5 Nov 2012

A Warehouse For Human Beings

By Pamela Curr
Australia's beginnings as a warehouse for Britain's dregs should have informed a compassionate response to asylum seekers. Instead we're more brutal than most, writes Pamela Curr
Australians generally do not discuss early white history. It seems to have been collectively wiped from historical memory. Many have forgotten that this country was founded as a human warehouse so that the prison hulks on the Thames could be emptied and the overcrowded English prisons vacated.

From such brutal beginnings transportation began. This ended when those transported and those who came freely in turn pressured authorities to end it. The treatment of many of the transportees was brutal and harsh.

It is disturbing and depressing to see an Australian government in supposedly more enlightened times return to this brutal past with Pacific Solution mark two. Mark one was a catastrophic failure that negated its own purposes — asylum seekers came to Australia in the end, but only after detention had destroyed their human spirit. Mark two has not stopped people getting in boats. Rather it has seen an unprecedented run on boats. I asked a man preparing to set out by boat why so many were coming. His answer — "Nauru is last chance — after this Australia will close the door".

Certainly the refugee and human rights sector advised the Expert Panel in written submissions and appearances that an offshore policy would not stop people embarking on dangerous boat journeys, the first objective in their terms of reference. The long term Secretary of the Immigration Department, Andrew Metcalfe, had directly advised that Nauru would no longer be a deterrent and would not work a second time. His unwelcome advice earned him a move to another department.

While none predicted the record increase in numbers which the policy announcement would cause, it is emblematic of refugee policy that it seems no risk assessment was made by the government or department in the event of adverse outcomes.

Since 13 August, nearly 6000 people have arrived by boat. This is more than ever before in a similar time frame. They are now warehoused in overcrowded detention centres across Australia.

There are Rohingya families who have survived up to 14 years in Malaysia being trafficked, beaten and detained in conditions which are heaven compared to a tent on Nauru. These are stateless people who are described by the UNHCR Commissioner as among the most persecuted on the earth. I met a young woman pregnant with her second baby, so thankful that she did not give birth on the boat but in safety in a Darwin hospital.

Among the Hazaras, now the largest group of asylum seekers in the world, is a man who must be the unluckiest in Australia. He was detained on Nauru in 2001 as a teenager and forced back. He arrived on the first boat after the 13 August announcement and is dreading a second term on Nauru.

Even refugees from African camps are finding their way to Australia by boat, including a young woman who grew up in a Yemeni UNHCR camp, where she learnt excellent English but was not protected from kidnapping and worse. Her courage in surviving may be tested in indefinite detention on Nauru. Many of these people are verified UNHCR refugees who have already waited too long for resettlement.

The human rights sector advised the government that the deterrent effect of an offshore policy would not work because no matter how harsh we make the conditions of detention, asylum seekers know that the Australian government will not kill them and will ultimately take responsibility for them. Australia's good name reduces the deterrent effect.

The fear of being killed or tortured is the root cause for people leaving homes, family, land and businesses. Having made the soul-destroying decision to leave all that is dear and head off into uncertainty, people feel that they have no choice but to keep moving and striving for safety and security. Australia offers this. Malaysia and Indonesia do not. It is not the "people smugglers business model" which is driving these people on to risky boat journeys as the government would have us believe. That flawed argument guaranteed the failure of the Pacific Solution mark two. No amount of spin can change this fact.

Even attempts to make Nauru a fearsome hellhole have failed so far to deter. The government underestimates the conditions suffered by asylum seekers when they are running. I asked an asylum seeker in Indonesia if the Government's attempts to spread word of Nauru by DVD to stop people would work:

"I saw that film. If Nauru like this people come more than before. Cus the place for live in Nauru is more better than Indonesian detention and also Australia take responsibility for them." — Asylum seeker in Indonesia who has tried two boats to get to Australia.

Having failed to deter boat arrivals, the Government now seeks to force a "voluntary" return. It is this new strategy which strikes fear in the hearts of those Australians clinging to ideals of human rights. Asylum seekers arriving on Christmas Island are told that they will be sent to Nauru for an indefinite time, that their cases will not be assessed for a long time and that legislation has been passed which means that they may never see their families again. The darkest picture is painted of their lack of a future. The Government has been careful to ensure that their language only implies punishment. The Opposition has been more foolhardy in naming a five year term of detention/imprisonment on Nauru.

The Minister for Immigration Chris Bowen visited Nauru recently to deliver this news, including that detainees would remain in tents for the foreseeable future. The most recent "transferees" have been placed in makeshift tents with dirt floors. The toilets and water supply are limited and sickness and skin diseases pervade the camp. The immediate result of the Minister's announcement was not men volunteering to return but one attempted hanging and two other attempts at self harm. So far no human rights agency has visited to monitor and audit the conditions or exact a timetable from the Government for the processing of refugee claims.

Since the number of possible places on Pacific Islands has been exceeded three times over, the department has implemented an emergency plan. All people who arrived by boat before 13 August, except those facing negative ASIO assessments, character assessments and POI (persons of interest) will be released on Bridging visas by the end of December. Their places will be taken by post 13 August arrivals who cannot be sent offshore. Once again, no risk assessment has been done to explain what will happen when these desperate people are sent to the "factories for producing mental illness", as described by leading psychiatrist Professor Patrick McGorry.

These people, while unable to be transported to the Pacific, will remain in indefinite detention in Australia on the basis that one day they can be transported to Nauru or Manus as "transferees". The government aims to induce voluntary returns by making conditions as harsh as legally possible, but past experience has shown that people in this limbo situation spiral downwards into a terrible depression such that some will kill themselves. Even the six month suspension of processing of the Hazara cases in April 2010 caused suicide attempts, depression and psychosis.

The Government has trumpeted 36 returns but these have been mainly Singhalese Sri Lankans who may have less to fear than the Tamils, Hazaras, Rohingyas, Iraqis and Iranians who have not volunteered.

At a time when there are more people crossing borders in flight than ever before, Australians and their government expect immunity from the responsibility to accept asylum seekers. Australia is in a unique and privileged position; without land borders we are able to monitor and organise arrivals as no other nation can.

We forget that many countries are hosting thousands of people fleeing violence and persecution. Many are doing it with generosity and discomfort to themselves. But Australia, while accepting as our right a place on the UN Security Council, shirks the responsibilities of a good global citizen and of the refugee convention:

"Contracting states shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened ... enter or are present in their territory without authorization..." 

The refugee sector has called for an orderly program of refugee assessment and timely resettlement from Indonesia, which would save lives and save Australia from the ignominious position of becoming a moral pariah in the Pacific. Australia proceeds with this offshore dumping of human beings at our peril. A humanitarian solution is called for — not this political solution, which has failed.

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EarthFan
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 11:02

The asylum seekers are not being punished. They are not our citizens, yet we are providing them with safety, food, shelter and medical care. They are free to leave at any time, to any country that is willing to take them, just not Australia.

EarthFan
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 11:34

The immoral parties in the whole refugee tragedy are those men who persist in siring children when they cannot provide safety and security for the children they already have. Particularly reprehensible are those who conceive children while living as refugees.

It is not an accident that the asylum seekers are coming from places in the world that have high birth rates. Warfare, along with disease and starvation, is nature's birth control.

For 30 years, we in Australia have kept our baby booms to fewer than two children per woman. People in undeveloped countries who try to create security for themselves by having four or more children, have no moral right to ask us to supply those children with a western standard of living.

Since the UN Convention on Refugees was ratified by Australia, the world's population has more than doubled. All over the undeveloped world, women's lives and freedom are threatened by childbirth. We should not be accepting refugees. Instead we should be demanding that the rest of the world do what we have already done – reduce reproduction to replacement levels – and help them to do it. Our humanitarian effort should be directed towards providing education and contraceptive technology to women and girls wherever it is needed.

lukeweyland
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 14:45

I encourage every Labor politican with a conscience to apply his/her conscience and take a stand in Parliament, and elsewhere, for the rights of refugees.

We are a massive landmass with over 7.5 million square kilometres. We should increase our immigrant intake currently around 220,000 per annum. Our policies should stop discriminating in favour of the wealthy business people. Instead we must increase our intake of refugees and immigrants on humanitarian grounds.

jennyhaines
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 14:46

Earthfan - It has always been the way until recent times when living standards have improved and contraception has become more available for families to have a large number of children on the basis that there was an expectation that some or all of the children would die of a childhood disease.This used to be the basis of large Irish Catholic families in Australia and you can still see this in that sub culture in this country. In countries where living standards are not the same as they are in Australia and contraception is not as readily available, the old cultural practices continue. It is so easy for us sitting in the comfort of our Australian lounge rooms to judge those fleeing persecution, war, terror, internment, death threats, torture or whatever it is but I have no doubt that if it was you or I, we would do whatever it took to get our families to safety and somewhere where our kids could grow up, get an education and a better life. I applaud your willingness to assist in providing education and contraception in countries of origin and the UN and other international NGOs have been doing that for many years but it is not simply a matter of we provide and the outcomes we want are archieved. There are all sorts of barriers to the achievement of population control from inadequate health services to cultural practices.

If we do not accept people in this country as refugees we are in breach of international law and we are being inhumane. We are part of the chaos in their countries of origin. We have moral, ethical and legal obligations to accept people who arrive at our door however they come, by boat or by plane. All we have to do is process their claim for refugee status fairly.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 16:01

I wish the government would show courage and excise Australia from the UN Convention. Hopefully that would set a precedence for other developed countries that have signed up, and they would resign too, forcing the UN to come up with something more appropriate or leaving it to individual countries to do their own thing.

Elbert
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 21:48

Surely it would be cheaper and more efficient and humane to build a secure 'village' on the mainland with all the facilities, including an airstrip and good schools to teach english, where qualified people would quickly investigate eligibility for asylum and refugee status, then send home all those who don't qualify. If it isn't in an isolated spot, staffing wouldn't be difficult to find, costs would be minimal and the turn-around rapid. The off shore system is horrendously expensive, cruel and inefficient.
Having said that, I agree that it is foolish to continue breeding when life is so bad - I think we have to blame religious brainwashing for that.

EarthFan
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 22:30

No, jennyhaines, in taking refugees, we are rewarding selfish and irresponsible breeding. When a couple in an undeveloped country sees its neighbours getting a child into a wealthier country, and sending money home, that is a disincentive for them to restrain the size of their own families?

Have you given any thought to the future of our planet. Do you want all animals other than humans to be rendered extinct, and the entire surface of the planet devoted to supporting humans. I don't. I treasure the wilderness and its biodiversity.

We need to protect our planet, which is overpopulated. We have a moral obligation to support those born within our borders. People outside Australia have a moral obligation to restrain their reproduction to levels that they and their countries can support. And men were fleeing the Taliban long before Australia sent troops there.

Frank from Frankston
Posted Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 22:48

Earthfan, completely correct on your first point.

In case you missed it - we now have a 'refugee and human rights sector'.

Such is the industry created by the bloat promoters, the religious zealots, and all the other nutters who lack commonsense but want world domination for their world view via the offices of the largely communist committees of the UN.

In the food chain, are the people smugglers, corrupt third world army and police officials, ABC journalists and churches.

Signing onto the Refugee Convention was surely one of the worst mistakes ever made by an Australian Government at any time in our history.

To assist the @jennyhaine's and others in our society to 'feel good' we need to bloat our already overpopulated and uncompetitive cities, bringing in millions of illiterate/ innumerates to educate, cloth and feed, whilst struggling to find internationally competitive reasons for both our own, and their, economic existence. What percentage will ever play a role in exporting goods and services from Australia? 0.0001%? What percentage will play a role in importing goods and services and increasing our already astronomical private and national debt? 100%.

And would the world wide phenomenon of millions of refugees be altered to any significant extent? Nope, not at all. In fact the more certain access to Australia and other sucker countries becomes, the greater the number of refugees will be created. Something like this was said by an Indonesian Minister recently. He thought it was hilarious!

Along the way, hundreds have, and thousands will continue to drown and die horrible deaths. No matter, it's not the feel gooders fault - it's the fault of those horrible Howard / Ruddock types who pointed out the obvious flaws of the whole process and somehow managed to conjure up a set of policies to shut the trafficking down. And Pamela, Mark One did work. Only the self-deluded think differently...

Feel Gooders never feel the guilt - do they?
And they never, ever take responsibility.
"Those drownings - that's not my fault".

Pamela's article contains the twisted logic and inconsistencies found so often by those in these lobby groups.

Small example. At the beginning of her article she proposes that all efforts to persuade Tourist Visa holders in Indonesia not to use leaky boats were doomed to fail:
"I saw that film. If Nauru like this people come more than before. Cus the place for live in Nauru is more better than Indonesian detention..."

So Nauru, looks ace to those who have known a lot worse, but later Bowen and Labor are obviously massive bastards because:
"The [Nauru] toilets and water supply are limited and sickness and skin diseases pervade the camp. The immediate result of the Minister’s announcement was not men volunteering to return but one attempted hanging and two other attempts at self harm."

So, why would you attempt a hanging (how could you stuff that up?) or self harm if "Nauru is more better than Indonesian detention..."

(And were these victims in any form of communication with pro boat lobbyists from Australia - before they pulled their stunts?)

If only we enjoyed a critical media in Australia...

What needs to happen is this.
We need to stop this lobby group from ever again effecting change to our foreign and immigration policies.

They are totally discredited. In a fair world, their political capital would have drowned along with the lives of those lost at Christmas Island.

The Refugee Convention pushers have created this problem. Most Australians, with good reason, believe this.

We need to tell the UN, when you fix up the convention we'll sign on again, but, in its current form, it is both unworkable and a continuing source of heartbreak. We need to take back our laws and withdraw from the convention. Our laws need to be based on Australian democracy. Not on the wailing's of a corrupt bunch of UN'ites.

Anyone landing illegally on Australian soil ought be returned to the country of departure. This needs to be done immediately. Be it at an airport or an island.

Indonesia obviously enjoys watching our hand wringing antics. "They hate us!" as J.Howard once stated.

Cheap modified lifeboats, GPS directed, and on auto pilot, can safely take trafficked people back to their departure points.

If Indonesia accepts "tourists" from Afghanistan and Iraq, they should accept "refugees" from Afghanistan and Iraq. They are the same folks.

Indonesia's behaviour on this issue reveals a deep loathing of Australia and Australians - and giving them billions in aid has obviously been a wasted or misconstrued act of generosity.

Further aid to Indonesia needs to be suspended until they turn around Tourists/Refugees at the airport, or take them on, permanently, themselves.

On this issue, Indonesia has reinforced its reputation as one nation to our north that represents a serious threat to our territorial and defence interests.

Watching us flounder on the rather simple problem of illegal entries must be doing our political and military credibility no end of harm. Further encouraging the Jihadists waiting in the wings to run Indonesia.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 05:50

jennyhaines you defeat your own argument with this little Gem of Wisdom and the only Gem.

"UN and other international NGOs have been doing that for many years"

Earthfan is absolutely right.

Frank from Frankston has some good points, however he too is lost in his elitist Mentality.

The Allied Army Invented the U.N to hide their own Crimes against Humanity behind. The signing of the Refugee Convention was part of that requirement, we had to make out that it was all about saving Jewish refugee's. The Refugee Convention was all about saving jews because nobody wanted them and America couldn't afford to take them all. The destruction of Europe had only made things worse for a continent that was overpopulated in good times, bad times only made it worse for those left after the slaughter. Nobody wanted Jews and American Jews wanted Israel.

So stop twisting the facts Frank from Frankston, the argument should be. Do we or do we not breed to much and if we do then why.

We don't want or need a whole heap of anti Commo bull to confuse the debate and or blame shift. DO HUMANS BREED TOO MUCH, thats the Question and can anybody afford it.

Keep Politics and racist Bull out of it.

jennyhaines
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 08:35

So Earthfan the war on terror is not the reason for the movement of refugees it is overbreeding according to you. What nonsense. The world population was well overbred before refugee boats started arriving on our shores.

And Frank from Frankston and Jackal - the sad thing for you is that the Refugee Convention was signed to give recognition to the moral, ethical and legal right of refugees to seek asylum in a third country. It is not illegal to arrive in a third country and seek asylum. The obligation of that third country is then to fairly process that claim. And it is not just Australia that is experiencing this inflow of refugees - http://www.unhcr.org/4f7063116.html.

Geez I am glad you guys are nowhere near policy making in this country.

hlewers
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 09:09

Pamela - thanks for your informative, well written article. I wasn't aware that Andrew Metcalfe, for instance, had moved on, for advice contrary to government intention!

What is astonishing about the government's decision to set up a "Pacific Solution Mark II" is its willingness to spare no expense (and even risk its key political goal- to "balance the budget") in its attempt to wipe away, or shall we say, exterminate? the political problem of a small number refugees arriving by boat. The opposition has a firm hold of the tail of this paper tiger, and the government responds in a way that only exacerbates the perception in the voting populace that there is a problem.

As Pamela has shown here, the government's ready acceptance of the hasty "Expert Solution" of the Houston Panel has caused an influx of refugees arriving by boat. The panel's advice was contrary to the advice of the real experts. The government's political problem has now worsened.

Sadly, the only thing that this government fears in its treatment of refugees is public knowledge of refugee deaths when refugees are under Australian responsibility. Refugees on Nauru know this, and tragically, because they have nothing else to lose, this will be the outcome for many.

Shame on Australian governments of both persuasions for selling the idea, for no other than political purposes, that refugees arriving by boat constitutes a problem. Shame on the few pompous, ignorant ranters above for their narrow views, and for their ready acceptance of political progaganda.

K Brown
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 09:51

The Refugee Convention is designed to provide protection to refugees in countries of first asylum until the conflict is resolved and they can return to their own country. That is why it says - Contracting states shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry....on refugees who, "coming directly" from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened … enter or are present in their territory without authorization… Also, the convention only obliges Australia to provide temporary protection until they can be either returned safely to their own country or find a place in a third party's immigration programme. Refugees sent to Nauru, Manus Is. and Malaysia(?) are being provided with temporary protection in accordance with our UN obligations. We have no obligation to also provide them with a place on our humanitarian immigration intake. Indeed it is another question completely who is accepted on our humanitarian immigration programme . We have a moral obligation to take those in greatest danger and not prioritise ahead of them those who have the funds to pay a people smuggler to get to Australia.

Australia is meeting its international obligations by takiing the highest no. of refugees per capita in the world and we have this year increased the quota to 20,000 and it is proposed to increase it further to 27,000 when the community support and funding can be put in place. There are 30 million refugees around the world. We cannot take them all and we cannot manage more than the current quota which is going to be massively exceeded at the present rate of boat arrivals.

As Australia's refugee community increases and the word spreads of what a great life they have in Australia more people are going to attempt to enter. The demand is going to grow exponentially and inevitably exceed our increased quota. Those that aren't accepted within our increased quotas are going to keep trying to get here by boat. This is happening right now and unless we take drastic action now to stem the tide we are going to be flooded.

K Brown
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 13:07

Pamela Curr & hlewers - Please note that The Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship since 2005 Andrew Metcalfe has not been "moved on" but applied for and has been appointed Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. He replaces Conall O’Connell who has been Secretary of DAFF since May, 2007 and finishes her five year appointment in that role on 28 January 2013.

Martin Bowles who has been the Acting Secretary of DIAC since March this year while Mr Metcalfe has been on long service leave is replacing him at DIAC. Andrew Metcalfe will finish as Secretary of DIAC on 28 January 2013. He and Martin Bowles have been appointed for five-year terms in their new posts from 29 January 2013.

hlewers - I am surprised that you did not pick up the logical inconsistency in Pamela's statement. Why would Labor "move him on" when his assessment that Nauru and Manus Is. would not work is the reason that they originally argued for the Malaysia solution and did not adopt the Howard Government's Pacific solution. The Houston panel only adopted Nauru and Manus as a political fix so the package would be accepted by the Coalition.
Metcalfes reasoning is proving correct and the Coallition is being proven wrong. Labor is being proven correct that the Malaysian solution is needed.

On the other hand hlewers if you are gullible enough accept Pamela's exaggerated polemical diatribe as "informative" then I am not surprised you missed this blatantly obvious discrepancy!

jennyhaines
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 13:27

K Brown - the definition of a refugee in the Refugee Convention is Article 1 of the Convention as amended by the 1967 Protocol provides the definition of a refugee:

"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.."[6]

The principle of non refoulement in the Convention says-

"A refugee's right to be protected against forcible return, or refoulement, is set out in the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees:

"No Contracting State shall expel or return ('refouler') a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion" (Article 33(1)).[7]"

It is widely accepted that the prohibition of forcible return is part of customary international law. This means that even States that are not party to the 1951 Refugee Convention must respect the principle of non-refoulement.[7] Therefore, States are obligated under the Convention and under customary international law to respect the principle of non-refoulement. If and when this principle is threatened, UNHCR can respond by intervening with relevant authorities, and if it deems necessary, will inform the public (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_Relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees)

I am sure that word of the great life that refugees and asylum seekers get when they arrive in Australia has spread - mandatory detention, unfair processing, being treated inconsistently by DIAC Officers, interned in remote camps with the risk of tropical disease and mental distress ----yes, a great life! And then when discharged from detention, reliance on the goodness of charities, churches and the generostity of Aussie families to help them get on their feet, and then having the government cut any financial assistance so refugee families are living on less than $300 per week. Such a good life!!!? But all better than what they have been through.

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This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 13:43

K Brown - thanks for bringing some facts and sense into the debate, and also to jackal01 for reminding us why the UN 51 Convention came into being in the first place (although - as an aside - I am not convinced had this convention been signed in 1931 that the outcome would have been much different).

Those who defend overbreeding and overpopulation are spot-on. The current refugee movements can be seen as mass migration.

Whenever there has been mass migration in human history, there was always a shortage of supply of resources over the demand for resources. I would argue that the first homo sapiens, leaving the plains of Africa, some 100000 or so years ago, did so because their livelihood in that place had become impeded. I don't think it was that they woke up one morning and decided to go adventuring for no particular reason.

Wars have been fought over resources, are being fought right now, and we will see more of those in the future.

Therefore, since there are no empty spaces on this planet anymore, every speck of habitable land is overpopulated, our best bet for managing resources is to drastically reduce human reproduction until each country/region reaches a level where humans and natural resources are in balance.

Now that may still not put a stop to all mass migration, as there are some people who manage their resources better than others. We can obsserve that daily in our own society when it comes to financial and personal management, as well as business management.
In the end there are always those who want to have a slice of the pie without making a contribution to the production of the pie.

K Brown
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 14:35

Pamela Curr - I invite you to explain these facts about irregular maritime arrivals from Sri Lanka. The LTTE were defeated and the war ended 3 1/2 years ago in May 2009. Of the 300,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) at the end of the war all but 6,554 (IDP) from the Mullaitivu district, where de-mining work was yet to be finished had been resettled by January 2012. 5000 Tamil refugees have returned since the end of the war. 68,000 Sri Lankans are living safely in South India as refugees. Last year, 211 Sri Lankan refugees arrived by boat. So far in 2012, there have been more than 5,300.

Isn't this sudden explosion in numbers coming to Australia so long after the war has ended and when 300,000 IDP and 5,000 refugees have returned to safely home because as Richard Danziger, Chief of mission, International Organisation for Migration in Sri Lanka says, "the biggest driving factor is Sri Lanka's economy. Many of those who have chosen to return to Sri Lanka rather than wait to be processed on Nauru or Australia originally left their homeland in search of work....people tell us they were just seeking better lives, jobs, money and so forth".

fightmumma
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 15:15

FrankfromFrankston -

"Signing onto the Refugee Convention was surely one of the worst mistakes ever made by an Australian Government at any time in our history" -

I can think of something worse - how about entering and participating in every war in the last century or so, you know, all that killing, bombing, poisoning, unwelcomed involvement in the cultures and governments of other countries? And thus contributing to all the suffering, insecurity and dehumanising conditions that we now witness escalating in countries of origin and spilling over in asylum seekers heading to our "safe" shores?????

Interesting that you condemn people as "feel gooders" for wanting to assist in alleviating suffering and injustice and seem to believe you take a moral high ground in turning a blind eye to the real life problems of these people. Do you seriously feel good denying other people including women and children safety, security and basic physical human rights?

The real tragedy is that the leading governments and power brokers of the world contribute greatly to the security problems in the countries of origins of these asylum seekers - through partition, leftovers of cold war/communism issues, placing "acceptable" governing bodies in place in key geographical trade/oil places, doing business with totalitarian rulers and despots, providing weapons or foreign aid on the condition it is used to buy weapons from that country's weapons companies (thus contributing to the economies of countries like USA), fund civil wars and do not adopt processes of consultation with grassroots or minority groups...

The real tragedy is that when these above political, economic and trade based practices occur - it is these that create the conditions that lead to people needing to flee - and that these countries and their powerbrokers suddenly see no connection between their own behaviours/policies and interests and refugees.

The UN is an intergovernmental organisation, so when you say "tell the UN" and when you say to"fix up the convention"...you're saying to tell our own selves and to tell all our trading partners and to be responsible OURSELVES for making better asylum conventions.

You just want to turn a blind eye and pass on the responsibility to someone else - and THAT is ANOTHER "worst mistakes ever" that we or any other country could make.

We need more balls, the UN and ALL human rights conventions need more balls. We need ALL violations of human rights to be taken seriously and punished accordingly. The World Trade Organisation is very reluctant to add social and labour protections to its policies, developing countries are the most resistent to adding these principles (investment is the biggest source of their "development" - however their societies often do not develop extensively) - we need to start denying people rights to trade globally if they do things like use degrading and dehumanising labour practices, child labour, dangerous environmental practices and take shortcuts on their responsibilities to the citizens of their respective state.

If they want to trade they should have the same standards as us, similar quality of democracy (not that ours is that brilliant), rule of law, infrastructure, health and education - if this was worldwide - would we have refugees? I was surprised to read recently that the countries that gain their wealth through oil production are actually some of the worst in terms of equal societies - the wealth is not being used to develop the entire society...if it were...would there be refugees?

K Brown
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 16:14

jennyhaines - exactly why are you quoting the definition of a refugee and the principle of non-refoulement when both are "red herrings". Neither qualify the fact that Australia's UN Refugee Convention obligations do not require us to provide refugees with permanent residency only temporary protection until they can safely return home. Asylum seekers who are found to be refugees are protected and not at risk of refoulement while on Nauru, Manus and any agreement we negotiate with Malaysia will have to meet similar criteria.

It seems that you and the Australian refugee lobby are oblivious the fact that boat arrivals are out of control and only set to get exponentially worse unless we introduce a "no advantage" principle to stem the flow. Of the 13,770 refugees we accepted in 2009/10 year 9,236 refugees were accepted from overseas and 4, 534 from arrivals in Australia of which 47% were boat arrivals. In the first quarter of this year more than 6000 asylum seekers have arrived by boat. At the current rate that will be 24,000 by boat this year and based on historical patterns another 3,000 will arrive by air. Sorry, no room for any refugees from overseas even if their need is far more dire.

These numbers are way above the number that DIAC has determined that Australia can manage with our current refugee support structure. It presents a serious risk of social conflict

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Jean Jordan
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 16:45

jmjordan
Earthfan, Frank Frankston, Jackal01, K Brown, Marga - It has been a long time since I have read so much self-centred, opinionated, ignorant claptrap! You obviously have no idea of what it means to be a refugee.

Thanks to Pamela Curr, and to hlewers, jennyhaines and like-minded others for their reasoned, compassionate, informed contributions to this debate.

K Brown
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 18:26

Jean Jordan - I know what it is like to be a refugee. I have worked with Palistinian refugees in Rafah in the Gaza Strip which is the most concentrated refugee population in the world and I know there are millions of refugees around the world in greater need of protection and resettlement than the great majority of those arriving in Australia by boat. I support the increase in our humanitarian immigration programme to 27,000 and I have lobbied for an increase in our overseas aid programme to 0.7% of GDP and to dedicate part to the UNHCR to improve the conditions in refugee camps around the world. I also believe that the Australian Government should make it our mission during our two year tenure on the UN Security Council to update the UN Refugee Convention so that refugee protection is strengthened in countries of first asylum.

The fact is the UNHCR estimates they have 10.5 million refugees around the world of which 800,000 need permanent resettlement http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliam... but there are only 80,000 annual refugee resettlement immigration places available worldwide http://www.unhcr.org/4c31cd236.html. Australia will this year provide 20,000 of those places or 0.1% of our population as recommended by the UN. We are meeting our obligations and cannot take more.

These are facts not "self-centred, opinionated, ignorant claptrap". It is simple arithmetic that cannot be ignored irrespective of the wilful blindness that afflicts you, Pamela Curr, Jenny Haines and the rest of the refugee lobby.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 20:55

jennyhaines
Posted Wednesday, 07 November 12 at 8:35AM

agree with you, but no one ever bothered with or was bothered about refugee's until the Jewish Problem in Europe and the state of Isreal. It was on the Leagues books from as early as 1905.

England exploited it, but the Yanks were more cunning and came out ahead.

As I said WW2 was an economic survival War between the big four
England, America France and Germany who controlled 85% of the Worlds Production and therefore, Wealth.

The Yanks collapsed the World Economy then as they just did again and overopulation because of it became, the great Devider.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 21:01

K Brown
Oh so true. The Kiwi's, the Irish, The Pom's etc. etc. etc. all do the same, the mode of transport is somewhat different, but they all come here because they have bugger all there.

Why, they breed more then their economic future can guarantee.

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 21:12

Jean Jordan
"You obviously have no idea of what it means to be a refugee."

DO YOU!?

jackal01
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 21:41

Marga wins the wisdom Prize and K Brown takes out the best Facts award.

I remember watching a debate on Dateline once.

It was all about sexual matters here.

Some tall Lanky Blond Male Bimbo accused the church Minister present of not having any fun and wanting to destroy his opportunity for having fun with his little ego and his Bimbo Girl Friend.

The thing both parties the priest and the Blond Toy Boy missed is that Pedophile Priest were having fun and that it was having fun that Destroyed the lives of the victims who weren't having fun.

Our problem is that sex has become a form of Entertainment for some, an Income for others and a get some sympathy Card for some people who were far too smart for their own good.

The question should be.
Does this Planet need Humanity or does Humanity need this Planet. There are millions of Planets out there but none we know of that supports life as we know it and some people just eat too much, want too much, drink too much, breed too much, demand too much. Any one who can't see that is a fool onto himself.

Our problem is, knowing and trying to find out who the SOME PEOPLE are.
So until somebody can come up with some sort of Lie detector for refugee's, Boat or Plane I'm with K Brown, Marga and EarthFan.

But I must caution and fightmumma has her finger on the Pulse here, Americas need to rebuild its economy has led to many invasions and propaganda which creates these Refugee's, so being part of the Coalition of Wankers we do need to take a good long look at who we are and why we do not want boaties yet seem to accept all those coming in with lots of cash and who can afford our high rental prices.

i would not mind betting that their could be a few Kiwi's and others amongst the Anti Boat People Crusaders, can you blame them, I can't.
we all ended up here for the same reasons after all.

Either way the Planet can not carry 7 Billion Breeders.

Its a World Problem and the U.N needs to take action, its supposed to be the Worlds Body.

hlewers
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 22:34

K Brown, you obviously have a source of data that the Department of Immigration itself is not aware of. Its own website gives the figure for the year to July 2012 as ~5500 people who arrive by boat (not 6000 in the first 3 months as you state!) That's nothing to panic about. It is illogical to say the refugee numbers we see in this country presents a serious risk of social conflict. They simply do not.

Do you know Australia has around 6 MILLION short term overseas visitors each year? Most businesses that depend on the tourist dollar are disappointed by this comparatively SMALL figure, and are keen to see it improved. Even with these numbers we don't see social conflict!

I hear you say - "but they don't stay!" In that case, consider this fact: the net migration for Australia (those who arrive minus those who leave) in 2010-2011 was ~ 170,000, and is predicted to climb by about 10,000 each year. (Department of Immigration website).

The 13,000 people who are likely to arrive by boat this year constitute just over 7% of 180,000.

To put this number in perspective, Melbourne has seen crowds of 120,000 at the MCG, though now the approved capacity is 100,000, and even these crowds are mostly well behaved.

Here are some interesting refugee figures (both humanitarian and onshore applicants) to contemplate, from the Edmond Rice Centre, June 2011. We can but hang our collective Australian heads in shame:

Australia with 22,548 refugees and people in refugee-like situations, ranks 47th in the world.

This is compared to Pakistan (1,740,711),
Iran (1,070,488),
Syria (1,054,466)
Germany (593,799),
Jordan (450,756),
Kenya (358,928),
Chad (338,495),
China (300,989),
USA (275,461) and UK (269,363).

On a per capita basis, Australia is far behind poorer countries such as Jordan, Syria, Republic of Congo,Chad and Iran, and is also well behind other wealthy countries such as Sweden, Norway, Canada, and Germany.
http://www.erc.org.au/index.php?module=documents&JAS_DocumentManager_op=...

K Brown
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 00:53

hlewers - The six thousand boat people arrivals for the first quarter of this year (1 July 2012 - 30 Jun 2013) in which our increased quota of 20,000 takes effect that I cited as evidence of a pending blow out of the quota is in fact worse than I said. I am apolitical and would prefer not to quote the Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan as a reference but I have no doubt his figures are correct . He said today "Despite only being 4 months into this financial year there have already been over 9,000 people arriving on our shores illegally" http://www.scottmorrison.com.au/info/pressrelease.aspx?id=1032. That means at the current rate boat arrivals will exceed 27,000 this year.

DIAC has determined that we can accept 20,000 refugees/year with our current refugee support structures and with development of these structures we can within four years raise our intake to 27,000. Well, at the current rate 27,000 are going to arrive by boat this year, another 3,000 by air, and we would have taken or committed to take at sixthousand from overseas. Like I say it is simple arithmetic. A year 8 dunce could work out we have a problem but apparently you and the refugee lobby can't.

We are facing a 150% or more increase in our refugee intake in a single year! This blow out presents a serious risk to the public acceptance of our humanitarian immigration programme which may lead to a backlash against the many genuine refugees that have been settled here in previous years. Australia needs to protect the integrity of our humanitarian immigration programme to ensure we can place refugees who meet the criteria used by UNHCR to select refugees for resettlement. These include:
1. survivors of torture and violence, where the conditions of asylum could result in further trauma or where appropriate treatment is not available
2. persons with medical needs, in particular life‐saving treatment that is unavailable in the country of first asylum
3. women and girls at risk, where there is a real risk that they could be exposed to sexual or gender‐based violence
4. children and adolescents, where a best interests determination supports this
5. elderly refugees who may be particularly vulnerable and for whom resettlement appears to be the best solution, generally due to family links
6. when it represents the only means to reunite refugee families who, owing to refugee flight or displacement, find themselves divided by borders or by entire continents.

Te 5,000+ young Sri Lankan men who have arrived so far in calendar year 2012 looking for jobs and a better life don't fall into any of the above categories. They are usurping the places of others in genuine need.

You should not confuse the number of refugees being "hosted" under temporary protection arrangements in UNHCR camps and other arrangements in countries around the world with the number of refugees permanently settled under immigration arrangements. Australia is first in the world in per capita terms in providing permanent settlement through our humanitarian immigration programme.

EarthFan
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 03:12

Jenny haines: throughout the whole of human history, overpopulation has been the impetus behind migration. I worked at a private college for overseas students. Every single student had enrolled in an attempt to achieve permanent residency in Australia and paid huge amounts of money to the college in order to qualify for a student visa. So yes, I do think that the Afghans would still be trying to get into Australia even if there were no western troops in their country.

And if there had been no 'war on terror', do you really think that Afghanistan would be all peace and prosperity? They would just be fighting between themselves just as they are in Syria.

I am glad to see that you acknowledge that the world is overpopulated. For thirty seven years we have kept our baby booms to lower than replacement levels, so we are not the ones overpopulating the world.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 13:28

Jean Jordan
My observation is that people develop and express opinions because of personal experience and/or the personal experience of those close to them.

I have recorded my experiences for the benefit of my two young grandchildren. If they wish to they can tell the world.

jackal01
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 19:03

hlewers
Politicians and Official Figures you can toss in the Bin.

These figures are a bit like Unemployment figures, elastic, to suit a specific need.

The Yanks are flooding the EU their economic competitor with refuee's to bottle the EU up under the weight of humanity as they did before WW2.

jackal01
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 19:16

EarthFan, i agree with everything you say, but these words bother me.
They tell me you believe in Population your just picky about who/whom.

"lower than replacement levels",

This sounds a bit Elitist, as if you are talking about a production line with belts, electric motors, conveyor belts and drive belts that needs to be replaced once in a while, so as to put out say 200 tonne's of something or we will go broke.

The Planet does not need humanity, Humanity does not even need more Humanity. Retailers and Manufacturers need more Humanity, Industrialization needed more humanity, to get richer, to produce more of everything but mostly wealth or for the creation of more wealth. Wealth for a very small number of Individuals.

Sounds to me you would still like a certain standard of living.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. mairi mac
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 16:48

Having read Pamela Curr’s excellent and empathetic article, it is very depressing to read some of the responses. I don’t know what is more dismal – the situation that the refugees on Nauru and Manus Island find themselves in, or realizing that there are many Australians who find this, and the events which have led to it, quite justifiable.

I remember only too well the desperate states of mind of the refugees who were sent, post-Tampa, to Nauru on the understanding that they were to be held there indefinitely. We seem to be developing expertise in the refinements of torture that concentrate on the psyche, and this on people who have survived ordeals that very few of us can imagine. Yet there are the inevitable critics who deride the refugees’ complaints about tent accommodation and discomforts, since they too survived such hardships, and (of course) without complaint. But I doubt if they could have done so in the absence of all hope, and with an awareness of the injustice and unanticipated malevolence that now appears to govern our treatment of unfortunate recent arrivals.

I can agree with the Coalition on the single point that the current version of the ‘Pacific solution’ will not work. It is already overburdened, and any thought of economic justification, if it ever existed, must by now be derisory. We continue to devise policies which guarantee our becoming a laughing-stock for needing to adopt curious responses to the arrival of increasing numbers of poor and victimized people who need help from someone, and why not us? – and who, for the most part, want little beyond the right to exist in safety, to learn, and to work in this lucky country. Many of them are qualified or willing to work in areas where we find we need more manpower. When we compare the size of the problem we have with that of many much poorer countries we should be ashamed to be making such a fuss.

It is all rather Gilbert-and-Sullivanish.

In fact, from some of the exchanges printed here I think their authors could provide willing workers for the Department of Immigration. It has long been known for its entrenched ‘culture’, generations of its staff being well versed in techniques for refusing vital information about rights and procedures to the unfortunate applicants whose lives and peace of mind all too often depend on their benevolence. Some years ago Senator Vanstone, then Minister, and her Departmental Secretary, Andrew Metcalfe, acknowledged the existence of such a culture, and vowed that they would eradicate it. It is doubtful if they succeeded. Current attitudes and, possibly, advice to the Minister suggest that little has changed.

There are, at last, some suggestions from outside the square, for example, that if we are genuine in wanting to stop people running the risk of drowning by coming here on unseaworthy boats (though maybe this praiseworthy concern really masks an unwillingness to accept any impecunious refugees) we should provide safe alternative transport, at least for those whose status as refugees is recognized by the UNHCR - and then deal with them, expeditiously, on the Australian mainland, for heaven’s sake!

But it is all too difficult, and so, instead of acting with compassion and common sense, we choose to make more problems at every turn, and thereby undermine our pretension of acting with honour in the international sphere.

jackal01
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 19:26

Lets get one thing straight, not a single person here is against Refugee's and or Migrants.

What we are saying that the current problem has always been a Problem with Humanity it just took awhile to show its ugly head again.

The last time societies couldn't deal with their over population when the Yanks collapsed the world economy again we displaced and murdered about 150 million people.

Thats the one thing people like you always miss, don't want to talk about. The next time we go off to slaughter human Cane Toads it won't be you or your caring husband who have to go off to do the killing, it will be your Children and somebody elses Children who have to die. Being a Soldier, sailor or Airman will be the only employment going.

The Polish had the biggest standing army of unemployable, once somebodies Cute and Cuddlies the world had ever seen and they all went to hell on Horse back and so did the Germans. The Germans were one of the Big four and their were too many of those, so they had to go, because they weren't crawling up the Aristocracies arses the way DeGauls Cut throats were.

What is the point of breeding Cute and Cuddlies when your only going to send them of to die miserable deaths before they will ever grow old and or give you supposedly paying Tax payers and or consumers to keep you in a Pension.

The planet does not need humanity, why do we have 7 billion and growing rapidly, what for.

Everybody here is not so much against Refugee's, we are against what creates them and 1 factor happens to be Idiots Breeding for a Meal Ticket in the West. Why would you want to live in a Grass Hut or a Tent when you can come here and live in a State House and get Payed to have and Nurture Children.

You are a well meaning person, but your totaly blind to a very nasty Human Trait and that is that we have killed each other for 12000 years or so or at least since Kane Killed his Brother Able and it was over Greed and or Survival. Humans have not and will not change, so stop breeding for a change, this might just work, we have tried everything else. We whites are her in Oz because it was here and we weren't, now we are. There is nowhere else to go and to exploit or steal.

Got that, this is not Anti Refugee, we will not stop the flood. The Indiginous people could not stop us, we will not stop them.
This is Anti Population Growth and people like you who were obviously breeders yourselves can't get it, don't want to get it.

WHY? Why can't you see the Elephant in the room, little Miss Goody two shoes.

EarthFan
Posted Friday, November 9, 2012 - 22:45

"lower than replacement levels" is elitist?! Huh?!
See www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Products/35E6C02325E94E8CCA25793300167513
I'll paste in this bit to save you looking it up.
<blockquote>REPLACEMENT FERTILITY

Since 1976, the total fertility rate for Australia has been below replacement level. That is, the average number of babies born to a woman throughout her reproductive life (measured by the TFR) has been insufficient to replace herself and her partner. The TFR required for replacement is currently considered to be around 2.1 babies per woman. However, as the level of fertility required to achieve replacement is dependent on the number of women who survive to reproductive ages, replacement fertility has declined with decreases in female mortality. Even if female mortality declined to zero for women until the end of their reproductive lives, the replacement level would still be 2.05 (1.05 male and 1.0 female babies) - higher than the 2010 TFR of 1.89 babies per woman."</blockquote>

I don't know what it is like to be a refugee, or to die in childbirth or to watch my children die of malnutrition. But I don't see that the first is any more dreadful than the second and third.
I would like everyone in the world to have the safety, good food (including meat and fish), education and health care that I have.

I agree with Dick Smith and David Attenborough who have both made excellent television programs on the subject of overpopulation.

I agree with the Stable Population Party on all but two of their policies - I don't think that we should have any humanitarian migrant intake at all. And I object to giving protection to able bodied Muslim males who want for themselves, a freedom and security that they, by their choice of religion, deny their own wives, mothers and daughters. And yes, I have read the Koran. Every Australian should.

I recommend "Koran for Infidels" by Robert Spencer 2009 Available from www.tantor.com. I borrowed it from my local library. Mr Spencer recommends having at hand, two different English translations of the Koran for comparison. There are English translations on the net and I purchased a print copy.

I would have liked to have had a larger family, but restricted my reproduction to two, neither of whom have any intention of producing grandchildren. Naturally, I am not even slightly sympathetic towards people in undeveloped countries who try to create security for themselves by having large families.

thomasee73
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 01:01

EarthFan: your cultural attitudes towards family is sadly destined for extinction, as you have no descendants to pass them on to. The only hope for the long term survival of your ideas is to convince people who love families that they shouldn't have any children to pass on those ideas to. And you'll always be fighting a losing battle, because people who love families drink in that attitude with their mother's milk, and it's damn hard to convince someone out of an attitude that they were born into.

I have similar attitudes, and a similar biological legacy, to you myself. Unsurprisingly however, the majority of the next generation come from families who think that having babies is a good idea.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 12:10

EarthFan:
Dick Smith, Stable Population Party, Kelvin Thompson, SPA et al all support a humanitarian intake of 20,000. I have questioned this on the (SPA) PopForum but did not receive an answer. I suspect that this statement makes good politics in conjunction with driving down the overall migrant numbers and stablizing the population at 27m.
S.A. is working on a 'stop population growth' party.

I favour zero net popoulation. Our natural population growth is approx. at that level. We would then have to reduce immigration to a level where it is offset by emigration, which in itself raises the question: do you replace for example emigrating professionals with immigrating illiterates, or would you match like with like?

I regard Australia as overpopoulated from a sheer environmental viewpoint. Therefore we should aim for gradual decline. Ideally every man and woman (the world over) would only ever father/mother 1 - 2 children until we reach the level that is commensurate with the planet's carrying capacity, which scientist say is somewhere between 1 and 2 billion. I prefer to go with the James Lovelock scenario of less than one billion. An even spread of 1-2 children would maximise genetic diversity. Alas, we have a lot of imbalance with many people withdrawing from reproduction altogether and others are overproducing. Again, cutting off generous family payments may restore some balance here.

As to the humanitarian intake quota:
My proposal is to put an end to all permanent resettlement visa and all permanent migration visa. Instead, Australia (and other countries) should issue only provisional or probationery visa which would have restrictions imposed on them. The restrictions would depend on the type of visa. Migrants would then have to 'earn' their permanent visa over a period of some years.

We issue probationery driving licences - with restrictions. Someone accepting a career position is subject to a probationery period. Uni graduates cannot immediately open up a practice as a doctor, lawyer, accountant etc. They have to earn their colours and stripes first over a number of years. And so the list goes.
Why then do we give permanent visa to new arrivals when we know next to nothing about them? They may lie to us through their teeth and our authorities cannot disprove it.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 12:10

EarthFan:
Dick Smith, Stable Population Party, Kelvin Thompson, SPA et al all support a humanitarian intake of 20,000. I have questioned this on the (SPA) PopForum but did not receive an answer. I suspect that this statement makes good politics in conjunction with driving down the overall migrant numbers and stablizing the population at 27m.
S.A. is working on a 'stop population growth' party.

I favour zero net popoulation. Our natural population growth is approx. at that level. We would then have to reduce immigration to a level where it is offset by emigration, which in itself raises the question: do you replace for example emigrating professionals with immigrating illiterates, or would you match like with like?

I regard Australia as overpopoulated from a sheer environmental viewpoint. Therefore we should aim for gradual decline. Ideally every man and woman (the world over) would only ever father/mother 1 - 2 children until we reach the level that is commensurate with the planet's carrying capacity, which scientist say is somewhere between 1 and 2 billion. I prefer to go with the James Lovelock scenario of less than one billion. An even spread of 1-2 children would maximise genetic diversity. Alas, we have a lot of imbalance with many people withdrawing from reproduction altogether and others are overproducing. Again, cutting off generous family payments may restore some balance here.

As to the humanitarian intake quota:
My proposal is to put an end to all permanent resettlement visa and all permanent migration visa. Instead, Australia (and other countries) should issue only provisional or probationery visa which would have restrictions imposed on them. The restrictions would depend on the type of visa. Migrants would then have to 'earn' their permanent visa over a period of some years.

We issue probationery driving licences - with restrictions. Someone accepting a career position is subject to a probationery period. Uni graduates cannot immediately open up a practice as a doctor, lawyer, accountant etc. They have to earn their colours and stripes first over a number of years. And so the list goes.
Why then do we give permanent visa to new arrivals when we know next to nothing about them? They may lie to us through their teeth and our authorities cannot disprove it.

jackal01
Posted Saturday, November 10, 2012 - 20:48

Marga that is Brilliant. I am all in Favour.

EarthFan I don't know you well enough so, I said. "This sounds a bit Elitist" I wasn't picking on you, only shinning a light.

EarthFan Posted Friday, 09 November 12 at 10:45PM was a good read.
Like Marga said 1 to 2 Billion, we have started the Converastion, if enough people talk about it THEY might get it through their Fat heads.

I can't think of anything more selfish then creating Kids that nobody will want or that have no future. 77% of all Australians are already living of the Tax Purse and putting nothing in, so, Talk about Human Cane Toads.

jackal01
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 04:56

zeroxcliche
the death of decency, what is decency by your terms.

Your driving a car on a narrow road. a Truck is coming towards you, there is a mother with a child in a Pram on the left footpath and the mothers Dog darts onto the road at the last moment because she can't be bothered keeping the thing on a lead and its too late to stop in time.

You only have 3 choices, hitting the brakes and diving towards the right killing yourself and maybe the young female Trucky who has a child or 2 at home, swerving to the left and killing the stupid mother and her kid who owns the dog and couldn't be bothered keeping it on a lead or plowing straight ahead killing the stupid dog.

Which one of those is the decent thing.

So would it not be more decent to not breed like Cane Toads in the 1st place rather then sending your own or someone elses Cute and Cuddly of to War eventualy to make room, because that is what has always happened, despite what your brain dead Grandfather might have told you about the Glory of WW2.

The decent thing would be for us to find another planet, so that so many other creatures on this planet don't have to die just so you can live in a Fancy House, drive a Fancy Car and look like your it.

Now why do you breed and why do they breed, the Planet does not need us. The Indiginous People would love to see the back of us. Us pissing off to that shitty little Island that we overpopulated 500 years ago.

Go to remembrance day
9 Nov 2012

Learning From The Great War
By Stuart Rollo

He mentions 16 million dead and for nothing, he fails to mention the 50 million that died during the Flu Pendemic because of the deseases created by the destruction of so much of Europe and all that because the Aritocracy and English industrialists could be the richest in the world. Yet what did those Idiots give as The Titanic and its many lessons of Decency. Where the 3 class and most of the second class were locked into their Cabins with no chance at all.

So whats so decent about being human, rich or otherwise.

fightmumma
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 09:42

decency is treating human beings with human dignity and extending that respect for life to the entire planet.

tragedy is having human beings who cannot (or will not) understand the great sancity and majesty of having human life with all the good, beauty and love that this can and should bring to the world. Tragedy is these human beings having power over and turning on other groups who do value humanity and attacking, down grading, dehumanising our existence for their short-sighted, agenda-driven, uninformed opinions.

it is frightening how easily and with seeming justifiable logic that people can once again turn on brothers and sisters of their own race and call them "not human" to deny them basic human rights and to justify a set of values and beliefs that shadow the ugly, destructive underlying motives of the Nazi regime, or slavery, mental institutions - the main theme being - "YOU are not as human as ME, therefore MY beliefs, opinions and reasons for existence are superior to YOURS, YOU don't deserve and are not entitles to the same choices and freedoms that I am..."

And we like to think we live in a "civilised" world and are beyond such inhumane, unjust sentiments? It might be that we are too politically correct to target racial groups with these attitudes now, but there is a marked shift in attitudes towards poor people and the suffering of people who are in difficult life circumstances or have some sort of injust and unforeseen circumstance thrust upon them (war, Sharia law, partition, a famine, foreign governments interefering in domestic affairs, disabling injury, unemployment, responsibility for children or elderly with high-care needs).

If you can't see this or the problems it generates then you're a defective member of the human race.

fightmumma
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 09:50

thomasee and earthfan - you miss so many other important contributing factors to poverty, why do you take such a narrow unimaginative view of this important topic?! You guys say you chose not to have a family exactly because you don't want to add to the overpopulation and stress on the planet providing for its human populations...I bet you consume PLENTY!

I live in a single parent household with 2 teenage sons. As of 1st January when I'm shifted onto Newstart allowance off Parenting payment, my household will be living on under $13,000 a FORTNIGHT. So according to your theory - because I have a family I will be consuming MORE than you people? Well, you're full of crap as how can I possibly consume more when that is all the income I have to spend and a third of it goes in rent and another $100+ in petrol? I bet you spend MORE than that!

thomasee, I am disappointed in you - you have an obvious deeper understanding of social issues and a mind that can analyse and dig at better perspectives on many social issues - you get a big fat "F" in the poverty department. Get your head out of your own bum boy and think a bit more.

fightmumma
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 10:07

might I re-state that the world' wealthiest 20% do 76.6% of the worlds consumption...so the wealthiest 20% are at fault here in terms of consuming beyond what the planet can sustain...

jackal01
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 - 22:04

fightmumma

Exponential growth

http://loveforlife.com.au/content/11/03/29/videos-exponential-function-a....

How many people can you fit into a room, as many as it can hold, the same for the Planet.

The world did not start with 7 billion people * by 2 and you got a problem * it by 2 again.

Watch the Video's then come back and talk.

By all means bring in refugee's, but just remember it can't go on for ever and when we are all starving because some farmer isn't going to give it away and you ain't got a Job to buy it and the Government ain't got Taxes to pay you yiour Well Fair because nobody buys our exports and you ain't paying tax to get Tax money back, then what.

Do you know why 3 million Irish People starved to death during the Potatoe Famine, they couldn't afford to buy back the Grain that they were growing as share farmers for their English Masters. No raxes no hand outs, no exports no Taxes, you/we don't pay any Taxes. 77% of all Australians already live of the Taxes and put nothing in.

Yes we can be generous, but being stupid and shitting in your own nest ain't my idea of having fun.

How do you think the west got to be the west, being generous, no we killed, we raped, pillaged and plundered.

We stole the Indiginous peoples land, dug it up for the Minerals, we make a fortune, 77% of us live of the taxes earned by those exports and give them peanuts.

Why don't you ask the Indiginous people whether they want more breeders coming here to take more of their land.

A hand full of whites have almost destroyed the place in 200 years and you want to add to the pile of shit. Have a look at the Yanks, they used to be Marilyn Monroe's in fancy stiches now their lucky to have plain cotton undies, their broke, it was all fantacy land.

Watch the Video, tell me what you think. Exponential Growth.

EarthFan
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 03:22

Fightmumma: Don't assume that you are the only person living on Newstart Allowance or the only victim of the Family Law Act. The end of parenting payments is unjust because the Labor party rendered all marriage contracts null and void when it passed the Family Law Act in 1975. The Act allows one spouse to force the other spouse (usually the mother) into single parenthood against her wishes, on no grounds at all, and without compensation. But all that is another issue.

I am surprised that no-one has discussed overpopulation in terms of capitalism and the well studied laws of supply and demand. High population growth is good for business profits because it creates a greater demand for goods and services, so higher prices can be charged. At the same time population increase creates a greater demand for jobs and more competition for those jobs, which puts a downward pressure on wages. Low wages + high prices = higher profit. Good for business investors. Likewise with housing. Pop increase good for people who own more than one home or block, bad for those trying to buy their first house.

High birthrates create poverty by increasing the competition for jobs and pushing up prices. Would there be call centres in India paying their workers $2 a session if the Indian birthrate had been lower than ours for the last 30 years? Now that the economy is global, high birthrates in one country affect wages in other countries.

Compulsory superannuation turns us all into investors in the stock and property markets. It means that the value of our superannuation depends on company profits. So if you have a lot of super, you will probably be on the side of growth in immigration and consumption.

EarthFan
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 03:22

Fightmumma: Don't assume that you are the only person living on Newstart Allowance or the only victim of the Family Law Act. The end of parenting payments is unjust because the Labor party rendered all marriage contracts null and void when it passed the Family Law Act in 1975. The Act allows one spouse to force the other spouse (usually the mother) into single parenthood against her wishes, on no grounds at all, and without compensation. But all that is another issue.

I am surprised that no-one has discussed overpopulation in terms of capitalism and the well studied laws of supply and demand. High population growth is good for business profits because it creates a greater demand for goods and services, so higher prices can be charged. At the same time population increase creates a greater demand for jobs and more competition for those jobs, which puts a downward pressure on wages. Low wages + high prices = higher profit. Good for business investors. Likewise with housing. Pop increase good for people who own more than one home or block, bad for those trying to buy their first house.

High birthrates create poverty by increasing the competition for jobs and pushing up prices. Would there be call centres in India paying their workers $2 a session if the Indian birthrate had been lower than ours for the last 30 years? Now that the economy is global, high birthrates in one country affect wages in other countries.

Compulsory superannuation turns us all into investors in the stock and property markets. It means that the value of our superannuation depends on company profits. So if you have a lot of super, you will probably be on the side of growth in immigration and consumption.

EarthFan
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 03:23

Fightmumma: Don't assume that you are the only person living on Newstart Allowance or the only victim of the Family Law Act. The end of parenting payments is unjust because the Labor party rendered all marriage contracts null and void when it passed the Family Law Act in 1975. The Act allows one spouse to force the other spouse (usually the mother) into single parenthood against her wishes, on no grounds at all, and without compensation. But all that is another issue.

I am surprised that no-one has discussed overpopulation in terms of capitalism and the well studied laws of supply and demand. High population growth is good for business profits because it creates a greater demand for goods and services, so higher prices can be charged. At the same time population increase creates a greater demand for jobs and more competition for those jobs, which puts a downward pressure on wages. Low wages + high prices = higher profit. Good for business investors. Likewise with housing. Pop increase good for people who own more than one home or block, bad for those trying to buy their first house.

High birthrates create poverty by increasing the competition for jobs and pushing up prices. Would there be call centres in India paying their workers $2 a session if the Indian birthrate had been lower than ours for the last 30 years? Now that the economy is global, high birthrates in one country affect wages in other countries.

Compulsory superannuation turns us all into investors in the stock and property markets. It means that the value of our superannuation depends on company profits. So if you have a lot of super, you will probably be on the side of growth in immigration and consumption.

EarthFan
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 03:25

Fightmumma: you are correct about the wealthiest countries having the highest consumption of the earth's resources and creating the most pollution.

A nuclear family of four in Australia has a higher consumption than a nuclear family of eight in India as long as you only count one generation. But take into account two generations. The family of four becomes six and the family of eight becomes a family of thirty eight (6 x 6 plus original parents). Take three generations into account, and eventually you will get to the stage where the large family has a higher consumption than the richer family. (Assuming that they haven't already died from starvation).

Consider this scenario: Suppose that every single person on earth owns an equal amount of the earth's wealth. Then they pair up, and half the couples have six children and the all the other couples have only two children. Should those with only two children give up some of their share of the world's wealth in order to support the other couples' larger families?
I am sorry if my comments are too simplistic for you, but I am NOT going to write any more 3000 word essays.

jackal01
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 05:41

EarthFan
Nicely put, there is more to the world then numbers.

It seems that the World didn't have a problem until we invented Zero's.

This is exactly the sort of discussion we need on the topic of Over Breeding. Breeding because somebody needs an income or some silly Farmer wants cheap Labour, only to watch the kids run of to the Cities to enjoy the NIFGT LIFE.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Marga
Posted Monday, November 12, 2012 - 11:29

Earthfan:
I deliberately stayed away from discussing business-driven overpopulation as we are straying too far from the topic, and like you, I don't want to write 3000 word contributions.

Superannuation too would be a separate topic. Superannuation needs to be improved a lot for it to be effective in the future, and the funds should be more purpose-driven invested with much less flowing into funds managers' pockets.