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The atrocity of indefinite and arbitrary immigration detention must stop – support Andrew Wilkie’s Bill

In February last year, Andrew Wilkie introduced a Private Members Bill, seconded by Zali Steggall, calling for an end to the immoral, illegal, and extremely expensive practice of indefinite and arbitrary immigration detention.

In presenting the Bill, Wilkie drew attention to the staggering cost of this irrational cruelty.

It costs approximately $346,000 to hold someone in immigration detention in Australia for one year but it costs only about $10,221 for a refugee or an asylum seeker to live in the community. In fact, the budget for our offshore detention is still running at about $1 billion per year. These figures are breathtaking and almost unbelievable.

To highlight this point, I would refer members of this House to the case of the Tamil family who were taken from regional Queensland and the town of Biloela and put into detention, initially in Melbourne. They’ve been in detention more than 1,000 days. They were moved to Christmas Island in August 2019, where the family remains in legal limbo. The cost of detention for the Biloela family is now estimated to have reached $6 million. This is just absurd. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Surely, even if the government doesn’t care about people, at least they care about the budget bottom line and will stop throwing good money after bad with the cost of detention. It must end.

The individual stories of these refugees and asylum seekers are heart-breaking. Families separated, health issues ignored, no job or education, contact with others restricted or denied, ‘privileges’ removed on a whim, and the mental torture of having no path forward and no end in sight.

In seconding the Bill, Zali Steggall spoke of those who remain in offshore detention and in medevac hotels.

Over December and January we saw the release of 65 of the medevac refugees from hotel immigration detention, including two women; however, 120 medevac refugees, including eight women, remain in detention in Australian hotels. There are still around 230 refugees detained on Nauru and in PNG, and they have been there for more than seven years. It’s impossible to fully comprehend that. Think back to where you were more than seven years ago, and think about how you would be coping with the idea that your life has been indefinitely in limbo—that there is no real avenue, that there is no change, that there is no movement—and you are stuck with no opportunity to live a life, to have a hope of being safe or being part of a community.

This bill puts an end to indefinite detention by imposing a maximum term that immigration detainees can be held without a court order, so it’s an important safeguard for people coming to Australia searching for safety for them and their families. The Biloela family were embraced by their community, only to be torn away and thrown into indefinite detention on Christmas Island at huge costs. I call on the government to implement this legislation to end this torturous program and complete waste of money of indefinite detention immediately.

(Updated statistics on people in detention can be found here)

Nothing underlines the deliberate cruelty of this situation more than the government’s refusal to accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees there. They don’t want a resolution. They want to hold these people hostage seemingly forever, ostensibly as a deterrent to others who might think Australia abides by international law, but with the side benefit of political posturing and the ability to hand out lucrative contracts without scrutiny. And we all know how this government enjoys and uses that power.

Wilkie said Australia needs a more effective pathway to dealing with the global humanitarian crisis that is displaced people and reminded Labor that the problem isn’t going away.

I would say to the alternative government: when you go to the next election, if you want to be an alternative government, you need an alternative policy. A good alternative policy would be to end mandatory detention, end offshore processing and end boat towbacks, and start acting with a bit of moral fibre and in accordance with international law.

The Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention Bill 2021 has been referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Migration inquiry who have invited submissions to be made before 28 January 2022.

If you would like to make a submission, the following gives a brief guide provided by the Australian Refugee Action Network. It need only be a simple letter, or as detailed as you would like:

In your submission you only need to say

  1. What the current situation is and
  2. How the Wilkie Bill would address this problem
  3. What benefits this would have for refugees and Australia’s reputation as a humane and welcoming country

eg In 2022 there are still people who arrived in Australia by boat who have refugee status and who have been in detention for over 8 years. This has had a terrible impact on their physical and mental health. (1.)The Wilkie Bill stipulates that, where possible, people who have refugee status and who are not criminals should be released into the community while they are being processed. (2.)This is a more humane approach than the current policy which involves seemingly “indefinite detention” for people who have escaped persecution in their own country. (3.)


Submissions can be mailed to:

Committee Secretary, Joint Standing Committee on Migration PO Box 6021 Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Or lodged online:

Or emailed to:

Alternatively, you can ring or email your state Senators and local MPs and voice your support for Wilkie’s Bill.

This inhumanity must stop.



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  1. RomeoCharlie29

    Well done, again, KL, I have been an occasional demonstrator against Australia’s dehumanising approach to refugees going as far back as Howard’s children overboard bullshit which cost Kim Beasley an election. Sadly Labor was complicit in the subsequent persecution of refugees but it is the current government, and particularly Morrison and Dutton who have turned this illegal detention into the torture it has become. Wilkie’s bill must pass and I will make a submission in support.

  2. James Robert LEONARD

    Excellent contribution. Sadly, the author has not offset the presentation with the huge contribution to the profits of mates and donors awarded contracts in the refugee abuse industry without even a pretence of proper public tendering processes. Nor is their any mention of the immense sadistic satisfaction provided to those liberals who have administered the process since 2013.

  3. Canguro

    As grotesque as it may sound, I can well imagine these LNP thugs engaging in a circle-jerk of mastubatory self-congratulation at their electoral success in demonising legal asylum seekers and thereby inculcating a sense of same in the unthinking electorate at large.

    Morrison to Dutton; ‘Spud, to the prayer-room, now. That’s an order. Bring the Kleenex.’

  4. corvusboreus

    Personal input into immigration.

    First is numbers and ratios.
    AFAIK we usually range 4 or 5/1 in terms of our voluntary to refugee immigration intake.
    It should also be noted that overstay figures are usually far hreater than unauthorised arrivals seeking refuge.

    This is where environmental realities collides with collective humanitarian obligation.
    We have grown beyond sustainable capacity, but have duty to share at need.

    The immediate solution would seem to be much lower economy based immigration, and a slightly greater regular refuge intake…with significant modification.

    Refuge should be vetted like lifeboats, kids & women up front.

    This policy is a generally accepted tradition with sound foundational basis, yet, in terms of Australia granting refuge of asylum, it is not often clearly articulated.

    Kids and women are more generally disempowered and vulnerable to violence and repression than adult males. This strengthens the general case for prioritised inclusion.

    People outside the 14-55 adult male demographic are also far less likely to commit violent atrocity (sumfin bout dat testostrone stuff), which should also be a serious consideration within vetting priorities.

    Where flight is from theocratic dictate or SATRish primitivism, it is generally the females who are systemically degraded through indoctrinated traditions, especially where God is exclusively male. Such circumstances would seemingly deem flight rescue of females more worthwhile.

    Besides, kiddies & ladies in dinghies sells easier to an readily spooked electorate.

    A boatload of women and children looks like an attempt to settle on shore.
    A boatload of young adult men looks like some variant on a visit by vikings.

  5. Kaye Lee

    The Auditor General produced a scathing report about offshore detention contract management during the time Morrison and Dutton were in charge.

    In 2015, The UN Special Rapporteur on torture found ” the Government of Australia, by failing to provide adequate detention conditions; end the practice of detention of children; and put a stop to the escalating violence and tension at the Regional Processing Centre, has violated the right of the asylum seekers, including children, to be free from torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, as provided by articles 1 and 16 of the CAT. ”

    The Moss Review was released in March 2015, detailing allegations of sexual harassment and abuse of children, young people and women detained in the regional processing centre in Nauru and the government inaction that allowed it to continue

    To cover this madness adequately would require volumes full of tragedy, cruelty, incompetence and collusion. We give millions to corrupt officials to keep this persecution going (eg Cambodia, Nauru). The litany of failures is monumental.

    That’s why we must express our support for Wilkie’s Bill

  6. pierre wilkinson

    hear hear

  7. corvusboreus

    I absolutely support the bill proposed by the independent member for Clarke and cosponsored by the independent member for Warringah.

    Australia should not be spending ridiculous amounts of money to flout court rulings and international law in outsourcing indefinite incarceration in cruel conditions upon people who have not been charged or convicted of any offence.

    It makes no legal, moral or economic sense.

  8. Michael Taylor

    It is beyond my comprehension that we have a government that locks people (and children) up at will. Their crime? Seeking a better life.

    I sincerely hope that a Labor government (hopefully one this year) frees these people. If they were wise they’d do it shortly after winning power in order to get all the media and right-wing rage out of the way early.

    If they had a heart they’d do it anyway.

    I’m not holding my breath.

  9. Al

    There is nothing not to agree with here. It’s utterly appalling. In an autobiography (it might have been that of Munjid Al Muderis), an escapee from Saddam Hussein’s brutal and disgusting prisons pointed out that they were far less awful than the hopelessness of the Australian detention system. (This particular refugee was released.) This dehumanizing detention has also scuppered Australia’s reputation overseas – no more are we seen as the land of the fair go.

    What’s really worrying is that this has bipartisan support: Labor are not much less culpable that the Coalition, although they may be a smidge less actively cruel.

    Readers here may well know their Dante: “Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’entrate.” (“Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”) Note the position of “all” – often misplaced in misquotations. Well, Dante was speaking of hell, but that quote seems to sum up our current detention system. As I said, it’s appalling. It is also shameful, heartbreaking, and sickening.

  10. corvusboreus

    What I really want to hear from the ALP is economic sense and ethical clarity.

    Hate to say, but percentages on GH emissions won’t cut very far.
    Too much muddle & murk around the subject (eg GRNs, CF[M]EU).
    ALP>COAL= good enough for basic preference harvesting.

    Straight out pointing out dumb and dodgy deeds and promising better combined with safeguard against repeat phuqqups will cut through if spoken clearly.

    Robodebt: No more unleashing attack robots without proper programming & a human holding the leash.
    ALP is competent in basic maths & law, and don’t want to hurt our own people. .

    NACC: no mere ‘integrity’ whiteboard, but a fully fledged national anti-corruption commission.
    ALP welcomes open locker inspections & breath testing at the door
    (note: it is vital to deep clean the lockers + fully sober up in order for this one to work)

    Asylum-seeking immigration policy: no more ridiculous largesse on dodgy cruelty.
    ALP will obey court mandates,
    ALP will not subject anyone to extended incarceration without charge or trial,
    ALP will work with willing neighbours about economic and non-horrible solutions (eg constructively talks with NZ re accomodation) rather than bribing reluctant neighbours to do our shadowy nasties.
    Basically, the ALP promises not to blow significant money in order to be petty arseholes.

    Few thoughts.

  11. corvusboreus

    Nicely flavoured in sentiment but very fluffy in substance.
    Needs fruit to pass as a pavlova.

  12. Michael Taylor

    Oh how quickly things can go wrong.

    When Rudd won office he visioned refugees and asylum seekers as an asset to future Australia. He saw them in jobs and contributing to the Australian economy.

    But before they could get jobs, they had to be job ready. He thus established courses for these people that gave them job skills and tips on job seeking.

    What a much better plan that was than spending zillions locking them up and at the same time breaking their spirits.

  13. corvusboreus

    Teaching employment skills along with introductory practical-value civics and natural sciences (eg how does voting work here, what is a ‘rip’, which spiders hurt? [NO CRICKET QUESTIONS!]).

    Providing post-traumatic support for the more severely brutalised, desensitised and otherwise damaged.

    Things that would help heal and grow gooder.

    Instead, Dutton’s multi-departmental monolith legacy is busily spending up big on maintaining goon-guarded gulags in patron status states for purpose of breaking the spirit of offenceless families kinda-kidnapped into indefinite detention, probably done in order principally to further jigger -out the collective moral compass of our nation.

  14. Kaye Lee

    My parents met in the early 50s teaching at Villawood primary school. A lot of migrant kids went there. My father also taught English to the parents at night. In the 60s, I remember my mother having parties where the migrant families would come over. Sometimes it was just the adults and it would be a cocktail party. Other times a dinner party. I never thought about it but, aside from helping them practice English, I suppose she was showing them how we do things here? Though I am not sure soda syphons were necessary knowledge.

  15. Terence Mills

    Thanks, Kaye – this whole issue is so deeply distressing and I am constantly trying to come up with a solution but without a Bill of Rights and as we only tend to pay lip service to our obligations under international human rights treaties, it is never going to be easy tackling these God Botherers (I don’t call them Christians).

    You may recall that when he was the home affairs minister, Peter Dutton, said the decision, in January 2021, to release dozens of refugees who were held in Melbourne hotel rooms for more than a year was a cost-saving measure.

    All of these detainees had been transferred from offshore detention for medical treatment under the now-repealed medevac laws, and were granted bridging visas.

    At the time Dutton told 2GB radio on that the released men had been assessed as not being a threat. He went on to say :

    “It’s cheaper for people to be in the community than it is to be at a hotel or for us to be paying for them to be in detention.”

    He added that it was difficult to return people offshore (PNG won’t allow them back) and that some of the detainees had lodged legal action in Australia.

    In fact, he chose to release these detainees before their cases could get to court where it is highly probable he would have lost and opened up compensation claims for unlawful detention.

    Our legal system can be made to work and as we have seen, the sweeping power of the immigration minister could instantly release other detainees from hotels around Australia : all we need is the threat of court action to provoke this government into action.

  16. corvusboreus

    Simply learning the basic table traditions of how we each eat our foodstuffs is usually a pretty good starter course into more substantial understandings.

    Ps, ‘soda syphons’?

  17. corvusboreus

    Cool, pic gets me down with the general concept of the gizmo.

    Offers a way of putting bubbles into drinking water at far less cost than methanous fracking whilst retaining desirable potability.

    Same/similar technology is occasionally employed in alternative capacity to delivery dosages of N2O for anoxiatively dissociative purposes.

    Glad to know you weren’t saying your mum was doing something like ‘bucket bombing’ or ‘pelican drinking’ in front of the new-new neighbours.

  18. Mark Shields

    I want to take a short step back before arriving at the same conclusion which I think is prevalent here but I’ll start at the end: Migration has never hurt anyone! The migration of cultures has always enriched this pretty little planet: However, after the fear of invasion (slaughter, rape and desecration) transformed human instinct from predator to invader, humans have existed for over 5000 years with the fear of the other (the perpetrator). Let’s not forget, we are still just a primate with an oral history and a very good memory. So after having invented a global military/police/justice system to protect ourselves from other fraudulent primates, we then realised that the threat actually came from within. Throughout evolution, not many species have learnt how to deceive their own species. But we did: Whether it was with religion, culture or imagination it doesn’t really matter because we homo sapiens have become the most adept at inter-species deceit. So when it came to inventing borders to protect so-called “social values” eg. the Greeks, Romans, Chinese and now NATO; it is not surprising to find our duplicit homo-sapien cousins, ready to exploit any border weaknesses: Whether it be Communist/Israeli /Pacific Ocean/African Martial Law/South American corruption etc., in order to escape their sense of tirade and seek somewhere more peaceful to live, we homo-sapiens have always sought safety. Whilst we gratefully live in peace on the southern-most habitable continent on Earth; there are many people on this planet living under extreme difficulty and it would not be disloyal to my own tribe to want to extend assistance to these unfortunate cousins. But when our duplicit genetic cousins try to exploit these landless citizens for passage to somewhere safer at the risk of death/drowning, what are we luxurious cousins supposed to do? Well, placing the survivors on an island was a good start; it allowed our bureacracy to take measure and accurately assess all refugee backgrounds, with the hope of being quickly processed. But what about the illegal smugglers who would continue sending these dangerous/deadly passengers with no risk to themselves? How and should we stop them pouring criminal minds rather than educated professionmals into Australian society? The Australian Navy cannot survey all of its northern waters at all times and frequently misses the illegal vessel which dumped its human cargo in Australian waters. Who do we Australian Tribe of Homo-Sapiens really choose to endorse as citizens and contributors of our existing Culture? All I know, is that I want to see more foreign influence in my pathetically ignorant local town! And I want to see greater explanation of Refugee treatment in this age of Anti-Transparency!

  19. Josephus

    My father fled fascism to serve in the British army. The Quakers got my mother to London in three days after she threw chairs at nazi officials. She became a U.S. army interpreter.
    In their memory I shall compose my letter.
    Remember that the greens and independents need your votes. In Canberra think of supporting human rights professor Kim Rubenstein. Kim4Canberra.
    Remind Labor, if there lies your fealty, of its weak ethics; there but for the grace of circumstance go I . Write. Phone. March. Throw a chair or two if you must.

  20. corvusboreus

    Mark Shields,
    Quick answer to the question in your 2nd to last stanza (partly-informed by inputs from people WAY more long-term localized than me):
    “try to mindfully and deeply look, listen, and get to know the nature of the country you’re walking on, and make some effort not to leave it worse than when you got here”.

    Ps, although my traceable lineage is predominantly NW European, I was born in Australia.
    Therefore I am an Australian of European descent, aka ‘European-Australian’.
    I sure as shite don’t identify myself as ‘Anglo-Saxon’.

  21. Andrew J. Smith

    Not so simple as it’s clear too many from the centre right through left have some indirect and/or implicit support for these policies….. especially when some from Labor inc. MPs who view refugees, immigration and population growth as environmental ‘hygiene’ issues then snatch it when any chance of constraints on fossil fuels are mooted or any attempt on legislation?

    A Labor member friend in Melbourne blames Labor for allowing itself to be wedged on socio-cultural issues, middle class cost of living and Anglo-Irish cultural nostalgia, initiated by Howard’s WASP monarchal sentiments and need to delineate from Keating’s modernism, republic and looking to the future in our region.

    Two key experiences, one speaking with a senior Labor MP post Tampa who complained (privately) that Labor MPs could not really support refugees and at an inner city pub meet of old Labor, she almost stood up and walked out, due to open bigotry.

    This is an Anglosphere political ‘wedge’ by promoting to above median age voters of the ‘majority culture’ a bipartisan mainstreaming of a nativist focus upon all things refugees, borders, immigration, population growth etc.; according to Cafe con leche Republicans it was key tactic of (Steve Bannon’s ‘great replacement’ muse) John Tanton an admirer of the white Australia policy, founder of ZPG, supporter of ‘passive’ eugenics, with indirect funding from fossil fuels, auto etc. oligarchs and presenting as ‘progressive’; astroturfing.

    Basically mainstreaming bigotry, xenophobia, and if not climate science denial, then complicity in delay of any sensible environmental constraints as apparently we are all socioeconomic libertarians now?

  22. corvusboreus

    Start referrencing ‘environmental hygeine issues’ with actual grounding in observable human impacts upon the truly unique parts of the land + water matrix we temporarily borrow the use of (aka make reference to aspects of impacts on endemic biota beyond anthropocentric obsessions),

    Add factors of how locked in changes (eg ‘searise’) are already slated to significantly reduce higher-production landmass,

    Factor in that human populations are projected to peak (median projection) long after current badder-case scientific scenarios project tipping point collapses,

    And extrapolate this against current rates of accelerating ecosystemic and climatic stability decline.

    Then try explaining to me why my concerns over Homo sapien population numbers are a drool-droned retinal-mirror reflection of some racist propaganda by US oil interests.

    Till then you are simply spouting the exact same spiels from the exact same angle.

    Ps you have noteably never found the scientific observation that around 96% of mammalian biomass is Homo sapiens +10 Sp of associate domesticates worthy of remark.

  23. wam

    Why is there not a stink about scummo not accepting the aid offered by adhern and the kiwis??? ps glad to see the shift from climate to global warming. More people are realising humans have ‘conquered’ all continents to live in all climates and theoretically could live on the moons and mars but not venus with its greenhouse effect?
    All animals – the mammals plus fish, insects, worms, birds, and others – account for only 0.37% of biomass. If we go nothing will be felt..

  24. corvusboreus

    You quote an accurate percentage, so i will reply.

    Yes, out of about 550,000,000,000tt of Earthly biomass, around 80% is wood. (Animals are only about 2.7Gt, and most of those animals are boneless).

    A tree of h30m x w0.6m weighs around a tonne, and despite our best efforts there are still a lot of trees.

    Their autotrophic ways are a significant factor in the planetary biosphere maintaining a habitable climate for the 0.37%ers.

    Figures on recent ratio alterations are unavailable (biomass measurement is a newish field) but i reckon there is probably considerably less woodweight than there was a few millenia back.

    I do not know if intricacies like lignal senescience or water percentages were factored in the estimates of comparative lifeweight (I don’t factor in a 1.5kg associative internal microbiome when i step on the scales), but it is an interesting study.

    Your idea of humanity ‘realizing’ we can make successfull interplanetary colonisations brings one tiny problem.

    Consider the provenance sourcing of a meal in Antarctica (the newest ‘conquered’ continent).
    Pretty much every bite taken is grown, processed and packed elsewhere, then shipped in.

    Same applies to ambitions towards the skies.

    Sustainable interplanetary colonisation would require establishing self-sustaining life-supporting ecosystems from scratch, and a pedigree in engineering the extinctions of existent ones does not exactly provide us with a good resume for undertaking that job.

  25. Kaye Lee

    Whilst experts disagree about the peak population number and timing, they all agree on what makes a difference.

    Make contraception easily available, likewise abortion. (I’d add voluntary euthanasia)

    Educate girls and keep them in school longer.

    Empower women to pursue employment.

    Lift people out of poverty.

    Those things will deal with population naturally.

    Consumption, however, is a different matter.

    Politicians who worship the economy rely on increasing population because they think growth is good in and of itself.

  26. corvusboreus

    The various programmes aimed at reducing regional birthrates amongst predominantly brownish people are really just another form of racist eugenics!

    I’ve offered about as much constructive input (including possible methods to dilute demonisation of refuge seekers plus some basic strategy suggestions for the ALP) as I can be bothered to on this topic thread.

    Reckon I’ll leave the hobby-horse floggers to their tail-chasing routines.

  27. Kaye Lee

    I know you don’t mean that.

    Singapore was an interesting example. In the early 80s the government told families to “Stop-at-Two” and backed up the policy with a series of measures to deter couples from having three or more children. It increased hospital fees for the delivery of third babies and withdrew maternity pay.

    Then in March 1987, they changed their mind.. Under the awkward slogan “Have Three or More (if you can afford it)”, the scales tipped abruptly towards those with larger families, who were now given priority for schools and housing. A stable financial future took precedence.

    It has been an interesting discussion but we have strayed from the important issue of the Wilkie Bill which needs our support loudly voiced to the powers that be. Solve one problem at a time or we just get overwhelmed with the enormity of the task.

  28. corvusboreus

    I have chased down info on programmes decried as the legacies of Rockefeller eugenics, and found such to be programmes aimed at delivering health and education resources to females in high birthrate/low opportunity areas.

    Human resistance to human solutions for human problems.
    Phuq humans.

    I bag my own seed and try to reduce my personal impacts.
    That’s my human population policy.

    As for advocacy, I’ll stick to speaking for organisms that can’t shout out for themselves.

  29. wam

    thanks corvus,
    as usual I confused you with my poor writing skills.
    The use of ‘conquered’ may have been the trigger for your out of context answer.
    The context was ‘CLIMATE’ controlled by man as in climate change is not the danger?
    Remember my effort to show that climate changing is a natural ongoing process but greenhouse effect will be catastrophic??
    You scoffed at that on one of lord’s causeries but to me the danger is greenhouse gases and greenhouse effect not ‘climate change’.

  30. Michael Taylor

    It shames me that so many Australians find the policy of detaining refugees as totally acceptable.

    It also shames me that our mainstream media have zero interest on the topic.

  31. Kaye Lee

    “As for advocacy, I’ll stick to speaking for organisms that can’t shout out for themselves.”

    More power to your wing…and beak. (Though I would suggest the refugees have also been denied a voice)

    PS wam, please write out 100 times….global warming causes the climate to change.

    Further reading: it isn’t getting a degree warmer that is scary, it’s the effect that has on the CLIMATE when you do it really quickly

  32. corvusboreus

    I am not interested in another circular discussion on GW-GH-CC linguistic semantics with the resident specialist in garbled gibberish.

    Productive as a game of pigeon chess.

  33. corvusboreus

    On advocacy for incarcerated refuge-seekers.

    I will peck out a quick missive in support of Andrew Wilkie’s bill (The Ending Indefinite and Arbitrary Immigration Detention bill 2021) & send it to the senior clerk of senate commitees.

    I have also attempted to find and communicate some solutions to balance evident humanitarian need with harsh environmental reality, and even tried to offer potential ways to dilute long exploited electorate fears.

    That done, I got phuqall else to give.

  34. Ian Farrell

    Kaye Lee you are incredibly wise, articulate and very well versed in the matters upon which you write. Your posts are succinct and well constructed never veering from the subject you discuss. When your posts are absent you are greatly missed.

    So enough of well deserved platitudes, I found your subject post extremely well prosecuted without digressions and your last comment in response to the post of corvusboreus made immediate impact with me particularly your point about peak population world wise, something that is obvious to myself but apparently still a no-no amongst the masses – “easily available contraception”.

    Here is a major obstacle both religious and political among the (especially male) population of the countries that do not have the means nor climate conditions available to sustain even subsistence levels of food production, particularly during ongoing civil and third party states’ conflicts. And how long have these tragedies been ongoing – well over my lifetime with no lessons learnt by the West nor the entrenched East and West’s religions. Suffer the little children and the mothers forced to breed by ignorant oppressive males whose minds are governed by either and or ignorance, custom, religion. Notwithstanding the suffering of all goes on unmitigated no matter what level of Western aid is supplied to the governments concerned.

    Thank you for your continuing efforts, Ms Lee.

  35. corvusboreus

    Ian Farrell,
    Agree with every syllable.

    FWIW, my opening paragraph 23/1 @ 10:18am was an intemperate outburst of reactive sarcasm, not an expression of genuine personal opinion.

    I do not really think that NGO aid agencies providing societally downtrodden females in impoverished but high-birthrate regions with access to contraception as part of a programme aimed at emancipating education for females and facilitating their reproductive autonomy is ‘racist eugenics’, rather I think it is a sensible & necessary act of global charity.

    I understand that others may differ in opinion.

  36. Al

    A quick comment on Kaye Lee’s post from 9.52am. I thought it was common knowledge that the most effective use of funding was to provide women with education and reproductive choice. It’s simple economics that people are better being productive than otherwise, and families should not be burdened with more children than they can manage. And also, even now, the bulk of home-making and child-rearing falls on women.

    The same sort of simple economic thinking shows that refugees are far better in the community than not. Also, I believe that the greatest number of visa-skippers and “illegal immigrants” have arrived quite honestly, by plane. When John Howard said in 2001 “But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” he was being disingenuous. If Australia is a signatory to the rights of the refugees, then we do not have that choice. We take the refugees as they come. Unfortunately, for the Coalition, Howard is held up as a sort of magical golden boy, and his nasty, calculating, dishonest thinking colours much of their current behaviour.

  37. corvusboreus

    AI et al,
    Firstly I recommend doing a quick search of the ‘population council’ NGO.
    Take note of their clearly stated vision, mission & on-ground methods of operation.

    Then understand that the very same Population Council has previously been excoriated by an all-too regular poster on these pages as a front for the ‘Rockefeller racist eugenics agenda’ (+ Tranton, Ehrlich, ZPG, Attenborough etc).

    Partial background context for corvus spitting out dummy & saying “arrh, phuq this shit!”

  38. wam

    Climate is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years is constantly changing.
    think: if greenhouse gases cause greenhouse effect and the greenhouse effect will destroy the earth. why are you talking about climate???
    if greenhouse gases cause the permafrost to melt and release green house gases why are you talking about climate?
    if the antartic and arctic sea and land ice is melting why are you talking about climate?
    ps keep calm corvus I cannot avoid trying to deal with the fact that climate is constantly changing.

  39. Kaye Lee


    I will take cb’s path here. and not waste any more time on trying to explain again. It is obvious that you are fixated on certain things and will stay that way.

  40. Terence Mills

    This is how taxpayers money is wasted by this government who stubbornly insist on maintaining the detention regime on Nauru :

    Australia’s offshore processing regime on Nauru will cost taxpayers nearly $220m over the next six months as it holds 107 people on the Pacific island.

    Brisbane firm Canstruct International has been awarded a new extension – its eighth non-competitive contract extension – for $218.5m to provide six months of “garrison and welfare services” on Nauru. The company’s total revenue from island contracts over the past five years now totals more than $1.8bn.

    It currently costs Australian taxpayers more than $4m a year to hold one person within the Nauru offshore regime – a little over $11,000 per person per day.

    The government’s latest figures, revealed in Senate estimates, stated 107 people – 81 refugees and 26 asylum seekers – were still held on Nauru.

  41. Consume Less

    Well said Kaye, the ongoing detention is so inhumane and poverty must be eliminated, is the UBI the answer here ? On global warming some scientist calls it ocean warming as the ocean is the biggest absorber of heat so far. When the oceans tank, watch out.

  42. wam

    kaye, me fixated? Are you not aware of how humans can adapt to any climate on earth? But never mind ignore the effects of global warming as anything more than its ability to affect climate. Ignore Venus as the hottest planet (something to do with short and long wavelengths if you understand.) Stick to the ‘balham’, with its ever changing lights green-amber-red approach.

  43. Al

    Kaye doesn’t need my help, but when I see the last few posts by wam I feel compelled to say something. It’s very concerning when climate change is so misunderstood as it seems to be here. Yes indeed humans are very adaptable (up to a point); however our ecosystems are not. We are already seeing the oceans dying of de-oxygenation. Various tipping points have been reached to the extent that’s it’s too late now to do anything but to try and ameliorate the worst outcomes. One terrifying issue is that of the great losses of insect populations: insects are needed to pollinate plants, and without plenty of insects our future is very bleak indeed.

    It’s also worth noting that global warming is just one of many aspects of climate change. Anyway, I recommend to everybody that they read the IPCC reports; at least the summaries at And of course, if you choose not to believe them, you can always do your own research: just get yourself a team of scientists including a mathematician, statistician, chemist, physicist, meteorologist, biologist, oceanographer, agronomist … and get to work with the last 200 years of data.

  44. Kaye Lee

    Since we are going to have to plan for the mass displacement of people due to climate change, the topic is kind of relevant.

    This is an argument about messaging.

    wam doesn’t reject the science. He just thinks global warming sounds scarier because the climate has always changed.

    I disagree. Telling people the average temperature will go up by 2 degrees doesn’t sound too shocking to some. Showing them a map of the coastal properties that will be inundated might get their attention however.

    It is true that the climate has always changed but the rapid warming we’re seeing now can’t be explained by natural cycles of warming and cooling. The kind of changes that would normally happen over hundreds of thousands of years are happening in decades. This is anthropogenic climate change caused by humans burning fossil fuels, cutting down trees, and cultivating huge herds of livestock.

    Anyone who has done a titration should understand about equilibrium and saturation points – drop by drop, nothing happens for ages and then, all of a sudden, one drop too many, we hit a tipping point and the liquid changes colour.

    We are hitting those tipping points.

  45. corvusboreus

    Increasing amounts of warmed-up carbon-heavy outbreath makes a room excessively hot and stuffy to the point of inhabitabilty long before the deadened-life-in-air starts dimming the halogens.

    Loss of tree-cover removes an actively heat-absorbing umbrella, whilst also liberating metric phuqtonnes of H20 from slow-release localised hydrocycle storage into way wilder wider-weather.

    One is an indoor lesson.
    The other requires fieldtrips.

    Ps, on liguistic precision, it is a phuqqen affront to derivative etymology that the word ‘faggot’ has been abusively misappropriated to denigrate male homosexuals without an alternative term being provided for a bundle of twigs string-bound into a pseudo-log for easy-carry kindle or axe-free longer-burnstuff.
    ‘Fascine’ is engineering specific, and ‘fasces’ has harsh authoritarian connotations.

  46. Al

    corvusboreas: it’s possibly a shame that old words take on new meanings, but it’s impossible to stop. And apparently the idea that every word in English has some “correct” immutable meaning is known as the “etymological fallacy”. Words change their meanings all the time. Nubile, awful, nice, gay, enormity, are all used now with meanings different from times past. I don’t myself like the word faggot as a derogatory term, but maybe in time it will be appropriated in the way that queer has been. (Of course, in a properly civilized and sensible society, one’s sexual orientation would be as relatively unimportant as one’s eye colour.) In the meantime we’re stuck with bundle or sheaf for sticks tied together. (I’m sure you know all of this.)

    And if you’re in the English Midlands, where faggots are a traditional sort of meatball made with offal, you might have to resort to the alternative term “savoury ducks”.

    I’m an academic (maths/computing) and sometimes I get my students to work with climate data and do a little data smoothing and analysis. Last year I had a student who analysed declining frog populations – knowing that frogs are an important bio-indicator for the health of an ecosystem.

    This has nothing to do with the original and very serious post by Kaye Lee, so I’d better quit me blatherin’.

  47. corvusboreus

    Digressions are oft less off-topic if trojan horsed into postscripts tacked onto ‘pure-topic’ missives.

    Dumping squillions from consolodated debt against revenue into obstinately persecuting refuge-granted families with children by locking them in cluent-state housed gulags in breach of both domestic and international injunctions, all for basely populist political purposes, is obviously both morally repulsive and economically demented’.

    Ps, the midlanders can keep their ‘savoury duck’ (aka ‘gutless haggis’) I just want to burn faggots without causing pffense through linguistic confusion.

    Pps, ‘Decimation’ (-10%) is definitively way a less harsh level of attrition than ‘devastation’, and anything less than 40 days in precautionary isolation falls short of a true ‘quarantine’.

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