Day to Day Politics: Dutton still doing it.
Friday 20 October 2017
On 19 October 2016 I wrote the following:
The Prime Minister was interviewed by Fran Kelly on the ABC Tuesday. I sat and watched as he tempestuously answered questions about Monday night’s Four Corners program concerning the conditions asylum seekers endure on Manus and Nauru.
I was overcome with sadness that this man could not manage a scintilla of sympathy for their plight. Only the tired well-worn Duttonish words of blame escaped his lips. The same words repeated as if no others existed. Words destined to be repeated endlessly until death do they part, for they have been sentenced to a life of incarceration, and not a crime have they done. He had no answers for the plight of children. Nor did he seem to care.
Alas the evil still continues. What follows is an extract of an UNHCR press release. A year on the plight of these people continues. How much longer are they to continue this indignation of being locked up: sentenced to the humiliation of being treated like criminals when they are not. This is not the Australia I grew up in.
This is the politics of hatred that goes beyond explanation. And it is not as though there aren’t solutions,there are some,but they seem to be beyond the conscience of our government.
Australia Must Prevent Looming Humanitarian Emergency in Papua New Guinea
By UNHCR Regional Representation in Canberra | 18 October 2017
“UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, urges Australia to take responsibility and address the imminent humanitarian crisis for refugees and asylum-seekers in Papua New Guinea. UNHCR is profoundly troubled by the mounting risks of ‘offshore processing’ arrangements, and their extraordinary human toll, as Australia seeks to abruptly decrease its support by the end of October.
UNHCR has consistently stressed the need for ongoing essential services for refugees and asylum-seekers to the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Despite this, appropriate steps to avoid further tragedy and harm to vulnerable people have not been taken.
UNHCR’s most recent comprehensive missions to Papua New Guinea in May and September 2017 have amplified longstanding concerns for the health and well-being of refugees and asylum-seekers there. Local emergency medical services are overstretched, and unable to meet the additional needs of the transferred population. The discontinuation of torture and trauma services is also particularly worrying in a context where people seeking protection have suffered the negative effects of prolonged and open-ended detention.
A lack of proper planning for the closure of existing facilities, insufficient consultation with the Papua New Guinean community, and the absence of long-term solutions for those not included in the relocation arrangement to the United States of America, has increased an already critical risk of instability and harm.
“Having created the present crisis, to now abandon the same acutely vulnerable human beings would be unconscionable”, said Thomas Albrecht, UNHCR’s Regional Representative in Canberra. “Legally and morally, Australia cannot walk away from all those it has forcibly transferred to Papua New Guinea and Nauru.”
UNHCR renews its call for Australia to meet its obligations to those who have sought its protection and particularly to provide ongoing, adequate care and long-term solutions. UNHCR encourages not only the Government of Australia, but all Australian parliamentarians and leaders to prevent this looming humanitarian emergency.
Approximately 3,000 refugees and asylum-seekers have been forcibly transferred by Australia to ‘offshore processing’ facilities in Papua New Guinea and Nauru since the introduction of the current policy in 2013. Of these, some 1,200 remain in Nauru and 900 in Papua New Guinea.
Following the Australia-United States’ relocation arrangement, UNHCR has referred more than 1,200 refugees to the United States of America over the past nine months. Another 500 people are still waiting for the outcome of the refugee status determination processing being carried out by authorities in Papua New Guinea and Nauru, under the Australian arrangement. Long-term solutions remain needed for all people transferred by Australia to Papua New Guinea and Nauru.
Neither Papua New Guinea nor Nauru are appropriate places of even temporary integration for these refugees and asylum-seekers, particularly given their acute needs as a result of prolonged, indefinite detention.
UNHCR has raised serious concerns with the Governments of Australia and Papua New Guinea respectively since the announcement in April 2017 that the Manus Island ‘Regional Processing Centre’ would close by the end of October. These include health, physical security, accommodation and welfare arrangements.
With already drastically reduced health services, there are no crisis emergency health services available to the refugee and asylum-seeker population outside the ‘Regional Processing Centre’. They are left to present to the local General Hospital (without sufficient capacity even for the Papua New Guinean population). Twice-weekly consultations by IHMS at the East Lorengau ‘Transit Centre’ are insufficient.
Critical torture and trauma services have been discontinued, with the previous service provider departing Manus Island on 8 October 2017. One of the principal concerns is a severe lack of psychiatric doctors practicing in the Papua New Guinea community.
There is also a worrying lack of continuity for all other services including security and basic welfare. As of today, there is no clear planning for new contracts to even begin. Current service providers have advised UNHCR that a 4-week handover would be the minimum needed. Given the punitive and harmful conditions refugees and asylum-seekers have been placed in, specialist expertise is required. UNHCR is gravely concerned that sufficient expertise is not being maintained.
Since UNHCR’s repeated calls from April 2016 that refugees and asylum-seekers be moved to humane conditions with adequate services for their needs, four recognized refugees have tragically died in Papua New Guinea.”
My thought for the day
“When we go out of our way to help someone less fortunate we cannot avoid helping ourselves.”
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calling a spade a spade, dutton is a fascist. that is obvious.
And the Minister for Immigration will as always be unavailable for comment but oddly he will be available for his usual inane rant with Ray Hadley on 2GB.
A massive failure of policy contributed to by both major parties exacerbated and compounded by the lack of action by an incompetent and lazy minister for Immigration.
Rather than bring all Rohingya, trapped in PNG, into safety, this government offers bribes. They are prepared to send women and children back to a nation where they are at high risk of being killed. It is a joke that we are thinking that we qualify for UNHCR.
The rabbott has put so much fear into us that we will ignore such consequences, and support such terrible decisions.
Indeed the attack dogs of the LNP will make sure we will punish any labor moves to bring them to Australia.
Whoever has the job of immigration minister in a government really gets a thankless job. They have to have tough policies to keep some semblance of border control, yet that comes with being despised by most of the voting public. Compare that with Foreign Affairs, where they seem to just swan around the world giving aid money here or there. Then when they leave politics they use all the contacts they established to land cushy OS posts.
Jack, are you trying to make excuses for Dutton. That inhumane creature is the personification of evil.
Jack. NO excuses for inhumanity. Ever.
Thank you John Lord for writing this, someone still cares about what’s happening to those asylum seekers still remaining Manus…
Also, I think wam is the first person here on AIMN to even mention Rohingya people and their problems…
Where are the people who care. as John writes, Oz was not always like this, heartless.
I had a coffee with another dog lover /walker, and in no times he started to bad-mouth Muslims in this country; is there a secret Pauline inside of most people….I was stunned as I mainly see white Anglos around the place…even the local Chinese has local white girls as waitresses….
My wife hates Dutton more than me; so he must be bad.
There is a related article by Michelle Grattan about the new Home Affairs Dept, Dutton and Pezzullo over at The Conversation. Scary stuff that Dutton and Pezzullo are cobbling together and it seems that Bookends Brandis, of all people, is pushing back against it in the name of “the rule of law”. A minor victory in the Senate during the week when Dutton’s push to “strengthen” citizenship laws and do away with any appeals to his decisions failed. But he vows “to be back” – and he will with his storm troopers and ASIO.
“This is the politics of hatred that goes beyond explanation. And it is not as though there aren’t solutions, there are some, but they seem to be beyond the conscience of our government.”
“The federal government has awarded a lucrative contract running facilities on Nauru to a Queensland-based engineering firm, despite the company having no experience in providing refugee services and being axed from a controversial Indigenous housing initiative in the Northern Territory.
Canstruct International Pty Ltd has been awarded an $8 million contract to run “garrison and welfare services” for the island’s refugee processing centres for the next six months.”
“Government disclosures reveal that Canstruct has previously been awarded building and project management contracts for Australia’s detention facilities on Nauru that have cost the taxpayer more than $600 million since 2012.
The company’s expanded role in Nauru will not be the first time it has been caught up in controversy.
In 2010, Canstruct and its subsidiary Force 10 were part of a consortium known as Earth Connect Alliance that was axed from a $672 million public housing initiative aimed at easing overcrowding in the Northern Territory’s Indigenous communities.
That initiative, called the Strategic Indigenous Housing and Infrastructure Program (SIHIP), was a joint Commonwealth-NT venture instituted by the Rudd government in 2008 that was meant to bring lasting solutions to remote housing problems in the NT following the Intervention.”
“At the time, Canstruct’s founder, Robin Murphy said that the alliance was being used as a scapegoat for “poorly thought-out policy made on the run”.
“We don’t build shoddy houses,” Mr Murphy told News Corp. “Somebody had to take the blame for or be blamed for the fact that there were so few houses built.””
Our government, with its politics of hatred, seems to have recidivist beneficiaries. The solutions are obvious. They don’t even require conscience. Which is lucky, as that is one attribute this government will never be accused of. Any argument made on the simple basis of cost analysis or application of the numerous treaties we are signatory to will suffice.
Mr Smith’s link at 9.55 demonstrates the only reason this will not occur. The Dutton/Pezzullo empire. That Brandis is a voice of reason is a pleasant surprise. That Brandis will be removed is no surprise.
Helvityni, having had the incredible privilege of befriending members of both the Rohingya and Chin communities here in Melbourne, I am in awe of their optimism and generosity of spirit. Unlike Dutton’s portrayal of them, they are not insular or isolationist. They are absolutely inspiring.
Thank you Mr Lord and commenters. Take care
Hi folk my opinion, we should be very angry at whats going on , the line that they do it so we have to do it, ie. keep em locked up in “detention” this was Labors defense for having off shore detention this is long passed and now IMHO I think it’s about keeping the rich richer this is what the corporate – Liberals totally strive for and they always have. I’m talking about the corporate companies that run these detention centers and many others.
Our world is changing and not in a good way corporate greed is running amok with human lives here and around the world and I fear for future generations as we have failed to stop their evil greed with their illegal wars
Aah but don’t have a RC into the banks it might help stop some rampant greed. G’day.
You have to be effing kidding me!
Oohh, I see they are doing it to stop evil terrorists posing as immigrants from training their dogs to bite posties and piss on photos of Heinrich Dutton.
At over $400,000 each per annum, it would be cheaper to bring them here and give them $200,000 to start a business, then spend the extra on services which this rabble have cut to pay for war toys and Dutton’s private fiefdom.