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Cost no object – Rudd just wants the asylum seekers in someone else’s backyard

Kevin Rudd has pulled out every available stop to persuade voters that he can stop the boats - not immediately, but eventually. The Australian government has spectacularly outsourced its asylum seeker…

Kevin Rudd has moved to the right on asylum seeker policy, hoping to court voters. AAP/Dan Peled

Kevin Rudd has pulled out every available stop to persuade voters that he can stop the boats - not immediately, but eventually.

The Australian government has spectacularly outsourced its asylum seeker problem. It has effectively agreed to pay whatever is needed to compensate Papua New Guinea for coming to its assistance.

Rudd does not want to see any more of these boat people, never mind how genuine their cases, able to stay in Australia. The deal he has crafted with PNG is for that country to take the future arrivals. They will be processed there by PNG and those found to be refugees will be settled in that country.

There are no figures yet on what this will cost – it will be in the billions – but Rudd promises it will be budget-neutral and that details will come later. It sounds like another massive savings job – while the government is still trying to cope with the backlash over the crackdown on the car FBT arrangement that part-financed the new carbon policy. (Of course there would be economies in the long term as arrivals fell.)

Will the draconian “PNG solution” work as a deterrent? Nobody can be sure. Even Rudd says it will be a bumpy road. And he is indicating people shouldn’t expect quick results.

What he is asking voters to do is to believe in him.

Tony Abbott immediately welcomed the agreement – what else could he do in response to such a tough policy? The endorsement is useful for Rudd. But Abbott said the policy wouldn’t work with Rudd in charge.

For the second time in a week - the other was carbon - Abbott finds himself outflanked on a key battleground.

There are some potential points of vulnerability in the policy.

One is how quickly the process can be swung into action. The Manus Island facility will have to be expanded and other facilities set up.

Manus has been criticised by the UNHCR. Children and a number of family groups have just been removed. Immigration Minister Tony Burke said women and children would not be sent there in the short term, although “the intention is that as the temporary facility moves to a permanent facility, anybody who arrives from now on will be subject to the new rules”.

If this initiative takes too long to get into full swing, the people smugglers will simply tell clients that the Australian government will not be able to live up to its rhetoric.

And if the government has to make exemptions – as past experience suggests does happen - that too would weaken the deterrent.

PNG obviously stands to get a financial bonanza out of the deal. The costs of the asylum seekers will be covered by Australia and there will be a heap of assistance for other areas, including health, education and law and order.

But there are also risks for the PNG government. If it takes a long time for the inflow to taper off, a large number of people could end up there, and that could lead to a domestic reaction in that country. The numbers are open-ended for a year.

Rudd being Rudd, the king-hit policy comes with some other trappings. He has been in touch with the United Nations secretary- general and said that Australia will convene a conference of transit and destination countries to discuss improving global arrangements on processing systems and centres and resettlement.

There is some irony in Australia unloading its problem onto its developing neighbour while at the same time seeking to show international leadership on the broad issue.

As significant as the PNG deal (possibly more so) is the decision that Indonesia has just taken to adopt a harder line to people arriving from Iran. Thousands of Iranians are making use of Indonesia’s easy visa system and then jumping on boats to Australia.

These are the “economic migrants” that the government has been saying must be stopped. Indonesia has previously done less than it could to block these people.

The Australian government is also working on tougher processing arrangements for those already here.

Rudd has done an extraordinary full circle on asylum seeker policy in only a few years. His government rejected and dismantled the Pacific solution. He has admitted since taking back the leadership that it then failed to act quickly enough in 2009-10 when the trade was getting underway again.

In his news conference on the night of the 2010 coup against him he warned against a lurch to the right on asylum policy.

Now he has taken his own huge step to the right.

He says one has to respond to changing circumstances.

On each occasion he has managed to sound sincere and convincing as he articulated his position. That is his political skill.

His strategy now is to paint Abbott as having a mantra - Stop the Boats - but not a realistic policy to deliver on it. Rudd is putting forward a policy to counter that mantra and, if it works, also to deliver on it.

Join the conversation

317 Comments sorted by

  1. Steve Phillips

    Nurse Practitioner

    Pretty typical of the man, big plan throw money he doesn't have in all directions and then rush off before the roof falls in. He did it in his first attempt at the PM's job and hasn't changed an bit.
    The word from the streets of PNG is they don’t want any part of it.
    The ABC had a correspondent who did a vox pop and they are not happy at all.
    1. PNG is a developing nation.
    2. They don’t like foreigners.
    3. They don’t have enough work for them.
    Not my opinion, just the Papuan's, but then who gives a s##t what they think, Kevin cetainly doesn't.

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    1. Lorraine Muller

      PhD - eternal student

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Your 3 points sound very much like many Australians.

      As much as I don't like the offshore processing, I do believe this may have some benefit.

      Many of those seeking asylum have qualifications, skills and access to some resources. They will bring those assets to the host country where they may be valued. In Australia most qualifications and skills are not easily recognised and are therefore wasted.

      The people of PNG may actually find benefit in this deal.

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    2. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Lorraine Muller

      These rouge refugees should be stopped by any cost. We should let Afghans and Iraqis stay till we fix their problems. Anyone else like Tamils from Sri Lanka, Iran etc. should be sent back for example Tamils can be sent back to India in exchange of Uranium sales to India. Iranians could be returned to another part of Iran etc. Kevin the Kopykat has done a great job. Thank you Kevin.

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    3. Lorraine Muller

      PhD - eternal student

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      I have never heard of ' polishing the turd' and your reference to a peg is just downright weird (I obviously don't mix in your type of circles).

      Your initial post, as do some others, depict the people of PNG very poorly. It reeks of racial superiority.

      Sure there are difficulties in PNG, but this plan offers refugees the opportunity to live in, and maybe even become valuable members of, the community.

      PNG is not a ' first' world country like Australia but lets be honest, an alarming amount of Aussies don't want these refugees here and are extremely vocal on the topic.

      The issue of asylum seekers is extremely difficult and fraught with political point scoring, but hopefully PNG can act as less of a drawcard but still offer welcome safety for those seeking asylum.

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    4. Steve Phillips

      Nurse Practitioner

      In reply to Lorraine Muller

      What gave you the impression that I told them what to say? Am I a wizard or what. This is what THEY said not me. If you think they are 'guilty' of a sense of 'racial superiority ' then take up an argument with THEM not me.

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    5. Henry Verberne

      Once in the fossil fuel industry but now free to speak up

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      I suspect you "pooh pooh" this audacious move as it will likely be a game changer that neutralises another of Abbott's lines of attack.

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lorraine Muller

      " Many of those seeking asylum have qualifications, skills "
      And you have the facts to verify that claim Lorraine?

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Lorraine Muller

      " I have never heard of ' polishing the turd' and your reference to a peg is just downright weird "
      A turd is a turd Lorraine, no matter how shiny is what Steve is suggesting and Steve could be accustomed to sniffing.

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      The majority of the 235 comments now written are those who support 'strong action to protect our borders' debating those who want a compassionate solution which respects human rights.

      This debate is pointless because I don't see any sign that anyone has changed their minds. It is also certain that those who support 'strong action' will vote for a right wing solution - they will vote for Rudd or Abbott.

      So the big question is what will those who support compassion do?
      Will they vote Labor and thus vote for the PNG solution? I think it's time compassionate Labor voters rethink their support for Labor.

      I urge all those who care to Vote 1 Green.

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    9. Bron Larner

      Retired Humantities

      In reply to Lorraine Muller

      Lorraine, I was born in PNG and lived there for many years. No-one in their right mind would seek asylum there. Land is NOT available: no infrastructure exists, and the rule of law does not apply. As to welcoming refugees, just look at how they treat their compatriots fleeing the Indonesians across the border.

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    10. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Bron Larner

      I know it may sound parochial, but this could help to establish PNG as a world nation.

      Up to now they have been a bit of a cowboy operation.

      Who knows how things might turn out...........sooner or later they may have to grow up and become a real country.

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    11. Bruce Tabor

      blogger

      In reply to Steve Phillips

      Sorry but I've lived in PNG. Apart from Port Moresby (where the "vox pop" was interviewed - do you assume a racist from Mount Druitt speaks for all Australians?) and parts of the highlands, they are very welcoming of foreigners. There are large multicultural communities in PNG towns - Malays, Chinese, Filipinos etc. Those fleeing persecution will find a home there.

      The unemployed are largely unskilled. There is heaps of worked for skilled people - which many of these refugees are. They can help build the country if they are genuine refugees seeking a new start.

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    12. Bruce Tabor

      blogger

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael: "I urge all those who care to Vote 1 Green."

      Are you nuts? The Greens lack of compromise has resulted in the deaths of more than 1100 people by drowning. There's nothing compassionate or respecting of human rights about that.

      What's more. The most needed refugees can't afford to get on boats. We are failing to help the most vulnerable because our generosity is being exploited and public support for refugees is being eroded. There is nothing compassionate about that either.

      It is offensive to suggest that compassion and respect for human rights are incompatible with a demand for a fair asylum process that doesn't enrich the scum of the earth (smugglers) and cost thousands of lives.

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Bruce Tabor

      The Malaysian solution would not have worked and it wasn't legal anyway.

      The reason that so many died on boats is that Labor has accepted so few people from Indonesia as refugees that those there - who are not entitled to education and are not allowed to work, had no other option than to get on a boat.'

      Have a look at the Greens solution - http://greens.org.au/our-plan-save-lives?utm_source=Civi&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Rudd%20Refugee - and note how many organisations support this.

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    14. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Bruce Tabor

      Bruce Marilyn Shepherd, the queen of bleeding hearts in here, at one stage, in another thread, expressed a view that the deaths of asylum seekers by drowning is rather irrelevant as long as the survivors are all allowed into Australia without question.

      I was shocked at such callousness from some who makes such a song and dance about caring for fellow human beings.

      So what does that tell you about the real motivations behind many of these people!

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  2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    Both the ABC TV News and the SBS TV News managed to include the view of the Greens (albeit briefly).

    Isn't it reasonable to mention that there is still some political opposition to this policy?

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    1. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      No wonder ABC and SBS Lefties included the Greens the Leftists after a green acrylic paint bath. Without asylum seekers and refugees Green will be short for election funding and a declining vote bank.

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    2. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Good point MWH. Democracy should be suspended. There are people going around with opinions that differ from mine. They are clearly too unintelligent to be selecting a government.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to James Jenkin

      In the last two days I've had four people suggest that I'm anti-democratic or want to suspend democracy.

      Anyone who can comprehend what they read would see that I'm promoting true democracy by trying to encourage people to vote for the party which best represents their values.

      I'm working hard on true democracy.

      That I'm so often accused of being anti-democratic shows that many on the right don't comprehend the debate, which goes a long way to showing why these conversation are so frustrating.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      Thanks for the reference to the Milne article, she wrote good.

      The Guardian is huge breath of fresh air to the Australian media because we all know that it is unlikely that we would see this in the Fairfax or Murdoch press.

      As I wrote before, informing the people of the policies of the Greens means that people can make an informed decision to either vote for them or not.

      Ignoring the Greens, with the most guilty media outlets being the ABC and Fairfax, doesn't inform people, and this brings into question our democracy.

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    5. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      And what if most voters don't vote for the party that you think best represents them Michael?

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    6. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      It's not which party I think represents them, it's which party they would think best represents them if they were fully informed.

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    7. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      The majority of Australians believe that the party(s) which best represent them are ones that are prepared to crack down hard on illegal immigrants and people smugglers.

      Which doesn't suit you greens now does it!

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Greg, yet again we have a person of the right with the comprehension skills of a wombat.

      My main point is that people should vote for the party who is closest to the policies that they want.

      So I encourage you to vote Labor or Liberal (isn't it sad that on this issue both are equally as bad/strong on action).

      I'm urging those who don't agree with the policies of Labor or Liberal to vote Green.

      And are you completely stupid or are you deliberately telling lies? Even the Greens think that those who are not genuine refugees should be sent back home, so this debate is about asylum seekers and has nothing to do with illegal immigrants.

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    9. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      "And are you completely stupid or are you deliberately telling lies? Even the Greens think that those who are not genuine refugees should be sent back home, so this debate is about asylum seekers and has nothing to do with illegal immigrants." "

      Some of us are not suckers for green spin.

      The problem is Michael the number of illegal immigrants that you Greens collectively regard as not being genuine asylum seekers could be counted on one hand!

      The problem is Michael that you greens collectively give far to much benefit of the doubt to illegal immigrants. And that this therefore amounts to an all but open borders policy!

      So no Michael we are not stupid, but clearly you greens think we are!

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    10. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Yeah Michael I wouldn't waste too much time with Greg. Don't let him wind you up. That's largely his game - he comes and trolls and spits vitriol at those who take a different potion from his own. I.e. Left centre or left versus right. Best just to ignore him - many here with a different position actually have intelligent input as to why they think asylum seekers should be treated as sub humans - Greg tends to just come from a position of howelling things like "you people" as if you're not even an Australian. Like most xenophobes he thinks others support his opinions or should support his opinions while failing to see that this is a polarised debate. Poor delude man even thinks Abott has the solution while failing to see Abbott is perhaps the biggest moron that has headed a political party ever.

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    11. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Look forward to meeting pakeha"

      You reap what you sow Mahy!

      I do not respond to Michael as I do you Mahy because Michael does not hurl abuse at me because I disagree with him.

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    12. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Best just to ignore him "

      You seem to be having a hard time doing that yourself Grant!

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    13. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Indeed you do Greg. Murder people and it will come back to bite you hence the overflow of far away battlefields that is now arriving on Australian shores. However, your position is we have no obligation to accept them after, in many instances, creating them in the first instance.

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    14. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      You are the one who made the threatening post Mahy - I merely responded in kind.

      "far away battlefields "

      I have already told you Mahy, I DO NOT support any of those 'far away battles' and never have!

      I have already told you Mahy I think the Americans are wankers who failed to learn from their own recent history!

      "However, your position is we have no obligation to accept them after, in many instances, creating them in the first instance. "

      Whether at the hands of the Taliban or the Americans, Afghanistan is a basket case and has been for a LONG TIME.

      And no I do not think we have an obligation to Afghans to the detriment of my own country due to the foolishness and weakness of small number of federal politicians who sucked up to the yanks.

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    15. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "I have already told you Mahy, I DO NOT support any of those 'far away battles' and never have!

      I have already told you Mahy I think the Americans are wankers who failed to learn from their own recent history!"

      Whether you support it or not Greg Australia has troops in these far away battlefields and are allies to these "wankers". You don't get to shirk your international responsibilities after acting irresponsibly.

      "And no I do not think we have an obligation to Afghans to the detriment of my own country due to the foolishness and weakness of small number of federal politicians who sucked up to the yanks."

      Very convenient!!

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    16. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "You don't get to shirk your international responsibilities after acting irresponsibly. "

      I simply don't care Grant - I will always fight against excessive immigration no matter the reason for it.

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    17. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      I still don't care Grant. We can adequately compensate them by means other than allowing mass immigration to Australia!

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    18. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Well Grant nor do you.

      The only thing you care about is getting your revenge on the contemporary Pākehās through recolonization of their lands that were taken from your ancestors!

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    19. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      What would you suggest. They haven't even dug the bombs up they dropped in Lao in the 60's and 70's Greg.

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    20. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      " through recolonization of their lands"

      Firstly we aren't colonising. As a Brit Greg use 's' instead of 'z' - z is American spelling not English. And they are our lands. :-)

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    21. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Who give's a fuck Grant. I only change to z to get the spell checker off my back so to speak!

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    22. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Firstly we aren't colonising."

      I think you have made it rather clear that your attitude is more about revenge against the Pākehās in Australia than it is about caring about refugees.

      I wonder Grant if you would have such a rabid attitude towards refugees if you were still in New Zealand and such mass immigration policies were to detrimentally effect the economic and social prospects of your Maori brethren.

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    23. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "I think you have made it rather clear that your attitude is more about revenge against the Pākehās in Australia than it is about caring about refugees." Actually Greg my view is all is one and one is all and until humanity gets this we are damned. Actually, given the history of humanity I expect we are damned anyway but let's hope there is a shift in the collective consciousness of humanity.

      "I wonder Grant if you would have such a rabid attitude towards refugees if you were still in New Zealand and such mass immigration policies were to detrimentally effect the economic and social prospects of your Maori brethren."

      My passport is Australian Greg. My people are humans and it is you who holds rabid views about asylum seekers. You will note I say let them in - whether that be Aotearoa or Australia or elsewhere while you say it is an invasion. Let me ask you Greg, whose position is rabid on this basis?

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    24. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      In my view 'rabid' means that you know no limits or caution with respect to immigration, whether it be skilled or humanitarian, and are an advocate of population growth.

      I have said on numerous occasions that I care about numbers and not race.

      Although I do harbor concerns about taking in too many muslim immigrants too fast.

      But then Islam is a religion, with associated political values that often clash with western political values, and not a race!

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    25. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "But then Islam is a religion, with associated political values that often clash with western political values, and not a race!"

      Actually, Tony Blair perhaps put it nicely in that there is a thread of Islam that is problematic and that no one wants to discuss. This said, asylum seekers are typically extremely moderate Muslims and this is why they are being persecuted and killed by extremists. The myth that has been circulated by political interests wishing to capitulate on the asylum seeker debate…

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    26. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "This said, asylum seekers are typically extremely moderate Muslims and this is why they are being persecuted and killed by extremists"

      I have no doubt Grant that this is true for some.

      But it is clearly not the case for all of them.

      Both sunni and shiite muslims persecute each other across the arab world and many of them are extremists.

      I don't think any rational Australian is going to accept your premiss that none of them are arriving on boats from indonesia!

      Or that many are not already in Australia, particularly in the west of Sydney etc.

      "white Australians took to the streets in Cronulla and bashed anyone that looked even vaguely Muslim"

      I believe that was instigated by hordes of Lebanese youths who were harassing anglo-saxon females on the beaches and surrounding areas.

      You have a very one eyed view of recent history don't you Grant.

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    27. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      ""white Australians took to the streets in Cronulla and bashed anyone that looked even vaguely Muslim"

      This sort of sectarianism inevitably results when to many from a clashing culture are brought in too fast resulting in ethnic enclave multiculturalism rather then melting pot multiculturalism.

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    28. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "You have a very one eyed view of recent history don't you Grant."

      Not all Greg. http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/multicultural/pdf_doc/Muslims_in_Australia_snapshot.pdf

      49.6% (169,000 Muslims) of all Australian Muslims (total Aus Muslims = 340, 393) live in NSW with the bulk of these in Sydney. A few were causing some trouble (how many would you say 10-20 - 50?) and this was made a huge deal of in the press. As a result hundreds of white Australians came out onto the streets and…

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    29. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant I am in no ways suggesting that the reaction of anglo-saxons etc in Sydney was a reasonable and proportional response to a small number of trouble making Lebanese.

      I am merely pointing out that when rapid immigration leads to sectarianism rather than a melting pot then sectarian violence is inevitable and you would be wise to re-think the immigration program.

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    30. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "I am merely pointing out that when rapid immigration leads to sectarianism rather than a melting pot then sectarian violence is inevitable and you would be wise to re-think the immigration program."

      Based on the numbers though this fear is irrational and that is what I am saying.

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    31. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      I don't think the fear is irrational at all if you look countless examples around the globe.

      We just have not yet reached a population density that leads to endemic violence and is virtually impossible to police.

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    32. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Greg there's countless examples of high populations and stability. Population has very little to do with it. For instance, New Zealand versus the UK where land mass is about the equivalent but the UK has over 62 million versus NZ at 4.2 million. The UK has per capita less violence than NZ. So "endemic violence" has nothing to do with population but more social stability and available resources so your fear that a massive continent like Australia is going to be overpopulated any time soon is largely irrational and your fear that population equates to endemic violence is irrational.

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    33. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Population has very little to do with it. For instance, New Zealand versus the UK where land mass is about the equivalent but the UK has over 62 million versus NZ "

      Bullshit Grant! Britain is not as peaceful and harmonious as it has been in previous decades and there is significant (though not yet devastating) racial/sectarian tensions, poverty and crime.

      The only reason that it has not fallen in a heap is that Britain's lines of credit have not yet been cut off and they can still pay for an effective police force to suppress violence.

      Greece is further along towards anarchy with fascist groups now taking on the role of the police force which the Greek government can no longer afford on the scale required.

      Take a look at a map of the world Grant that shows where all of the political trouble spots are.

      Then look at a map of the world that shows population densities.

      All of the world's trouble spots are in or centered on the highest population densities.

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    34. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Your own Maori forbears routinely engaged in cannibalism and constant warfare prior to European settlement because most of New Zealand's worth while game birds and sea mammals had been hunted to extinction, or almost so.

      And their Polynesian ancestors brought few domestic animals with them when the settled in New Zealand.

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    35. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Greg I typically live between England and France or have done for some time on and off prior to returning to Australia to do my Masters. I can assure you that England is possibly less dangerous to live in then Australia and certainly is far safer than New Zealand which has serious problems economically and socially (e.g. the fastest growing gap between poverty and wealth in the OECD in 2012 and child poverty and child abuse that is through the roof - it was condemned by the UN in 2011 because of this).

      "All of the world's trouble spots are in or centered on the highest population densities." India (2) and China (1)? Really? Nope. America (3)? Indonesia (4)? Nope! In fact Greg of the top 10 countries for population only Pakistan (6) and Bangladesh (8) have problems and in the case of Pakistan this is largely due to the war on terror. So again based on the facts you keep putting forward your arguments are irrational.

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    36. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      An over populated region is not necessarily an densely populated region Grant

      It all comes down to resource availability relative to the population.

      New Zealand has a small land mass and not that much in the way of natural resources.

      So it is not surprising that a smaller population than Britain is under significant stress in New Zealand. Nor surprising that New Zealand is more dangerous that Britain......at present.

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    37. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Well should should now about racists given that you have such hatred toward whites!

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    38. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "New Zealand has a small land mass and not that much in the way of natural resources."

      You're kidding right. New Zealand and England are pretty identical where it comes to natural resources albeit New Zealand kills England for fishing resources and available arable land. Greg - I really don't think you must know much about either country to come out with something like this. That is why I used England and New Zealand as a comparison. Both resource wise are pretty much identical.

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    39. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      A significant proportion of New Zealand consists of inaccessible mountain ranges. A lot of Britain is relatively flat in comparison.

      Apart from the fact that it is close to the European continent making trade easy and inexpensive and giving Britain the ability to easily make up shortfalls in its own resource production.

      Something that is not so easy for New Zealand to do given its isolation. Which is why your smaller population is under greater stress than Britain is at present.

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    40. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      So now you've agreed with me. It has nothing to do with population but infrastructure and geography. Based on this premise Australia can easily increase its population then because of our proximity to Asia.

      "A significant proportion of New Zealand consists of inaccessible mountain ranges."

      Hilarious - that did give me a good laugh. Greg try driving along a country road in NZ late at night and you won't see another car. You've never actually been there have you?

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    41. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      No I don't agree with you Grant.

      It is your view that population size and density has no bearing on political stability etc. That sufficient resources and wealth will always be found no matter how big the population gets. Which is just plain childishly naive.

      It is my view that if the population size and its collective consumption of local resources exceeds the rate at which those resources can be renewed then political instability and violence inevitably follows.

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    42. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      And the worst the defect get the worst the political instability and violence become.

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    43. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Yes given that you have a pair of blinkers on that shields you from an aspect of reality.

      But hardly surprising from a loopy Greens supporter!

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    44. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      I'm a Labour supporter. We're sending Labour a strong message just like Labour claims to be sending asylum seekers a strong message:-) Therefore, it isn't a vote for the Greens per se (although I do like their environmental concerns etc) but a vote against Draconain asylum seeker policy. Do you understand what a F off vote is?

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    45. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Population is a major factor in environmental sustainability.

      So given that you don't accept this you may as well go and be a Green as you will feel right at home on the whole!

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    46. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      "Population is a major factor in environmental sustainability." Absolutely!

      Greg, Australia has allocated 190,000 places for immigrants next year and 20,000 for asylum seekers (total intake = 210,000). What does this tell you?

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    47. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      It tells me that you and your greens mates are blindly assuming that Australia's long term carrying capacity of this continent is much greater than our current population.

      In your case likely because you are an indigenous New Zealander and not an indigenous Australian and have therefore not yet developed an deep understanding of this continent and of ts ecology and geology.

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    48. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg Boyles

      Greg - If you are worried about too many people arriving in Australia how about criticising the immigration program which is so large that at the moment about 1 in every 100 people is someone who immigrated in the last year.

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    49. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      I'd be interested in why you still support Labor (apart from on asylum issues and environmental issues).

      Looking at other issues, even though Australia is already a low tax country compared to most OECD countries why do you want taxes to be even lower? Labor does. This means less money for services - which explains why there are problems with hospital funding and why Labor have allowed Newstart to be so low that it is now one of the lowest in the OECD and people are living in poverty.

      Of course Labor has failed to take action on problem gambling, failed to tax the miners, can't do gay marriage when even the British Conservatives did it, they wanted to ban all x-rated content off the internet, they think Assange is a criminal .....

      Maybe I've made my point.

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    50. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I do and have on many occasions Michael!

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    51. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Q & A last night was excellent in terms of outlining views on the whole issue.

      There was no hysteria and no slanging matches.

      There will always be a divide on this issue about what is right and what is wrong - or moral and immoral.

      As BS said, there are 40 million displaced person in the world, we can't take them all.

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    52. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Q&A last night also showed how self censored our progressive opinion leaders have become.

      Perhaps one or both of the two women speaking against the policies of the major parties on asylum seekers voter Green, but neither were brave enough to mention them.

      The Greens have a solution - http://greens.org.au/our-plan-save-lives?utm_source=Civi&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Rudd%20Refugee - and if you go to this page you will see that this solution is supported by an impressive list of organisations.

      Yet on a discussion on this issue this solution was not even mentioned.

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  3. karen griffiths

    retired teacher

    is it about stopping people smugglers or is it about something else?

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    1. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to karen griffiths

      WEll there are no people smugglers but if there were there is no law in the world that gives us the right to punish the victims again.

      Most will be illiterate Hazara coming now after losing protection in Pakistan and Afghanistan and that is what it is really all about.

      Rudd today would send jews back to Hitler, I gave up on the coward the day he turned back refugees from Sri Lanka.

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      One very obvious disincentive to get on a boat to Australia has been the knowledge that you might drown.

      If people are willing to take this risk then locking them up at Manus Island, etc, is no great disincentive and so of course it hasn't worked.

      Perhaps the PNG 'solution' will 'work', but the cost to the asylum seekers (it doesn't sound like they will be welcome in PNG), to our reputation on human rights, and to the Australian budget, is going to be huge.

      Just like Americans who travel have to pretend to be Canadian, perhaps Australian's who care will have to pretend to be, um, New Zealanders.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to karen griffiths

      There is plenty wrong with putting people on a boat which is unsafe.

      But what is morally questionable or illegal about helping someone do what they are legally entitled to do?

      Despite all the spin, it is legal to arrive in Australia on a boat for the purpose of seeking asylum. And I'm not aware of any law making it illegal for a person (who often isn't legally in Indonesia) to leave Indonesia.

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    4. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Refugees from Sri Lanka, are they members of the Indian trained, armed, financed and managed terrorist outfit? Thank you Rudd for waking up to liars, cheats and non-violent invaders. Yes we should look after Afghans and Iraqis until we fix their problems at home. We have the right defend ourselves from non-violent aggressors.

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    5. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      These people are not saints and they are not stupid. They come to the nearest country to Australia legally with proper travel documents. Then send those documents back to the source to be used by the next lot. The so called smugglers are just prpviding transport for a fee.

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    6. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to karen griffiths

      The Human Rights business is worth billions of dollars. A big law firm charges a minimum of $50,000 for a refugee case. Shop front and ethnic lawyers charge more than 20K if the refugees are not from the same ethnic group. It is peanuts for the rouge refugees when a #8888 entrepreneur's visa cost $ five million.

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    7. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      And how many refugees need a big law firm to represent them?

      And when the big cases come - the high court challenges, etc - I suspect that you will find that much of the refugee side work is done for free by some of the big firms.

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    8. karen griffiths

      retired teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I agree with all you say MWH but on the radio the other day the words of Jon Stanhope were heartbreaking in anyones language - "We have a two year old boy in our morgue and we don't know his name." I would suggest we don't know the names or numbers of thousands of people who are drowning in their quest to get to Australia. And this is a quest they pay thousands of dollars for, to people who couldn't care less about their safety. How do you break a business model as heartless but as lucrative and organised as that?

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    9. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to karen griffiths

      The sad facts of life is we also don't know the names of the thousands who die in earthquakes, floods and famines- and in wars and battles and terrorist attacks.

      In fact it's not thousands - it's millions.

      Any death in tragic circumstances is lamentable, but it doesn't do any good to get histrionic.

      And there are around a thousand (more or less) road deaths in Australia each year.

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    10. karen griffiths

      retired teacher

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Agreed, but the issue we are discussing is something we can perhaps try and get control of. Surely, if you can prevent a death?

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    11. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to karen griffiths

      Like it or not KR's new policy would seem to go a long way to reducing (if not stopping) deaths.

      It would seem that with this issue no-one can get everything they want. Once the issue of deaths is resolved, the argument then moves somewhere else.

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    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to karen griffiths

      Despite what Marilyn claims karen, quite possibly because she has never met one, yes there are people smugglers and what Rudd is proposing is designed to stop them, the irony being that he has been their best ever friend for dismantling a policy that was working.
      Whether it works or not is another matter for with:
      " But there are also risks for the PNG government. If it takes a long time for the inflow to taper off, a large number of people could end up there, and that could lead to a domestic…

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    13. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You fail to mention the incentive of a life in Australia Michael on welfare and as to the Australian budget, there is likely to be a temporary cost if the people smuggling is stopped for without those using people smugglers, numbers to be handled and costs become minimal.
      The big danger for Australia is that given this seems to be an agreement up for review after a year, it may just be a temporary solution.

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    14. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      What is illegal is people smugglers helping people evade the normal exiting from a country and no it is not legal to enter Australia or its territorial waters without a visa.
      Once here, claiming asylum is another matter.
      If you do not think Indonesia does not have immigration regulations why do you think even to go to Bali Australians need to pass through Immigration and customs - just ask Schapelle!

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    15. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      I doubt Karen is the one introducing histrionics Stephen and there are inadvertent deaths, those caught up in violence or in the wrong place at the wrong time because of natural disasters, even road accidents and other events.
      And then there are those being caused by people smugglers out just to make money and having zero care for the welfare of people they are charging considerable money.
      There is a huge difference.

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    16. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to karen griffiths

      The Green's solution is:
      https://archive.greens.org.au/sites/all/modules/civicrm/extern/url.php?u=140872&qid=9250449

      Remember that our total refugee intake is very low compared to most other countries: We take only taking only 0.98 per 1000 of our population.

      For comparison, Sweden takes 8.81, Norway 8.24, Germany 7.22, Venezuela 6.95, Luxembourg 6.41, Switzerland 6.37, Canada 4.87, Netherlands 4.51, UK 3.84, and Ireland 2.04. The US is the only other first world country below Australia, taking…

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    17. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      The difference is that with asylum seekers the government is working hard to depersonalise these people so the names are suppressed and the media can't talk to them.

      And most of those killed in the incidents you mention within Australia are named in the media.

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    18. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      It's never been about stopping deaths by drowning.

      It has always been about stopping the boats and thus stopping us taking in more genuine refugees.

      If you don't mind more genuine refugees arriving here then there are many easy ways of preventing drownings - quickly processing them in Indonesia and accepting many more would also save lives.

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    19. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      What are the facts about what has happened to those we accepted years ago as refugees and their current use of welfare?

      I suspect that the facts would show that your view is wrong, but I don't have time to do the research. Perhaps, as you raised this point, it is beholden on you to look it up.

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    20. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      WRONG WRONG WRONG - Since Menzies signed the Refugee Convention it has been legal to enter Australia without papers or a visa for the purpose of seeking asylum.

      What value are any of your posts if you can't get something as simple as this correct?????

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    21. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to karen griffiths

      It's about a desperate little man trying to win an election really. Ironic that Rudd has introduced a policy that won't stand when tested legally but this test won't happen until after the election. This same little man however overturned Howard's Pacific Solution stating that "it was wrong" but has now implemented the most far right asylum seeker policy yet and indeed the most extreme policy by a long shot of all developed countries.

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    22. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      John be honest you don't give a damn if people die on the trip over - this is about you not wanting asylum seekers to come to Australia.

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    23. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Greg North

      I don't want to start arguing about deaths that have more significance than perhaps others.

      People walking along a street in Baghdad and getting blown to bits is not the same as a group of people paying money to board a leaky boat and run the risk of drowning.

      Both scenarios are unfortunate where deaths and injuries occur.
      But no-one is compelling refugees to board boats, particularly where their is a risk to the lives of children.

      The argument is that these people are desperate and are willing to risk everything. Unfortunately the worst case scenario is sometimes realised.

      There are many examples of big corporations having zero interest in the welfare of people/communities and where deaths and terminal illnesses result.

      Mining, chemical, food etc

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    24. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      Dalit you should be careful of supporting right wing racially driven policy - or with a name like Dalit Prawasi one day it is you who may find yourself being on the wrong side of such policies.

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    25. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      View it how you will, but from where I stand he was more or less pushed and/or goaded by Abbott/LNP to do something.

      And the reality is that political parties DO try and win elections....it is their raison d'etre.

      And whilst I am not a lawyer, I can't see any reason why KR's actions don't meet acceptable standards.

      We still take refugees through the proper channels each year.
      The refugees will end up in PNG and not Australia - don't see how that will matter as long as the country will not be hostile and prepared to accept the refugees.

      They will be allowed to settle in PNG - again seems fair.

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    26. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      "just ask Schapelle!"

      Greg about as stupid an analogy as you could give. If an asylum seeker carried kilos of illegal drugs into Australia and these were found by customs they would be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned.

      When are you going to step off this much disproved line that seeking asylum is illegal. Most of the racists who once believed this have been shown the facts b=and yet you maintain this party line while at the same time trying to tell people that your position is that asylum seekers are drowning and that is why Australia should do everything in its power to stop them from coming here. Do you realise how ridiculous this all sounds? At least get some integrity so you don't stink of a lack of integrity.

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    27. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      And anyway judging from your prior posts and comments, you'll only be happy when 98% of Australia's population been put on boats and launched out to sea.

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    28. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      From where you stand Stephen your position is very shaky indeed. https://theconversation.com/rudds-png-plan-unlikely-to-comply-with-international-law-16250

      "The refugees will end up in PNG and not Australia - don't see how that will matter as long as the country will not be hostile and prepared to accept the refugees."

      This is also extremely shaky and I expect that the natives are going to be extremely unhappy with what Krudd has done here. Actually good article in the Sydney Morning Herald…

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    29. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      Send up cruise liners to pick them up John, based on your position that your only interest is not to have asylum seekers drown.

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    30. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      No John we're interrogating the hypocrisy of your position - not trying to find solutions of establish numbers.

      You already know my position so why ask. My position is very simple in that we respect our international legal obligations because these obligations were formed around moral obligations to protect our own (i.e. human beings).

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    31. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      How stupid is your comment Grant for it is nothing to do with illegal drugs and all about Indonesia having immigration and customs controls if you follow the conversation accurately.
      Where have I said that seeking asylum is illegal and in fact I have stated the very opposite and that all claims do not get agreed to.
      Read what is printed Grant.
      It is about stopping the people smuggling that in turn can cause deaths at sea.
      Your comments are the ridiculous ones Grant, as per usual.

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    32. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Phillip

      I'd not bother John for Grant has created a deep circular ditch with his regular circuitous responses.

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    33. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      "Grant, you really are an angry little man." Haha classic deflection - I'd note your tag of "grumpy old man". Indeed - at least here we can be honest. And yes, John racists and liars do tend to make me somewhat angry but then as you know I am into human rights.

      "how do you control the numbers?" Change American foreign policy. Stop bombing and killing people. Stop destabilising the Middle East. Stop trade embargos which were established because Iran was alleged to have breached the Nuclear Non-proleration…

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    34. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      So, you have no answer. lots of big ideas and lofty, holier than thou morals but nothing practical. Unsurprising really. And you accuse me of deflection - your little rant about the US being at the root of all the problems in the world is indicative of the paucity of thought that you've applied to the problem. Grant your bigotry is tainting and diminishing those same thought processes. It seems that you'd be much happier drowning more refugees than actually doing something to prevent that. It certainly fits with your blame game mentality. How you or I feel about genocide and murder is irrelevant to this discussion but follows your pattern of attempting to gain the 'moral high-ground' through asserting how caring you are. Won't work, Grant. Stick to the discussion we are having and answer the question - how do we control the numbers if we adopt your proposal of sending liners to pick them up?

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    35. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      You used Shappelle Corby as an example of boarder control. I simply pointed out the flaw in your example. Shappelle got busted running drugs into a country that has the death penalty for drugs. Semantics aside (did she do it - did she not?) this was an incredibly flawed analogy.

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    36. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      John my answer was very straight forward and in my last response re "how do we control the numbers?" I.e. stop creating them in the first place and until then open our boarders to all who come.

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    37. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Like I said, Grant, that's a nice idea but seeing how conflicts and rulers that have displaced people have been doing so since the start of humanity, it's not realistic. While you are striving to achieve this lofty goal, many more will drown. If you send ships to pick them up, many more will come. As you know, our country is too small, economically at least, to handle all who would choose to live here. You've got to be a bit more pragmatic.

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    38. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      So according to the first article you quote, after only four years of being in Australia about 75% of refugees are in full time work.

      Not bad when you consider language difficulties and that some may be in training to enable their overseas skills to be recognised in Australia.

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    39. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      John two points here. The conflicts are being caused by America and its allies - notably Australia in this instance. Now the spill over from these conflicts has arrived on Australia's shores Australia seeks to deny them safe haven while at the same time turning their countries into veritable living hells.

      The second thing - your argument has become circular and once again you are trying to say that your only interest is in saving lives (if this is the case than stop being complicit to murder and get on the streets and demonstrate about your government killing people). This said, having denied you are a liar re my pointing this out as to you claiming your position is based on asylum seekers drowning you then show at least some of your true colours with "as you know, our country is too small, economically at least, to handle all who would choose to live here." At least we are now getting somewhere.

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    40. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      One advantage of writing why you think I'm wrong, and justifying your reasons for thinking this, is that then we might at least know what point of mine you think is wrong.

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    41. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      You are still confusing the argument, Grant. Are you saying that Australia can handle the millions of refugees worldwide? The wars are a separate issue to this immediate one. Yes, we do need to get out of other nation's business but that wont stop the creation of refugees.

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    42. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      Yes, we do need to get out of other nation's business but that wont stop the creation of refugees.

      There you go John - we finally agree on something. So, it is nice of you to admit that we have played a part in creating these refugees. Now we must play our part in resettling them and paying for our actions.

      "but that wont stop the creation of refugees." John, it will certainly play a huge part though won't it? As a tip, look at the countries where these refugees come from. Oh and as for Syria - let's face it mate the Americans are now arming a new Taliban army. Why do you think this is? Why would America who claims to be fighting a war against terror arm Muslim extremists? Do the math.

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    43. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      PS let's not even talk about Iraq (where this shit show all started) and the missing WMDs, the murder of the only person (a head of state) who had stabilised the region and the millions (estimated at 1.6 million) of Iraqis who paid the ultimate price for a crime they had nothing to do with. Now the country is a shooting gallery and going to hell those who created these conditions would then like to say that those fleeing are economic migrants etc. Do you get just how immoral this all is? Do you get what monsters WE actually are? And yet here is you sitting comfortably in a country where you are safe and wealthy - all of this achieved through climbing over others - saying that a few people dying at sea should be our primary concern. That's hilarious at best. They're dying anyway John - better to take your chances at sea than to face certain death because a pack of despots came to your land and waged war for ideological purposes.

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    44. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Phillip

      If European countries are not getting millions of refugees, what makes you think that Australia would?

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    45. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, You're shifting into ideology and the 'big picture'. There's no argument that that is important and central to a long-term solution, but it isn't going to prevent the drownings NOW. Why do you insist on shifting away from the immediacy of this discussion? You seem so intent on proving yourself morally or intellectually superior to me that you are losing touch with what we're actually discussing.

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    46. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      "You seem so intent on proving yourself morally or intellectually superior to me that you are losing touch with what we're actually discussing."

      Mate if you're feeling intellectually and morally inferior that isn't my problem - your position is both intellectually and morally suspect. John, one cannot discuss the small picture without looking at the big picture - such a position can only be likened to treating the symptoms and not the disease. So you asked me what could be done to stop the boats and I gave you the answer.

      "it isn't going to prevent the drownings NOW." Bombed, drowned, starved, what's the difference John other than at least by drowning you gave yourself a chance at a better life and went out fighting for that? There's a good article in the Age today where a Pakistani asylum seeker who was on a boat that sunk and where people drowned explains to safe, wealthy white Australia why he would do it all again. May I suggest you read it.

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    47. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, I'd question whether you really give a damn about refugees except insofar as they suit your ideological argument.
      I am wondering why the Pakistani refugee was only speaking to "wealthy white Australia" ? Perhaps he was speaking to anyone who'd listen and you've twisted his story to suit your racist agenda?

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    48. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      "Grant, I'd question whether you really give a damn about refugees except insofar as they suit your ideological argument."

      Safe to say I give a damn about the lives of all humans. Hence studying a Masters in Human Rights with the intent of leaving this safe wealthy country and living in war torn shit holes to help save human lives (shit holes I've been to and have only returned to Australia after 7 years away to study). John, you forget, before these faceless people became refugees they were people living in war zones - you cannot possibly talk small picture without considering the context of the larger picture. What I would like to see is that all Australian's should be forced to live in the conditions that many of the worlds population are forced to endure and then see what they have to say about boat arrivals. See John, to you you're a pragmatist but to someone who has seen people die you're a monster and this is where we fundamentally differ.

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    49. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      No need to John. Monsters will never admit they are monsters just as racists will very seldomly admit they are racist. I'll let others be the judge based on your posts. What is inspiring though John is so many see Krudd as a monster and hopefully his cynical little ploy to win votes will see him both losing the election (I expect this will be the case regardless) and seen by the world for the clown he is.

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    50. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      PS John sorry it took so long to reply - been on the phone with people organising protests for next week. Funny, a whole bunch of people that would have voted Labour are now hitting the streets to lobby against them. Let's see if we can give Krudd the send off he deserves.

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    51. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, the reason I don't see myself as a monster is because I believe that stopping the boats will save lives. That in NO WAY means that I'd argue for anything but an increase in our refugee intake. This probably doesn't fit with your view or understanding of my position but, there you have it.

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    52. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to karen griffiths

      There are no people being smuggled to Australia, they come quite openly under the law and find the authorities.

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    53. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to John Phillip

      What a truly disgusting thing to say. I have never denied the holocaust happened, I simply refuse to ignore the other millions of non-jews slaughtered by Hitler, Stalin and the allies.

      Why do you ask me about stopping people drowning on a boat, go and ask the people on the boats. How would I stop people being killed in car accidents, or being run over on the road, or falling off a cliff.

      Your ridiculous question has no point and is offensive.

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    54. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to karen griffiths

      Karen, they drowned because we let them. How do you feel about a business model so heartless it bombs, invades and occupies another nation for 12 years knowing full well the bombs will slaughter hundreds of thousands of civilians.

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    55. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to karen griffiths

      If you stop one child from drowning and sit back and watch while 20,000 kids a day die of starvation and we could prevent that what is the moral high ground? 360 Australian's die every day of the year, do you know who they are?

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    56. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to Greg North

      They are not evading anything. And it is quite legal to enter Australia without a visa, not one person has ever been charged for not having the mythical visa.

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    57. Marilyn Shepherd

      pensioner

      In reply to John Phillip

      Why do you want to and under what law do you think we have the right to. Jordan and Lebanon have 1 million refugees each without whinging about how to control them.

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    58. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      " You used Shappelle Corby as an example of boarder control. "
      No Grant, I merely used the name Schapelle to emphasise that Indonesia does have immigration regulations,

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    59. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " So according to the first article you quote, after only four years of being in Australia about 75% of refugees are in full time work. "
      Oh yeah Michael
      " The amount of workplace participation among refugees and asylum-seekers remains low for some time. After four years, only about 25 per cent are engaged in full-time work. (The issue is examined in a Department of Immigration report, Settlement Outcomes for New Arrivals, published in April last year.) "
      So where did your 75% come from and typically you go off misquoting, errant cherry picking and misleading.

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    60. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " One advantage of writing why you think I'm wrong, and justifying your reasons for thinking this, is that then we might at least know what point of mine you think is wrong. "
      " WRONG WRONG WRONG - Since Menzies signed the Refugee Convention it has been legal to enter Australia without papers or a visa for the purpose of seeking asylum. "
      I thought ot would have been obvious that it was related to your quote.
      Just go and check the Migration Act and also Section 31 of the Convention - referred to by Saul about Kevin's plan legality.
      You're way out of your depth

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    61. Stephen Ralph

      carer at n/a

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Well Grant if nothing else it will be interesting as it plays out over the next 6 - 12 months.

      I am not a KR fan, but must admit that he has tabled a royal flush, leaving TA with a pair of jacks.

      From politics as dull as dishwater, we get a contest that will be worth watching from the gallery.

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    62. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      " There are no people being smuggled to Australia, they come quite openly under the law and find the authorities. "
      They are being taken out of Indonesia without going through their immigration, that constituting smuggling and that is the start of their voyage to Australian territory.

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    63. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      Indonesian Immigration is certainly being evaded with their departure from Indonesia or it could be a blind eye syndrome.
      The interception process involves an initial intrview, some, the Sri Lankans being returned and others go through the process of having asylum claims assessed.
      So what if they are not being charged and the Australian government is not pursuing them for not having a visa and concentrating on processing claims.

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    64. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      Haha true Stephen. And he's got the Greens a lot of votes also. Hmmm Pauline Hanson is being kept very quiet but who needs her now.

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    65. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      What a load of rubbish - you denied that there were 6 million murdered by the Nazis and that makes you a holocaust denier. The question is not ridiculous - it is explicitly to the point. You have a view that encourages people to get on those boats and sail to their deaths. It is disgraceful.

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    66. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      John pick on someone your own size and stop pretending you give a crap about asylum seekers drowning.

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    67. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      Jeez John I thought it was a log on the shoulder. Hell man I've been down graded.

      "Try growing up"

      yes mate of course - what worth you slinging insults at a retired women. E.g. " Are you so ideologically driven that you are that stupid?"

      Haha you're a very confused man John and always so entertaining.

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    68. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      BTW has it occurred to you that sending asylum seekers to an impoverished, corrupt country where there is no welfare and they don't speak the language won't kill more of them? Just wondering.

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    69. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      Isn't it funny that those pushing the line on people drowning (albeit then showing their true colours with boarder protection claims and putting the cost on a human life) then say my solution results in more people drowning. John look at the big picture - 1.6 million Iraqis are dead, about 100,000 Syrians are dead, about 100,000 Afghans are dead (including 20 known fatalities from the Tampa who were refouled thanks to Australia) etc. Then of course those who claim they don't want people to drown…

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    70. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, I am trying to be honest. I don't think you can make a silk purse out of the worldwide refugee situation no matter what you do. The policy is about killing pull factors in order to stop killing refugees by drowning. That's where the caring comes in - doing something that prevents deaths. We take a finite number of refugees. This is NOT an attempt to stop refugees or drop the number we have committed to accepting. It is purely a means by which a particularly lethal human transport can be shut…

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    71. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Phillip

      And if you think like John then vote for an extremist party (compared to how the other OECD countries are handling this) and vote either Labor or Liberal.

      If you don't swallow the fear campaign, respect human rights, and think we not only can but should be doing much better, please vote 1 Green.

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    72. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      "The policy is about killing pull factors in order to stop killing refugees by drowning."

      Oh bollocks John many Australians would be happy if they drowned. This policy has nothing to do with saving lives. If the Australian government gave a damn about that our soldiers wouldn't be in other peoples countries supporting evil despots in the war against terror (an oxymoron in itself i.e. war = terror)

      My point is John forget Pacific Nations where there are no jobs, no opportunities and absolutely no hope for these people and respect our international obligations to the Convention.

      "Isn't the provision of facilities and welfare a part of the PNG deal?" Nope unless you call mandatory detention welfare which it certainly is not.

      "This is NOT an attempt to stop refugees" Don't be bloody ridiculous. This is to stop the boats which is the same thing as saying to stop refugees coming here.

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    73. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael I expect that this will result in the Greens getting a lot more votes than they otherwise would. One has simply to look at how polarised things are here to see how strong opinions are. What this ultimately means is Labour = right wing policy, Liberal = right wing policy and Greens = the only alternative to make a statement that this is not on. If Australia really is the land of the fair go than this will reflect in the polls. If nothing else Krudd has been a great spokesperson for the Greens and certainly they have my vote now.

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    74. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      Safe to say I do John. There are no compromises when it comes to respecting our international legal obligations. These laws were drafted for a reason.

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    75. John Phillip
      John Phillip is a Friend of The Conversation.

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Well Michael, they sure didn't in their response to the new policy on Friday night. Milne and Hansen-Young were in self-righteous indignation mode, parroting each other's wails of 'inhuman', 'cruel', 'ruthless' and so on. The closest they came to offering an alternative was the same generic, big picture unrealistic crap we've heard here for the last couple of days. It's amazing that Abbott gets pegged as Dr No when all these two clowns do is whine and moan.

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    76. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to John Phillip

      That'll do me John. Krudd just gave the Greens a lot of votes and hopefully this will give them power of vetoe in the senate. Given the rednecks we have on offer criticism is more than warranted.

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    77. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      It's probably true to say that the PNG solution has ensured that Adam Bandt will retain his seat :)

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    78. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to John Phillip

      Yes John - Those who share your views should vote Labor or Liberal.

      I'm urging those who don't agree with you to break away from giving their first preference to a major party, and instead vote 1 Green.

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    79. Greg Boyles

      Lanscaper and former medical scientist

      In reply to Marilyn Shepherd

      "Rudd today would send jews back to Hitler, I gave up on the coward the day he turned back refugees from Sri Lanka."

      That's a laugh coming from a holocaust denier!

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  4. Pat Moore

    gardener

    You finally got it right Michelle..."economic migrants", not refugees.

    So Rudd's dealing with the end point of an exodus and the middle point via the Indonesian visa rort, (live cattle numbers going up today coincidentally?) but what about the point of origin? Why are traveling tourist middle class Iranians evacuating their country? Something to do with the US empire imposed economic sanctions? Is the educated population anticipating future empire moves and its spreading wars after Syria?

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Pat Moore

      Those arriving who are not genuine refugees (ie just economic migrants) have always been sent back, and even the Greens support this.

      The 'problem' for both Labor and Liberal is that over 90% of the boat people are found to be genuine refugees.

      But your complete lack of understanding about refugees is shown by your thinking that someone arriving in a plane cannot be a refugee. You think a refugee must be poor (and thus is just coming here for a better life). But a refugee is someone who is persecuted in their own country for race, politics, religion, sexual orientation, etc

      That you don't know these things shows just how poor the debate is in this country and proves that the media in reporting the political circus has failed to inform.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " The 'problem' for both Labor and Liberal is that over 90% of the boat people are found to be genuine refugees. "
      The real problem is the reality of checking claims of persecution etc. is very difficult.
      And then your complete lack of understanding is that Australia like all countries doing resettlement do have capacity issues and that controls are needed.
      Sad as it may be, we cannot help everyone who would want to turn up on our doorstep by boat or plane and there are many many more refugees in camps around the planet who have no hope of doing either.
      Very few get resettled after what countries that do resettle offer resettlement to a small percentage of those making applications.
      Meanwhile that leaves tens of millions globally to be cared for by the UNHCR and other NGOs running camps in many countries.
      That you would feel we should pander to the more wealthy ahead of those without is also some indication.

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - your ignoring the facts of the issue make your posts just spam.

      As I've pointed out, only the USA accepts fewer refugees than us. We can easily take in more and we have a moral obligation to do so.

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    4. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      Yes Greg I've noted anyone who presents the facts that counter your own is alleged to be misrepresenting the facts.

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  5. Leigh Burrell

    Trophy hunter at Trophy hunter

    Kevin Rudd's Irregular Maritime Arrival Deportation Revolution!

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    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Shame it's illegal and will collapse as soon as it is contested through the courts.

      I.e. Kevin Rudd's Irregular Maritime Arrival Deportation vote winner.

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    2. Leigh Burrell

      Trophy hunter at Trophy hunter

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Nice to be able to agree with you for once. I've said I think the bleeding heart loony left lawyers will shoot this down in flames. Their livelihood is on the line

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    3. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Leigh Burrell

      Safe to say Leigh, they will. So yes haha we finally agree on something.

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  6. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    Political master stroke.

    Who would have thought..............

    a) no more boat refugees to Australia

    b) outsourcing to PNG with all genuine refugees to be domiciled in PNG.

    c) economic win for PNG

    brilliant strategy.

    Of course it will horrify the Greens and others, but if people wanted the boats stopped - they're stopped.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Stephen Ralph

      We should not be counting the chickens until after the hatching and this case maybe wait until we have full grown chooks who hopefully will not be kicking in the dunny doors, hopefully less than what is occurring in Nauru
      http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-19/police-called-to-major-disturbance-at-detention-centre-on-nauru/4832268
      Michelle reports that numbers are open ended for a year!
      I reckon the last word needs to be somewhat emphasised!
      Like it'll more than likely take more than a year to build premises to handle thousands.
      A year is also a good enough length of time for the PNGs to start saying things other than bugger this!
      They might want more than access to the express lane through immigration/customs and want an agreement like we have with the Kiwis, perhaps even more to be able to claim citizenship and of course much more money.
      Kevin is allowing Australians to be held down over another barrel.

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    2. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Greg North

      Still, a year also gives Rudd time to start the campaign to overhaul the Refugee Convention at the international level. The luvvies will go ape fretting that the gravy train might be about to end.

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    3. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      I think you will find no one will be too interested if Rudd tries to "overhaul" the Refugee Convention at an international level and from an international legal perspective I doubt the Krudd policy will hold https://theconversation.com/rudds-png-plan-unlikely-to-comply-with-international-law-16250

      So what Australia then needs to face up to is whether to exit the convention and place itself outside of human rights norms that civilized and human countries abide by in the face of far more asylum seekers crossing their boarders than Australia sees.

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    4. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "place itself outside of human rights norms that civilized and human countries abide by.."
      Like South Africa and the former Soviet Union? Thanks all the same, but I am mighty fine with the norms of the Australian people, and laws passed through the democratic processes of our Constitution and Parliaments. You know, the very norms and laws you fled to, away from your native New Zilland, Samoa, Tonga, or wherever.
      Thanks all the same.

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    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Actually David I am an Australian but nice lame attempt to have a crack based along racial lines. Like most of what your have said it is full of holes and contradictions.

      "Thanks all the same."

      My pleasure.

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    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, nobody is denying, you are now an Australian. And you are most welcome. I just wish you actually had some education about Australia, rather than your largely irrelevant "Master of Human Rights". Then you would know that the majority of Australia's post-WWII were/are foreigners. So much for your "xenophobia", unless you are talking about yourself.

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    7. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Thanks David for welcoming me into my part of the world (i.e. the hemisphere in which I belong). That is great - I am welcome:-)

      "irrelevant "Master of Human Rights"

      Given we are discussing a human rights issue (i.e. Australia's obligation to the Convention) I would say I am possibly one of the most qualified people here to be discussing asylum seekers wouldn't you. You on the other hand David are in marketing research which last I checked had nothing to do with Australian history studies or human rights and International law. Which brings us to White Australia policy and today's xenophobia which runs deep through the psyche of the boat people who are squatting on stolen land.

      the majority of Australia's post-WWII were/are foreigners. So much for your "xenophobia", unless you are talking about yourself.

      Nope mate - I am talking about you. I'm very much in my part of the world - the part of the world where I belong but thanks for the welcome.

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  7. Stephen Ralph

    carer at n/a

    Forgot to add -

    d) not a boat turned back.

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  8. Dave Roarty

    Retired, once was young.....

    If this is implemented quickly such as applying to boats arriving from this weekend, I expect the teaffic will slow very quickly. That will mean Manus will not get very large or costly as the assylum seekers will head elsewhere. Whether they are genuine or economic migrants, I doubt PNG is attractive.

    The other costs / bribes such as the hospital, uni places, etc are probably worth doing anyway and may help keep PNG avoid worse instability.

    Given we still take more asylum seekers comparative to our population than most countries (second to Canada I think), I think this initiative is a winner. As long as it works as planned.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dave Roarty

      You are thinking of those we take who apply for asylum to Australia from another country. Here we do well.

      But when it comes to accepting refugees who arrive at our door, we that score, Australia ranks way down. Of 205 countries listed in the 2011 UNHCR figures, Australia is 70th, taking only 0.98 per 1000 of our population.

      For comparison, Sweden takes 8.81, Norway 8.24, Germany 7.22, Venezuela 6.95, Luxembourg 6.41, Switzerland 6.37, Canada 4.87, Netherlands 4.51, UK 3.84, and Ireland 2.04. The US is the only other first world country below Australia, taking 0.85.

      - See more at: http://newmatilda.com/2013/07/19/worlds-most-welcoming-country#comment-49218

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    2. Steve Phillips

      Nurse Practitioner

      In reply to Dave Roarty

      it will all fall in a heap before or not long after the election regardless of who gets in.

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    3. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Figures or numbers are not worth anything when compared to the feelings of people. Rudd and Abbot speaks for the people and shows the feelings of the majority of Australians. US has the highest number of refugees, asylum seekers or whatever you want to call them coming to US from countries close to US. UNHCR figures are not different to the UN, a thing that is not of any use these days. Take Assange and , Snowden what is UN or its affiliates doing about them.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      So the UN is totally wrong about refugee numbers?

      As pointed out already, you don't know the difference between an economic migrant (of which the USA has millions) and a refugee.

      You provide a great example of how fear (your calling it an invasion) fed by ignorance (not knowing much about the issue) leads to strong political views that are inhumane.

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    5. Dave Roarty

      Retired, once was young.....

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I followed your link and also found a more recent take
      http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/n/mr/130719_GlobalStats.pdf
      I assume "accepting" means hosting refuges pending acceptance as asylum seekers or return to their country post conflict. Surely geography plays a large part in those numbers?
      Back to the original point, we do well with asylum seekers. There has been appalling politicisation of a wicked problem. A solution that will stop profiteering by people smugglers and people drowning has value. Fewer people from Iran / Afgahnistan will give the 100,000 Myanmar people in Malaysian camps or the untold in Somalia more chance. It is still a wicked problem, but I think this is an improvement.

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    6. Mike Jubow

      forestry nurseryman

      In reply to Dave Roarty

      "A solution that will stop profiteering by people smugglers and people drowning has value".

      Isn't it reasonable to expect that the people smugglers next move will be to set up in PNG?

      If so, we can expect to have ferals landing all over Cape York.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You also need to get some more dancing done with Matilda and see just how many of those people supposedly being taken in or just entering are actually given permanent residency as with resettlement.

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  9. Dalit Prawasi

    Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

    A man from Australia rings Australian maritime Authorities to warn about a boat that is about to capsize. How did this man know about it? He is one of the people who sponsor their relatives and friends some times former terrorists. These people are the real culprits in this non-violent invader problem. It is time we introduce laws to punish these people.,

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    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      non-violent invader

      Some would say all immigrants to Australia are non-violent invaders. It is simply a case of definition and certainly I have spoken to many people over the years that believe immigrants shouldn't be allowed to enter Australia and "steal" Australian jobs. Besides this, such a term is absolutely rediculous and stinks of politicised rhetoric to justify the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. I.e. non-violent invader is an oxymoron.

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  10. Dalit Prawasi

    Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

    Green's Hon Milne MP says on ABC 'It is Australia's day of shame". will they be seeking asylum in Manus from the country of shame.

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  11. James Hill

    Industrial Designer

    So asylum is asylum unless it is in PNG?
    Well those preferring Australian asylum will have use means other than boats.
    So this stop the boats, not stop the asylum seekers.
    Or, at least stop the asylum seekers for whom PNG is not good enough?
    The economies of the region are growing, opportunities must be growing for genuine asylum seekers to find asylum in this region.
    How many expatriate Australians preferentially live in South East Asia?
    But, somehow, not good enough for "genuine" asylum seekers?
    Asylum seekers can still get to Australia without resorting to boats and they do.
    Are these the genuine asylum seekers?
    Or will genuine asylum seekers be happy with PNG?

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Hill

      You're certainly once more barking up the wrong tree James.
      Asylum seeking as you know is not illegal and many people make application after having flown to Australia.
      The percentage of approvals is not that high I think you'll find.
      You mention boats and not people smugglers, smugglers who arrange for people to bypass other countries exit control and in doing so put many lives at risk on rotting unseaworthy former coastal fishing boats.
      It is the people smuggling and deaths at sea that needs to be stopped.

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      As normal with Fairfax, this article, basically agreeing with The Greens, doesn't mention The Greens.

      The editorial in today's Age is similar - lamenting that we have fallen so low but, as usual in all the editorials which support the Greens (and there are many) failing to mention The Greens.

      The Murdoch press distorts the world to keep Liberal voters voting Liberal, but I think that The Age is the most biased paper in Australia because it distorts the world to one where the Greens almost don't exist, and thus the Age keeps people who value and policy wise would support The Greens feeling depressed about the world and voting Labor whilst thinking "if only Labor would do better".

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    3. James Hill

      Industrial Designer

      In reply to Greg North

      Where did I say that asylum seeking is illegal?
      I think country shopping is the term applied to a natural preference for a country like Australia.
      Whereas once in Indonesia, for example, are asylum seekers in the same danger they tried to flee in their original countries?
      If they stayed there, in a Muslim country, (for Muslim asylum seekers), would people smuggling and deaths at sea be stopped?
      We can understand a preference for Australia, as happened with British post-war migrants coming to…

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  12. Comment removed by moderator.

    1. James Jenkin

      EFL Teacher Trainer

      In reply to John Milan

      John, I'm not sure what your comment means, or who it's directed at, but it's certainly very forcefully put.

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    2. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to John Phillip

      Thanks John
      Greens the lefties after a green acrylic paint shower will be short for election funds as the sponsors of these cheats will not pay any fees for Greens talks and support for them. The future Green vote bank will be smaller as there will be no non-violent invaders landing on Australian soil.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to James Jenkin

      I think he may be making a reference to Kevin and those who support his plan James.

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  13. Terry Reynolds

    Financial and political strategist

    This strategy will stop the boats!

    These people are not flying down from the Northern hemisphere to Indonesia - then to get on a leaky old boat to come to Australia from fear or persecution in Indonesia.

    Unlike Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, they know Australia has the best economy and living conditions in the world. They want to jump the immigration queue.

    If they are genuine refugees they will keep coming in the ever increasing numbers to settle in Papua New Guinea were they are being welcomed to assist develop its economy.

    Personally speaking I believe they would be safer in Iran or what ever countries they spend hours in a plane flying over to get down here.to this part of the planet.

    I suppose this will put the acid test on them as to the good faith and honesty of their Refugee claims.

    Well Tony you got your political way - PNG's offer will stop the boats!.

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    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Terry Reynolds

      This strategy will stop the boats! Nope it will just divert them. Let's not kid ourselves.

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  14. Natasha turnbull

    Student

    Kevin Rudd may (may not) have found a political fix on a mess he caused in 2008. But no way I will vote him in this election.

    I won't forgive him for letting in more than 45,000 illegal arrivals, wasting $10 billions and more than 1,000 death. Plus many more failures under him.

    He is good on seeming and talking, but disastrous in action. People shouldn't be fooled for the second time.

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    1. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      From what I have heard over the grape wine since Rudd signed is that most of the refugee sponsors are lost and worried. They may use the flights but the problem is the tight and more comprehensive procedures applied by airports where flights to Australia originates.

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    2. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      Agree totally Natasha - let's just say the guy has zero integrity and this is coming from a Labor now Greens voter.

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  15. Robert Hogg

    Lecturer in Australian Studies at University of Queensland

    Michelle, what is almost as disappointing as Australia's abrogation of its moral and legal obligations towards asylum seekers is your acceptance of the government's rhetoric on so called economic immigrants. When you refer to 'these people' you're uncritically accepting the government line. What is the evidence that people are leaving their home countries for 'economic reasons', and what is wrong with trying to build a better material life in a country that offers more opportunity than your own? Hasn't the promise of opportunity been the basis of the United States immigration program for 200 years?

    As academics we have the opportunity to stand apart from the daily argy bargy of politics and journalism, and not necessarily accept the agenda offered by both. Through outlets like The Conversation we have the opportunity to set new agendas, hopefully which address substantive issues, and not merely the daily political tide.

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    1. Dalit Prawasi

      Auditor, Accountant, Trade Teacher

      In reply to Robert Hogg

      Academics have an obligation to reflect the wishes of the society at large and put all relevant facts. We have the same moral and humane obligations to all refugees that are human. The legal obligations have to be changed to for the events of the day. Australia is no longer Terra Nullius and occupied my humans. They may have different minds and works. Let us respect each other and not swayed by few thousands of cheats who arrive here and exploit our good nature and our local laws and international conventions and laws. There are more than 40 million refugees in the world. Please give a thought to few millions of them.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Robert Hogg

      There are the matters of unconstrained flow and need for controlling numbers Robert and that applies be it skilled, family or humanitarian visas.
      I think you will find the USA has similar controls on immigration, much as all developed nations do and the US also has their Mexican border crossings they are continually dealing with.
      What Australia has had for about a couple of decades now is a flow of people, all of whom will likely claim asylum and be their claims true or not, the difficulties of being able to examine claims for verification and our own capacity means that harsh measures are at times going to be needed to re-assert a better control.

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    3. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Dalit Prawasi

      "Academics have an obligation to reflect the wishes of the society at large and put all relevant facts. "

      Don't be rediculous Dalit - academics are not politicians who are scrounging for votes in a corrupted system. The point of academia is to critically analyse. When one does this it becomes patently obvious that Australia still suffers a hangover from white Australia policy.

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    4. Terry Reynolds

      Financial and political strategist

      In reply to Robert Hogg

      Robert, peoples and nations morals are determined by their needs.

      We don't need people from far distant lands feeling free to just flood into Australia just because we have been able to develop and maintain, the best economy in the world.

      Have a look at the world map and see where Iran sits - way up in the northern hemisphere, right on the edge of Europe and Russia.

      Then have a look and see how far Australia is away, way down in the southern hemisphere with most of the worlds countries…

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    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Terry Reynolds

      "Robert, peoples and nations morals are determined by their needs."

      Indeed - and herein lies the contradiction in that in order to maintain the best Western economy Australia did this through having a country that has high levels of mineral resources that the Chinese needed - an economy that is booming by the way as is much of Asia while the west goes belly up largely because of racism and xenophobia where America bankrupted itself waging wars against the "other". Now of course, those people who…

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    6. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "an economy that is booming by the way as is much of Asia while the west goes belly up largely because of racism and xenophobia"
      Er, a bit of a problem there. Just about all our immigrants are *xenos".

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    7. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, you other big problem is your OWN xenophobia. Why do you think PNG is beneath housing foreigners?

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    8. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Oh David that is weaker than your last comment. Grow up. Let's see, an impoverished corrupt country with no jobs and no welfare. So asylum seekers will be resettled there to starve. But of course they will starve out of eyesight of good and decent Australians so let's face it it isn't happening right? Now have you anything intelligent to add beyond you reductive base claims of illegals and reds under the bed or are we done?

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    9. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, in other words being a signatory to the Refugee Convention is irrelevant. Therefore, you should not care whether Australia is a signatory or not. In other words, you are privileging the superiority of Australian society, politics, and law over the Refugee Convention. Indeed, Australia is morally superior to the "international community". I think you are correct on this.

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    10. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      David you're either very stupid or playing games. Or perhaps you are trying to polish a turd which is so often done by marketers. Don't forget to wear the peg.

      "Australia is morally superior to the "international community" Yes if you were to compare Australia to Indonesia and Malaysia and no when compared to all other developed countries. On the latter Australia is vastly inferior. Keep an eye on the news David, we hear the UN is about to condemn Australia on this.

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    11. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, PNG is a signatory to the Refugee Convention. Or maybe your lecturer gets to that later in the semester.

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    12. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Semesters over David but thanks for the information. Back to school in August. Yes I'm aware of this - good to see you know how to use Google though. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/19/kevin-rudd-un-convention-refugees - here's a read that is worth having a look at so you can come to a better understanding of where Krudd's plan sits legally. There's also a couple of issues they haven't raised. Basically the policy is dead in water unless Krudd decides to rescind Australia's international legal obligations and then things will get very interesting.

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    13. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, you have avoided the issue, which is the moral status of the Refugee Convention. OTOH, as far as the law goes; that is, as always, a matter for the Australia people, and our Parliaments. YOU might need to get your analysis from the newspapers, but I have a Law degree.

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    14. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Keep an eye on the news David, we hear the UN is about to condemn Australia on this."
      Which "UN"? I'd bet not the legal authority of the UN - the UNSC, which Australia was elected to recently, by an overwhelming majority of those *xenos* you claim we fear and hate.
      Condemned by the UNGA? Like being flogged with warm lettuce.

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    15. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to David Thompson

      So people with Law degrees now do market research???

      I'm thinking that I will get more intelligent posts if I go to my email's spam folder and read about casino deals and business opportunities.

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    16. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      David, wow I'm 3 units away from finishing a law degree myself. Need to nail that one before the 10 year clock runs down. Actually it was you who dribbled on about needing multiple degrees to post on the conversation (lest one looks stupid:-) but you never actually asked me what my qualifications (degrees) were. So as you would know Australia is the only industrialised country in the world not to have a bill of rights and as such human rights need to be tested (in many instances) outside of the…

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    17. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Actually it was you who dribbled on about needing multiple degrees to post on the conversation"
      No I did not. I said that was the level of general knowledge you need to assume readers and posters have. You were posting things a high school student could tear apart.

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    18. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, that is because you have a tin ear to the real issue here - Australian sovereign democracy. That is an issue which goes far beyond textbooks, and is also far more real and legitimate.

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    19. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Haha yes - I mean he may have a law degree - that's relatively easy. Working in law and actually being good at law and knowing your stuff takes years and years of practice and further research. Of course you also tend to have to be an unethical bastard depending on what area of law you're in.

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    20. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, I do not believe you have ever even been accepted into a Law degree. Nobody could have passed Foundations of Law - let alone Public/Administrative/Constitutional Law and post the way you do. You never mention those areas of Law, which is inconceivable for anybody who has really been through at least two years of a Law degree. And why would anybody with a Law degree, downgrade to the Arts faculty to a "Master of Human Rights"?

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    21. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael, I research the dynamics of competitiveness and innovation in certain markets. It is not something I would ever waste my time at university trying to learn!

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    22. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Really David. I studied at Murdoch - already had an undergrad at the time so a three year course (not completed). Where did you study?

      "And why would anybody with a Law degree, downgrade to the Arts faculty to a "Master of Human Rights"?"

      Oh you pompous snob - surely you understand that many lawyers study human rights to work in human rights law. We have several on the course now (practicing lawyers) who have belittled to study human rights.

      David how many people study law and then downgrade to being a market researcher? What happened mate. Where did it all go so far wrong?

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    23. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      I could go back to the page and cut and paste David.

      " You were posting things a high school student could tear apart."

      Sorry David if that is the case you mustn't have finished high school. Hell of a law degree btw - you ranted on about terra nullius and failed to make any point whatsoever instead choosing to sweat over semantics. End of day any lawyer would have agreed with me and disagreed with you because my point was that unless you invoke terra nullius Australia is an illegally colonised country. You of course would argue otherwise which actually leads me to conclude that you haven't studied law at all.

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    24. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Oh and David seeing as you're a lawyer - just for the record, what is your position on this? Mine is that even a half arsed lawyer can get Krudd's policy overturned. Hell I reason if I could do the job. Watch and see. Shame it won't happen till after the election but hell Liberal or Labour - same right wing idiots with a different name. Care to have a wager?

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    25. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Sorry David if that is the case you mustn't have finished high school. Hell of a law degree btw - you ranted on about terra nullius and failed to make any point whatsoever instead choosing to sweat over semantics."
      Sorry, but my undergrad degree in History makes me pretty eagle-eyed when it comes to peeps making claims about documents. You made claims, even linked to the original documents, that blind freddy could see were bollocks.

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    26. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "David how many people study law and then downgrade to being a market researcher? What happened mate. Where did it all go so far wrong?"
      Some might argue that. Most of them probably don't know much about the day to day reality of working as a solicitor. My work includes requiring a command of competition law and IP law, but, but directed to analyzing broader economic and strategic issues. I do not have to tick off every six minutes of my time.

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    27. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant,

      Can you ask David a question which someone who has studied law could trivially answer but someone who had not studied law would not know.

      It would be fun to learn the truth of his qualifications.

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    28. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Sure David, this only applies if Australia is prepared to rescind its international obligations.

      "That is an issue which goes far beyond textbooks" Don't be bloody stupid. The law is very clear on this matter. I.e. we have signed a convention (a legally binding document) that we are obliged to uphold. Failing to do this sees the Australian State in breach of law. Once this is established in the courts Australia has only one other option to pursue their legally flawed line and that is to rescind or act illegally. As you would then know new complications come into play.

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    29. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Michael we've already batted it out on a legal point where David had it wrong but then that doesn't prove hasn't studied law. It really just showed what and idiot he was:-) and how determined he was to attempt to denigrate my point by attacking a semantic point about the use of the word terra nullius in courts versus its invocation by the Brits to illegally claim Australia as their own. Law is incredibly diverse and really comes down to reading crap loads of case law to establish and argue precedent. I'm 3 units off finishing and I sure as hell couldn't practice law without a lot more work and research (although there has been a large gap in years since last attending a law lecture).

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    30. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, the HCA has said 100 times that signing a convention does make that convention Australian municipal law, as any Law student learns in the first semester of Foundations of Law. And you complete silence on the broader civic implications of your claims says just as much.

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    31. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to David Thompson

      Sorry, that should be
      the HCA has said 100 times that signing a convention does NOT make that convention an Australian municipal law,

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    32. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      See above post David. I have already said this. However, I have also pointed out that you have greatly oversimplified things either because you do not have a grasp of law or you are seeking to obfuscate the facts.

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    33. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "by attacking a semantic point about the use of the word terra nullius in courts versus its invocation by the Brits."
      Indeed, and as I informed you then, the Brits never, ever, ever invoked "terra nullius", and the courts only mentioned it for the very first time in the late 20th century to dismiss the term as an early 20th century related to the Spanish colonization of north Africa in the 1890s. The term had no relevance to Australia.

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    34. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Oh and David one legal question to test your knowledge about human rights and international law. If Australia were to be held accountable in the world courts what would need to happen? Generally speaking every first year student should know the answer to this question. I'll explain why I'm asking this once you have given me an answer.

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    35. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Oh bollocka David - refer to Mabo. Are you telling me the High Court got it wrong?

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    36. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Oh bollocka David - refer to Mabo. Are you telling me the High Court got it wrong?"
      No I am not (though does not mean it got it right). I am telling you that YOU got Mabo wrong.

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    37. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to David Thompson

      Which is what happens when you try to get your law from the luvvies in the Arts faculty who teach "human rights".

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    38. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      To answer your question Michael I asked David a very simple law question that any first year would know and he has yet to answer it. Odd indeed given he spits back answers within seconds of my posts responding to him. Chances are he has no law degree. Further he doesn't even know about the Mabo Decision which all Australian Law students study.

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    39. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      "Mine is that even a half arsed lawyer can get Krudd's policy overturned"
      Firstly, I am not a lawyer. But my legal training tells me that the answer to your question can only me made after Rudd writes legislation, and it is passed by both houses of the AUSTRALIAN Parliament.

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    40. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Thanks Grant :)

      I'm very happy to debate genuine people, and I don't expect to agree with everyone, but I really feel that many of the discussions here are being spammed by those who are just here to disrupt and ensure that the views of Rinehart et al get posted again and again.

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    41. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant get back to us when you can distinguish among the differences in the majority judgments - Brennan (Mason, McHugh); Deane & Gaudron; and Toohey. In particular focus on the differences between what Toohey and Brennan said about Terra Nullius. Then tell us both the similarities and differences between the majority decisions and those of Dawson J.
      You're such a fraud. If you had studied Law. or otherwise been educated, you would have jumped on these questions a couple of days ago when I first noted your ignorance.

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    42. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to David Thompson

      Nighty night now. You'd better hit the books.

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    43. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      "You're such a fraud. If you had studied Law. or otherwise been educated, you would have jumped on these questions a couple of days ago when I first noted your ignorance."

      :-) Agh insults - the last bastion of a desperate man... Thanks for coming David and giving us some insights into the mnd of a xenophobe. It's been real bro - really:-)

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  16. David Arthur

    resistance gnome

    KRudd:
    1) Boat arrivals will never get entrance to Australia.
    Result: demand for boats stops when people see they don't get to Australia.
    2) Boat arrivals will be settled in PNG at Australia's expense.
    Result: Refugees humanitarian need is met, and Australian budget takes a hit.

    DArthur:
    1) Boat arrivals will never get entrance to Australia.
    Result: demand for boats stops when people see they don't get to Australia.
    2) Boat arrivals get sent to UNHCR camps in Africa or Europe or Middle East, in return for which Australia selects and resettles two UNHCR-approved refugees from aforementioned camp.
    Result: Refugees humanitarian need is met at relatively small cost to Australian budget, and Australia eases world's refugee problem by choosing which people it resettles.

    Not only is my scheme cheaper than KRudd's, it is more humanitarian. Even the Indonesians will like it because refugees who want to get to Australia won't come to Indonesia.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      A few problems there for you Davo.
      First off getting the UNHCR and camp host countries to agree and like it is not as though they are running vacancy Ads.
      Then if we have at the moment 30,000 arriving p.a, we will be pushing it to accept 60,000 seeing as our taxpayer fully sponsored numbers now are just 6000 p.a.
      60,000 may just be temporary but added to our welfare numbers and expanding based on family re-unions and growth, there will be a Mega Welfare bill.
      My solution is a lot better.
      Just set up some UNHCR tent city standard refugee camps on uninhabited off shore islands, manning them with Timorese, Indonesians or even some of the refugees and we'll still see the flow stop.

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    2. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Greg North

      Thanks for that reply, Mr North, but I'm not sure that the problems you see are insurmountable.

      Getting UNHCR and host nations to agree may not be too much of a stretch, since the net occupancy of their camps will be decreased: after all, they get 60,000 refugees off their hands in return for taking in 30,000. It might even cause UNHCR and other nations starting to think about how the present UN Refugee Convention may require updating.

      Regarding paying for resettlement of 60,000, I am assuming…

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to David Arthur

      Our high immigration numbers largely reflect the skilled stream of people who either get sponsored because of skills or immigrate independently in hoping to find the Australis Nirvana and for many finding it does not exist.
      Refugees will not have the skills that skilled migrants are selected for.
      The resettlement will not be a once off expense for already it is known that a percentage of refugees, something like 80% are still on welfare after five years.
      And then there'll be the family reunion side and intergenerational welfare.
      It is going to be a massive future problem as it is already.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Well if we are going to have such a massive problem the mind boggles how all the other countries in the west (apart from the US) could possibly cope as they have several times as many refugees as we do - eg the UK as 4.5 times as many.

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    5. David Arthur

      resistance gnome

      In reply to Greg North

      Thanks Mr North, that Australia finds it needs to import so much skilled labour illustrates one of the greatest betrayals of the Australian nation by the Howard government - without the Howard cutbacks to education and training, this nation would have been uite able to meet its own skilled labour requirements.

      Of course, the Howard government's legacy has been ably augmented by Australia's employers, who have gleefully targetted their skilled labour for retrenchment upon reaching the age of 45…

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  17. Paul Felix

    Builder

    There is so much about this policy that it makes my head hurt.
    The spokesperson for Amnesty said it would take 3 days for them to work out the implications, full time experts concentrating on understanding the policy implications.
    All sides are correct in their evaluation of it, it simply depends on what political issue needs to be solved, and that is different between Labor, Greens, Tories and refugee experts.
    I both love it and loath it in equal measure.
    We have a daughter doing aid work in…

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    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Paul Felix

      Paul where is your daughter based? I spent 9 months in Afghanistan (Kandahar, Helmand and Nimruz) and safe to say that anyone from these provinces would likely be a genuine refugee.

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    2. Paul Felix

      Builder

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      As you are aware the city and provinces you mentioned are in the south, and certainly many people from there are more likely to flee for safety reasons. They are war zones we created.
      I was not asserting that there are no genuine refugees from Afghanistan (if you are implying that), that would be moronic, but not all areas of Afghanistan are identical.
      She is presently on a 10 day field trip with 2 companions one European and one Afghan. She can walk to the local market alone, but in Kabul there…

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    3. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Paul Felix

      A elegantly put pro-Rudd post that supports everything Labor has done and said, dismisses the Green's concerns, and atacks the Liberal's views as untruthful.

      I think Labor is spinning the truth just as much as the Liberals, and the media bias is keeping most of the debate as being between Liberal and Labor.

      Though there are many articles against what Rudd is doing, I've not yet seen one which points out that they are supporting the Greens.

      So far only Malcolm Fraser has had the integrity to put his values behind a political party with his support for Sarah Hansen-Young.

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    4. Paul Felix

      Builder

      In reply to Paul Felix

      Typo, should have said ensuring Western Afghanistan is safe - sorry. P

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    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Paul Felix

      "I spent 6 months in Afghanistan, before we helped create the Taliban, I know how wonderful the Afghan people were, certainly more friendly and welcoming than here, as this disgusting debate demonstrates."

      Agreed completely on this one (certainly the Afghan people are wonderful and welcoming) and yes some areas of Afghanistan are reasonably safe (stress "reasonably") although this is unlikely to remain the case after 2014. Further, the areas of conflict and danger do tend to shape shift somewhat…

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    6. Paul Felix

      Builder

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You read that as pro Rudd, wow. I said it was complex, hey so do Amnesty. I said I like and loath it in equal measure, did you miss that.
      I do dismiss the Greens hysterical outbursts (despite voting for them for 25 years) and are you suggesting that Abbott and Morrison and the media are not lying?
      Do you not find the description of New Guinea offensive? I suspect many citizens from there would be offended. But we do superiority very well.
      1000 drownings is not spinning the truth, it is a problem to be solved.
      Acknowledging there are people who are not refugees applying for asylum is a simple statement of fact
      I don't claim to know the answer to an horrendously complex problem, I do know that neither the Greens nor the Tories have a clue as to what the solutions are, and neither of these groups are prepared to negotiate a good faith solution. Their self interest prevents it.

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    7. Paul Felix

      Builder

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Now here is a problem, leaving a country because there is a civil war does not make you a refugee, it makes you a displaced person.
      You are only a refugee if there is a real threat to your safety or life because of a persecution.
      If safety alone was a criteria most people of Haiti could possibly qualify, or people from Moss Side in Manchester 15 years ago.
      As I said, any sane person would leave if circumstances demanded it and they had the resources to do so, however that does not make them a refugee.
      Agree with the comment on Syria.

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    8. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Paul Felix

      "Now here is a problem, leaving a country because there is a civil war does not make you a refugee, it makes you a displaced person.

      You are only a refugee if there is a real threat to your safety or life because of a persecution."

      Absolutely, so for instance those fleeing civil war in Syria are seen to be genuine refugees under the Convention because there is a very real threat to their safety.

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    9. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Paul Felix

      I support the Green's solution, and dont' support Rudd.

      So I do think the Greens know what they are talking about, and it is the past and present actions of Labor that are highly questionable.

      I'll also point you to my post on Labor's Biggest Lie, 2nd post here https://theconversation.com/governments-are-not-protecting-the-great-barrier-reef-16107
      for a prime example of Rudd still being the master of spin.

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    10. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Given that say that Afghanistan is going to be in big trouble after our troops leave, do you think it was worth us having 40 of our troops killed, many more wounded, and who knows how much mental damage, just to achieve .....
      just to show the USA that we are all the way with LBJ or whoever.

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    11. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      You're misinterpreting what I am saying Michael. The US are evil despots and a major threat to world peace - we should never have been there in the first place. All I am saying is that all that the alliance of evil has achieved is to destabilise Afghanistan for many years to come and as a result we will be seeing many more refugees from there over the coming years.

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    12. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      PS that extends to the yanks arming the Taliban in the first place. Sadly though Michael because of the allies actions hundreds of thousands of Afghan people (conservatively) are now likely to die over the coming years as civil war rips the country apart again - a civil war that is the result of US meddling. So do we now have a responsibility to protect men women and children - hell yeah! Whether that be our own people dying (cause and consequence) or whether that be through opening our boarders. Sorry mate, but I don't prescribe to the belief that the life of a white person is worth more than the life of a dark skinned person - this stands particularly true where the loss of life can be directly attributed to the actions (or inaction) of those white skinned people. If soldiers don't want to die in war then they shouldn't sign up to a war machine that is responsible all too often for the deaths of innocent civilians.

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    13. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      I agree with all you say Grant.

      Am I right in assuming that you also would have supported our troops leaving Afghanistan many years ago, and thus far fewer deaths, etc?

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    14. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Paul Felix

      We have had Afghans come to Australia way back Paul, hence the Ghan, Afghan camel trains once being a form of transport employing Afghans and their camels, the reason we have many in inland Australia now, the camels that is.
      I have not been to Afghanisatan nor anywhere in the middle east but the warmth and hospitality of many peoples from that region is known and you do find much the same with people of many other countries some might think otherwise of, Vietnam for instance.
      But where people are…

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    15. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      The problem is Michael that once you step over the unholy line and begin killing people everything becomes far more complex than simple black and white answers. No matter what happens now we have set the conditions for violence and bloodshed and that is all I really know. We shouldn't have been there at all. It's that simple. Leave? Stay? The outcome will be the same in the long term.

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    16. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Apart from a few incidents, I'll give our troops huge respect.

      They have signed up to protect our country and it's not their job to decide the politics.

      I strongly condem Howard, Rudd, Gillard, and Abbott for having our troops die for no good reason.

      And I strongly condem our media for giving zero (on the ABC 7pm TV news) to scant coverage of any opposition to our troops being there even though most people wanted them out.

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    17. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Apart from a few incidents, I'll give our troops huge respect.

      Sure I won't disrespect them. The poor bastards might be deluded joining up in the first place but they quickly learn this is the case too often. Let's face it 22 American veterans are killing themselves every day. These guys need all the respect we can give them - regardless of what they signed up for.

      I.e. "They have signed up to protect our country"

      Yes but what are they doing in Afghanistan then? Now our politicians would…

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  18. Grant Mahy

    Unemployed

    There's an interesting poll running on SMH at http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/numbers-dont-lie-png-solution-flawed-20130719-2q8yr.html asking : How do you rate Kevin Rudd's decision to relocate all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to Papua New Guinea, and resettle them there if they are found to be genuine refugees?

    Looks like Rudd's plan may backfire on him:

    45% have voted A sensible solution to a difficult problem

    21 % have voted Passing the buck to a poorer country doesn't seem quite right

    34% have voted .... A disgrace - it shirks Australia's moral, if not legal, obligations

    So far over 32,000 people have voted. This means 55% of Australians don't like Krudds xenophobic and illegal plan. My faith is somewhat restored in Australians.

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    1. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Many people who voted in this poll will have locked on political party support - so without even thinking about the issue some will vote for their major party of choice.

      The worry for the Liberals is that with 45% voting 'a sensible solution' some of these votes will be from those who supported Abbott last week.

      What worries me about the media coverage is that as the Greens get such little coverage, most of those who think that Rudd's plan is a disgrace (which I doubt includes many who supported Abbott last week) will still vote Labor without giving any informed thought about voting Green.

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    2. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Labor were teetering with my vote after Gillard announced her asylum seeker policy but Rudd killed any chance they have of my vote so this year I am voting Green having been a staunch Lab voter in the past. If that is anything to go on. It seems to me though others are now faced with do we support racist inhumane policies or do we vote Green (both Labor and the Libs playing for the racist vote)? After this fiasco and a bunch of others (Labor being in bed with big business etc) safe to say Labor will never be getting my vote again. So in some ways Labor has just excised itself from its traditional left supporters.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " Many people who voted in this poll will have locked on political party support - so without even thinking about the issue some will vote for their major party of choice.

      The worry for the Liberals is that with 45% voting 'a sensible solution' some of these votes will be from those who supported Abbott last week. "
      All sorts of variables you even raise yourself Michael.
      As for the Greens, they just ain't considered too relevant and so get proportional coverage.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Thanks for proving my point Greg - the lack of coverage given by the media to the Greens has given most voters the impression that they are irrelevant.

      Now if people where fully informed and decided not to vote Green then that would be democracy.

      But it's the media who have decided that the Greens are irrelevant, so the media don't cover them properly, the population are uninformed, and this calls our democracy into question.

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  19. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

    Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

    With 117 comments now one thing that leaps out at me is that though how we deal with asylum seekers is a major election issue, almost all of the people supporting 'strong protection of our borders' are non-political.

    Go out to the community and talk with those who have strong views about action to 'protect our borders' and you will find that most views will be strongly political in favor of either Rudd or Abbott.

    And with an election coming most people with political views use these discussions…

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " If political parties were directing people to this discussion the promotion of a particular party would be even more obvious.

      How do we explain this lack of political party lobbying from the right?

      I think this discussion is filled with the views of Gina Rinehart. "
      Is it that you need a break Michael or are just hoping for a higher paying job with Gina?
      Maybe something more in the personal services could be applicable for you.

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    2. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg - As usual with you I get no answer to my questions, but of course you are a 'person of suspicion' if my hypothesis is correct.

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    3. Paul Felix

      Builder

      In reply to Greg North

      Michael's views may be naive Greg but you are simply offensive.
      You peddle the lies and distortions of the Tories, people have a right to safe haven regardless of borders.
      That they are abusing welfare is simply a distortion to justify your ratbag views.
      I would say shame on you, but that would be pointless.
      What you and Michael have in common is an inability to acknowledge how complex this issue is.
      I don't have an answer but neither do you two, so stop pretending otherwise.

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    4. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Paul Felix

      I acknowledge that this is a complex issue.

      What I strongly disagree on is the actions of Howard, Rudd, Gillard and Rudd to handle the issue.

      Is there any OECD country ignoring human rights and implementing such cruelty (and at such huge expense) as Australia?

      If you set 'the middle ground' as somewhere between Labor and Liberal then my views are extreme.

      If you set 'the middle ground' as the OECD average response, then without a doubt Australia is an international disgrace.

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    5. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Paul Felix

      Well said Paul with emphasis on "complex". The only thing simple in all of this is we have the obligation to protect, both morally and legally. It is a dark day for Australia when we separate ourselves from the rest of the argued to be civilised world.

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    6. Andrew Nichols

      Digital Drudge

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      I'm not sure I agree Michael.

      With many online forums and blogs, it is problematic to draw conclusions from the comments section.

      As the readership and contribution grows, the signal to noise ratio drops drastically as differing views, in effect, get shouted down by a small number of regular posters.

      On The Conversation, for example, there are regular, high-volume posters that stand staunch with a personal opinion in the face of repeated, expert opinion and fact indicating to the opposite…

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    7. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Greg North

      The so-called "Right" has always supported more open borders: Cheaper labour.

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    8. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Andrew Nichols

      Andrei - If Rinehart is paying people to push her views then I agree that this is a political act.

      I have posted long explanation on The Conversation before on why I suspect that some climate change deniers are paid spin merchants and not ordinary people expressing their views.

      The people voluntarily working for the political parties who are there to post spin do so in a very party political way.

      If you look how the same misinformation is being repeated again and again, all in a non-party political manner, and the skilful way they avoid any real debate (both here and in any discussion on climate change) either the posters are incredibly stupid or they are skilfully inputing right-wing spam to further the political interests of the vested interests.

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    9. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      And by the way, Michael, if you knew anything about libertarians, you'd know they support open borders.

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    10. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Really David, support that from the ideological standpoint of liberal or neoliberal ideology. You clearly know little by saying such a ludicrous thing. Liberal ideology is all about the few benefiting from the many in a top down approach. How does this apply to open boarder policy?

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    11. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      I did not say anything about "liberal" ideology. And "neoliberal" is a made up word by socialist losers, which means everything and nothing to them.

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    12. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      David your ignorance is showing in spades.

      " "neoliberal" is a made up word by socialist losers" haha you idiot. The World Bank is neoliberal as is the IMF etc. As is globalisation underpinned by neoliberal ideology. Go and get an education and then get back to us would you.

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    13. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      Grant, and there you admit to being one of those who made the word up!

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    14. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to David Thompson

      Haha classic. David stick to marketing (albeit what you're marketing here is a disgrace and not selling well at all) and leave ideology, human rights and international law to those who understand it. Thanks for the chat (again!)

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    15. David Thompson

      Marketing Research

      In reply to Grant Mahy

      You are welcome to wallow in a world of ideology. I, on the other hand, will continue to deconstruct the drivel of ideologues.

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    16. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      " Is there any OECD country ignoring human rights and implementing such cruelty (and at such huge expense) as Australia? "
      I'd not know about the Australian cruelty Michael and you could answer for yourself what is happening in other countries by investigating that and you might even believe or be prepared to disbelieve your own findings and then attempt to say something else entirely, your form well enough known already.

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    17. Michael Wilbur-Ham (MWH)

      Writer (ex telecommunications engineer)

      In reply to Greg North

      As Greg has not told us of another OECD country as extreme as us, and as I can't think of any, I'll take it that for now we can say Australia has the most right-wing and extreme policies on asylum seekers.

      Those of the right can feel proud.

      Those with compassion should vote 1 Green.

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    18. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Greg North

      " Is there any OECD country ignoring human rights and implementing such cruelty (and at such huge expense) as Australia? "
      The quick answer to that is no. OECD Countries who receive far higher numbers of refugees arriving on their boarders respect the Convention for the most part. Aussies who claim to be the fair go country are unique in this pathos.

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  20. Garry Baker

    researcher

    Well Ms Grattan, according to the latest headlines(below), maybe the costs might not be as high as assumed. Now there's line of approach for an investigative reporter to prove true - Or false

    KEVIN Rudd's Papua New Guinea solution has bit savagely in west Java, where Afghan asylum seekers have immediately begun telling people smugglers they are cancelling their planned boat trips to Christmas Island.

    After the Prime Minister's announcement, it did not take long for the news to circulate…

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    1. Grant Mahy

      Unemployed

      In reply to Garry Baker

      Actually Gerry from what I have read the Afghanis are sitting tight and the Iranians have decided it is a political ploy. The Iranians have it right.

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