation assisted by the development of governance instruments and systems, training and the provision of necessary physical resources.”


    This is not a broken system. It is a system built, from the ground up, with the specific intention of being unaccountable. On another thread, there was discussion of the need for an urgent enquiry into the detention facility and, in particular, the harm being done to these poor children. Like the ‘Don Dale’ situation, there are calls for an enquiry to ‘get to the bottom’ of these ‘situations’. Both scenarios ignore the bleeding obvious. An enquiry is fine to establish ‘what happened’. The mere fact that an enquiry is required, demands that all of these facilities be closed immediately. As long as adeang, dutton, giles, talcum et al, the beneficiaries (personally or politically) of these atrocities, are the ones ‘in charge’, this disgrace will continue unabated.
    Thank you, Ms Lee. Apologies if the response appears ‘off track’. Take care

  15. Kaye Lee

    The Waqa government has now Soviet-style laws involving seven years goal for ‘stirring up political hatred’. Five opposition MPs are banned from attending the previously 19-member Parliament (because they had “criticized the government”). The Waqa government now enjoys quasi-dictatorial power.

    All this was too much for New Zealand, which had been providing $NZ1.1 million a year for the Nauru justice sector, largely to support independent expat investigators and judiciary. Last September, with unanimous Parliamentary support, it stopped its funding because it didn’t want to be tainted by association with Nauru’s disregard for human and political rights. In contrast, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop, mindful of our detention centre’s needs, issued only mild criticism.

    So far, the Waqa government has

    >Arrested former Nauru president and current MP Sprent Dabwido at a rally and held him and another opposition member in custody for a month. Dabwido was released after suffering a heart attack.

    >Cancelled the passport of opposition MP Roland Kun, who is already banned from Parliament. The passport ban means he can’t see his family in NZ, where he is the breadwinner. Nor can his family return from NZ to Nauru (Kun’s wife Katy Le Roy, was legal counsel to the Parliament).

    >Raised the fees for election candidates by 2000%, deterring low-income people from standing.

    >Imposed a prohibitive $8000 non-refundable Visa application fee for journalists, effectively keeping them off the island. The Australian’s Chris Kenny did get to the island last October, the first journalist to be accredited to visit since 18 months previously. In February this year the Nauruan government claimed an ABC journalist had misdescribed himself as eligible for a tourist visa. It then booted tourist-visa passengers off a Nauru Airlines flight from Brisbane but refunded their fares. The ABC denied it had ever sent a journalist in tourist-mufti to Nauru.

    >Raised business visa fees to $8000, deterring Nauruans wanting expat legal help. Some visa applications from lawyers have been rejected outright.

    >Appointed three new judges whom Waqa claims will vigilantly investigate past corruption.

    >Told its internet provider, Digicel, a year ago to shut off access to Facebook and prevented Digicel’s general manager returning to the country. The US protested but Australia didn’t. The Nauru government claimed to be combating Facebook pornography but the ban also stifles political comments.

  16. Kaye Lee

    Our official aid to Nauru runs at about $25m a year, equal to nearly a quarter of the Nauru government budget. That aid for infrastructure and services is supposed to be quarantined from Australian spending on detainees.

    The aid comes with a warning that programs will stop if it’s mismanaged, with DFAT insisting that “the Governments of Nauru and Australia will maintain a zero-tolerance approach to fraudulent and corrupt actions against Australia’s development program with Nauru.”


    Adeang is sitting on a gold mine. He is not going to let any reports jeopardise that. Who would the Nauruan police listen to, refugees or their boss?

  17. Kyran

    With regard to Mr Kun, he escaped from Nauru at the time of their ‘elections’, in what appears to be a ‘covert’ arrangement with the NZ government.
    “The former MP was reportedly granted New Zealand citizenship about 10 days ago, Ms Geiringer said, and “since then its all been happening very fast … we managed to get a passport into Nauru”.
    On the heels of Saturday’s election fervour, Mr Kun reportedly discreetly boarded a last-minute, outgoing flight to Brisbane on Sunday before continuing to New Zealand.”


    It seems our cousins across the ditch are, once again, showing by example how a decent country behaves.

    The ‘three new judges’ (and a new Resident Magistrate) were appointed in September, 2014. Two years down the track, their ‘vigilant investigations’ have produced nought. Oh, I forgot. Nauru passed a new ‘Child Protection Act’ in June, 2016.
    “Amongst other provisions, the law gives the Ministry of Home Affairs the mandate to take action to prevent and protect children from harm and provides for powers of investigation, moving a child to a safe place in cases where harm may or has come to a child, and placement of children with other caregivers.”
    As far as I can tell, the minister for ‘Home Affairs’ is also the minister for ‘Education and Youth’ and ‘Land Management’. Her name is Charmaine Scotty, whose name is frequently linked with adeang. adeang is the one who says these crimes don’t happen on Nauru.

    The corruption is entrenched and blatant. There can be no argument for continuing any relationship with this country.
    Thanks again, Ms Lee. Take care

  18. Neil of Sydney

    This suits monsters like Rabid, Morrisscum, Malcolm Muck and Duddon very nicely thanks very much, as long as they don’t have to pay and they get political mileage for looking tough.

    Why the hatred to Coalition MPs? Why not to Labor politicians who locked all these people up? This was the situation around the time Labor abolished the Pacific Solution

    Asylum seekers, the facts in figures

    Total number of persons in immigration detention in Australia as of 12 September 2008: 274 — HREOC
    Number of these detained people who were unauthorized boat arrivals: 6 — HREOC

    Only 6 boat people in detention in 2008 costing not much. And those 6 were most probably in detention because they could not get a security clearance.

  19. The AIM Network

    Why the hatred to Coalition MPs? Why not to Labor politicians who locked all these people up?

    “Why the hatred to Coalition Labor MPs? Why not to Labor Coalition politicians who locked all these people up keep these people locked up?

    There, fixed it for ya.

  20. Kaye Lee

    As we have said a thousand times Neil, the policy is despicable. But the problem was exacerbated by the inability of this government to resettle anyone and the complete secrecy surrounding the camps where people are being held for a ridiculous length of time.

    The time asylum seekers spend in Australian immigration detention has hit a record high at an average of almost 450 days. There were 23.3 per cent of detainees who spent more than 750 days in detention.

    The figures follow a low under the Gillard and Rudd governments, dropping to 72 days in July 2013.

  21. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I’m glad you’ve interpreted my words as hatred. No point in beating around the bush, don’t you think?

    Kaye addresses the reason why I don’t hate Labor with the same intensity on this issue but as I’ve said numerous times, I am very disappointed with Labor too. Hence, my preparedness to call Labor ‘Lib-lite’ to get that message through (to wake Labor up).

    At the end of the day, the worst insult to call anybody is with any reference to ‘Liberal’ in it!

  22. helvityni

    🙂 Jennifer. I can’t help it but seeing Dutton on TV makes feel nauseous, each time.

    I can of course turn the telly off, but I’m not watching the news alone.

  23. jim

    “The figures follow a low under the Gillard and Rudd governments, dropping to 72 days in July 2013”. Thank you KL., is the above another example of Labor being just the same as the LNP.

    Data just does not support the never-ending claims by Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison that they stopped the boats. Although the under-resourced and uncritical media accepts the Coalition’s line.

    E.g.Action by the Coalition along with the Greens in the Senate to prevent amendments to the Migration Act greatly assisted people-smugglers and boat arrivals from 2011 onwards……….When the High Court rejected the Malaysian arrangement in August 2011, irregular maritime arrivals were running at less than 300 per month. That number increased to 1200 by May 2012, and kept on rising.
    Then we had Liberal stooges telling the Americans that the more boats that arrive in Australia the better..,their cunning plan to stop Labor from stopping the boats.

    What largely stopped the boats, was the announcement by Kevin Rudd on the 19th July 2013 that in future any persons coming by boat and found to be a refugee would not be settled in Australia. The biggest drop in refugees ever! We may argue about the wisdom of that policy, but it effectively crippled the business case of the people-smugglers. between July and September, people arriving by boat fell from 4,145 to 837 or(3,308) and the number of boats fell from 47 to 15. The trend largely continued after that time. so the numbers fell two months before the LNP lied its way into power then they carried on but totally/fully secretive (so easy to do with the MSM on your side)

  24. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    My thoughts exactly, Helvi. Just imagine how stomach-churning it would be for Mrs Dutton to wake up beside Duddon’s pudding face each day! 🙁

  25. jim

    We have the worst government . since 1949 (67years) and it’s this LNP,……As the Australia Institute’s research in June found – across a broad range of economic measures, the Abbott/Turnbull government has performed the worst of any Australian government since 1949. Economist Jim Stanford’s report examines economic performance across 12 indicators – including GDP per capita, the unemployment rate, employment growth and the growth of real business investment and intellectual property investment … Hmm another record by the well worst government in history.

  26. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    … and yet a majority of gullible and gormless gits in enough marginal electorates elected these crims back in.

  27. Kaye Lee

    They admit to having turned/towed 28 boats back. They are also paying people smugglers for the return trip. By closing off this country they have forced even more onto boats going to Europe.

    “At least 2,510 refugees have died while making the perilous journey to Europe in the first five months of 2016. Analysis by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said that during the week of May 23 to May 30, an average of five refugees drowned per hour as they tried to flee to Europe.”

  28. Miriam English

    That’s a very good point Kaye. It shows up as a lie their supposed reason for wanting to stop the boats being a concern for the refugees’ welfare. I mean, there was never any doubt that the current government has absolutely no interest in the well-being of refugees, but this shreds any remaining credibility when they use crocodile tears to justify their cruelty.

  29. Neil of Sydney

    Kaye addresses the reason why I don’t hate Labor with the same intensity on this issue

    Why? The correct answer is to place the blame on the ALP because they restarted a problem which John Howard had solved. We stop the boats and take our refugees from UNHCR camps. And your reason for supporting Kate is dubious.

    The time asylum seekers spend in Australian immigration detention has hit a record high at an average of almost 450 days. There were 23.3 per cent of detainees who spent more than 750 days in detention.

    The figures follow a low under the Gillard and Rudd governments, dropping to 72 days in July 2013.

    This comment may or may not be true. There are three times of interest
    1. Time in detention
    2. Average time in detention
    3. Processing time

    All three numbers are different. That is why i never believe facts. Facts can be manipulated.

    I think the numbers Kaye uses are 2. Average time in detention. What we want is 3. Processing time

    In July 2013 we got 4,000 boat people. So by 31/7/2013 average time in detention was only one month for those 4,000 reducing the average time in detention for everybody else. That is why average time in detention dropped to 72 days in July 2013.

    The number we want is processing time.

  30. Kaye Lee


    If they cared about their welfare they would up the humanitarian intake and fly them here. That would be the easiest way to put the people smugglers out of business.

  31. Miriam English

    True, Kaye. That’s the plan the Greens have.

    Neil, you make a good point about averages, though you need to reconsider your definition of “fact”:

    fact noun
    1: a piece of information about circumstances that exist or
    events that have occurred; “first you must collect all
    the facts of the case”
    2: a statement or assertion of verified information about
    something that is the case or has happened; “he supported
    his argument with an impressive array of facts”
    3: an event known to have happened or something known to have
    existed; “your fears have no basis in fact”; “how much of
    the story is fact and how much fiction is hard to tell”
    4: a concept whose truth can be proved; “scientific hypotheses
    are not facts”

  32. Kyran

    On ‘Background Briefing’ this week (transcript not available until Tuesday) was a story about HIV. Mbeki ignored fact, reason and science in order to pursue an ideology. He oversaw the deaths of 300,000 of his own people, needlessly. Putin is now exercising his same right to kill his own people. There were some excellent components in the article. If you want to listen before the transcript becomes available;


    Nauru’s major complaint, in medical terms, is obesity. Its political leadership, adeang, is doing nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch, about that. His only concern for obesity is his bank account. How could anyone aspire to public life, whilst ignoring the needs of the public they claim to represent? This is not the first time.
    Corruption is a matter for ‘law’ to deal with. Good luck with that one. There is NO oversight.
    We are meant to believe that the incarceration of innocent people, accused of no crime, on remote islands, is a remedy to a nasty business model. If you honestly believe that, you are one of the monster’s Ms Meyer-Smith referred to. I ceased caring about the politics of such monster’s decades ago.
    This is no longer a matter of politics, or commerce, or law.
    We are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. Those bloodied refugee’s, the likes of which have now exceeded the last humanitarian crisis, need our help. If we can’t help, can we at least get the feck out of the way?
    What the feck is wrong with us?
    Take care

  33. Kaye Lee

    Asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat between 13 August 2012 and 18 July 2013 comprise a first cohort of people, some of whom were sent offshore to Nauru (and Manus Island) while others remained in Australia. More than 600 asylum seekers were sent to Nauru during this period, all of whom were adult males. After 19 July 2013, everyone in this cohort who was still offshore began to be brought back to Australia, where they waited in limbo to be permitted to lodge fresh claims for asylum. It is believed that ‘several hundreds’ of initial decisions were ready to be handed down to asylum seekers on Nauru as at 19 July 2013, but no one transferred offshore in this cohort ever completed the RSD process or received an outcome on their claim on Nauru. When they were brought back to Australia, they were required to start the process again.

    The Australian government did not start to process anyone brought back from Nauru as part of this cohort until 2015. In December 2014 the Australian government passed the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Act 2014 which established a ‘fast track’ system for processing the asylum claims of these and other eligible asylum seekers. As at May 2016, fast track processing had only recently
    begun, and the vast majority of people in this cohort were still waiting either in the community or in detention in Australia to be assessed. It is expected to take several years for all the claims of people subject to the fast track system to be processed.

    Asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat on or after 19 July 2013 comprise a second cohort of people, subject to a new policy introduced by then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, under which they must all be sent offshore for processing and will never be given an opportunity to settle in Australia.

    More than 1200 people have been sent from Australia to Nauru as part of the second cohort. By 30 April 2016 1163 asylum seekers had been processed, with 77% found to be refugees and living in the Nauruan community or inside the regional processing centre (RPC) under ‘open centre’ arrangements. This number may go up after the negative cases have been reviewed. It is worth noting that in the five years before Australia stopped processing the claims of people who arrived by boat seeking asylum (2008-2013), between 88 and 100% of people were found to be refugees, after negative decisions had been reviewed. For certain groups arriving at certain times, up to 100% of the negative first decisions were overturned on appeal.

    processing had commenced in March 2013, but had then been suspended in July 2013 (after the announcement of Rudd’s new policy and a riot in the RPC on the same day). At the date of UNHCR’s visit (October 2013) processing had not yet resumed. The Nauruan RSD system continued to develop over the following months until, in May 2014, the government announced that a first group of families and single adult males had been recognised as refugees, and settled in the Nauruan community.

    Since July 2013, successive Australian governments have firmly and consistently stated that no refugee on Nauru will ever have the opportunity of settling in Australia. New Zealand offered to resettle a small number of the refugees on Nauru (and/or Manus Island), but Australia refused the offer. A handful of refugees took up an offer of resettlement in
    Cambodia under an agreement between Australia and that country, but three have subsequently left, and it is unclear whether that arrangement remains viable. Two refugees, a father and his teenage son, were resettled in Canada under a family reunification visa after the man’s wife and boy’s mother was recognised as a refugee in that country. The remaining people found to be refugees on Nauru are in a state of indefinite limbo, unless and until an appropriate resettlement country can be found (or Australia allows them to return and settle in the Australian community).


    June 2016 update

    Transfers to Regional Processing Centres of IMAs on or after 18 September 2013: 2,125
    Current transferee populations and refugee populations – Regional Processing Centres: 1,296


  34. jim

    “Act 2014 which established a ‘fast track’ system for processing the asylum claims of these and other eligible asylum seekers. As at May 2016, “fast track” processing had only recently
    begun, and the vast majority of people in this cohort were still waiting either in the community or in detention in Australia to be assessed”. …….Like the word Liberal doesn’t apply to the LNP, this term “fast track” also doesn’t apply to the LNP it’s very clear to see.

  35. Rhonda

    Holy faark! really only typing to prevent me from breaking something….Yes, i recall the story reporting on the Law and Eames affair a while ago(…on RN, of course!) Gosh, Kaye Lee, this info nearly does my head in & i can only hope you practice positive self-care in managing your own potential vicarious trauma whilst keeping your finger, and ours, on the pulse with these rubbish-of-shit issues.
    Just #bring them here

  36. Rhonda

    The highly anticipated World Press Photo 16 Exhibition is back at Brisbane Powerhouse for another year.

    While we are oversaturated with imagery on a daily basis, the exhibition brings a timely reminder of how much the world has changed in the last twelve months.

    They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so we’ll let the photos take it from here.

    Join us from Fri 29 July.

    World Press Photo 16
    FRI 29 JULY-SUN 21 AUGUST DAILY LIFE, 2ND PRIZE PHOTO: Kevin Frayer, Canada, Getty Images Bliss Dharma Assembly

    This free travelling exhibition, unique in it’s kind, is the result of the World Press Photo Foundation’s worldwide annual contest on photojournalism and documentary photography. In it’s 59th year, the contest drew entries from around the globe: 5,775 photographers from 128 countries submitted 82,951 images.

    For Peeps in Brisbane @Powerhouse – World Press Photo exhibit provides some stunning imagery and captures much of the bleakness of refugees facing this current humanitarian crisis. I recommend visiting if you can – on till this coming Sunday

  37. Neil of Sydney

    Kaye addresses the reason why I don’t hate Labor with the same intensity on this issue but as I’ve said numerous times, I am very disappointed with Labor too. Hence, my preparedness to call Labor ‘Lib-lite’ to get that message through (to wake Labor up).

    Jennifer- just wondering if you have changed your mind. Apparently those numbers Kaye quoted are average time in detention. I saw that statement on another site so i guess it could be wrong. WE got 4,000 boat people in July 2013. Some of those would have only been in detention for a few weeks, some for only a few days. Hence the big decrease in average detention time in 2013. Labor in 2013 were always getting new people to lock up. As soon as the boats were stopped average time in detention goes up because there are no new additions.

    The number we want is processing time. Anyway i don’t think it matters anymore. Neither of the major parties is going to let boat people settle in Australia

    But it does show the saying “lies, damned lies and statistics” is so true. An intelligent person can twist a factual number to support his story.

  38. Kyran

    ‘Pink’ had a song, Dear Mr President. My lad’s gave me a DVD of her concerts. On the DVD, at the end of that song, she states “That’s the only four minutes that f##ker get’s of my time.” Or words to that effect.
    Here you go, Neil. The criteria is not average age in detention, length of time in detention, abuse in detention, children in detention, who commissioned the detention. Etcetera
    The critical word is detention.
    No Charge. No crime. No Judge. No jury.
    Just detention. Indefinite detention, at the discretion of our ‘government’.
    That is as much time as I will ever give you.
    Take care, as best you can.

  39. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    you’re speaking to the wrong person if you think your statistics will change my mind. My position is clear. Asylum seekers should never have been put in detention so your tit for tat bullshit against Labor has no affect on me.

    And, just in case you’ve forgotten, this LNP Government are a bunch of monsters and give me and others like me, one chance to throw the key offenders like Dutton, Morrison, Abbott, Porter, Hokey Pokey, Roberts, Brough etc, etc, etc into gaol, I will.

  40. Neil of Sydney

    And, just in case you’ve forgotten, this LNP Government are a bunch of monsters and give me and others like me, one chance to throw the key offenders like Dutton, Morrison, Abbott, Porter, Hokey Pokey, Roberts, Brough etc, etc, etc into gaol, I will.

    I have been posting since 2007 and i have never seen such hatred before. Blogs are an eyeopener. Especially in this case since the people you are talking about did not lock anybody up. They are keeping in detention the people the ALP locked up however. Based on your opinion i think your hatred should be directed to the ALP.

    By the way how many boat people do you think we should take? We got 4,000 in July 2013. The equals approx 50,000/year. Could easily double to 100,000/year and even go much higher.

  41. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Simple answer, Neil, is significantly DEcrease economic migrants from everywhere AND significantly INcrease asylum seekers and proven refugees

  42. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    where are you? You have not countered with a smart neoliberal answer yet that neither of the Lib/Labs would like! Does that mean YOU don’t know either?

    If you want to demonstrate integrity, work from the social compassion stance and NOT the economic neoliberalist stance.

    If you show you can do it, I might listen.

  43. Kaye Lee

    “The number we want is processing time.”

    I see you didn’t bother reading the facts I posted about processing times Neil.

  44. nurses1968

    I read somewhere earlier that Australia refused to let NZ have 150 asylum seekers.When they are processed don’t the UNHCR organise or help the resettlement, so why couldn’t they just send 150 to NZ? I thought UNHCR just got them to a safe destination not a destination of choice, or is it the case that once on Nauru PNG or wherever,those countries or Australia ‘own’ them and decide their destination or return to their own country?

  45. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Kaye Lee, processing under Labor was far more expedient. Indeed at least Labor processed the refugees because the Liberals certainly aren’t doing it at all. Or they do the farce of secretly processing them at sea, finding them not to be genuine in secret judgements and then summarily sending them back.

    Nobody is going to believe that well over 90% of refugees were found to be genuine under Howard and now 100% are found to be unauthentic in secret courts held at sea.

    Then I hear that not only is this government sending some refugees back to the countries they fled from, but are informing the authorities of those countries that persecuted the refugees the details of their return. This government then washes their hands of them and never chases up the fate of those they handed back to their persecutors.

    Whichever way you look at this lot, whether it’s their treatment of Australians in need domestically or foreigners in need internationally, they are wanting in every moral and humane area.

    But if you are wealthy, then it’s a whole different story. Read the other night that of the 20% of the top Australian earners 60% got their wealth directly because of government hand outs and favours.

  46. Terry2

    The government have been all over the place on the New Zealand offer.

    Turnbull says Australia will not take up the offer because settlement “in a country like New Zealand would be used by the people smugglers as a marketing opportunity.” Dutton ran a similar line, describing New Zealand as “a back-door way to get into Australia.”

    It’s crazy desperate talk as they are implying that an asylum seeker who is settled in New Zealand and gains citizenship and then decides to visit Australia, as any Kiwi is entitled to do, is a threat to our sovereignty.

    You could run the same silly argument to any resettlement arrangement.

    I don’t think the UNHCR will assist us in resettlement of people on Nauru or Manus unless we cooperate and take some of these people ourselves.

  47. Carol Taylor

    Terry2, an interesting theory from the Libs that New Zealand is ‘the backdoor’ entry to Australia. If it was me and I had been treated the way that Australia has abused the prisoners on Nauru, there is not a hope in hell that I would ever want to put a foot on the cursed soil of Australia.

    I rather think that the Libs’ way of thinking is that if we make it too nice aka humane by allowing people to go to a civilized nation such as New Zealand..the boats *gasp* will flow…. No no, NZ is far too nice, we have to make certain that those trying to escape torture, oppression and rape are likewise tortured, oppressed and raped, or else it wouldn’t be ‘a deterrent’ now would it?

  48. maxpowerof1

    Here is some corruption

    I have no choice but to expose the entirety, myself and others, this society is crushed by the corrupt elite. At one point I was threatened for recording and this shows a necessity to record.
    Do not trust them.

    Sent from my iPhone

  49. Florence nee Fedup

    It is easy for NZ & other countries like Canada to enact laws that prevent them coming here. I believe Howard sent them to these countries. I suspect Dutton has been told to put in place such resettlement. Might have to take same number from Middle East to do so.

  50. Neil of Sydney

    Simple answer, Neil, is significantly DEcrease economic migrants from everywhere AND significantly INcrease asylum seekers and proven refugees

    But how many boat people should we take? 50,000, 100,000- put a number on it.

    The USA is getting 30,000 people/month from South America.All are economic refugees as i suspect are most of our boat people.

    I see you didn’t bother reading the facts I posted about processing times Neil.

    I find the so-called facts hard to believe. We got 4,000 boat people in July 2013 but processing times dropped? I don;t believe it.

  51. Michael Taylor

    Neil, if you don’t like what’s written on this site then why do you bother coming here? It’s not like you have anything to offer. If you did, you’d be welcome. But you don’t.

  52. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    As many as our environment and socio-economic circumstances can manage. We have growing unemployment and homelessness so these are factors that would need to be considered and respected. We also must weigh up the sensitivity of the population levels that our land and waters can tolerate.

    Considering I want every unemployed or under-employed Aussie who wants a decent job to have a job, and no extra trees ripped out by remorseless, spreading developments and roads, I want a balanced assessment of what we can do to compassionately help asylum seekers and refugees.

    If that means 150,000 asylum seekers and refugees per year, that’s fine with me considering our government under Howard helped to create the mess that caused these desperate people to flee their homes.

  53. helvityni

    I’m with Jennifer; decrease ordinary migration, and take more of refugees.
    I have been saying this for years.

    If we don’t have enough people with skills to fill certain positions, let’s star educating our youngsters

  54. Miriam English

    Neil, firstly, making uninformed judgements as to whether someone is an “economic” refugee or not indicates you’ve already closed your mind to any information. That badly undermines your case. Secondly, I’ve never understood why people look down their noses at “economic” refugees anyway, especially right-wing people. Surely, if you’re someone who values money over all else, which right-wing oriented people tend to be, then “economic” refugees are the ones you’d want most of all, since they want to work and make businesses and employ people. Yet right-wing people use the term contemptuously, as if it’s something bad. That shows me it’s not being used genuinely, but merely as a way to discredit and sneer at people. Neil, that’s called racism.

    Whether political or “economic” refugees, or whether conventional immigrants, all studies of such people have shown that they greatly benefit Australia. If you’re interested in looking at a group in Australia that causes big problems and lots of unrest, that increases corruption and crime, and bleeds off vast amounts of money from the government, then look at the angry white racists. They are the worst troublemakers and biggest economic dead-weight in the country. Maybe we should be deporting them to make room for the political and “economic” refugees. Certainly Australia would be a much more peaceful and productive place if we did. (Only thing is, I can’t imagine any country taking them… oh, wait! Maybe Nauru…)

  55. Kaye Lee

    Neil, they have sent 540 people back to their country of origin. They have resettled less than 5 people. The rest are in limbo. You can’t just warehouse people forever. The policy is a failure.

  56. Florence nee Fedup

    Truth is the refugee policy is unsustainable, as the Pacific Solution proved too be, Was imploding when Howard kicked out. Border Farce is now in process of imploding. Can’t be maintained.

  57. Neil of Sydney


    Too funny. In other words you have no idea how many boat people we should take. What if 400,000/year turned up. What would you say?

    why do you bother coming here?

    Don’t know. But i have been posting with some of you people since 2007. We met on Dunlops blog before the 2007 election.
    Actually boat people do not bother me too much other than the people who lost a place from a UNHCR camp. It is skilled immigration that bothers me personally.

    considering our government under Howard helped to create the mess that caused these desperate people to flee their homes.

    No Jennifer. There are always 20-40 million refugees who want to come here. The USA is getting 30,000 people/month crossing the Rio Grande.

  58. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I gave you an honest answer based on an evaluation of what we must do for suffering people who need asylum balanced against our own needs to protect our own vulnerable in unemployment and homelessness not to mention the capacity of the environment. What I said to you was based on an estimate related to current immigration rates per year. So stick it up your arse for saying I have “no idea”.

    The ‘what if’ argument is no reason to sit on our hands knowing there are suffering people under our watch.

    Also Neil, your “20-40 million refugees who want to come here” argument sucks like most things you say. There are not that many people aiming for Australia.

    However, if that were the case in the worst case scenario, you would be better placed to demand answers from your ultra-neoliberal arsehole mates who cause the wars and feed the war machinery that cause displaced people to leave their homes.

    Relearn your mathematical education and see how seeking Rightful asylum is caused by Criminal globalised wars and injustices. X does Y equals Z

  59. helvityni

    Jennifer, when I used to write about this issue on ABC’ s Drum, I used to get all the Neils shouting at me: Helvi, so you want us to take 50 million refugees.

    No, I don’t, also they don’t all want to come here. All I want for us to take our fair share. After all it was our willingness to go to other peoples’ wars that created all those refugees….

  60. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Very true, Helvi. They have no idea of how to make sensible and reasonable decisions.

  61. Neil of Sydney

    However, if that were the case in the worst case scenario, you would be better placed to demand answers from your ultra-neoliberal arsehole mates who cause the wars and feed the war machinery that cause displaced people to leave their homes

    There are 30,000 people/month from South America crossing the Rio Grande seeking a better life in the USA. There is large scale migration around the world by people seeking a better life. Wars have nothing to do with the calamity the USA is suffering

    As for boat people, if they have $10,000 to pay a people smuggler they are not in need of help. The people in UNHCR camps are. Remember the Sudanese refugees we took under Howard? If we let boat people in, no more Sudanese refugees from UNHCR camps

  62. Michael Taylor

    So, you’re saying that because someone has $10,000 to pay a people smuggler then they are not in need of help? That is gobsmackingly ignorant.

  63. Miriam English

    Neil, I seriously doubt your figure of 30,000 per month crossing the USA border — it sounds like a Trumped up number. However, USA has largely created its immigration “problem”. It funds large scale corruption in Mexico, making life harder there than it should be. Of course people want to escape it. The USA has a direct hand in wreaking massive social damage there. Similarly, our eagerness to go on insane war ventures brings problems back to us.

  64. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    imagine yourself as someone deprived of your normal quality of life and what you might do to preserve your and your family’s chances of survival to escape bombs falling around all your ears destroying the neighbourhood you have known.

    Once you have imagined how YOU would respond in those circumstances, you may speak, Neil. Can you prove you have such honest integrity, Neil?

  65. Carol Taylor

    Miriam, and of course the American farmers protested big time, that if they couldn’t get Mexican seasonal workers then they wouldn’t be able to run viable businesses.

    When I think of the argument of the ‘wealthy’ asylum seekers who come by boat, I am reminded of the Jews during the Holocaust who had to sell everything they owned (family jewels, the grand piano) in order to pay smugglers, in order to escape Nazi Germany. Does the sum of a person’s bank balance mean that they are NOT ENTITLED to escape from persecution? There are Iraqi academics who have had to escape, there are Afghani supporters of democracy who have had to escape, there are those who have opposed other murderous regimes who have had to escape. These people cannot just sit around waiting in a non-existent queue, same as the Jews during the Holocaust, or else they’d be dead. The probability of persecution is the litmus test, not how much money they may or may not have.

  66. Carol Taylor

    Neil and, “We met on Dunlops blog before the 2007 election..”. You mean we’ve had to put up with you for close to a decade… 😯

  67. Neil of Sydney

    imagine yourself as someone deprived of your normal quality of life and what you might do to preserve your and your family’s chances of survival to escape bombs falling around all your ears destroying the neighbourhood you have known.

    They are not being bombed in Indonesia. They are safe and have at least $$$$$10,000 dollars to pay a smuggler.

    By the way the Brits were bombed during the Blitz in WW2. They did not run away. They stood up and fought.

    Neil, I seriously doubt your figure of 30,000 per month crossing the USA border

    OK, me to. Prove me wrong. But the USA is getting a lot of economic refugees from South America.

    PS Jennifer put a number on it. Would you agree if we got 100,000 boat people/year?

  68. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    Neil’s determination to speak with us Alternatives
    proves to me his need to be proved wrong on his predilection
    to follow a stupid neoliberalist way of being
    regardless of the consequences to others.

    (PS I wish I knew you and Michael before I left NE Victoria in 2008. You’re both great changemakers.)

  69. Michael Taylor

    Neil, you overlooked one teeny weeny detail: the British government wasn’t turning the army on to their own citizens.

    JMS, thank you. That was a wonderful compliment.

  70. Carol Taylor

    Likewise Jennifer. 🙂

  71. Kaye Lee

    Neil, you asked for figures about processing times and resettlement and then completely ignore the information provided. Surely you must concede that this policy is not working. What do you suggest should be done with the people who are currently in detention?

  72. Neil of Sydney

    What do you suggest should be done with the people who are currently in detention?

    Don’t know. The current policy is not to allow them to settle in Australia. I guess it would not hurt to empty the camps and let them settle in Australia. Would certainly save a lot of money.

  73. Miriam English

    True, Neil. Something like a billion dollars a year, if I remember right. I’m sure we can come up with better uses for that money instead of torturing people. If we added to the available funds by pulling our troops away from wars that create more refugees and spent less money on unnecessary weapons we would be far more wealthy… and would be looked up to around the world instead of sneered at.

  74. Kaye Lee

    Malcolm Turnbull had been urged to convene a summit to consider ways to end the ordeal of around 2000 asylum seekers who have been in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island for more than three years.

    More than 1800 academics, including experts who have advised Coalition and Labor governments on refugee policy, have backed the call, as has the president of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs.

    The academics say the scale of suffering on both remote islands demands a new approach based on regional co-operation that rejects the “binary choice” that only a hardline policy of deterrence will prevent deaths at sea.

    They have endorsed a policy paper calling for an end the “harmful policies of offshore processing, boat turnbacks and the mandatory detention of people seeking asylum” – policies also embraced by Labor.

    The push comes amid warnings from Jesuit Priest Frank Brennan and others that the current arrangements are a “recipe for human disaster” and calls for the government to set a timetable for finding third countries to resettle those on Nauru and Manus or bring them to Australia.

    Professor Minas said that after two decades of the general population being taught to be fearful of asylum seekers, “there may be the beginnings of a shift in the way people are thinking about these things”.

    “It’s time to go back, ask what are our national objectives, what are our legal responsibilities and whether we are discharging our ethical and moral obligations to people who are very vulnerable and look for a better way of doing these things,” he told Fairfax Media.


  75. Neil of Sydney

    They have endorsed a policy paper calling for an end the “harmful policies of offshore processing, boat turnbacks and the mandatory detention of people seeking asylum” – policies also embraced by Labor.

    Well then here we go again. Howard solved the problem. We stop the boats and take our refugees from UNHCR camps. Rudd/Gillard restarted the problem creating one of the biggest policy failures in Australian history.

    Most ALP policies fail because they do not take into account human nature. Humans are greedy. The USA is getting 30,000 illegals/month from South America because the USA is a nicer place to live.

    Lots of Australians scientists cannot get a job because lots of Eastern European scientists want a job in Australia because the pay is better.

    If we drop our borders we will be swamped.

  76. jimhaz

    [I guess it would not hurt to empty the camps and let them settle in Australia]

    Wow, if even the very conservative Neil can say that, and non-empathetic me has said the same in the past, surely that means it would be accepted by the broad population WITHOUT substantial blame if the boat numbers picked up again.

    I honestly thought it would occur after the fellow immolated himself shortly before the election.

  77. Kaye Lee

    Neil you are mind numbingly repetitive.

    We have to solve the problem of the people in detention now. This ridiculous idea that we refuse to let them settle anywhere good must stop. Stopping the boats is an entirely different issue. If we increased our refugee intake to 30,000 annually and set up processing centres in Indonesia, Malaysia and maybe Pakistan and then processed applicants in a timely manner we would go a long way towards stopping the people smugglers. The navies of Indonesia and Australia can do the rest if we must.

  78. Neil of Sydney


    So are you.

    John Howard solved the problem. We stop the boats (and also did Abbott) and take our refugees from UNHCR camps.

    How are Sudanese refugees going to get to the regional centers you are talking about?

    By the way i found a link for my statement that the USA is getting 30,000 illegals/month


    Numbers of new illegal immigrants per year crossing the border illegally are not directly countable, and are estimated from the number who are caught trying. For FY 2015, DHS reported 337,117 apprehensions.[3] Using an estimated catch rate of 33%, the number crossing without detection would be 674,000 per year (2 successful entries for each 1 apprehended).

    The rate of new illegal immigrants, combining both sources is 1,201,000 in FY 2015.

  79. Michael Taylor

    Neil, so am I.

    I am mind numbingly repetitive because I’m forever pleading with you to stop playing your stupid games.

    In ten years I have not yet seen you write anything new. We could do a post about the rings of Saturn and you’d find a way into turning it into an anti Labor rant.

  80. Kaye Lee

    I am wondering what the hell Mexicans being used and abused by Americans for cheap labour has to do with the corruption on Nauru that this article is about. It’s like when people insist on talking about beheadings in Nigeria when we are talking about discrimination against Australian Muslims.

    You never acknowledge context Neil. The removal of the Taliban from power in Afghanistan allowed nearly six million Afghans to return to Afghanistan by 2008, almost a quarter of the country’s population at the time.

    A 2006 report by the Australian Human Rights Commission showed that of the 1509 asylum seekers sent to Nauru by that time, 586 were granted Australian resettlement (39%), 360 resettled in New Zealand (24%), 19 resettled in Sweden (1.2%), 10 in Canada (<1%) and 4 in Norway (<1%). A total of 482 asylum seekers (32%) were deemed not genuine refugees and sent home.

    I get back to the point at hand - we must bring the people on Manus and Nauru here or allow them to go to NZ or another country willing to take them rather than condemning them to limbo in third world countries who already suffer terrible poverty, who exist under corrupt regimes, whose citizens resent the intruders, and whose culture and language are entirely alien.

  81. Neil of Sydney

    am wondering what the hell Mexicans being used and abused by Americans for cheap labour has to do with the corruption on Nauru that this article is about

    Well the relevance is that there is large scale people migration around the world from poor countries to wealthy countries.

  82. Florence nee Fedup

    Neil, hate to disillusion you. Pacific Solution was imploding before Howard went out of power. Howard was quietly bringing refugees to Australia. The courts were finding his scheme illegal.

    Also at thye time, there was a short lull in movement of refugees.

    The scheme imploded because it was unsustainable. One can’t lock people up indefinitely. Those on TPV were coming up for revision of their visas. No choice but to give them permanent visas.

    Yes Neil allowing them to stay here.

    The same is happening now. PNG courts have ordered Australia to move the people, close the courts. Dutton is lying when he says closing Manus is going according to plan.

    Before the election, PNG courts found camps illegal. Two court decisions since ordered Australia to lodge plans on how they intend to close down camp.

    Dutton lied when he said these people refuse Canada and NZ. Dutton denied them that offer.

    I expect in the very near future, the 800 will be settled in NZ and Canada.

    Nauru closure won’t be far behind.

    Problem for Australia has done nothing in last 3 years to seek alternative solutions in the region. This government has big problems.

    Neil today we see Morrison turning on Abbott. He is saying he acted in accordance with his leader’s instructions. In other words distancing himself from present policy. Not his fault.

    In a way I am glad they won this election. They won’t be able to blame collapse of policy on Labor, as they did last time.

    It was Gillard that started putting Houston’s Expert Panel recommendations in place.Yes, she got Indonesia to change their visa rules, stopping refugees entering that country, then coming to Australia.

    Nauru and Manus was only to be stop gap measure while a regional solution was found/

    This government put all their eggs in turning back boats. Refuse to process those on the islands and onshore until they got their own way with TPV.

    They believed if left to rot, most would go home. They have return people with no interest or care what happened to them/

    Neil truth is there is no easy answer.

    Blaming Labor leads one nowhere.

  83. Florence nee Fedup

    There always been movement people from poor countries, Both countries have benefitted.

    I imagine my people from, both sides of the family came here in the 1850’s because of poverty, even war. Same goes for countries like the USA. Mostly from both Ireland’s and France.

  84. Miriam English

    Good point Florence. If people didn’t move to places where they thought they’d do better we’d probably still be stagnating in caves using stone tools.

    Places with many cultures in contact with each other have generally become the richest and most powerful places on Earth.

    Those that close themselves off quietly rot away.

  85. Neil of Sydney

    There always been movement people from poor countries, Both countries have benefitted

    Yes but most people did it legally. It is unfair on the people who follow the rules. The USA is getting more than 30,000 illegals/month from South America.

    And the Pacific Solution was not imploding. It was working fine. There were only 6 boat people in detention before Labor abolished it. And those 6 most probably were Republican Guard type people and would never get a security clearance.

  86. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    assuming you’re like me and were lucky enough to be born in this reasonably safe country, neither you nor I have the right to judge why legitimate asylum seekers would seek asylum in any of the ways they do. If a person is running for her/his life, that is your answer.

  87. Florence nee Fedup

    Neil they are acting legally. Neil, there were 6 people left because Howard was sneaking them onshore. Courts had declared much was illegal. it was imploding.

  88. Miriam English

    Neil, it is legal for refugees to come to Australia. (Abbott and his cronies lie when they call it illegal.) What was always illegal was for us to deny them safe harbor. Of course one of the dicks in the Abbott government tried to fiddle the law to make it legal to avoid helping them, but I expect if that was ever challenged that would be found illegal too.

  89. Neil of Sydney

    neither you nor I have the right to judge

    Cannot judge? Why not? People make judgements all the time. You want to put people like me and Dutton in prison.

    My judgement is that most of these people are greedy people. They should be back home looking after their parents whom they have left. They should be back home trying to make their countries a better place.

  90. Michael Taylor

    Perhaps Neil could tell us what is illegal about it.

  91. Kaye Lee

    They should be back at home where they could be bombed/gassed/shot/beheaded by the US or Australia or the Russians or the Turks or the French or the poms or the Syrian army or the Syrian rebels or ISIS, except the few hospitals and schools keep getting bombed too. In many areas not only has the infrastructure disappeared, the houses are rubble. But yeah, call them greedy just like all those greedy Irish that came here just to get fat.

  92. Rossleigh

    Look, Neil’s proposition is simple.
    Globalisation means that companies from rich countries shouldn’t be restricted from moving into poor countries due to artificial borders and protectionism because, after all, we now live in the global world and there should be no boundaries. This is an example of people improving themselves. If only people on welfare and the like were to get off their fat spotty backsides, they too could make something of themselves and it’s only the left who criticise those who are trying to better themselves by making money.
    However, when poor people from those countries attempt to move into the rich countries, they are acting illegally and are economic refugees and they should be content to stay where they are because we don’t want people being able to move between countries without a whole lot of red tape.

    Stands to reason, really.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Or there are those greedy economic migrants from Bangladesh and Nigeria.

  94. Rossleigh

    I know that some of you lefties don’t follow the simplicity of Neil’s view of the world.
    But give the poor man some understanding, he’s simple, lonely and needs someone to argue with because clearly all his friends have decided that there’s no point in arguing with Neil because it leads to the same frustrations that Brian Cox felt when he was arguing with Malcolm Roberts the other night on QandA.

  95. Carol Taylor

    In summary, everyone who came to Australia who wasn’t brought here in chains or their guards or came here seeking refuge are economic migrants. Whether from the slums of Bristol, whether agricultural laborers from Gloucestershire, domestic servants from Sussex, miners from Cornwall, peasant farmers from Germany, all were economic migrants.

  96. The AIM Network

    Could it be that Neil is a hypocrite? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Here are some comments from him back in January 2011 on the defunct Cafe Whispers:

    “And what if 20 million refugees turned up at our doorstep?? We take a measly 13,500 out of a total of approx 300,000 immigrants/year.

    Let us take 50,000 refugees/year and cut our skilled immigrants by 50,000/year.”

    “We take a measly 13,500 refugees/year. I like refugees. If you people found out who i was I am sure someone would like to kill me. I would like to think if I had to flee Australia that another country would take me in.”

    Here’s the link: https://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/inequality-and-the-soul/

  97. Neil of Sydney

    Could it be that Neil is a hypocrite?

    I agree with that. Who isn’t? But not in this case.

    Let us take 50,000 refugees/year and cut our skilled immigrants by 50,000/year.”

    Good idea. Let us stop the boats and fly them in from UNHCR camps like we did under Howard.

  98. Michael Taylor

    Fly them in, Neil? But what if they are greedy? But what if they are deserting their families? But what if they are fleeing their country instead of fighting?

  99. Miriam English

    “Economic” migrants is a term that should be used selectively. Only the immigrants you despise are to be called “economic” migrants. Other people who you want here (white people or very rich people) you must not describe as “economic” migrants. They must instead be described as “economic” migrants. See the clear difference?

  100. Neil of Sydney

    Other people who you want here (white people or very rich people) you must not describe as “economic” migrants.

    Not really. I am sure the yes vote for Brexit was because Britain is being swamped by Eastern Europeans and the poms do not like it. The Eastern Europeans do not want to live in Eastern Europe. Lots of people are losing their jobs because of the bloody Russians

  101. Kaye Lee

    Neil, you remind me of the never ending film loop

  102. Kaye Lee

    In early 2014 there were 870,000 workers from the Accession countries of Eastern Europe (including Romania and Bulgaria) in the UK labour market and almost three quarters, or 630,000, were in low skilled work, as defined by the government’s Migration Advisory Committee. Remarkably, about half of these (almost 320,000) are in the very lowest skilled occupations. While East Europeans have very high employment rates (84% of EU8 and 77% of Romanians and Bulgarians are in work) they are working for low pay in low skilled jobs.

    Of the 1.2 million British people living in another EU country, around 800,000 are workers and their dependants.

  103. Neil of Sydney


    When an Eastern European scientists finishes his or her PhD they get out Frommers travel guide and sit down and work out which country they would like to live in. They usual want to live in the English speaking countries USA, Canada, Britain, Australia. None of these people are unemployed. They get paid $12K/year in Russia and $90K/year plus 17% Super in Australia. Greed is their motive for migrating.

    The research market is small in Australia and is easily swamped by countries much larger in population than Australia. They are even willing to work for half-wages. How can our local people compete with that?

  104. Matters Not

    Yes some humour there but I preferred the ‘funnies’ posted by Neil’s mum – Annie Barry.

    Particularly remember her at the local shopping centre waving to Howard and he waving back, not realising it was – ‘goodbye’.

  105. Möbius Ecko

    Then there are the thousands of Britons working it the EU, who are now going to be without work because of Brexit.

    Talking of Brexit and going off topic for a bit. It’s been delayed by 12 months and now the government headed by a pro-Brexit PM is seeking further indefinite delays on top of the 12 months. In other words the UK is not going to Brexit for a very long time if at all. Compensation alone to the the UK businesses negatively effected by Brexit was astronomical let alone the myriad of other economic and social problems it will cause.

  106. jimhaz

    [Have a read of this post (and Neil’s comments). It will be worth it. You’ll be glad you did]

    “I have to listen to people crying because they cannot get jobs because so-called asylum seekers who fly in do not want to go home”

    Might be actually accurate if one talks about 457 visa’s (which the LNP promotes, and the ALP does nothing about) not asylum seekers.

    I’ve not researched Neil’s Eastern European scientists claims – but I’d imagine there would be some basis for his view, as it is something relevant to IT workers. I would not discount it automatically.

  107. Neil of Sydney

    Might be actually accurate if one talks about 457 visa’s….. not asylum seekers.

    My comment is accurate. Remember when you lefties bring up the topic of asylum seekers who fly in rather than coming by boat to confuse the issue? Well these so-called asylum seekers are mainly foreign students. Education is a big money spinner for Australia. Foreign students like it here so much they do not want to go home. So they apply for asylum. Chinese students are the main culprits.

  108. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    In that case Neil, they are not asylum seekers but possibly economic migrants. You’re not trying to confuse the issue of legitimately seeking asylum again, are you?

  109. Michael Taylor

    JMS, I think Neil is confused. By the way, check out my link to Cafe Whispers (above) and have a look at all his contradictory and gobsmackingly stupid comments on the particular post. It’s a hoot.

  110. Miriam English

    Amazing, isn’t it. I get a glimmer of hope that Neil is starting to come to his senses and then he starts rattling off more xenophobic nonsense again.

  111. Neil of Sydney

    What xenophobic nonsense? The difference in treatment between asylum seekers who fly in compared to asylum seekers who come by boat was one of the first things lefties told me. Turns out the asylum seekers who fly in are not really asylum seekers and are legally in Australia on a tourist or student visa. That is why they are not put into detention. The whole thing is a rort. Wealthy Asian students come to Australia to get a degree and then apply for asylum because they do not want to go home. That is why the success rate is so low.


    Last year more than 6,000 asylum seekers arrived by air. The largest group by far came from China, with much smaller numbers flying in from India and other south east Asian countries.

    While some might be legitimate, many are not and they are being supported by a network of corrupt officials from China to migration agents in Australia.

    It is not fare on our young kids who have to compete for skilled jobs with these fly ins

  112. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I think you are missssssing one salient point.

    The conditions of one seeking asylum and the conditions from whence they come, do NOT negate their refugee status. We are all magnaminous on the Left, Neil, to see beyond that.

    We’ll even save former rich people that you fawn after, as long as they are suffering well-founded fear of persecution, that constitutes rightful claims to seeking asylum.

    Don’t say anymore or I will consider you a persecutor akin to Morrisscum, Duddon, SS Officer Xian Porter and their f*cked advisors.

  113. Neil of Sydney

    Don’t say anymore or I will consider you a persecutor akin to Morrisscum, Duddon, SS Officer Xian Porter and their f*cked advisors.

    The only people who should be in jail are the ALP politicians who abolished the Pacific Solution. WE solved this problem a long time ago under Howard.

    Even if these people who come by boat are refugees they are getting into Australia because they have money to pay a smuggler which is unfair on those that don’t. And we cannot take everybody. Before Labor lost the election in 2013 the monthly boat arrivals equated to 50,000/year. That could easily double to 100,000. What about refugees from Sudan and other places? They are shut out by boat people.

  114. Michael Taylor

    Neil, that was a really dumb comment. Absolutely, breathtakingly dumb. And not only that, Sudanese – if they are flying in – will not be prevented from coming here because of others (attempting to) arrive by boat. Those on boats get locked up somewhere else, remember?

  115. Florence nee Fedup

    The courts were dismantling the Pacific Solution when Labor came to power. There was also world wide pause in those seeking asylum.

    Howard in secret emptied the islands, as Dutton is no attempting with Mannus.

    Those on TPV were coming up for re-assessment. As there was no hope of them returning home, as those from Yugoslavia and Timor did before them, only option was permanent visas.

    Most of the Pacific Solution was found illegal by the courts.

    Rudd did attempt to turn a boat load back to Indonesia. Became a farce, leading to people off the boat coming here. Don’t forget, the people on the Tampas also landed here.

    Rudd, then Gillard attempted to put new asylum seekers policy in place. Abbott, assisted by the Greens blocked all.

    What has happened since Howard’s days is the greatest displacement of people the world has seen. In the liege second world war. Many millions across many countries have fled their homes. Have been in camps at least 3 years, up to a decade.

    Worse the world has turned their backs on these people, at the same time bombing their lands.

    Foreign aid, to give them shelter and food has never been so low. If they don’t freeze to death, likely to die starvation.

    Like of Neil can’t get passed talking about Labor and stopping boats.

    The only thing that Abbott prevented Gillard from doing, was putting in place a sensible asylum seekers policy. Abbott was out every time a boat landed, on the back of the truck, gloating another boats arrived. (Don’t know how that fits in with his government actions of secrecy and on water matters when it comes to anything to do with refugees). Abbott only succeeded with assistance of the Greens.

    Even so, she never gave up. She set up the Houston Expert Panel, was putting in place the recommendations when Rudd deposed her. Made agreement with Indonesia to change their visa rules, stopping Muslims coming through that country. Manus and Nauru to be set up as stop gap measure.

    Work had began on finding a regional solution. This was dropped when Abbott took over. In fact he spent his time insulting not working with those in the region.

    We have come the full circle, now we see Border Force imploding, as we seen the Pacific Solution.

    Both in present form are unsustainable.

    The refugee crisis sees no end. No hope of return. People can’t be locked up with no hope forever.

    Neil, I wish I was wrong. Worse, I don’t see this PM having the trust of leaders or negotiating skills to make things better.

  116. Neil of Sydney

    The only thing that Abbott prevented Gillard from doing, was putting in place a sensible asylum seekers policy.

    If you are talking about the Malaysian Solution, the High Court said it was illegal. The Greens voted against it as well. Anyway it was an abomination of a policy that never would have stopped the boats.

    What the ALP should do it admit they were wrong and apologise to Australia for the mess they created.

  117. Michael Taylor

    Maybe it’s Howard who should apologise. After all, it was he who was eager to invade these countries that helped create the refugee crisis.

    But you’d never agree with that, would you Neil?

  118. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I agree it is Howard, who should apologise for helping to create desperate asylum seekers in the first place. This was because of his decision to involve Australia in the illegal Iraq war, while helping to demonise them and thus trashing Australia’s better reputation in the international community with the Tampa shame (to which Labor acquiesced).

    The Greens may have made (currently assessed) controversial decisions in the context of the time, but I refuse to believe their political motivations were cancerous like the LNP’s. Tit for tat attacks (no matter how subtle) on the Greens, defeats the purpose of exposing the cancer of the duopoly’s failed refugee and detention policies.

    This is another example where ‘the damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ scenario of this ugly duopoly needs to be superceded, so that there are more electable and winnable options for any essential policies.

  119. Florence nee Fedup

    Neil High Court said much of Howard’s Pacific Solution was illegal. Yes, court said Malaysian Solution was illegal as law stood then. Abbott refuse to assist Labor in changing law. Was willing to do so for Houston’s recommendation, when it suited Abbott.

    Court often find legislation illegal. Governments then change laws in parliament, to make action legal.

  120. Florence nee Fedup

    Yes Neil, Abbott needed Greens to side with him. Proves my point, even with Gillard minority government and Abbott’s no no no to everything, he didn’t stop Gillard from doing much, including getting three budgets through with little trouble. Something he failed to do with big majority.

    Abbott was loud with little substance.

  121. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Whether the laws were legal or illegal, they are unethical from whatever side of the duopoly line one stands.

  122. Michael Taylor

    Don’t forget too, that Howard excised the islands so that people seeking asylum would not have access to the Australian justice system.

  123. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    That’s an interesting reminder, Michael. An abuse of power thy name is Howard.

  124. Michael Taylor

    He was an evil, conniving nasty piece of work, Jennifer. He was mean-spirited to the core.

  125. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    While he’s still alive, he can be a legal target. He would not be able to claim defamation.

  126. Neil of Sydney

    Don’t forget too, that Howard excised the islands so that people seeking asylum would not have access to the Australian justice system

    Yes that was a deterrent to stop the boats.

    So you want the boats to start coming again do you? What if we get 100.000/year or more coming to Christmas Island? It is unfair on people who have no money or no possible way to make it to Indonesia.

    Also a country needs to have borders otherwise it is not a country. I find it interesting that lefties do not believe in borders.

  127. Carol Taylor

    Neil, so you are saying that to deny justice is ok as long as you stop boats? That it’s ok for genuine refugees (and the Howard government found approaching 90% of people to be genuine) to not have access to justice? Wow. You think the same as most terrorist regimes..ISIS would be proud of you.

  128. Michael Taylor

    Carol, Neil has never shown respect for the law so his attitude doesn’t surprise me.

  129. Harquebus

    Justice would be holding those tyrants, oppressors and abusers of human rights who, cause people to flee in boats, to account.

  130. Neil of Sydney

    I am saying it is unfair on refugees with no money. The ALP turned our refugee program into a boat race. First to get to Christmas Island gets a place. Others with no money well too bad.

    After all, it was he who was eager to invade these countries that helped create the refugee crisis.

    There is large scale people movement around the world. The USA is getting 30,000 illegals/month across the Rio Grande, lots of them kids. Did Howard cause this?


    In 2014, roughly 69,000 kids from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras flooded the U.S.-Mexico border, traveling alone at great personal peril. Many were teenagers fleeing gang violence — all three countries are among the most dangerous in the Western Hemisphere. Many of the unaccompanied children were under 12.

  131. Kaye Lee


    We may not be able to tell other governments what to do but we can certainly take responsibility for our own actions. NOTHING justifies what we are doing to the people on Manus and Nauru. That is OUR human rights abuse, OUR oppression, OUR tyranny and yes, we should be held to account for it.

  132. Michael Taylor

    Neil, I couldn’t give a flying f*ck about the Mexicans. They’re not fleeing to Australia because their country has had the living crap bombed out of it.

  133. Michael Taylor

    PS: Neil, you don’t care about those poor refugees, do you? You don’t care one little bit what would happen to them if they stayed in their own country. You don’t care one little bit that those people might die if they stay where they are. You don’t care one little bit that hundreds of thousands of their countrymen/women have already been murdered.

    You disgust me.

  134. Neil of Sydney


    How many do you think we should take? There are 20-40 million refugees around the world. Anyway they are safe in Indonesia and have money.

    They’re not fleeing to Australia because their country has had the living crap bombed out of it.

    Other than you people i have never seen anybody say they did not like it when Sadam was removed. On Q&A a few week ago there was an Iraqi asking some questions to George Brandis. The Iraqi was then asked if was he upset that Sadam was removed. He said no. Sadam was a bad man doing bad things. Very few people were upset when Sadam was executed.

  135. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    I mostly agree with you however, I do not see people trying to flee Australia in boats, yet.

    There are other issues as well. The ME, North Africa, Asia and such have increased their populations to the point of unsustainability. That is a problem of their own making and one which, we are also making for ourselves.
    In my opinion, any refugee solution must go hand in hand with population reduction strategies otherwise, the problem will not be solved and in fact, will only exacerbate.

    As resources continue to diminish and deplete while populations continue to grow, the declining number of haves will continue further in abandoning the increasing number of have nots.


  136. Kaye Lee

    We have had this conversation before. Empowering and educating women and lifting people out of poverty tends to make populations stabilise. Our fertility rate is actually below replacement rate.

    That does nothing to address the situation of the people on Manus and Nauru.

  137. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee.
    Again, I mostly agree with you and yet, we continue to bash heads.
    My point is, Manus and Nauru are only the beginning for us. In other places, mass migration is well underway.
    There are not enough available resources to educate the poor and eradicate poverty. The refugee problem is going to worsen and growth in populations and consumption is the cause.

  138. Carol Taylor

    Neil, on refugees staying in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the poorest nations in our region. So you are saying that poor nations should do all the heavy lifting.

    Jakarta: Indonesia has appealed to Australia to accept more refugees stranded in Indonesia ahead of a regional forum to combat people smuggling in Bali next week.

    We (the Liberal government) of course did nothing except point the rude finger at Indonesia.

    1. Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN Convention – remember all the crocodile tears split at the poor refugees sent to Malaysia (*gasp* they’re not a signatory), but in the next breath turning the boats back to Indonesia.
    2. The Abbott/Credlin government sliced aid to Indonesia. Indonesia now has even less ability to cope with people fleeing persecution.

    Of course a refugee was in agreement about Sadam being deposed. I wish that you could understand that these people who you would want to persecute, these people whose children you want to see punished, deprived of liberty for years, sexually abused, beaten are actually OUR ALLIES – that’s WHY THEY’RE REFUGEES!!! They’re escaping PERSECUTION.

    Neil, we’re supposed to be the good guys – we support democracy and the rule of law. We signed the UN Convention against torture, and now we’re flaunting the whole lot, just because a bunch of greasy politicians want to grandstand.

  139. Carol Taylor

    Harquebus, I would agree but add that the situation is going to worsen due to rising inequality. The last few years have seen a complete reversal with the wealthy taking more and more, resulting in the eventual demise of the middle classes and the lot of the poorer classes’ lot equating with abject poverty (pensioners, the unemployed). Such is the way that empires have fallen throughout history.

  140. The AIM Network

    We have had this conversation before.

    Yes, tiresome isn’t it Kaye. It becomes a bit of a turn-off.

  141. Harquebus

    Carol Taylor.
    Actually, it is the loss of a key resource in complex societies, usually water, that has brought down most civilizations. Inequality is a byproduct of the collapse process.

    Google search criteria: key resource civilization collapse

    Repetition is not exclusive to myself. theAimn is also guilty.


  142. The AIM Network

    Repetition is not exclusive to myself. theAimn is also guilty.

    Yes, but some people have a habit of saying the same thing no matter what the article is about. Neil of Sydney comes to mind.

  143. Harquebus

    A lot of problems, refugees being just one, stem from the same root causes. Something that, no matter what evidence I provide, I can not seem to get across.
    In other fora, I receive no argument. It is in places like this where awareness is lacking. That is why I hang out here. Preaching to the converted is easy, theAimn is more of a challenge.

    The sixth mass extinction event which, will most certainly be the worst in Earth’s history and is a consequence of unfettered growth and consumption, is currently underway and homo sapiens are on the list. Time is short.

    As far as I am concerned, I am fighting for our lives and your complaints are petty by comparison.

    Thank you for allowing me to state my case.

  144. Michael Taylor

    By memory we had a post a couple of years ago about water that might interest you, H’. Be damned (no pun intended) if I can remember what it was called.

  145. Neil of Sydney

    Neil, on refugees staying in Indonesia. Indonesia is one of the poorest nations in our region. So you are saying that poor nations should do all the heavy lifting.

    You are still avoiding the question. How many refugees should we take? 20 million? 40 million. Based on the July 2013 boat people numbers this equates to 50,000/year. That number could easily double or triple.

  146. Michael Taylor

    “You are still avoiding the question”.

    Please show me where you asked Carol a question.

    Or is this just your usual tactic of changing the topic when you’re either losing the debate or have been found out to be talking a load of crap?

    And by the way, I maintain my earlier statement that you disgust me. You are a heartless, gutless idiot.

  147. Neil of Sydney

    And by the way, I maintain my earlier statement that you disgust me. You are a heartless, gutless idiot.

    Well what do you think of this article?


    SALVATION Army senior soldier Simon Hartley struggles with the consequences of asylum policy every day in Altona, in Melbourne’s southwest, in the heart of Prime Minister Julie Gillard’s electorate.

    He does not deal with asylum-seekers who arrive on boats. He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia because it has been taken by someone who originally came illegally.

    “The families we are assisting have put their applications through the correct channels, have not sought out people-smugglers and now are being told that they do not have a real chance of obtaining a visa,” Hartley says. “This is grossly unfair and will drive more to people-smugglers.”

  148. Florence nee Fedup

    If one wants a just, civil and fair society the rule of law must prevail. The means counts as much as the results. Only dictators deny the people access to the law.

    People fleeing for their lives, seeking safety for their families still have rights.

  149. Florence nee Fedup

    Carol, we have been here many times before. 1890 and 1930’s come to mind.

    Under unfettered Capitalism the wealth moves all to the top, widening gap between rich and poor.

    Eventually the whole lot collapses, leading to great de[pressions.

    A new order arise from the ashes, the process beginning again.

    Capitalism is one pof boom and bust.

    Governments appear to be able to contain, contain it for a time, but corporations and banks win in the end.

    We seen the fall of communism. We are now seeing what is inevitable, the fall of capitalism.

    All that surprises me is it has taken so long.

  150. Florence nee Fedup

    Neil, answer to your question. We should be taking a damn lot more than we do now. We can afford to. Stupid question.

  151. Florence nee Fedup

    Has one noticed much of our vegetables are not being grown in paddocks but under cover? In huge glasshouses.

  152. Florence nee Fedup

    Michael, wouldn’t mind seeing Neil answer questions others ask him. Would be a nice change.

  153. Michael Taylor

    Neil, that was a link to The Australian. If you think I’m going to click on a link to The Australian then you’ve got rocks in your head. Though I did see that it was an anti-boat people article.

    Typically just more of the anti-boat people bile you spew forth. That you’d rather see those people stay in their own country to be murdered further confirms what a sick individual you are. Again, you disgust me.

  154. Neil of Sydney

    Please show me where you asked Carol a question.

    Well i asked the forum this question at 11.36AM

    How many do you think we should take? There are 20-40 million refugees around the world. Anyway they are safe in Indonesia and have money.

    I think Carol made a comment on the second part of the question. But i have never seen a ALP supporter say how many we should take. I think we would be getting 10-15K/month if we didn’t stop the boats. Meaning only those people with money would be able to get into Australia.

  155. Michael Taylor

    Bullshit, Neil. You directed that at Carol.

    By the way, while I’ve got your attention, you really aren’t welcome here. I think you should go find a site that likes the thought of people getting blown to bits. You’d mix in well with them. You, and anybody like you, who would rather see these poor people sent back to the country they are fleeing from and face certain death are the lowlife of this country.

    Goodbye, Neil. We will no longer tolerate your filth. Don’t bother trying to leave a comment.

  156. Harquebus

    Florence nee Fedup
    There’s laws and then there’s laws.
    Something that I came across this afternoon.

    “For the capitalists, the bottom line is far more pressing than the fate of the planet or those who live on it.”
    “The exploitation at the heart of capitalism also gives rise to a wholly oppressive system that is not simply economic. Exploitation cannot function without an accompanying ideological and legal apparatus backed up by the armed might of the police and the military.
    At its heart, capitalism is an exploitative system driven by competition for profit. These features cannot be reformed away. They can be overthrown only by the working class collectively taking control of the means of production and wielding them to create a society in which profit and competition are no longer our masters.”

  157. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    increasingly, many of us could be accepting the necessity for what you espouse.

    However, it takes collaboration so extremist elements are not running the show.

  158. Carol Taylor

    Ironically, when Neil was demanding answers from me (over what I’m not certain), I was nowhere near a computer.

    Harquebus, I agree completely. I am comparing the ideals of society prior to the Howard years – it was equality of education, caring for the planet, sustainability – society as a collective. Then came the Howard years, the era of greed. The era when ‘everyone’ worth anything was described as An Aspirational. But aspiring to what? Aspiring to do good, of course not. Which reminds me of a quote from James A. Michener’s ‘Hawaii’ – “They came to the islands to do good and they did right well”. I note the same Christian zealotry today, used to disguise the greed which seeks to exploit the more vulnerable.

  159. Harquebus

    Jennifer and Carol.
    The direction is clear, the path is not.
    Keep up the good fight.

    BTW: Never have I despised a human being as much as I despise John Howard. A lying, conniving trumped up little dumb arsed piece of shit with a big mouth.


  160. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If the Revolution comes, I truly hope it comes before I’m too old to participate.

  161. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Harquebus, Howard is the Australian leader I despise the most as well. He was a divisive deceptive little man of whom even the Liberal power broker that got him into the leadership said was the most devious person he’d ever worked with.

  162. Michael Taylor

    Howard was a lying, conniving, mean-spirited prick. Probably still is.

  163. Miriam English

    There are not enough available resources to educate the poor and eradicate poverty.

    Harquebus, you are completely wrong.

    There are plenty of resources. The problem is that we in the first world countries are hogging far more than we need. We engorge ourselves on unnecessary calories and throw away something like 60% of our food. Farmers are paid to dump food into landfill if it risks depressing the price. We use petroleum to drive a single person around in a ton of glass and steel. We use airconditioners and heaters because we couldn’t be bothered putting on warmer clothes or designing our buildings properly. We regularly discard perfectly good clothes and other items for the sake of air-headed fashion.

    We could manage perfectly well on a tiny fraction of the resources we currently waste and there would be more than enough to go around. The technology is increasingly available for more efficient systems to educate the poor, supply everybody with all the energy they need, comfortable housing, and sufficient food for a good life. We now have computers that use a tiny trickle of energy, that communicate all around the globe, and that can hold vast libraries of free information.

    The problem would be well on its way to being solved already if we pulled our whiney heads out of our arses instead of crapping on endlessly that “it can’t be done so we gotta do something terrible to those other people over there or else we all gonna die”.

    Harquebus, you go on and on about we’re all doomed, yet you say you’re concerned for the Earth, while never offering solutions. You just appear to love the fear and horror of it all going wrong. There is no better way to bring the doom scenario down on us all than to paralyse people by insisting there’s no way to fix it. As a side-effect it panics people into doing despicable things to each other.

    There are a number of very clear solutions. A lot of people are hard at work fixing things despite the doomsayers and the damnable denialist naysayers. Is it situation dangerous? Yes, it is. Will we fix it in time? Nobody knows, but it sure doesn’t help with the likes of you rubbing his hands together in gleeful delight at the prospect of it all going belly-up. Learn about the solutions for effs sake and stop with the end of the world bullshit. Jeezus!

  164. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I support your never-say-die attitude every day.

    Harquebus is right to shout in our faces how our society has f*cked up but I agree with your defiance that it is not terminal.

    The question is HOW we pull together to FIND the road to take to achieve to keep living in equitable opportunity and sustainability.

  165. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Michael Taylor,

    did you have any interactions with Janette Howard. What was she like? Was she just a polly’s wife or was she a ring-master?

    What would her motivations be to deny human rights to others?

  166. Harquebus

    Miriam English.
    “We could manage perfectly well on a tiny fraction of the resources we currently waste”
    We can, the economy can’t. When the credit cards stop working, everything stops.
    “it sure doesn’t help with the likes of you rubbing his hands together in gleeful delight at the prospect of it all going belly-up.”
    Yeah right! The very thing that I have been campaigning for years to avoid. You were better when you were only trying to put words in my mouth.
    You have no understanding of the relationship between energy, its diminishing returns and the affect on the economy that this is having. QE, ZIRP and NIRP are symptoms of this phenomenon. Some links for you below. I suggest that you read them before you embarrass yourself further.

    For what it is worth, here is what I would do:
    1: Forget economics. It is “fatally” flawed. It has polluted the planet, poisoned us all, does not factor physics nor the environment and is what has got us into this mess in the first place.
    2: Implement national and encourage international population reduction strategies otherwise, one way or another, nature will drag us back to sustainable levels and it won’t be pretty.
    3: Properly manage our finite resources which, are currently being pillaged.
    4: Reduce consumption using quotas and not with unfair taxation. We can not borrow our way to sustainability and we can not shop our way to prosperity.
    5: Plant lots and lots of trees. Massive scale reforestation will help the climate, rainfall and be a valuable renewable resource for future generations.
    6: Restore the liberties and freedoms stolen from us by corporate serving politicians.

    “The stationary phase (about now in the history of human civilization) is when the net energy coming from the resources is inadequate to propel further net growth as forces of entropy in the form of pollution externalities and social/political entropy begin to take a toll.”

    We Need More Growth!

    “Present consumption levels are achieved because resource and ecological “stocks” are being depleted much faster than they can regenerate.

    · The quantity of rock that has to be dug up increases. For ores at half the initial grade the quantity doubles, and so does the energy needed to dig, transport and crush it.
    · Poorer ores require finer grinding and more chemical reagents to release mineral components, meaning greater energy demand and waste treatment.
    · Meanwhile the easiest deposits to access are being depleted so it takes more energy to find, get to, and work the newer ones. They tend to be further away, deeper, and smaller.

    “Nearly all fisheries are being over-fished and the global fish catch is likely to go down from here on. The mass of big fish in the oceans, such as shark and tuna, is now only 10% of what it was some decades ago.”

    “Although the original authors of The Limits to Growth, led by Donella Meadows, caution against tying their predictions too tightly to a specific year, the actual trends of the past four decades are not far off from the what was predicted by the study’s models. A recent paper examining the original 1972 study goes so far as to say that the study’s predictions are well on course to being borne out.”
    “All the while, governments cling to the idea that “green capitalism” will magically pull humanity out of the frying pan.”
    “As long as we have an economic system that allows private capital to accumulate without limit on a finite planet, and externalize the costs, in a system that requires endless growth, there is no real prospect of making the drastic changes necessary to head off a very painful future.”

    Limits to Growth is on schedule. Collapse likely around 2020

    Only a few years left.

    Michael Taylor.
    Not “probably”, is.
    I just glad to have found something that we can all agree on.

  167. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I actually respect John Howard’s recriprocal respect for Janette Howard, his wife. That says a lot for grassroots relationships. That’s where they both originated albeit their self-entitled superiority.

    However, John Howard was also our PM and she was his No 2 symbolically. So, HOW do we assess the two of them for posterity?

    Howard failed us re Iraq War and Tampar and neoliberalism generally, not to mention GST so when are he and his ilk going to be silenced for good?

  168. Michael Taylor

    I recall that in 2007, after saying he would hand over the reigns to Costello, changed his mind after consulting with his wife. He was deservedly mocked for this.

  169. Carol Taylor

    Janette also talked little Johnny into having chaplains in schools to prove their godliness. Tanya Costello got a bit of her own back by revealing Janette’s opinion that she would rather throw the keys of The Lodge into Lake Burley Griffin than hand them over graciously to Therese Rein..Therese not being of the same social class as Hyacinth.

  170. Harquebus

    Are the Howards millionaires?

  171. Miriam English

    Harquebus, as I said, you dance around gleefully yelling that the sky is falling. You don’t give any solutions you simply scream over and over again how terrible it is going to be for everybody.

    Your numbered points above are not solutions, they are simply a restating of your panic-points. You did almost give one solution: to plant more trees. It is a good beginning, but not much more than a hand-wavey suggestion (reminiscent of Tony Abbott’s “solution”). Of course we should be planting more trees! We also need to stop the large-scale land-clearing in QLD since Newman enabled it. We need to to keep up public opinion campaigns to get large corporations, such as Pepsi to stop funding massive deforestation in Indonesia. We need to spread the news that it is possible to reestablish, to a large degree, forests (my parents bought a barren, depleted ex-pineapple farm and turned it into mostly native forest in just 25 years). If you look at towns in Australia over the last few decades you’ll see that they have become progressively more treed. People like having trees. That must be fostered. There is an increasing move to put rooftop gardens on buildings. In some places it is now a legal requirement that new buildings must have them.

    But read the rest of your reply. It is basically the same thing you always do: It’s the end of the world.

    It doesn’t work. You either scare the pants off people so they give up, or they dismiss you as a crank and cease to listen.

    The way you get change is to illuminate directions to go. Don’t eagerly tell them all roads lead to doom. That’s counterproductive and lazy… and it’s wrong.

    I’m tempted list many of the ways forward, but I know you never actually read my posts. I’ve explained much of it before and you continue your headless chicken act regardless.

    Just one thing I’ll reply specifically to (though I don’t know why I bother). All the studies on energy and the economy that you refer to use the same old, outmoded projections that the energy companies used when they got their energy forecasts so completely wrong over the last few years. Energy use is going down instead of up. Blind Freddy could see it, and a moment’s thought is all that’s needed to see why. Given the opportunity, people prefer to use more efficient systems. We need to be encouraging that and helping to push that along, and working to change the way energy companies sell their product (not kWHs, but service as some in USA have begun doing). The worst thing to do is to be screaming (on the basis of flawed projections) that we’re all screwed because we won’t have enough energy. But of course you’ll stick with the doomsday scenario. It’s far more satisfying to you, because you don’t really want change. If you did, you’d be working to show people how to achieve it. But it’s unlikely you have read my reply so I’m almost certainly wasting my time.

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