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Tag Archives: Christmas Island

‘Day to Day Politics’ with John Lord

Saturday 21 November

1. Whether those of us on the left of politics like it or not it has to be recognised that as Marius Bensen puts it:

The Australian public has been watching Turnbull in different roles on the public stage for decades, but it looks like his performance as Prime Minister is the most acclaimed to date’”.

For years now Australians have been complaining about the quality of our leaders and the revolving door quality of it. In the absence of a Whitlam-like figure has Turnbull maintained the rotation?

2. A wooden boat has neared Christmas Island and been boarded by the navy, sparking speculation it could carry asylum-seekers. Will they really just tow it back to sea, wave goodbye and shout “safe journey”? Is that what they call saving lives at sea?

3. Clive Palmer is advocating that only the Church should have the right to marry people. Everyone else gets a civil union. Now that’s equality for you.

4. Yesterday I wrote that Scott Morisson said he was back on track to a surplus. But what is the importance of a surplus?

In the past 79 years we have had 12 of any significance. Once by Ben Chifley, three times by Bob Hawke, and eight times by John Howard, who shared another with Rudd, who was elected during the 2007-08 fiscal year. The surpluses by Howard came from an unprecedented, never to be repeated mining boom and the sale of public assets.

5. The Arts community was stunned when the Abbott Government announced earlier this year it would redirect $104.7 million from the Australia Council to a new fund administered by the Arts Ministry. New Communications and Arts Minister Mitch Fifield has come up with new guidelines for the distribution of funds but is it just a rebrand or a meaningful plan?

6. On a not so newsy day here is something to think about:

“The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play.  It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile” (​Robert Kennedy 1968).

7. The weekly poll aggregate reading now has the Coalition well ahead of its position at the 2013 election, with Bill Shorten’s personal ratings continuing to sink. The latest is 54.4-45.6 to the Coalition

8. It says much about the decline in American society when an individual of dubious character like Donald Trump could even remotely be considered worthy of standing for the highest office. Suggesting that some citizens should wear something that identified them as somehow different from other citizens is obnoxiously outrageous in the worst possible way. American freedom?

9. In a week and a half the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will begin in Paris. Delegates from 195 countries, plus representatives from countless companies and NGOs, will come together with the avowed goal of reaching an agreement on climate and emissions. I dare to hope that I will never have to say this again:

“In terms of the environment. I wonder what price the people of tomorrow will pay for the stupidity of today”.

All up, there will be more than 40,000 attendees. That’s a lot of delegates, but what they’re trying to achieve is a colossal enterprise that will affect the billions now living and all those who will ever be born.

MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Free speech does not mean it should be free from ethics. Like truth for example”.

Set the girls free, Mr Turnbull

A letter from the heart, by Bob Rafto

Dear PM Turnbull

During Abbott’s tenure as PM the population was on high alert, not because of any terrorist threat but because of what crazy thing Abbott might do next. The country breathed a big sigh of relief when the Flickman arrived to give him the flick, and then you went about like Mr Sheen trying to give a gleam to the LNP, which according to the opinion polls, now has a wonderful shine.

So far it is working for you, Mr Turnbull, and with that in mind I’m writing to you to open up your heart on behalf of the Australian people to process the refugees on Nauru, Manus and Christmas Island to have them settle on the mainland, a place ‘we call home’ by Christmas. And that would certainly be a Christian thing to do, and an Aussie one as well.

I want to draw your attention, in particular, to the two girls in the above photo. The girl in the left of the picture is ill and has been for a long time. She was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and she replied “Anything, to be free”. You can grant that wish, Mr Turnbull.

The girls have seen the horrors of war in their homeland and have fled their country with their parents only to be incarcerated in an inhumane hell hole of Nauru. When is enough persecution on innocent refugees and children enough?

If the claim to have stopped the boats is valid then there is no reason to have these refugees held any longer as ‘examples’ to the world of the ‘torture treatment’ we Aussies dish out to asylum seekers who attempt to arrive here by boat.

Mr Turnbull, you have the power to reset the nation’s heart by bringing the refugees to the mainland and close the offshore detention centres. With your ‘electorate loving’ charm you can persuade the nation that by bringing the refugees to the mainland there won’t be a need for the offshore centres, as you’ve stopped the boats and are saving us billions of dollars a year. And further, it will end the UN condemnation of our ill-treatment to refugees . . . a reputation that we don’t deserve (or do we?) and one for you, as only you have the power, to set right.

Set the girls free Mr. Turnbull!

With Great Expectations

Bob Rafto

 

Dutton has lost control.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has well and truly lost control of his portfolio. The past year alone provides a rich field of examples of Dutton’s incompetency. There are many instances which highlight the absurdity of his excuses, claims and justifications for the Coalition’s appalling policies. Yet despite a growing list of clear failures, there is a noticeable absence of demands for accountability. Dutton continues his awful attempts to defend the indefensible and the general public laps it up, convinced by the Government’s lies that it is all for the greater good.

Dutton has demonstrated many failures. A man with his level of ineptitude and incompetency in the private sector would have been fired a long time ago. A man in his position in any other institution, would be loudly condemned, and subject to a fiercely independent investigation at a minimum.

The latest in the string of absurdities must be Dutton’s reaction over the recent death of a person under his care and the following riot on Christmas Island. Dutton brushed off the seventh known death of an asylum seeker since early 2014, with little more than a ‘meh’, followed by loud accusations of violent, hardened criminals causing trouble for no reason at all in the remote prison. Not only does Dutton fail to recognise or even faintly appreciate the duty of care he owes to asylum seekers detained under this watch, but he loudly refutes the provable fact that violent criminals, minor offenders and asylum seekers have all been mixed together and none would be there at all if it wasn’t for him and his party’s policies.

The totally preventable death of Fazel Chegeni is the doing of Dutton. The riot, which looks to cost the Australian taxpayer $10 million dollars, on top of the $100 million dollar blowout in the billion dollar cost of offshore detention, is the doing of Dutton.

Dutton is responsible, and in being responsible, must be the most incompetent Immigration Minister since the equally appalling performance of former Minister Scott Morrison.

If Dutton was an employee in any private organisation, he would have been sacked long ago for gross incompetence. If any individual person was paying Dutton’s remuneration, he would have been sacked long ago. Yet the Australian public, every individual tax payer is paying for Dutton, and yet he continues, unchecked, with calculated, deliberate lies to try and cover up his incompetency. And Australia does not hold him to account.

The mysterious death of Fazel Chegeni, a refugee whose body was found after being chased through the Christmas Island jungle by guards, follows other preventable and inexcusable deaths. In October, out of fear of being returned to detention and dying a slow death at Dutton’s hands, Khodayar Amini doused himself in petrol and self-immolated. Leo Seemanpillai did the same last year. Asylum seeker ‘Reza’, fearing deportation on Dutton’s orders, was found dead at Brisbane airport. Earlier, Nasim Najafi was attacked while under Dutton’s care, placed in solitary confinement, and committed suicide.

Dutton is responsible for these deaths. Just like former Minister Scott Morrison was responsible for Reza Barati’s murder on Manus Island, and for Hamid Kehazaei who died from a septicaemia after a treatable infection on his cut foot was ignored.

Dutton holds the power to giving these people hope, freedom and a chance of a life. Dutton refuses.

Dutton, whose actions are slowly killing the people under his care, is doing his best to convince asylum seekers that it is better to return to their own countries and risk death in a warzone, than die a slow and lingering death under his watch. ‘Khaled’, who saw his own father murdered after they both worked as military interpreters for the US, was coerced into returning to the very city he fled from in Iraq. Officials from Dutton’s Department coerced another man, Eyad, to return to Syria, where he was tortured for twenty days by government officers, before finally making it to his home. A short time later he was injured in a shell attack, which killed his father on the spot. Dutton is responsible for this.

If any other person was responsible for so many deaths, so many atrocities, so much harm, they’d be imprisoned themselves. Not Dutton. No, he is being paid by the Australian tax payer to continue his torturous regime.

Who can forget the boatloads of Tamil asylum seekers Dutton returned to Sri Lanka, despite being subject to persecution? And his refusal to help rescue Rohingya refugees stranded at sea? Or the Vietnamese asylum seekers who were returned by Dutton, some of which were arrested and detained immediately on their return to Vietnam?

And of course there is Dutton’s implied admission that his Department paid people smugglers, in a clear breach of international law, backed up by an Amnesty International report finding enough evidence that it happened.

Dutton is determined to continue to expose children to sexual abuse, assault and torture. The Government-commissioned Moss Report, the Forgotten Children Report from the Australian Human Rights Commission, and a Senate Committee Inquiry found that offshore detention is not safe for families and children. Earlier this year Dutton ordered the transfer of a five month old baby, Asha, to Nauru, where her desperate mother is still gravely concerned for her health. Fully qualified, professional Australian doctors have labelled the Government’s treatment of asylum seeker children as torture. Dutton is unrepentant. Instead of addressing the shocking claims, he made it illegal for ‘entrusted people’ to report the abuse, threatening doctors, nurses, councillors and teachers with two years jail.

The Australian tax payer is financing this abhorrent situation. Every Australian is paying for Dutton to put in place laws to incarcerate anyone who tries to hold Dutton to account.

Dutton refused for months to help a woman who had been brutally raped while under his care. Abyan, another refugee who fell pregnant after being raped, was also denied treatment in Australia until a mass public outcry. Dutton, insistently lying to the Australian public and the world about the poor woman’s situation, despite even the Coalition’s biggest supporter, Chris Kenny, backing up her advocates, has not been held to account for his lies. Dutton only acted after a scathing press statement from the United Nations, yet he still insists that denying a traumatised woman access to a counsellor and expert medical care is appropriate treatment.

Dutton deliberately seeks to expose vulnerable men, women and children to further harm.

According to Dutton, pregnant women under his care who request to give birth in Australia are trying to blackmail him, are taking him for a ‘mug’, and are partaking in a racket to get to Australia. According to Dutton, it is acceptable to force women under his care to give birth in a third world hospital on Nauru, where a newborn baby is seven times more likely to die at birth, and the mother is fifty times more likely to die during childbirth. Dutton has ignored medical professionals and the Australian Medical Association who insist Golestan, a diabetic woman, must be immediately flown to Australia to give birth. Golestan is suffering a complex pregnancy, and despite medical staff expecting her baby will require specialist care, Dutton insists on risking the baby’s life. Will Dutton sacrifice the life of an innocent baby in his race to provide crueler conditions than those which the asylum seekers have fled from?

It is not just asylum seekers Dutton treats with loathing and contempt. A freedom of information request by Fairfax media revealed that Dutton deliberately misled the public when he said there was no way his Border Force agents would be doing random spot checks on unsuspecting and law-abiding Melburnians in August this year.

Spooked by a backlash to the press release that Government agents would stop and speak with anyone they came across during Operation Fortitude in Melbourne’s CBD, Dutton’s kneejerk response at the time was to deny all knowledge of such a planned venture.

What kind of Minister thinks it’s acceptable and lawful to expect people to carry, and produce on demand, their ‘papers’ while out shopping on a weekend? What kind of Minister then lies to say it was never planned? Obviously one who mistakenly thought Australia was a police state, or one who is grossly incompetent. Dutton forgets he is an elected representative paid for by the Australian taxpayer to represent the Australian people, not treat the very people who elected him as criminals.

Speaking of taxpayers, voters, and Christmas Island, Dutton demonstrates yet again his inability to tell the truth. Despite deliberately, unrepentantly and viciously detaining and deporting any non-citizens who have suddenly become socially undesirable, no matter how minor their wrong-doing, or the absence of any actual offence at all, Dutton is adamant only the most violent and hardened criminals are subject to section 501 of the Migration Act. Many of these people have lived in Australia for their entire lives. They have voted in elections. Many have paid their taxes and contributed positively to the community for decades. They have families, wives, husbands, partners, siblings, parents and children in Australia.

According to Dutton, a decorated New Zealand soldier, Ngati Kanohi Haapu, known as Ko, must be banished forever, despite having no criminal convictions whatsoever. Ko’s ‘character issue’ is that he is allegedly a member of a one percent motorcycle club. Despite no motorcycle club being proven to be a criminal organisation, and police and law enforcement agencies being unable to produce sufficient evidence of such, Ko has been detained and set for deportation.

Ko has committed no crime. Not like Dutton, who has paid people smugglers, enabled and condoned child abuse, rape, and torture, and is responsible for at least five of the seven known deaths of asylum seekers.

According to Dutton, a New Zealand born mother of six, who has served her time for minor drug offences is a violent, hardened criminal. If this woman had been born in Australia she would serve her time and move on with her life. But no, according to Dutton, she must be banished from Australia, despite serving her sentence, because a faceless bureaucrat has applied a mandatory provision enacted on Dutton’s command, that she be deported.

According to Dutton, a single mother of two, charged with shoplifting is such a threat to the Australian public, she should be incarcerated, away from her young child and teen daughter – banished forever from Australia, because of Dutton. There is no such thing as rehabilitation or having ‘done one’s time’ under Dutton’s watch.

According to Dutton, a quadriplegic man, who served time for self-medicating with painkillers, is such a threat to the Australian public, he must be deported, never to return to the land he called home.

According to Dutton, a British man, who has lived in Australia for fifty of his fifty-one years, who in a moment of stupidity lit a scrub fire in which no people or property were harmed, is a violent and hardened criminal. Because according to Dutton, only violent and hardened criminals are being held on Christmas Island.

Where are the cries for Dutton’s resignation? Why is the Opposition silent? Why is Bill Shorten not calling for Dutton to stand down or be sacked? Why is the mainstream media not demanding more answers?

No person in anything other than a criminal organisation, a fascist, police state or dictatorship would get away with such criminal behaviour, and wilful and deliberate lies to the domestic and international community.

How many more families will be ripped apart by Dutton’s arbitrarily applied laws? How many more people must die a violent, painful and preventable death under Dutton’s watch? How many innocent children will lose their parents, and how many parents will lose their children at Dutton’s hands? The Government and the weak opposition, the detention centre contractors, and all the faceless bureaucrats, are complicit in the deaths, torture, and inhumane treatment of people under Australia’s care. Every Australian who does not make a stand against the cruel regime, is complicit.

Enough is enough. Rape, murder, suicide, torture, child abuse, violent assaults, death from medical neglect, and wilful destruction of families is all in a day’s work with Dutton in charge. And every Australian is paying for it.

 

Kurdish refugee has died on Christmas Island

Media release from the Refugee Action Coalition.

It is believed that an Iranian Kurdish refugee, Fazel Chegeni, has died* on Christmas Island.

The man in his early 30s, escaped from the North West Point detention centre 48 hours ago – on Friday 6 November. Detainees had reported that Fazel was missing on Friday.

Detainees in the centre report that police brought the man’s body to the detention centre around 9.00am Christmas Island time, this morning, Sunday 8 November.

The circumstances of his death are not known. But there was a resident was woken around 4.00am this morning at a house in the settlement area and the man disappeared down a track known as “The Incline”.

Fazel arrived in Australian in 2011. He had been found to be a refugee when he was in Curtin Detention Centre, around two and half years ago, but had served time in prison following a fight between detainees at the detention centre. He was detained in Melbourne detention centre after his release from prison, a year ago.

He had been in Christmas Island detention for around 10 weeks after being transferred from Wickham Point, Darwin. He had recently been invited by the Minister to make another protection visa application.

Christmas Island detention centre has been locked down since this morning.

Like so many others, Fazel, was suffering the effects of long-term, arbitrary detention. He had told other detainees that he could no longer stand being in detention and just wanted “to go outside”.

“This is another needless detention death” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition. “This time the death is of a refugee who should never have been in detention”.

“The delay in processing and releasing him is inexcusable. He is a victim of the punitive regime detention regime that cares nothing for the human rights of asylum seekers and refugees”.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul of the Refugee Action Coalition.

* A death has been confirmed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

 

Those are innocent people we are locking up

Image courtesy of news.com.au

Image from news.com.au

Time to treat asylum seekers as we would like to be treated, says James Pateras in this passionate guest post.

As young children we were taught to treat others how we would like to be treated. Sadly, in a haze of misleading political propaganda where the redneck vote is wrongly considered so important we as Australians seem to have forgotten this basic principle.

Asylum seekers are people fleeing from immense persecution and danger. They are often fleeing for their lives and the lives of their family, yet when they reach Australia we treat them like criminals. If you were in a similar situation, if you were fleeing for your life, how would you want to be treated?

Aside from the immorality of treating asylum seekers the way we do, our treatment of these people is also on shaky legal ground.

The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, the principal piece of international law pertaining to refugee matters, states:

A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it . . . 

. . . Can legally apply for asylum in Australia, meaning that being a refugee, being an asylum seeker, is not illegal.

The various pieces of international law surrounding People Movement also state that a person who has entered a country without prior authorisation, but is also seeking asylum, is exempt from any sort of punishment as seeking asylum gives them “good cause” to have entered a country that way. This also means that any form of immigration detention must be administrative and not punitive in nature, however, it would be only fair to draw the conclusion that removing the time limit from detention, and using the threat of a long wait before one will be processed, has meant that immigration detention is now being used as an attempt to punish people who have done nothing wrong, nothing immoral or illegal. Australia is in effect locking up innocent people for indefinite periods of time in what is effectively a prison, or I dare say more accurately a concentration camp, just with a different name.

If an ordinary citizen grabs a guy of the street who has not done anything wrong and tries to detain them in their house – it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that the kidnapper would get life in prison. So then how come the government finds it acceptable to grab asylum seekers that have done nothing wrong, and lock them away, effectively chucking them in prison indefinitely?

A citizen who locks up an innocent person gets a lengthy prison sentence, but the government has locked away thousands of innocent people and has not suffered any punishment for it. By that measure there should be several parliamentarians with lengthy jail sentences over their heads!

Come on Australia, we can do better than this. Tell our politicians we don’t need a Pacific Solution, we don’t need a Malaysian Solution, we don’t need a PNG Solution – we need a humane solution and we want it now.

 

Operation Sovereign Borders. Doubly Disillusioned.

Image from theconversation.com

Image from theconversation.com

Over the past several years Tony Abbott has electioneered on two platforms:  that climate change is crap and that asylum seekers arriving by boats are “illegals”. Abbott also chose to create a sense of urgency, a sense of fear, the fear of the other and an impression that somehow the Australian people were under threat. The nationalistic name which Abbott conjured up, Operation Sovereign Borders consists of the same overblown rhetoric reminiscent of the Bush/Howard era, and is described in the Coalition’s Policy document as a response to “a national emergency”.

With the coming of Tony Abbott to power, Operation Sovereign Borders was described as “gearing up”, and as endorsed by The Australian newspaper, put into action by immediately “shutting down the flow of information on the arrival of asylum vessels and the transfer of people offshore”:

All requests for information from Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Immigration – on issues ranging from boat arrivals, to detention centre capacity levels, the numbers of detainees on Manus Island and Nauru, or violent incidents in the detention network – are now directed to the mobile telephone of Mr Morrison’s press secretary.

This is of such importance, such an emergency that all enquiries must immediately be directed to . . . a press secretary?

The Sydney Morning Herald hence reports:

The public might never be told whether the Coalition is meeting a key election promise in having the navy turn back asylum seeker boats, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has said.

The above is the entire crux of the matter: we might never be told whether or not Tony Abbott is meeting a key election promise and the very promise which for many, won him the election.

It was 27th April 2012 when the headlines from news.com were ablaze with the following:

TONY Abbott will tell Indonesia that people smugglers “disgorging” asylum seekers are like Australians smuggling drugs into Bali should he win government.

The Opposition Leader today said that, if elected Prime Minister, he would fly to Jakarta in his first week to explain his policy of turning back people smuggler boats.

And he would call a double dissolution election if he can’t get his tougher border security measures, including re-introduction of temporary protection visas, through Parliament . . .

“Every illegal boat marks a failure of foreign policy, a failure of security policy and a failure of immigration policy.”……..

Then Immigration Minister Chris Bowen responded with the statement that Abbott was putting relations with Indonesia at risk by again pledging to turn boats back.

“Mr Abbott’s claim that he will have a ‘Jakarta focussed’ foreign policy is questionable as he rides roughshod over the repeated and clear message from Indonesia that they would not agree to towing back the boats,” said Mr Bowen.

It seems that as a matter of public information this issue no longer exists with the urgency now relegated to weekly information sessions or via Scott Morrison’s press secretary, that every illegal boat which “marks a failure of foreign policy” will be information disseminated perhaps accurately but certainly not in a timely manner. Urgency has drifted to once a week information sessions.

Is it that Prime Minister Abbott has  little desire to fulfill his previous commitment to call a double dissolution election on this issue? “Failures” may or may not be known by the public, or even more suspect:  Is it that the Abbott government intends to set its own asylum seeker policy up for failure?

By making conditions so onerous and insulting for the Indonesian government is it that Abbott has a ready-made fall guy?  The vast majority of Abbott’s rhetoric is that he will tell Indonesia what he intends to do with their country – from turning boats back to their shores, to buying fishing boats (en mass it is assumed) from Indonesians, to setting up “transit ports” on their soil. All rhetoric speaks of infringements against Indonesia’s sovereign rights to do what they want in their own country. For Operation Sovereign Boarders to succeed it needs the cooperation of the Indonesian Government, which has not, and will not be forthcoming. For their failure to comply with Abbott’s infringement upon their sovereignty I can see that they are nicely being set-up as the fall guy.

That is only one are of failure. There are possibly more.

Again from the Sydney Morning Herald:

Under Operation Sovereign Borders two frigates, seven patrol boats and numerous Customs vessels will patrol the seas between Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef and Indonesia.

Anzac Class frigates cost about $207,000-a-day to operate compared with $40,000-a-day for Armidale Class Patrol boats.

Seven frigates at $207,000 a day means that Operation Sovereign Boarders would cost the taxpayer over $520M a year for the Navy’s contribution alone. Then there are the Global Hawke Drones, if he decides to go ahead with them, at a cost of $US218M each. How many might he want? In an environment of a budget emergency, how long before the taxpayers rest a little uneasy about the enormous expense of detecting or intercepting the boats that are apparently going to stop coming?

Then there are other logistics. Officials would conduct health checks on the ship or at the port, and the smuggled people would be taken to nearby airports for charter flights direct to Nauru and Manus Island. They can’t go to Indonesia, of course, because Indonesia have sensibly rejected Tony Abbott’s invasive plan.

And which port, by the way?

So we are now back to where we were at any period over the last six years, but at a higher cost to the taxpayer. However, Tony Abbott can no longer blame Kevin Rudd or Julia Gillard so he will directly blame Indonesia. Will this be an excuse to not call a double dissolution? We’ll see.

Operation Sovereign Borders will not only go down as Tony Abbott’s biggest policy flop but one of great expense.

But we’ll never hear about it.

* A post by Michael and Carol Taylor

Some questions hang over the allegations by Larry Pickering

This is the latest email doing the rounds, courtesy of none other than something Larry Pickering dreamed up. It carries an outrageous headline: UP TO 80% OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ARE AFGHANI ARMY DESERTERS.

Now for the email:

“Most illegal immigrants flooding into Australia without papers are composed of Afghani Army personnel”, an employee connected to Christmas Island has claimed.

The processing centre at Christmas Island is being manipulated by corrupt Iranian and Afghani interpreters who advise the army deserters to say they are lowly farmers.

Australian Officials, suspicious of their claims, have been jetting these dodgy detainees in their hundreds to the infamous Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia.

The Centre, described as the “Hell Hole” is in a remote area 2,000, kilometres north of Perth.

Designed to hold 1400 of the most violent and suspect detainees, it was recently all but vacated after the disease Guillain-Barré syndrome broke out affecting locals.

In April 2010, the Rudd government decided to reopen the “horror centre” for what he termed “single male asylum seekers”, and those who fall within the category of, “do not process”.

In charge of security is Serco Plc, a UK publicly listed company, the Asia-Pacific arm of which has been contracted to the Australian Government.

It has each Australian employee on signed confidentiality agreements.

Serco has usurped billions of Australian taxpayer funds, mostly wasted on renting material and white goods that could be purchased outright for the cost of one week’s rent.

Marquees and air conditioning units are ready and rented at $10,000 per week in lots of ten to cater for the expected overflow from Christmas Island.

At least three passenger airliners are chartered permanently to shuffle detainees between centres. As few as three detainees at a time are flown into the Curtin Centre, claimed one employee.

Describing their company Serco Plc said: “We provide catering, recreation, education and excursions, manage accommodation, facilities, maintenance, transport and logistics, security, training and procurement. Our employees look after thousands of people in locations all over Australia, responding to their cultural, religious and individual needs.” Mmmm.

Of most concern is the whereabouts of the 1,000 unprocessed illegal Curtin detainees who have now been dispersed to Australian cities.

“These blokes are rock-hard fit and looking for trouble”, said one Curtin employee.

Sam (not her real name) is a small part Aboriginal girl once employed by Serco.

She is too frightened to talk but an angry relative explained that Sam’s job was to escort groups of these men to Canberra and Melbourne.

They were taken to holding centres before being given bridging visas and were then dispersed into the community, legally unable to work.

After six trips Sam resigned because of the sexual abuse she suffered. Traumatised, she is now living back with her family in Derby.

Enquiries from Derby to Broome, including Police stations have been met with a terse “no comment.”

“Waste is rampant”, said one local. “Tradespeople are charging up to $10 a kilometre to drive to and from the Centre to fix a washer on a tap”.

“I was charging $2 a kilometre until I found out what the other guys were charging, so I put my bill in at $10 per kilometre and they never said a word, they seem to just pay whatever you invoice them for”.

“If one (of the detainees) gets a toothache or anything, someone has to come out from Derby and take them back for treatment. It’s often hours waiting before they are ready to go back”.

“We are not allowed phones there”, said another ex-employee, “but I tested the phones available to the detainees and I could phone anywhere in the world”.

Another informant said that the local Derby refrigeration store, Lindsay Howard, was robbed of thousands of dollars of equipment which somehow found its way to the Curtin Centre on rental agreements. “Nothing came of it”, he said.

“It seems this Serco mob spends more time covering stuff up than doing their job here”.

So us Aussies can look forward to another tranche of thousands of Islamic Afghani army deserters soon to be scattered unprocessed throughout our communities.

Meanwhile, the Gillard Government equivocates over whether legitimate Afghani interpreters, currently risking their lives to assist our army in Afghanistan, should be allowed entry.

They are marked men once we leave. Bloody good eh?

Asylum seekers, my arse!

Let’s have a look at the real figures, which show that Pickering is lying:

At January 31, 2013, 47 per cent of detainees were Sri Lankan nationals, 13 per cent from Iran and 11 per cent from Afghanistan.

Of those in community detention, the largest group were Iranian nationals (34 per cent), followed by Sri Lankans (18 per cent) and Afghan nationals (15 per cent).

It’s fairly hard to work out how 80% of of the illegal immigrant can be Afghani army deserters when Afghans make up only 11% of all detainees. But then, do you really expect Pickering to be honest?

So the first question to Pickering is: “Why have you lied”.

Here are some more questions to Pickering:

  • Do you have evidence that Australian officials are suspicious of their claims?
  • If each Australian employee has signed a confidentiality agreement, why are you risking the security of one of them by broadcasting your statement? In particular, this fellow might be having sleepless nights because of you: “These blokes are rock-hard fit and looking for trouble”, said one Curtin employee. Really, it wouldn’t be too hard for the employer to have this poor person identified.
  • How have billions of dollars been usurped by Serco from the Australian Government? What evidence do you have?
  • Who was traumatising ‘Sam’? Am I to assume it’s the 80% of illegal immigrants who are Afghani army deserters?
  • What enquiries were made to police stations, and which stations? What questions did you ask that encouraged a terse “no comment”.
  • How did you know which locals to talk to? Did anybody really speak to them?
  • Who stole goods off of Lindsay Howard and more importantly, how did he know that they turned up inside the Curtin Centre?
  • Do you have evidence the Gillard Government equivocates over whether legitimate Afghani interpreters should be allowed entry?
  • Why has this story only been published on yours and similar sites, word for word?

One thing that intrigues me is why an informant would single out Pickering to publish his or her story. Why wouldn’t they approach somebody with credibility?

Larry Pickering, as I have written before, has none.

So my last question to Larry Pickering is: “Did you make all this up?”

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