Major Paul Moulds answers Bruce Haigh's criticism of the Salvation Army's part in asylum seeker detention.
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Sending asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island is an expensive undertaking that will achieve nothing but a transient political advantage for the Government.
'The rest of the world was not impressed by Australia's attempts to palm off boat people who had arrived here seeking protection. Given our size and wealth, the number of refugees we get is manageable. People assessed as refugees on Nauru or Manus will have to be resettled somewhere: they can't be sent back to the country they are fleeing.
Perhaps we will end up doing what we did last time: bringing them to Australia.
I would welcome that outcome, but in the meantime we will have spent fantastic sums of money to achieve absolutely nothing except a transient political advantage for the Government.
If this exercise runs for three years, it will cost Australia billions of dollars.'
When asylum seekers die at sea there are too many things we don’t want to talk about. Following the news of another asylum boat capsizing yesterday, at 2pm the federal Parliament began with a sombre and…...
'No one is talking about the invisibility of border-related deaths in Australia. There is no official cumulative record of who has died en route and post-entry into Australia and why.
............. deaths of asylum seekers at sea are but one kind of death among many others, which also need to be recognised. For example, deaths in Australian immigration detention centres are not considered deaths “in custody” for the purpose of the monitoring program run by the Australian Institute of Criminology.'
The expert panel on asylum seekers has made 22 recommendations, including the establishment of a capacity for processing asylum seekers in both Nauru and Papua New Guinea, in a report expected to define…...
'The expert panel on asylum seekers has made 22 recommendations, including the establishment of a capacity for processing asylum seekers in both Nauru and Papua New Guinea, in a report expected to define the government’s future policy on asylum seekers.
The report, which the panel described as “hard-headed but not hard-hearted” and “realistic, but not idealistic”, also recommends the government continue to build on the current arrangement with Malaysia.'
Some responses to the report:
'The late Fred Daly, the Labor MP, once said governments ought not to have inquiries unless they know what the outcome will be.'
'......their tag line ‘hard headed not hard hearted’ is a reasonable summary' of what they’ve achieved.
'The government has managed to snooker itself once again.'
'Even though Houston said over and over it’s not a political document he did say also it was a realistic document.'
'A very serious examination of the psychological dynamics that are associated with the asylum seekers process in order to ensure safety is really important.
In the dynamic of safety seeking once you sink your capital into the people smuggler loop you’re stuck there, there’s no capacity outside that to escape it.'
No political party has a foolproof solution to the issue of asylum seekers, because such a solution doesn’t exist.
'Asylum seeker policy an example of what the strategists and bureaucrats call a "wicked problem".
Wicked problems, it says, are complex and difficult to define. They often have multiple causes but no single solution or quick fix. They are unstable, shifting and morphing in ways that frustrate a coherent response, and are social by nature, involving many different individuals and agencies, across organisational boundaries, national borders and social divides.
.........It’s that complex interaction between the politics of fear and loathing and the desperation of persecuted people that has made the issue of asylum seekers so insoluble in the long term for the Rudd and Gillard government. It’s a politics of fear that the Opposition was only too willing to embrace after losing office, reasoning that it could only rebound to the Coalition’s advantage'