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Explainer: the law of the sea and asylum seekers

Prime minister Tony Abbott said on Monday he expects Jakarta to take responsibility for the asylum seekers that Australian authorities rescue in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone. He claims this is the…

What are Australia’s legal and moral responsibilities under the relevant conventions and the law of the sea to rescue and ‘turn back’ asylum seeker boats? AAP

Prime minister Tony Abbott said on Monday he expects Jakarta to take responsibility for the asylum seekers that Australian authorities rescue in Indonesia’s search and rescue zone. He claims this is the international law of the sea – but this is only half right.

What the law of the sea actually says on this issue can be found in the 2006 amendments to the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, known as the SAR Convention. The amendment to Chapter Three of the convention says the country responsible for the region in which the search and rescue takes place shall take responsibility for co-ordinating efforts to have survivors disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety as soon as possible. This includes ensuring the rescuing vessel suffers minimum deviation from its intended voyage.

The convention says nothing about the country itself accepting the people rescued. So Abbott is entirely wrong when he goes on to say that:

…the normal international law is that if you are rescued in a country’s search and rescue zone, that country has an obligation to take you. You can go to the nearest port. And the nearest port is normally in the country whose search and rescue zone you’ve been picked up in.

Australia has accepted a responsibility for a very large search and rescue region stretching well out into the Indian Ocean, up to within 600 nautical miles of Sri Lanka, and south to Antarctica. If Abbott was correct on this point, we would have the ludicrous situation where Australia was obliged to accept refugees in distress picked up anywhere in that large area. And the “nearest port” may not be in Australia.

Search and rescue

A search and rescue region (SRR) by itself is not a zone of maritime jurisdiction where a country has any exclusive rights or obligations. A country does not have exclusive jurisdiction over search and rescue in its national SRR, nor is it bound to accept people found in distress at sea within its SRR. Rather, it is everyone’s responsibility to save lives at sea.

This may explain why some countries in the region have been reluctant to ratify the SAR convention, which does come with responsibilities. Indonesia was reluctant to ratify the convention and only did so last year. One of the reasons for the delay was its potential inability to fulfil any binding responsibility to act in its SRR due to a lack of resources.

In search and rescue situations, there are legal and moral responsibilities. In the case of tragedies in the waters between Australia and Indonesia, both countries have a moral responsibility to act – if they are able to. Both countries also have legal responsibilities to act in their respective search and rescue regions, as parties to the SAR convention.

The law of the sea has many grey areas when it comes to responsibilities for looking after persons found in distress at sea. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it would be unconscionable to try to set strict obligations. Also, if obligations were too strict, countries would simply not ratify the relevant international agreement.

International co-operation

Australia has been in a tense diplomatic stand-off with Indonesia over asylum seeker boats. AAP/Dan Peled

The one thing that international law is crystal clear on is that neighbouring countries should co-operate on search and rescue missions to save lives at sea.

Tragically, many lives were lost in the waters between Indonesia and Australia before the two countries established effective co-operation, including Indonesia becoming party to the SAR convention.

But recent events suggest this may be falling apart. Much of the blame for this must rest with the Abbott government. The “stopping the boats” policy, now implemented through Operation Sovereign Borders, always suggested some disregard for Indonesia’s sovereign sensitivities, as well as a preparedness by Australia to act unilaterally.

Recent pronouncements by Abbott and immigration minister Scott Morrison – who remarked that he saw “no rhyme or reason” for Indonesia to refuse to accept returning asylum seeker boats – only make the situation worse.

These pronouncements attribute obligations to Indonesia that are not so clear under international law and assert rights to unilateral action by Australia. Instead, a co-operative approach should be the “name of the game”.

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153 Comments sorted by

Comments on this article are now closed.

  1. Jack Arnold

    Polymath

    "Abbott is entirely wrong when he goes on to say that:

    …the normal international law is that if you are rescued in a country’s search and rescue zone, that country has an obligation to take you. You can go to the nearest port. And the nearest port is normally in the country whose search and rescue zone you’ve been picked up in."

    So, One Term Tony is wrong, why are we not surprised!!

    When will this (allegedly) practicing Christian change government policy to reflect the Christian axiom, "Love one another as I have loved you"? Or, is One Term Tony more interested in exploiting the parliamentary entitlements & allowances for personal pecuniary interest than creating an egalitarian society in Australia?

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

      Grumpy Old Man

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Look at a map of where the boat was rescued, Jack. How on earth can you, in all honesty, think that it shouldn't have been returned to the coast of Indonesia? We are not providing a shuttle service. Perhaps the cost to the taxpayer of this 'process' could be deducted from the Indonesian aide program.

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    2. Mike Swinbourne

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John Phillip

      '....Look at a map of where the boat was rescued, Jack. How on earth can you, in all honesty, think that it shouldn't have been returned to the coast of Indonesia?...."

      Perhaps if you had read the article you would know the answer to your question John.

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    3. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Jack, see Matthew 22:21.

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    4. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      Andy; I think Matthew 21:39 is more relevant.

      "... thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self".

      One Term Tony has already rendered unto corporations.

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    5. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Jack you could be right. But if any Christians can wriggle their way out of accusations of hypocrisy it is the Jesuits!

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    6. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      "One Term Tony"! Boom, Tish!

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  2. Greg North

    Retired Engineer

    " The amendment to Chapter Three of the convention says the country responsible for the region in which the search and rescue takes place shall take responsibility for co-ordinating efforts to have survivors disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety as soon as possible. This includes ensuring the rescuing vessel suffers minimum deviation from its intended voyage.

    The convention says nothing about the country itself accepting the people rescued. So Abbott is entirely…

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    1. R. Ambrose Raven

      none

      In reply to Greg North

      Ah! A hater! Since when did Indonesia have to share our understandings? Many haters have incredible difficulty understanding that their arrogance and their bombast is deeply unwelcome outside our borders, and often within them.

      We can no longer send a gunboat to keep the damn natives under control, Greg.

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    2. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      You're the one raising hate and arrogance R., along with gunboats.
      Get rid of such thoughts and you might converse in a reasonable manner.

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    3. R. Ambrose Raven

      none

      In reply to Greg North

      Only where said hate and arrogance is appearing. I invite you to explain how you will make your approach work, there being no body of law to support it.

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    4. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      "Ah! A hater!"
      RAB, is that like "big poo-poo head"?

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    5. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      IMO's "Guidelines on the Treatment of Person's Rescued at Sea" (and the Australian guidelines that mirror them) both interpret the SAR Convention to which the author refers in order to 'provide guidance to Governments and to shipmasters' about the Convention.
      Both of these guidelines make a complete nonsense of Abbott’s statement.
      IMO - Clause 5.1.7 “shipmasters should comply with any relevant requirements of the Government responsible for the SAR region where the survivors were recovered [Indonesia…

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Once again you severely discredit yourself Ken by attempting to put across a slanted view of yours, slanted with considerable bias towards the LNP government and Tony Abbott.
      perhaps you would want to address more thoroughly information available and even read a brochure before passing a few on to the Indonesians.
      http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Facilitation/IllegalMigrants/Documents/Leaflet%20Rescue%20at%20sea.pdf
      You could even draw their attention to advice in particularly relevant to the Indonesian…

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    7. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      Again you fail to go to the original source and then try to hide your failure in a whole heap of irrelevant verbiage.
      Let’s stick to Tony Abbott’s assertion that the law of the sea requires Jakarta to take responsibility for rescued asylum seekers. Go to para 2.5 of the Guideline. Here is the whole clause:
      "2.5 As realized by the MSC in adopting the amendments, the intent of new paragraph 1-1 of SOLAS regulation V/33 and paragraph 3.1.9 of the Annex to the International Convention on Maritime…

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      What a joke you try and put across for the IMO guidelines are clearly put out to guide government authorities responsible for their government SAR region and it does not need to stipulate that responsibility for a place of safety would be with the SAR government the nearest landfall which would be expected to be under that governments control.
      To be splitting hairs on an IMO guideline as though you're looking for loopholes is just ridiculous and stupid, a bit like those loitering aircraft eh!

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    9. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      Explain to me how the Australian government's "Guidelines for Commercial Shipping Rescuing Persons" which also interprets the SAR Convention can insist on page 3 that "Australia has a sovereign right to determine who comes into Australia" when your theory says that we have the obligation to take anyone who is rescued in our SAR region.
      Or is it your theory that Australia can choose who they accept and Indonesia can't,

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  3. Mike Swinbourne

    logged in via Facebook

    Sam

    Perhaps you could follow up the article with a little more on the law of the sea and refugees.

    I would love to see an explanation of what actions we are able to take against vessels in international waters - indeed in our EEZ, contiguous zone and territorial waters.

    It might come as a rude shock to those commentators (and our politicians) who cotinually spruke the line of turning back the boats.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Mike, what you ask about has been previously covered in more than one article, no shocks involved unless it'll be with Bill the electricity one.
      Meanwhile it is all about stopping the boats or if you like people smuggling and potential deaths to be caused, and no turning the boats back though in some circumstances that may happen if safety prevails, just as before!

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    2. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg,

      The point is that it is no use trying to push the Indonesians if they will not be pushed. A regional solution involving genuine consultation and negotiation is the way forward, not blustering or bullying.

      But to give you tit for tat in calling Bill Shorten "Electricity Bill" I shall call your mate "Phony Tony".

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      " A regional solution involving genuine consultation and negotiation is the way forward, not blustering or bullying. "
      It is not as if there have not been attempts at regional consultation even if source countries for the people smuggling clientele did not attend.
      Sometimes all the discussions on the planet will do little Henry and plenty of examples about whilst talking with your neighbour about issues emanating from their country that is affecting ours is not blustering or bullying in my book.
      Meanwhile I am sure the Billygoat will have answers like Rudd and Gillard did.

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    4. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Greg North

      So the alternative is continued acrimony if the other party refuses to play along?

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    5. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      "The point is that it is no use trying to push the Indonesians if they will not be pushed."
      Henry, ditto. Especially when the Indonesian government has more to gain domestically from standing up to Abbott.

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    6. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Mike Swinbourne

      Abbott and Morrison need a crash course in game theory.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Henry, it would be so so simple if Indonesia abided by IMO guidelines.
      http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Facilitation/IllegalMigrants/Pages/Default.aspx and http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Facilitation/IllegalMigrants/Documents/Leaflet%20Rescue%20at%20sea.pdf
      Given that the Indonesian SAR region extends to south of Xmas Island, it seems Australia has continually under Rudd/Gillard bent over backwards with what could only be describd as a recalcitrant state ignoring their international obligations.
      I am sure our government would be more than happy for them to do no more than what is expected internationally.

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    8. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Greg North

      Even if you have a point Greg, it still will not help to try basking the Indonesians over the head!

      I thought your mate Abbott went to Indonesia to sort this out. Clearly they thought it unacceptable. Indonesia is not a signatory to the guidelines, sadly.

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    9. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Tony Abbott did indeed take a trip to Indonesia shortly after the election and had discussions with their President and there have been various discussions since.
      A couple of returns of rescued clients of people smugglers did occur and now it seems there is some internal politicking going on within the Indonesian government.
      They're not likely to be the easiest country to deal with re they picking up their international obligations.

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  4. Andrew Gilmour

    logged in via Facebook

    Re: Australia has accepted a responsibility for a very large search and rescue region stretching well out into the Indian Ocean

    I am just wondering what Indonesia accepted.

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    1. Fred Smith

      Electrical Engineer

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      kickbacks?

      Can't take them back because it would devalue the service provided.

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    2. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, are the Indonesians a signatory ?

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Henry Verberne

      Henry, reluctantly so apparently but yes, not that their agreement means too much it seems.

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  5. Craig Myatt

    Industrial Designer / R&D

    A really good article, we need more of this kind of review...

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  6. Natasha turnbull

    Student

    The author of this article is splitting a hair.

    SAR convention was quoted to say that rescued people should be disembarked to nearest port as soon as possible.

    Australian ship has often been requested to help the rescue close (sometimes very, very close) to Indonesian shore because of lacking capacity in Indonesian part.

    In these situations (the incident last week was one of the them), rescued people should be returned to nearest Indonesian port. Mr Abbott is absolutely right by the definition of SAR convention.

    "Australia has accepted search and rescue responsibility up to 600 nautical miles......" - this is has nothing to do with the issue where those rescued people should be returned. In other words, Australia has offered search and rescue effort as far as that, but it still can return rescued people to nears port as per the convention.

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    1. Felix MacNeill

      Environmental Manager

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      So, you know the law better than the author? He has stated his qualifications. What are yours?

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    2. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      "SAR convention was quoted to say that rescued people should be disembarked to nearest port as soon as possible."

      Better have another look at the article, Natasha.

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    3. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Natasha turnbull

      See my answer to Mr North. Mr Abbott's statement is complete nonsense even under Australia's Guidelines

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to ERIC KELLY

      You should too Eric and Ian for that matter, especually seeing as the Indonesian SAR region extends to south of Xmas Island.
      http://www.imo.org/OurWork/Facilitation/IllegalMigrants/Documents/Leaflet%20Rescue%20at%20sea.pdf
      In particular
      " – Amendments to the SOLAS and SAR Conventions 3 4 aim at
      maintaining the integrity of the SAR services, by ensuring that people
      in distress at sea are assisted while minimizing the inconvenience for
      the assisting ship. They require the Contracting States/Parties…

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    5. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      And I have just given one link here Ken to not shoot down your credibility because obviously you have none.

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    6. ERIC KELLY

      retired

      In reply to Greg North

      I have no need to, Mr North. I read it carefully the first time. I was merely drawing attention to the fact that Natasha had mis-stated what was stated in the article.

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  7. John Ocean

    Brain Surgeon

    No one seems to be reporting that these are not just people passing through Indonesia. These people have decided to pay for a passage on an Indonesian vessel, and one that has not been given the right to enter Australia - Indonesian vessels with Indonesian crews - and the Indonesians either deliberately set out unsafely, or lie about needing help and abuse the use of our rescue services.

    The asylum seekers are not vetted in anyway by Indonesia and could be anyone whatsoever. Yet they seem to believe that Indonesian crews in Indonesian vessels have a right to charge a fee and take them into Australia whether Australia likes it or not, all else being an affront to their sovereignty. I can't get my head around it not being a deliberate invasion.

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    1. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to John Ocean

      It is clearly and simply people smuggling that has been occurring not just under the noses of the Indonesians but with support of some in their military and police forces.
      There have been some arrests from time to time but one wonders just how serious Indonesia will treat this when one of their ministers even came out with the proposal that Indonesia should support the smugglers.
      And all this despite the Indonesians being just aware as Australian authorities of the dangers if not more so with people unaccounted for.
      There are many within Indonesian communities who stand to gain financially and the death of a foreigner is likely of not too much concern to them if the financial gain makes their life easier.
      We saw how the numbers increased under Rudd and Gillard stupidity and that has meant that stemming the flow is going to be more difficult and what may appear to be very hard and callous decisions needing to be taken for the invasion can not be allowed to continue.

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    2. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Greg North

      I am disturbed Greg, because I find myself in agreement with the broad tenor of this comment. The people smuggling chain obviously stretches from Sri Lanka to Australia and Indonesia to AUstralia, likely independently but possibly related.

      Given the authoritarian status of the military in both countries, I am amazed that no MSM comments or investigations have occurred to expose the links in these chains of misery.

      One Term Tony exploited the poor strategy of silence by the ALP and misrepresented his ability to "stop the boats" as a political mantra, or more correctly a lie, to gain office.

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      It is only two months from the election Jack and no one expected boats to be stopped overnight, especially given the size of the people smuggling that Rudd and Gillard allowed to develop.

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    4. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Greg North

      Yes Greg the boat did not stop overnight, just as they took time to reduce following the PNG initiative.

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    5. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      They had 38 arrests in 18 months and increasing. Don't distort the truth Which Minsister said this and when?
      If 7,500 a year (average over 4 years) is an invasion what do you call the 45,000 every year who convert from 457 visas and the 48,000 overstayers. Why are you not as aggrieved at the equal number of asylum seekers who arrive by air and are granted refugees visas.

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    6. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: If 7,500 a year (average over 4 years) is an invasion what do you call the 45,000 every year who convert from 457 visas and the 48,000 overstayers.

      Ken, the fundamental difference between 457 visa holders and asylum visa holders is how our welfare system treats them. Same with visa overstayers.

      457 guys do not ask for financial support, rent assistance, free education, including at uni and any other financial aid provided to asylum holders. Please look at what 457 visa holders are entitled…

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    7. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      You have simply dredged up myths that have been thoroughly debunked by me and others countless times. Frankly I get sick for quoting the evidence, time after time, so I am going to reverse the burden of proof. Please provide reliable sources to back up these statements
      “whereas the majority of people we are talking about here came here to abuse our welfare system”
      “Genuine refugees are waiting around the world” Hint. What is the total number of people who have applied for Humanitarian visas, world wide in any of the past four years? How many of these who are found to be genuine refugees don’t get a visa? How long does it take.e
      “whereas boat illegal people jump the queue, which causes genuine UN refuges to wait much longer.” Hint: The sources above will give you the answers to this question.
      If you don’t come back with supporting evidence I’ll simply assume you were distributing rumour and misinformation

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Do not bother yourself with Ken Andrew for he does post some weird stuff like
      " They had 38 arrests in 18 months and increasing. Don't distort the truth Which Minsister said this and when? "
      And then re the people smuggling and 457s, that is just a joke even if a sick one.
      " If 7,500 a year (average over 4 years) is an invasion "
      Ken simply refuses to acknowledge the near exponential growth in people smuggling for we went from a few thousand to more than that to about ten thousand and then something close to 25,000 in 2011/2012 all whilst Julia did very little.

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    9. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      What Ken does is correct your distortions. These are the real numbers from the Parliamentary Library: 2008/09 – 1033; 2009/10- 5327: 2010/11 – 4940; 2011/12 - 7983

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    10. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken Alderton wrote to Andrew: "You have simply dredged up myths that have been thoroughly debunked by me and others countless times. Frankly I get sick for quoting the evidence, time after time, so I am going to reverse the burden of proof. Please provide reliable sources to back up these statements..."

      Andrew, please do not bother to comment on this or look at links or anything. Ken is that type of person who prefers links instead of seeing with his own eyes. Our own eyes cannot see anything…

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    11. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      And no doubt Ken, the numbers do not include the 20,000 odd who were put on to bridging visa limbo and awaiting processing so not in the PL numbers.
      I referred to people smuggling and not humanitarian visas issued.
      You are the distorter and disseminator of misleading information Ken, including trying to distort the INMO guidelines.

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    12. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Maybe you would also like to support all these assertions with facts or at least tell us what you have seen with your own eyes or any other first hand evidence that supports them.

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    13. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Read again, These are arrivals in boats - not visas of any kind. Just arrivals. Wrong again.

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    14. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Greg North

      That is incorrect Greg ... Toxic RAbbott promised to 'stop the boats' and implied immediately on the grounds that his mantra was sufficiently persuasive that the Indonesian government would run cap in hand to make it all happen ... and at no cost to the Australian government.

      Even John Howard went cap in hand to the Indonesian government after the Tsunami ... and took a $1 BILLION cash and credit deal with him as national tribute.

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    15. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Steve Hindle

      Because that's where Mr North left off. If your fail to answer the question exactly as he poses it he goes off on a wild snipe hunt . It isn't worth it. My average of 7,500 per year to which he objected takes in the 2012/13 year.

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    16. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken Alderton wrote: "Maybe you would also like to support all these assertions with facts or at least tell us what you have seen with your own eyes or any other first hand evidence that supports them."

      I saw with my own eyes how these people abused our citizens at Dandenong station, how these people abused our police officers, including at the same station and read numerous articles in the local newspapers, how these people enjoy their lives at local cafes during business hours for years, how these people have 5-6 kids and earn for living just making them, how these people drive cars without driving licenses being drunk, how these people live for years getting financial assistance and rent support from the Centrelink and much more.
      You just do not want to see the obvious. You just live in your Internet world with links.

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    17. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Questions: How do you see people in cafes during buisness hours? How do you know they are not migrants or legal refugees? How do you know they drive when drunk? Are you in the police? How do you know their personal circumstances and what they get from Centrelink. Are you with one of the welfare groups or Centrelink?
      Even if your observations are factual are you talking about all up 50,100, 500, You mean to tell me these represent all the refugees in Dandenong. in 2010/11 alone, 2,400 new arrivals settled in Dandenong.
      No. I live in the real world and have covered quite a bit of it. It has taught me not to believe stories unles they ar supported by evidence. I talk to refugees, migrants and those who deal with them on a regular basis. The vast bulk of my information comes from primary sources, official documents, statistics, reputable research papers. I don't trust internet or media reports. Their stories don't match yours.

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    18. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      I think you're evading the point Elena makes in her own way Ken and that is one of cultural differences, lack of assimilation and likely more than just a little respect for the law and how life in Australia is generally.
      Dandenong is known for it's concentration of people from the middle east etc., just as the Bankstown/western Sydney region is.
      An immigration report not so long ago highlighted the massive dependency on welfare of refugees, even after five years here and if you think it will be any better for those using people smugglers, you just keep thinking that way as you continue to undermine Australia with your strident but petty criticisms.

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    19. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: I live in the real world and have covered quite a bit of it. It has taught me not to believe stories unles they ar supported by evidence...

      Ken our link lover, if you do not want to open your eyes and prefer to be blind, here is the stats for you about unemployment rates.
      For skilled migrants (almost fresh stats)
      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/14labour.htm

      Employer sponsored (i.e. 457 visa) = 0.5% (these guys come straight to work here)
      Offshore independent = 3% (these guys…

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    20. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Firstly the charts you quote were not based on 2006 statistics, the book they were taken from was published in 2006. Second if you want the employment statistics for 2006 for people on refugees visas they are published by ABS and to save you the trouble here they are ( you don't like links). For all Humanitarian visas:
      Unemployed, looking for full-time work, Males 7.7 Females 3.1 Total 5.6
      Unemployed, looking for part-time work Males 3.4 Females 3.8 Total 3.6
      For refugees alone
      Unemployed, looking…

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  8. R. Ambrose Raven

    none

    Reviving the concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island has clearly proven no deterrent to the thousands of asylum-seekers already in Indonesia from journeying (by boat – those coming by air are ignored) to Australia.

    Such non-deterrence obviously infers that their motive is survival, not merely a higher real income. One people smuggler pointed out that “push” is now predominant - there are now too many people fleeing death and persecution and that factor outweighs Australia's attempts to…

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    1. John Ocean

      Brain Surgeon

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      There is obviously deterrence, but certainly not full deterrence. As a country we are not united in the response, and due to the internet the responses are available for them to gauge daily. They read things such as Labor or Liberal screaming to each other about how "That won't work, you've failed", or the Greens saying "We will block TPVs", or the New Guinean's saying "We don't want them, they're not staying here", so they risk it anyway, in the face of no united front. We are not a village that takes the decision of the chief - we are comprised of many dissenters, and they fully know it, as never before, and seek out hope in the cracks. It is quite obvious that many do not want Nauru or PNG, the life of Nauruans being unacceptable as to what they were paying for.

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    2. Fred Smith

      Electrical Engineer

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      "by boat – those coming by air are ignored"
      Thats some serious MSM spin right there. Those coming by air have passports (and therefore confirmed identities), and a visa (therefore some sort of screening process). Noone gets on a leaky plane and sneaks in. They get in on semi legitimate reasons and overstay. Comparing those points of entry in terms of scruitiny is comparing apples to oranges.

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    3. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      While the whole "turn back the boats" campaign is irresponsible and daft, from a pragmatic perspective it would be expected that those *already* in Indonesia are unlikely to be deterred from trying. The real test is probably whether new arrivals to Indonesia drop to zero, going forward.

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    4. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      Re: Reviving the concentration camps on Nauru and Manus Island has clearly proven no deterrent to the thousands of asylum-seekers

      The problem cannot be resolved in one day. These camps, as you name them, would work but not immediately. It is just a matter of time to deliver the message.

      Re: Such non-deterrence obviously infers that their motive is survival, not merely a higher real income

      Their motives are going to Australia and enjoy our support systems, including financial, medical and…

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    5. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      Re: While the whole "turn back the boats" campaign is irresponsible and daft, from a pragmatic perspective it would be expected that those *already* in Indonesia are unlikely to be deterred from trying

      I think this idea might work only if they know that after trying they get nothing. This is the case when they are escorted to a place outside Australia and left there to stay indefinitely with the option to put their application for asylum as per the UN queue.

      As soon as they face the queue and consequences of waiting in a similar manner how people wait at the UN camps around the world, the problem would be resolved.

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    6. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      Between mid 2011 and end 2012 (last numbers available), 38 people smugglers including 9 organisers were arrested, prosecuted and copped 5 year jail terms.
      Kahild Koser was wrong. As long as Australia continues to resettle about 100 refugees a year from Indonesia and those that remain have excatly zero prospect of ever having legal work or having their children educated, cost doesn't come into it. For all the hoohaa about sinkings etc, 98% of voyages are successful. At these odds and given the risks they have already taken, getting on a boat is by far the best option.

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    7. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      Some strange thoughts there R. for numbers have clearly dropped since Rudd's rushed PNG/Nauru deal and discussions between Australia and Indonesia, the bigger issue is that Rudd's rushed deal could have a suspect future.
      People who have travelled to Australia by air, already having had some sort of a visa to do that before claiming asylum are not ignored and have applications for asylum considered, not too many having a successful result btw, a very small % indeed.
      You might want to think what a people smugler says is relevant to some theory you support and yes, many people are motivated, millions of them in refugee camps.
      And then why would you think anything is relevant when you're not.

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    8. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      But Abbott, Morrison and you don't rage about the either the total numbers who come by air or the number of visas granted which are as large over the last four years as for boat arrivals. Why not?
      The percentage of successful applications is about 55% - over 90% for those from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan

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    9. R. Ambrose Raven

      none

      In reply to Greg North

      To deal with all these “arguments”:

      “deterrence” - Abbott the Hun said that he would stop the boats. He hasn't.
      . (1) Such an aim always ignored the reality of contemporary push factors, and the temporary nature of the Pacific “Solution”.
      . (2) Brutality as an instrument of policy brutalises us as well as the refugees.

      “those coming by air are ignored”
      . (1) both groups claim asylum; neither group is seeking to conceal their identity, nor have any significant number "failed…

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    10. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken, it is a bit silly to blame antipathy towards boat people on Abbott/Morrison. It has existed since the 1970s, and emphasised by Keating in law, nearly 20 years ago.

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    11. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      But Abott/Morrison deliberatley tapped into it and made it one of their two major political issues. They crafted it so that it mobliised support among specific target groups. This is why they ignored arrivals by air. They transformed it from an insignificant problem to an "invasion" and 'national emergency"
      This is also why they are trying so hard to maintain it. They have raised expectations on all sorts of related immigration issues among voters who won't be very forgiving. They have the tiger by the tail

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    12. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      As most people do know Ken, claiming asylum is not illegal just as arriving by air with a visa is not illegal.
      If you cannot see people smuggling as something else, then I pity you.

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    13. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      I asked you why air arrival were different to boat arrivals not about their legality or otherwise. Same numbers same category, Answer the question Tell us all why you don't carry on about them as you do about boat arrivals.

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    14. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Actually Ken all you are doing is showing you can't understand how your question is inextricably about the law.

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    15. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      What you need to think about is the legal position of a QANTAS plane approaching Kingsford-Smith, and a rickety Indonesian fishing boat straying too far from their home.

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    16. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      So you beleive th whole issue about the mode of transport. You would be happy to have all asylum seekers come by air?

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    17. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken, YOUR confusions are about the laws surrounding entry to Australia by mode of transport.

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    18. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      "You would be happy to have all asylum seekers come by air?"
      Delirious.

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    19. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken, no I won't. If you cannot understand the implications of the different legal positions of a QANTAS plane approaching Kingsford-Smith, and a rickety Indonesian fishing boat straying too far from their home, that's your problem.

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    20. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Ken Alderton wrote: "You would be happy to have all asylum seekers come by air?"

      In here we at least know who they are, hence we can chase their history if we wnat to. With the boats they often get rid of passports as soon as they see our vessel, so we cannot even identify them. Therefore, they can tell us any name and country, put any legend and BS they want and then it is up to us to prove otherwise. On top of that, we cannot send them back as we do not know where this back is.

      It is that simple.

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    21. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Read the Migration Act Any asylum seeker that cannot provide documentaty evidence their identity to the satisfaction of the Minister or an immigration does not get a visa (Section 91W). Arrivals by sea get a full vetting by Immigration and ASIO that takes up to a year. An airport arrival gets what?. If they are no genuine refugees they can be sent anywhere th Minister decrees
      These myths get repeated and repeated and repated but it doesn't make them true.

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    22. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      What I do know is that it is illegal for Qantas to carry a passenger to Australia without a visa. But I also know that is illegal for the captain and crew and any organiser to transport a person to Australia in a rickety Indonesian fishing boat or any other boat (Migration Act). That's why they lock them up. A rickety Indonesian fishing boat is free to transit Australian territorial waters without fishing (many do) and call at Australian ports as long as they check in with port Customs and Immigration.

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    23. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Very good Ken. I am confident you will understand very quickly. I should not be at all surprised if by tomorrow you are insisting that "we will decide who comes into this country" and so on and so on.

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    24. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      I doubt if I will be saying that until a government decides to strip all references to the principles of the Refugee Convention from the Migration Act. Until then Australia is obliged to accept any person who turns up at any border, can prove their identiy and meets the tests of a refugee in the Act.

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    25. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Oh Ken, you were doing so well, with all this law stuff. To get you back on track, let's give you a clue. Legislation of the Australian Commonwealth Parliament is PRECISELY the definition of "we deciding who who comes into this country, and the conditions..." I think a lot of your problem is you don't understand the link between "we" and the law. That link is the Parliament.

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    26. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      " I asked you why air arrival were different to boat arrivals not about their legality or otherwise. Same numbers same category, Answer the question Tell us all why you don't carry on about them as you do about boat arrivals. "
      For someone so keen on dragging up numbers Ken, you really ought to be doing better.
      How many times do you need to be told, people who fly into Australia have visas and if they feel they want to claim asylum whilst here, first off they are relying on their own resources…

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    27. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      Firstly I used an average because it was appropriate for a general statement. Which one of the four numbers disporves my statement . Is 25,000 fo one year an invasio?
      I am tired of providing the data and evidence that contiually exposes your distortions, propaganda and unsupported assertions as rubbish. It is time that I could be using to do something else . You ignore all inconvenient facts and evidence. Example:You say again "not too many claims being successful btw" you said the same thing 9 hours ago and I told you that "The percentage of successful applications is about 55% - over 90% for those from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan" You are fully aware that this information come from DIAC quarterly statistics but you completely ignored it .
      It is just not worth my while commenting on the rest of the rubbish you produce. Let its nonsense speak for itself.

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    28. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Uhm Elena ... what happened after WWII when Australia was opened up for white European immigration to reduce the European population numbers to sustainable post war levels ... and how many Nazi war criminals made their way into Australia under false papers and through the screening system? It is that simple.

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    29. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Andy Cameron

      Andy, I think a lot of your problem is that you are a John Howard devotee, promoting a White Australia and giving tax benefits to the middle class to sustain your underwhelming political career at great expense to the community.

      I think a lot of your problem is that you fail to understand the separation of powers that exists in Australian democracy. There are laws and a judicial system to maintain the balance of power between self serving politicians, the voters and the government agencies.

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    30. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Re: Uhm Elena ... what happened after WWII when Australia was opened up for white European immigration to reduce the European population numbers to sustainable post war levels ... and how many Nazi war criminals made their way into Australia under false papers and through the screening system? It is that simple

      I was just wondering if anything smart can be found here except Uhm…
      What did you want to say Jack? Are you saying we have to accept the rule of having people here without IDs? Are you…

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    31. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: I doubt if I will be saying that until a government decides to strip all references to the principles of the Refugee Convention from the Migration Act. Until then Australia is obliged to accept any person who turns up at any border, can prove their identiy and meets the tests of a refugee in the Act. "

      They are not turning up at our border in the majority of instances. We save them hundreds and thousands miles away from our border. By the way, it is not our obligation to do so as we have to save them only if they are in distress, i.e. the boat is sinking. Until then they are welcome to sail and we can do NOTHING.
      When they sink, it is our obligation to save them, depending of course how far they are from us and Indonesia, and deliver them to a safe place, i.e. Nauru or Manus. Then they are welcome to wait or do whatever they like.

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    32. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: Read the Migration Act Any asylum seeker that cannot provide documentaty evidence their identity to the satisfaction of the Minister or an immigration does not get a visa (Section 91W). Arrivals by sea get a full vetting by Immigration and ASIO that takes up to a year. ?. If they are no genuine refugees they can be sent anywhere th Minister decrees...

      Again, please open your eyes Mr PhD and look around.
      How many times ASIO was screaming about lack of time to do checks and pressure to release…

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    33. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Your whole argument falls apart because your claim that asylum seekers are given entry into Australia without ID is simply wrong, Section 91W which deals exclusively with documentary evidence required by people seeking asylum says quite clearly that if they don’t produce documentary evidence for identity and nationality or citizenship they don’t get a visa. Or are you accusing the Minister, Immigration officials, and ASIO of breaking the law?

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    34. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Read the Migration Act about our "protection" obligations under the Refugee convention and when they come into force.

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    35. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      So you are saying that the Minister, Immigration officials and ASIO are all breaking the law. Your whole comment is based on hearsay unfounded in any evidence.
      I have opened my eyes and looked for the evidence and not relied exclusively on rumour and Mr Morrison's statements.

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    36. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      6.8 million non citizens arrived by plane in 2012 and you say they were all given a "full vetting by the ASIO in advance"?

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    37. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Andrew; I put 'Uhm" ahead of my comments to identify that some idiot has made a fool of themselves and I am going to correct their misinformation with facts.

      A political skeptic could reasonably conclude form your above post that you are an overt xenophobe with huge insecurity issues that are unlikely to be resolved without extended serious counselling.

      When the Nazi war criminals were discovered or revealed they were treated to justice. There is nothing stopping the Australian judicial system reacting in the same manner today.

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    38. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Too many words from you Jack but unfortunately nothing contributed to the discussion except Uhm.

      FYI. Nazi war criminals enjoyed their lives here in Australia, unfortunately,
      http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-news/nazi-war-criminals-enjoying-a-peaceful-retirement-in-australia-1.432832
      or this
      http://www.canberratimes.com.au/federal-politics/very-last-hunt-for-war-criminals-20120818-24f3e.html
      and lots of others.

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    39. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: 6.8 million non citizens arrived by plane in 2012 and you say they were all given a "full vetting by the ASIO in advance"?

      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/70border.htm
      Quote: " Australia has a universal visa system – all visitors, temporary residents and permanent migrants to Australia must apply for a visa or a visa equivalent, with conditions appropriate to their stay.
      •Our visa application system is a risk-based system. The traveller's risk profile, reason for travel and individual…

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    40. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: So you are saying that the Minister, Immigration officials and ASIO are all breaking the law. Your whole comment is based on hearsay unfounded in any evidence.

      Several times I read in the newspapers that people who originally came here without IDs were in the end released to the community because of pressure from various groups like advocates and screamers.
      I hope this policy of softening the rules would now be abolished.

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    41. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: Read the Migration Act about our "protection" obligations under the Refugee convention and when they come into force.

      Our obligations are very simple.
      1. If the boat is not in distress we do not care.
      2. If the boat is in distress, we have to determine what sort of distress. If they need water, food, etc, we can provide, no worries.
      3. If the boat is sinking, we have to help, save them and deliver to the port where they would be safe. Nauru and Manus are very safe places,

      Nothing contradicts to the law of the sea.
      Very smart people can read about Malta disasters how they first followed the law, then the country was flooded, then they changed their approach and, btw, their new approach did not contradict the law. They just applied the word "distress" and depending on that actioned accordingly.

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    42. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      "If you say so!"
      Ken, more importantly, it is the Australian Constitution that says so!

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    43. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      You said the whole plane got a full vetting by ASIO repeat ASIO. If I had not pulled you up and showed you how ridiculous you sounded you would not have bothered to find out the real situation. Again you repeat the "no ID" myth without bothering to check. I would have thought given your recent record you would have been a little cautious. If you think a full vetting by ASIO, which is what all successful asylum seekers go through, is less vigourous than for other visa application you are in dreamland.

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    44. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Go back to the newspapers where you read these stories and trace back the sources they give for their information. You will find that the ONLY source for this piece of information was one, Scott Morrison, Opposition spokesman for Immigration. It was promptly denied in evidence to Senate estimates by the Secretary of DIAC Andrew Metcalfe. Given Mr Morrison's record for accuracy I know who I believe.

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    45. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: You said the whole plane got a full vetting by ASIO repeat ASIO. If I had not pulled you up and showed you how ridiculous you sounded ...

      Nope, it is you who sounded ridiculous because you cannot even comprehend a very basic thing. This is
      People who arrived by plane are known to us and checked in advance as per the link supplied to you. Many boat people are not even known to us.

      If you do not understand this very basic thing, there is nothing to discuss in absolutely similar manner as there is nothing to discuss in unemployment rate when 5% our general unemployment vs up to 60% of regugees. So, it is 5% vs 60% but y9ou would still tell we all work equally.

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    46. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: Go back to the newspapers where you read these stories and trace back the sources they give for their information

      Funny but it was a Labor newspaper :)

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    47. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      "Enlighten us all with your scholarship"
      Ken that's just the point. It's got nothing to do with "scholarship". This is basic stuff we nowadays learn in High School, and even more if you go to Law School. Maybe you're a bit older, and they didn't teach this stuff in school in your day. But you're not some kid who has never had a proper job, who has spent all their time in school from the age of 5 to 30, like many here. You've been a CEO of a corporation, and doing your PhD with all that insight…

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  9. Rene Oldenburger

    Haven't got one

    "The amendment to Chapter Three of the convention says the country responsible for the region in which the search and rescue takes place shall take responsibility for co-ordinating efforts to have survivors disembarked from the assisting ship and delivered to a place of safety as soon as possible"

    And the definition 'to a place of safety as soon as possible" is ...............

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  10. Tiffany Meek

    Graphic designer, psychology student

    It mystifies me why people assume Indonesia should 'take asylum seekers back'. Indonesia is not a signatory to the United Nations Convention on Asylum Seekers, therefore any people who go through Indonesia to get to Australia are 'illegal immigrants', and will be arrested if caught. Why would Indonesia want to take people they consider to be 'illegals' back? It makes no sense.

    In Australia it is a completely different story. We are signatories to the Convention, along with most developed countries…

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    1. Henry Verberne

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

      In reply to Tiffany Meek

      Interesting observation and among the reasons some want this country to withdraw from the UN Convention. Not me.

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    2. Jack Arnold

      Polymath

      In reply to Tiffany Meek

      "I think it's time to stop concentrating on stopping the boats, and start concentrating on the problems that exist in the 'countries of origin'."

      Simple solution; bring the Australian troops home NOW!!!

      I seem to remember that John Howard, veteran of no active war service, led Australia into Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the Coalition of the Willing ('CoWs') to 'steal' Iraqi oil reserves for the benefit of US oil corporations, the US banking system and at the total expense of the US taxpayer, inflicting a reported 500,000 deaths by collateral damage and drone strikes against Iraqi and Afghani civilians.

      There is at least a moral obligation on Australia to provide sanctuary to refugees from these countries, as happened after WWII for the benefit of otherwise over-populated Europe.

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    3. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Jack Arnold

      Jack Arnold wrote: "Simple solution; bring the Australian troops home NOW!!!"

      Agree 100%. The only thing it is not us who are mainly creating this mess over there. It is our big brother. This brother keeps going and it is hard to stop him...

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    4. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Tiffany Meek

      On one hand Tiffany, the Indonesians probably do not give two hoots for people smugglers operating in their country, many of their citizens and forces people profiting from the sordid business and so No, once they have had their $$$ out of it, they do not care even if they make claims about sovereignty, all that just a facade.
      And then there are expectations of how countries should conduct themselves in reference to people rescued at sea, most being rescued in Indonesia's SAR region and again Indonesia choose to ignore what other countries do.
      Putting it very simply, Indonesia ain't much of a country as far as what can be expected of their government.

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    5. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      Now we see the basis for all your antipathy and distortion "Indonesia ain't much of a country" now that hey won't let Abbot have his own way. Everything else flows from that.
      Last week they were the bees knees.

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      They might have been the bees knees to you and if they were prepared to co-operate fully in regard to international obligations and stopping people smuggling, that is obviously acceptabel.
      We have seen them make a recent change whether it be spying knickers in a knot time or not and any coubntry that is prepared to see another shafted ain't much of a country.
      Feel free to emigrate there.

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    7. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Greg North

      Read what I said, If you really think this means that I think that they are the bees knees you realy needmore time at big school.
      Last refuge of those without a sensible argement "if you don't like it here, leave".

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    8. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      We have seen plenty of your evasion to refuges and diversions Ken, have we not!
      Like how did it go with you toddling off one weekend to discuss loitering aircraft and then even with this article you attempt to divert from the issue core to include people arriving in Australia by air with visas and also people coming in in 457 visas because employers wanted to employ them.
      You do have huge problems with addressing realities Ken.

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  11. Sam Bateman

    Professorial Fellow, Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security at University of Wollongong

    Just to respond to a few points raised in comments on my article. The basic problem is that people, Tony Abbott included, are over-reading a country’s obligations in its search and rescue region (SRR). An SRR is not a political zone of jurisdiction, such as an exclusive economic zone and the territorial sea. Rather it is an operational zone to facilitate cooperation. SRR boundaries generally do not conform to political maritime boundaries and SRRs can overlap with each other. This can create problems…

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    1. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Sam Bateman

      It appears that when the search and rescue action is complete and people are on board of our vessel, these people easily fall within the jurisdiction of the flag state. This is because our vessel on high seas is our territory according to the Article 92 of the UNCLOS.

      So, after they are on board of the flag they can exercise their rights of asylum immediately and we cannot do anything about it.
      It seems that the only options left to Australia are very simple:
      • rescued persons are not taken…

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    2. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Sam Bateman

      Sam I actually do know that a place of safety doesn't have to be on land.

      The whole point is: "The convention says nothing about the country itself accepting the people rescued"

      That is just the point, it doesn't say anything and therefore it is a moot point.

      Therefore one has to rely on: "delivered to a place of safety as soon as possible"

      It doesn't have to be land but can be another ship, but then one has to take into account disembarking the people that have been rescued to a safe place.

      A safe place wouldn't be another ship, when there is a storm going on, with other words the "delivered to a place of safety as soon as possible" - would be the nearest port

      Any country who signed SAR has to oblige by that, so by saying TA is wrong isn't quite right either, because "The convention says nothing about the country itself accepting the people rescued" is a moot point

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    3. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Sam Bateman

      Sam, I agree that there ought to be co-operation which does seem to be lacking at times depending on political goings on, however Indionesia would seem to be very much ignoring their responsibilities as expected by the IMP.
      The SAR region map with Indonesias refion extending to south of Xmas Island.
      http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://images.smh.com.au/2012/06/22/3395765/729Indonesia-MapBoat-420x0.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.smh.com.au/national/dozens-feared-dead-as-packed-asylum-boat-capsizes-off-christmas-island-20120622-20rnz.html&h=297&w=420&sz=42&tbnid=52fnJ4p7qzkgAM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=127&zoom=1&usg=__stlOBuXMD4c3FetJUWAUme-EjZw=&docid=8OFWF5LZ8nLHXM&sa=X&ei=jBWDUpegE4XokgWvn4GIBA&sqi=2&ved=0CEkQ9QEwBw

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    4. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg, I agree with everything what you said and what the documents provided. The issue is how we implement what we want.

      It seems we cannot do anything with Indonesia trying to convince them that they are bad guys who do not follow the law. They know they are the bad guys but they do not care.

      The next solution is to drop the boundaries of our SAR. Can we do this? It seems ridiculous having such wide boundaries but what is the mechanism of reducing them.

      The next solution is to not react on SOS or anything from vessels even in case they are much closer to Indonesia. In this instance the outcry would be enormous and in some instances such actions of Australia would be inappropriate anyway.

      So, the question is what is the best plan of attack.

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    5. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene Oldenburger wrote: "It doesn't have to be land but can be another ship, but then one has to take into account disembarking the people that have been rescued to a safe place"

      Yes. The only issue is our military vessel cannot appraoch Indonesia and leave people on its territory. This would be breaking the law if we do not ask Indonesia. If we ask, they refuse.

      So, where can we drop them? It appears that still the best options are
      - going to Manus and leave them there indefinitely when the queue comes to assess their case
      - providing assistance without taking them on board, unless the boat is sinking. Not very realistic, though.
      What else?

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    6. Greg North

      Retired Engineer

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Yes Elena, there is an enormous problem, solely being created by Indonesia turning much of a blind eye to people smuggling and then not upholding their obligations on SAR.
      Unfortunately, any attempts to get Indonesia to take a bit of international responsibility is not going to be easy as I doubt that much of the rest of the planet gives two hoots about what happens here.
      As I've said already, some hard and seemingly callous decisions need to be taken and it is not so much a case of dropping our…

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    7. Rene Oldenburger

      Haven't got one

      In reply to Elena Berwick

      Elena, Indonesia is a member of the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue, it's them who are not complying with it

      ie: An Australian navy ship can rescue people from sinking vessels, transport them to a Australian vessel.

      That vessel is on it's usual route to Indonesia, Indonesia is obliged to take them

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    8. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Greg North

      Greg North wrote: "As I've said already, some hard and seemingly callous decisions need to be taken and it is not so much a case of dropping our SAR region activity but just being unavailable to be a crutch for Indonesia in theirs."

      I agree. Such decisions of course are unpopular but this is probably one of the best solutions for Australia at this stage.
      The other one I think is Nauru for similar for indefinite time.

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    9. Elena Berwick

      Accountant

      In reply to Rene Oldenburger

      Rene Oldenburger wrote: "Indonesia is obliged to take them"

      Agree but it refuses and we do not have a mechanism to enforce this.
      Therefore, the only option is to react slowly if boats at much closer to Indonesia than to us.

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  12. Ian Alexander

    Reader

    So we have The Lizard and Rear Admiral Morrison telling fibs.

    Who would have thought...

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    1. Andy Cameron

      Care giver

      In reply to Ian Alexander

      Ian, you do know that "The Lizard" is Keating, right?

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  13. R. Ambrose Raven

    none

    Since people coming in boats (similar numbers of air refugees are ignored) and those in our region share similar social and economic difficulties, improving their economic and social situation at comparatively little cost would be cheaper and better than what remains of our aid programme. It would also be far better than our haters’ deliberate increasing of costs and problems for us as well as them through ever-greater institutionalising of violence, ignorance and denial.

    We should organise small-scale…

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    1. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to R. Ambrose Raven

      Re: Opportunities exist in, for instance, aquaculture, such as with gold-spot cod aquaculture. Seaweed cultivation is cost-effective

      good ideas Ambrose.
      I feel as soon as we offer these guys such works at Nauru or Manus, at least 60% of them would just go back as the stats shows 60% of their unempliyment rate here in Australia (supplied to Ken as official reserach and not ust internet gossips). Taking into account that these 60% have kids, it would probably be around 80-90% going back.

      The only problem with your idea is large investments. As I see, it is hard for us even to build camps and facilities in there, not mentioning building industries.

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    2. Ken Alderton

      PhD student, former CEO

      In reply to Andrew Gilmour

      Where did you supply official unemployment statistics here? I must have missed them.

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    3. Andrew Gilmour

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to Ken Alderton

      Re: Where did you supply official unemployment statistics here? I must have missed them.

      Of course you missed because it is so inconvenient for you.
      Please go down to see this. However, I can copy my post from there to here

      Ken our link lover, if you do not want to open your eyes and prefer to be blind, here is the stats for you about unemployment rates.
      For skilled migrants
      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/14labour.htm
      Employer sponsored (i.e. 457 visa) = 0.5% (these guys come…

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  14. John Ocean

    Brain Surgeon

    Perhaps they refused over envy of those blue Customs boats wi the red stripe - they are absolutely kick-a$$ boats - if the government wants to build more of those they can have more tax from me anytime - as long as they don't go too far north..

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  15. pete samuels

    logged in via email @ymail.com

    You can support asylum seekers by playing the Citizenship Board & App Game http://www.citizenshipgame.com to test your chances of gaining citizenship in your own country, and raise awareness of the rights of asylum seekers at the same time. All profits go to agencies helping asylum seekers gaining refugee status.

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  16. Andrew Gilmour

    logged in via Facebook

    Several photos from the one boat
    http://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2013/10/not-all-boat-people-are-genuine-refugees-but-all-boat-arrivals-without-a-valid-visa-are-illegal.html

    Disclaimer. The below is my general impression only.

    Just look at the photos of men in here. It appears all these guys are well prepared and I would say that our Australian special forces may not be having such people.
    I appreciate that it is not possible to judge looking at photos , but I have reasonable doubts these guys are fleeing from somewhere or they were in trouble. It is the opposite, they spent considerable amount of time to achieve their current appearance and shape.

    Looking at their faces, particularly the last two, surely they were not in any distress and there is no need to be a psychologist to admit that.
    I just have reasonable doubts ...

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