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What happened when asylum seekers were sent back to Indonesia: Tony Abbott’s own words

asylum

Image courtesy of the eastasiaforum.org

In mid-October 2009, 78 Tamil asylum seekers were intercepted en route to Australia and taken on board the Oceanic Viking. They were then taken to Indonesia. What did Tony Abbott have to say about the matter?

On October 27, 2009 – then an Opposition frontbencher – he  joined ABC’s Lateline to discuss the Rudd Government’s management of those asylum seekers that were due to be detained in Indonesia. Here is some of the transcript.

TONY JONES: The diplomatic problems posed by these 78 asylum seekers still onboard the boat Oceanic Viking worsened this evening with the regional politicians saying Indonesia should not be used as a dumping ground for refugees. Is the fate of these people likely to be once again the focus of Question Time tomorrow?

TONY ABBOTT: I think that’s quite likely, Tony, because once they were picked up by that Australian Customs vessel, they became in effect Kevin Rudd’s responsibility. Now, he could have brought them to Christmas Island. He chose to send them to Indonesia. He said he had an Indonesian Solution; well, it looks more like an Indonesian shambles than a solution right now.

TONY JONES: He could have brought them to Australia to Christmas Island. Are you saying that’s what should have happened?

TONY ABBOTT: No, I’m not, but that’s certainly what he has been doing up till now.

TONY JONES: Well, what are you saying should have happened?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I’m not the Government, Tony. I’m here to hold the Government to account.

TONY JONES: No, but I’m asking your opinion. You must have an opinion on what you think should have happened to these people. You obviously don’t think they should have gone there.

TONY ABBOTT: Well, what I think shouldn’t have happened is that Kevin Rudd should not have unpicked the carefully put together policies of John Howard, which stopped the flow of boat people. You see, John Howard found a problem and created a solution. Kevin Rudd found a solution and has now created a problem. And, plainly, his shrill responses, his obfuscation in the Parliament today shows that this problem really is getting on top of him.

TONY JONES: So what do you believe should happen to those 78 asylum seekers now? Should they be brought to Christmas Island? Should they – as the Indonesian regional officials are suggesting? Or should they be taken back to Sri Lanka as they’re also suggesting? What do you say should happen?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, Tony, as I said, I’m not the Government. I’m holding the Government to account. Kevin Rudd said he had this problem under control because he had sorted it all out with President Yudhoyono. Plainly, it hasn’t all been sorted out. At the very best, all you can say is that his Indonesian Solution is a boat-by-boat improvisation.

TONY JONES: So you don’t have an opinion on what should happen to these people yourself. Is that what you’re saying? Or are you not allowed to have an opinion, I mean . . . ?

TONY ABBOTT: No, no, I’m just telling you, Tony, that I’m not the Government. But, if you are going to stop the flow of boat people, you’ve got to have policies in place which deny people the prize of Australian permanent residency. As long as that prize beckons, you are going to have people, understandably, wanting to come in search of a better life in Australia. Now, by closing down the offshore detention centres, by abolishing temporary protection visas and by stopping the occasional practice of turning boats around, Kevin Rudd put out the welcome mat for these people.

TONY JONES: You said earlier that these people became Kevin Rudd’s responsibility when they were picked up by an Australian vessel. Are you saying, indeed, that they are Australia’s responsibility?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, they were picked up by an Australian vessel in the Indonesian search-and-rescue zone. Kevin Rudd said that he had secured an agreement with President Yudhoyono of Indonesia for Indonesia to take these people. Now, whatever Kevin Rudd has done, thus far at least, it hasn’t worked.

TONY JONES: OK. Let’s assume they’re not allowed to go ashore in Indonesia. What do you believe should happen to them?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I think that Kevin Rudd should not make arrangements with foreign leaders that he then can’t deliver upon, and that plainly seems to be the situation tonight.

TONY JONES: So, it seems all so clear that you can’t actually say what you think should happen to these people.

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I’m not now in Government, but when I was in Government I supported the policies of the Prime Minister and the Government, which stopped the boat people from coming. You see, the difference, Tony, between John Howard and . . .

TONY JONES: OK, but – alright, I’ll let you finish. Sorry.

TONY ABBOTT: Let me say my piece.

TONY JONES: Yes, I will.

TONY ABBOTT: You know, the difference is John Howard’s policies were tough, but effective. Kevin Rudd’s policy looks like being brutal, but infective.

TONY JONES: OK, if you were to follow the policies of the previous government – the Howard Government, your government – these people would be sent to somewhere in the Pacific like Nauru. Is that what you think should still be happening?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, we’re not now in government and we don’t know what could possibly be done with the Indonesians, perhaps with the Sri Lankans, which seems to be the current major source of boat people. And if we were in government and were able to engage in detailed discussions with the Sri Lankans and the Indonesians, I might be able to say more. But the Australian Government, which is in a position to have these discussions and which apparently has had discussions with President Yudhoyono, even thought it had a deal with President Yudhoyono, hasn’t been able to deliver.

TONY JONES: So, it’s eight days now or more than eight days that these people have been on this vessel. Do you think Kevin Rudd should get back on the phone to President Yudhoyono?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, he’s got to do something, otherwise he looks like a Prime Minister who is both inept and hypocritical. Let’s not forget the high-volume moral outrage, the high-octane moral outrage which came from Kevin Rudd when he was opposition leader, and lots of other people as well. And I have to say, Tony, that those people who furiously denounced the Howard Government but are now silent are exposed as partisan rather than as principled.

TONY JONES: Moral outrage today from several of your colleagues in both the House and the Senate asking if the Government could guarantee that the children on board that vessel will not be kept in detention in Indonesia. Is that confected outrage or is it genuine concern?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, certainly, we do not want anything inhumane to happen to anyone. And the difference between John Howard and Kevin Rudd on this, Tony, is that, sure, the former government put tough policies in place, but they worked. Handing people over to the Indonesians is going to be far more brutal and it’s not going to be effective in stopping the boats.

TONY JONES: As you heard today, the Prime Minister made the rhetorical point immediately this was suggested that this from the former government which put children behind razor wire.

TONY ABBOTT: And let me say this to you, Tony: those camps in PNG and Nauru, that were run by Australians were, I put it to you, far more efficient and far more humane than the kind of things that we have just seen on your program in Indonesia, which apparently is what Kevin Rudd wants to condemn people to.

TONY JONES: OK, let’s get your own reaction to the conditions then. You’ve just seen the pictures, you’ve just referred to them in those detention centres filmed by the Melbourne lawyer Jessie Taylor. What did you think when you saw those pictures?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, I think that they are very, very rough circumstances in which to leave people. I’ve got to say they’re not untypical of Third World countries, and if those boat people were in camps in Sri Lanka, I dare say they would be experiencing similar conditions. The problem – the charge that I lay against the Prime Minister, Tony, is two-fold: one of ineptitude in not being able to strike an effective deal with President Yudhoyono, but above all, of hypocrisy in furiously denouncing the policies of the Howard Government, but now implementing policies which look far more tough in one sense on boat people, but which have no real hope of stopping the flow.

TONY JONES: Well, I mean, they’ve levelled the charge of hypocrisy right back at the Opposition for what they did in government, as I said earlier. And indeed it was the Howard Government which put money into the renovations of the detention centre into which these may in fact go on the island of Riau.

TONY ABBOTT: Yeah. But you’re not seriously suggesting, Tony, are you, that the Australian-run detention centres in Nauru and in PNG were anything like the detention centres in Indonesia, which Kevin Rudd wants these people to go to.

TONY JONES: So, your argument is that there is no way that these asylum seekers should be taken to Indonesia, or that Kevin Rudd should encourage the Indonesian Government to pick up asylum seekers headed for Australia and take them back to Indonesia. That, indeed, is the Indonesian Solution.

TONY ABBOTT: No. I’m not saying that, Tony. I’m saying that Kevin Rudd should act like a Prime Minister and he should move effectively to stop the flow of boat people. Now, I’m not saying that that’s going to be easy and I’m not saying that it’s going to be pretty. But nevertheless, John Howard did it, he did it effectively, and I think on the evidence of what we saw tonight, he did it more humanely than Kevin Rudd is proposing to do it.

TONY JONES: Anthony Albanese told us last night that the Government’s Indonesian Solution is quite different to the former government’s Pacific Solution. Do you agree with that?

TONY ABBOTT: Well, yes, because the Government’s – the current Government’s – so-called solution doesn’t work and it looks like being far more brutal than anything that was done by the former government.

Does this mean his commitment to instruct the navy to turn around asylum-seeker boats and return them to Indonesia was nothing but a con job to win votes?

In case you missed it, here’s a summary of what Abbott said:

  • The asylum seekers should have been sent to Christmas Island.
  • To return them to Indonesia was “brutal”.
  • There would have been nothing wrong with sending them to PNG.
  • Australia needs a good relationship with Indonesia to help address this problem.

His words now imply incredible hypocrisy, beyond belief. Meanwhile, Indonesia says:

“We will reject his policy on asylum seekers and any other policy that harms the spirit of partnership and (Indonesian) sovereignty and national integrity,” Mr Natalegawa told a House or Representatives meeting on Wednesday.

Yes, I have an aching suspicion that Tony Abbott has been conning us all along when it comes to any of his policies on asylum seekers. He’s not interested in boats. He’s only interested in votes.

40 comments

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  1. beemay063

    On reading that, all of his words are deflecting, he is NOT interested in the people on these boats only on making Kevin Rudd and the govt look bad.He had no alternative other than Howard’s policy was working which we know isn’t true, the numbers were not counted as reaching Australia,nor were they reported to the public.He is a major hypocrite, and is is #notmyPM

  2. Roswell

    Either his hypocrisy, or his lies, are breathtaking.

  3. Anomander

    As usual – a piss poor attempt at any form of policy from Abbott. I’d love to see the video of this with all the usual errrs, umms, ahhhs and the slimy squirming and dithering he does when faced with any form of scrutiny that forces him to deviate from his pre-scripted lines.

    Pathetic excuse after pathetic excuse “I’m not in government”. “I’m holding the government to account”.

    Well, Tone old mate. You ARE in government now and we’re all about to hold you to account!

    I’m dreading seeing this cretin represent our nation on the world stage.

  4. panzeroo

    The only policy the LNP will put in place is to declare war on asylum seekers and thus make the entire situation a military operation. That way nothing needs to be said to the media as its an operational danger to the military and gives information to the devious people smugglers. Howard had terrorists as his mea culpa for secrecy and harsh tactics. Abbott has invented the people smugglers as a sophisticated and organised threat to Australia. But we won’t be silenced ! News will get through !
    The staff on Christmas Island have access to social media as much as everyone else. A few brave souls will continue to send information through. The failure of the MSM will help usher in its demise. This is the start of the dark times ahead. If the Libs get away with hiding information about asylum seekers, then what is next on their agenda ?

  5. T_Money

    Carol , why has it taken you this long to work out the con job ????

    And yes ANOMANDER the cringe factor on the world stage will be spectacular. Cant wait to see him greeting the new US ambassador and his husband .

  6. PeterF

    After six years of screaming from the rooftops on the arrival or interception of each and every boat, these hypocrites now say that to give any information about boat arrivals is playing into the hands of the people traffickers. Is is now confirmed that ALL they are interested in is getting into power at any cost.

  7. JJ Miller

    Congratulations on Australia’s choice of PM … Do you need to be hit on the head with a brick or what???

  8. ananda1955

    as usual he has no idea, his focus is on causing as much trouble as he can. he needed to be spanked more often as a child. just a spoilt brat, who never grew up.

  9. Ricky Pann

    quick hold a press conference another ship of fools just arrived on the tide of lies and deceit.

  10. Peter Hamrol

    All the crap that ABBOTT criticised the LABOR government for was just a smoke screen in his bid to get the votes he needed to win the election … He and his party have no proper solutions and will not address them in a transparent manner that would be acceptable to the Australian people … His policies are nonsense and I doubt that the senate is that unintelligent to pass on his dodgy policies … ABBOTT and his fascist party are going to try and control how Australians think, speak and act … Bring it on ABBOTT, you and your henchmen are going to end up with egg on your faces …

  11. rossleighbrisbane

    I believe that he’s already sent two thousand boats back to Indonesia and sunk another fifty. But if you don’t believe me just ask the Government. Oh, that’s right, they won’t tell us…

  12. Carol Taylor

    T_Money, I know that we already knew all about the con job, it is all about putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. The msm has either been too lazy or too incompetent to make any sort of study Abbott’s statements on policy – far easier to comment on empty fruit bowls, earwax or what somebody’s brother said rather than to manage a simple Google search.

    On the other hand, it seems likely that the Murdoch media in particular want all of Abbott’s machinations forgotten – they can harp for years about Gillard and a price on carbon or what she said in 1984 but cannot seem to be able to trawl through their own archives to find out what Abbott has said.

  13. ash

    This is actually the dumbest thing, (on Abbotts behalf), that i have ever read.. So far. Clearly worse to come.

  14. Carol Taylor

    Ross, via the power of lycra :mrgreen:

  15. johnlord2013

    All so very revealing Carol and it shows how politicians can be made to account. Now with the convenient suppression of information pertaining to this matter under the guise of operational matters, our democracy is under threat.

  16. Miss Lou

    In my opinion, one shouldn’t be condemning the behaviours and actions of another person/Government when it comes to policy unless you have a very well considered alternative strategy.

    Having a well considered strategy demonstrates several things;

    1) You are well informed about the issue at hand, you actually care about a resolution and want to work positively towards addressing it.

    2) You’re not just being a winger trying to score political points.

    Almost all areas of politics consistently criticize the other. In my opinion it would be much more productive if they acknowledged that some areas were challenging, gave some credit for the amount of work invested and then went on to make suggestions about how they might improve and do things differently .

    That’s positive accountability, this other stuff going on is a farce! (not to mention frustrating)

  17. doodyrichards

    I can smell the fear that evolved from the 21th century during the anti convict transportation. Only now it seems to be more sophisticated and deceptive. Abbot’s ugly clown face!?!?

  18. Tyler Betts

    I just can’t get my head over why this man was elected. Oh wait whats that he wasn’t? If the Liberals weren’t in a coalition government then he wouldn’t be in power. Collectively Labor received more votes than Liberal. Liberals just pulled votes from parties such as the Nationals and Country Liberals (CLP).

    It pisses me off because now we have a half brain twit of whom thinks he thinks he can obliterate climate control, cease education funding, “stop the boats” more like he is friends with Gina and Rupert so why would they report any boat arrivals. GRRRRRRR sorry guys for my rant i just really needed to blow off some steam.

  19. IRMGARD KOVAC

    THEY ADAGE IS PEOPLE GET THE GOVERNMENT THEY DESERVE.WELL I CERTAINLY DIDN’T DESERVE MR ABBOTT TO BE OUR PRIME MINISTER I DID’NT VOTE FOR HIM.I SAW HIM IN ACTION AND AND READ ABOUT HIS SO CALLED POLICIES AND REALIZED HE’S ALL HUFF BUT NO PUFF.NO VISION FOR THE FUTURE NO REAL SOLUTIONS ONLY SLOGANS. HE IS ,NEVER WAS AND NEVER WILL BE PRIME MINISTER MATERIAL WITH HIS RUMBLINGS AND THE AWFUL WAY HE SPEAKS.HE HAD AN EXCELLENT MENTOR IN MR.MURDOCH TEACHING HIM TO LIE,MANIPULATE,SCHEME,PLOT AND MANY MORE UNPLEASANT CHARACTER FLAW’S..HE WILL BE AUSTRALIA’S WORST PRIME MINISTER IN OUR ENTIRE HISTORY.

  20. Marion Ivanic

    How come all this was not given out before the election like so much other stuff there seems to be a sudden rush to be on the right side of history.

  21. 4NF3RN1

    Not to worry, Tyler. Climate control comes as a factory standard in vehicles these days.

    Perhaps if the Liberal Govt reinstates corporate novated leasing you’ll be able to get a great deal.

  22. Bill

    I love the fact LNP keep falling back to Howard and his turning back boats as a success, subject to confirmation, but I have read he ONLY turned 4 boats how successful is that??

  23. Siobhan Loukomitis

    Are you serious Marion? It was all there before the election. People were putting up on their social media walls all kinds of stupid things that Abbott used to do. Prime examples include : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wT9XS_TvzQ
    or

    Too many voters are not online and read Murdoch papers and are so swayed by a man who speaks little sense. It beggars belief how he got in.

    All issues aside, and I mean ALL issues (however you rate their importance), my leader has to be able to speak.
    Without the ability to effectively communicate to the electorate with regular dialogue in an open fashion, being clear, free and open about policy and intentions when or if they are elected in power, then they are not worth their salt.
    More and more so recently, Abbott spoke barely beyond a few minutes at press conferences, never at length on any of the long interview style programs, i.e. QandA, Insiders, Lateline. I want my leader to be accessible and interested in speaking to the country. The media wholeheartedly supported him in his pursuit of the Prime-ministership yet he is allowed to avoid its scrutiny (if indeed it was at all intending to scrutinise)
    His inability to string coherent thought together quickly is deplorable. He is not cut out to effectively lead or represent me.
    I am wholly embarrassed by his rise to the top job.

  24. John Ward

    They will sack the Christmas Islanders of hit them with the Official Secrets Act.
    Their brief moment of freedom to speak ends now.
    No one will raise a finger, because we don’t believe the LNP are capable of fascism .

  25. John

    If you go to the liberal party page ( I did a day before voting).. All you see are insults about labor. There is no positive things on there, no plans for the future… It’s just slamming Kevin Rudd on every single panel… Where as I went on the labor and greens… they have NO slamming on the main page what so ever.. Just what they plan to do to help Australia.. That right there says a lot. Pity they paid out so much money to have full media coverage so stupid people would vote for them. I’d hate to think of all the tree’s that died making their rubbish flyers.. Which they sent about 6 to my house… What a waste. But hey. They don’t care about the environment. Hence why they didn’t want the greens in. They just want to screw over Australia to make money in any way they can. I bet they dump nuclear waste under W.A and S.A.. The greens wouldn’t let it happen but now liberals are in power and we have new uranium mines so I guess they plan to sell it… and many deals require us to hold onto the waste.. Nice work voters. Then again.. After what happened with the labor party. I don’t blame all those people who voted other parties. How can we trust labor or liberal? I’m all for the greens but I actually care about preserving this land for our children…

  26. Fed up

    What Morrison seems to forget, many on the boats hav mobiles and keep in touch with family here. I suspect if they attempted to turn a boat back, the world would know within minutes..

  27. Peter Hamrol

    The LNP are so FITH (F**ck*d In the head) … They actually believe that the lies that they have perpetuated is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … How misguided is that … They are in self denial and seemed to be at odds with themselves with where to start …

  28. Fred

    Fact: just 6 boats arrived in the last year of the Howard government.

    Fact: over 270 boats have arrived in the last year of the Gillard/ Rudd government.

    Fact: around 200 million per annum was required to deal with the matter under the Howard government.

    Fact: Over 1.4 BILLION per annum is now required to deal with the problem.

    Conclusion: Labor failed to deal with the issue and now it’s out of control and costing a fortune.

    So before you go whinging about the measures necessary to remedy a problem that Labor allowed to get out of control how about you look at the realities of how and why we find ourselves at this point.

    I’m interested in only one thing; results. So if a year from now the number of boats has halved then that’s a good result. Another year and they halve again then that’s another good result. I couldn’t care less who said what. I want this problem remedied!

  29. ejdur662

    Why the security blackout regarding refugee boat arrivals? Is the invasion force assembling just off the coast? Should I buy emergency food supplies and dig an air-raid shelter? Will, like in England 1940, the church bells be rung to announce the start of the invasion?

    Methinks this blackout out is more about “Stopping the Truth” than “Stopping the Boats”, as Morrison knows full well that he will be no more successful than his Labor predecessors. I wonder if Angus Campbell has worked out yet that he is being set up as a scapegoat for Operation Sovereign Bullshit in case it fails. He is being made to look a fool.

    Frighteningly, when I look at Morrison I see the eyes of Heinrich Himmler and Reinhard Heydrich. Completely dead, like looking into a soulless pit.

  30. kayelee1

    Fred if you want the problem of the growing number of refugees worldwide to stop then I assume you deplore Tony’s decision to cut the foreign aid budget by over 4 billion dollars. The “facts” you present seem to ignore what has been happening in the world. Do you think Indonesia should be stuck with the problem with no assistance from us even though we are the destination country? Does your figure of 200 million include the cost of using the navy to try to catch fishing boats? Do you think we have a humanitarian obligation to help asylum seekers? Or do you just want to build walls around our country and pretend that we are not part of a global community? There are significant factors which override the effectiveness of deterrent policies. Among them, whether asylum seekers have alternatives other than setting sail for Australia. In certain circumstances they appear to work. In others they do not. I detest this sort of simplistic selfish ill-informed rot.

  31. tony mccrystal

    Not one thing Abbott said made any sense. All he did for the whole interview was glorify John Howard. I still cant believe antone in this country was gullible enough to put this idiot in power.. shame on u Australia.

  32. Brian

    Tony Mc,
    Been 17 days since the election and I still feel like I’ve been hit in the head with a shovel.

  33. KazD

    Fred, FACT: the LNP are suppressing all medial commentary about boat arrivals. This is Fascist govt behaviour and should not be tolerated in this country. FACT: Not once in that entire interview with Tony Jones did Abbott comment on what he thought the govt should do about boat arrivals. Not once, in spite of continued questioning. Lastly, I would have thought that refugee arrivals are in direct proportion to issues and situations occurring in other countries at a particular time, and can’t really be directly controlled by the destination country – all they can do is deal with the arrivals. Unfortunately, we won’t know about any of that because the LNP won’t be allowing anyone to tell the Australian people about it.

  34. Truth Seeker

    Min, thanks for a great piece 😎

    Abbott is one big con job perpetrated on the Australian citizenry by a US citizen, Uncle Rupert. 👿

    Love your work 😀

    Cheers 😀

  35. Möbius Ecko

    Everyone is forgetting, and certainly the media haven’t picked up on this, that for almost six years the Coalition in opposition have been saying that Howard’s boat policy worked and they would adopt it again if in government.

    It has only been in the last year that they threw out Howard’s policy and took up much of the Labor government’s disgraceful policy, thus admitting Howard’s policy was a failure and did not stop the boats, circumstances at the time did, and that Labor had the basis a policy that was worth them pursuing, but take it much further to a military action and harsher implementation, except for TPVs, which are actually softer than the previous government’s Bridging Visas.

    Labor did have the framework for a workable policy, the Malaysia solution, but that was cruelled because one side still thought it harsh and other didn’t want to see it implemented because it had a good chance of working.

  36. gumleafdi

    Fantastic research to unearth this revealing interview – but I think you’ve missed something. Abbott has connned us on a LOT of things and the mainstream media let him get away with it. He is also devious and hugely hypocritical, so he will now let some cats out of the bag, and do things that he trashed the previous government for. I think it is really important to see him and his ministers for what they are – excepting a few decent men – so we don’t make this mistake again. ANd to make our voices and views heard – that’s how he won the electorate over, and now he’s in power, he will stay in the background .

  37. Watching In Adelaide

    Intriguing that the counter opinions on this page have the form of a conservative mind. A few facts which ignore the global view. Perhaps some of the ‘push factors’ i.e. there were fewer people seeking refuge during J.H.’s last few years, and that the Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran ‘arab spring’ tensions subsequently created more pressure? . George Megalogenis has some good analysis on this, but there may have been some repelling factors, like 10 years incarceration in detention centers, sewn lips, hunger strikes, riots in detention centers, years on Temporary Protection Visas. Is that what we want to go back to, to reduce boat arrivals?
    @Fred , do you think we should re-instate those measures to prevent boat arrivals, or do you think these measures were somewhat inhumane ?
    It’s a shame Labor went down an inhumane road to stop encouraging boat arrivals. Can’t we find a more civilised approach to the problem, or is Tony’s policies good enough for you? Do you care what happens to these people once they have been turned around?
    Just asking 🙂

  38. Peter Hamrol

    Just after WW2 Australia commenced its largest infrastructure project; i.e., The Snowy Mountains scheme being a hydroelectricity and irrigation complex … And the majority of people who were engaged in the project migrants. They came to Australia to work on the project, because at that time, soon after the Second World War, work was hard to come by in Europe.
    At first, most of the workers were men who had left their families at home in Europe. Their plan was to work hard, save money and bring their families out when they could afford to. A lot of of the migrants were also refugees who were displaced and separated from their families … My father was one of those refugees believing that his entire family did not survive the ravages of the war … He took jobs that most Australians did not want to do and soon after adopted Australia as his home …
    The present day asylum seekers and refugees are in the same predicament our migrants were in 60 odd years ago and all they really are after is a new home and country to live in peace and harmony … They do not want to take our jobs away from us or want handouts from the government … They just want to be freed from the yokes of anarchy and discrimination … If Australia’s future vision is to better our rail infrastructure or even the grander plan of the development of Australia’s food-bowl in Northern Australia wouldn’t it be better to offer employment to the refugees and asylum seekers … This way, together with the unemployed people, Australia will prosper with an economy the likes of what we have never seen before … Again, with this plan Australia will be the progressive country that we always have yearned for and we could be more self-sufficient without the need to import on the scale that this country does now … Australia’s mission for a better future should start now, but we need more people to implement this nation-building project … The best way to start is to do something similar of what Australia did more than six decades ago … That is to allow the refugees and asylum seekers to participate in the increased development of this great land of ours … This is our mission statement and vision rolled into one simple plan …

  39. Fed up

    Could the smugglers be playing games with Abbott.

    One thing for sure, by the time Abbott gets to Indonesia on Monday, turn back the boats, will be much more than an passing irritant.

    it is said the captain deserted that boat. Both in trouble, close to Indonesia.

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