Malcolm Fraser has called for a Royal Commission into “Australia’s management of offshore asylum seeker processing”: in other words, a Royal Commission into the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
I hope he is successful and that many voices join his. This article is my way of saying, “Yes, I support Malcolm’s call”. The Royal Commission terms of reference should not be limited to the management of Manus Island and Nauru but cover the overall department. The printed headline I saw this morning implied an wider scope than just the management of Manus and Nauru and I personally support that call. I don’t believe I need to say why – after all, this website would not exist if it were not for issues I personally faced as a citizen. A migration agent said publicly today “I’m wearied by DIAC. The retrospective 457 visas law, regs and policy is exhausting and unfair.” Earlier this week there was discussion about “over-granting” of student visas which blew up in 2008/2009. So there are multiple concerns, just a few of which are:
- Asylum seeker treatment
- Partner visas
- 457 visas
- Student visas
Concerns cover areas of mistreatment, cultural intelligence and other training, over-servicing, under-servicing, code of practice compliance: a wide range of concerns.
As far as Manus and Nauru are concerned, most of the work is actually out-sourced. The provider management of DIAC should also be subject to the Royal Commission. I will never forget my treatment by a SERCO manager.
Meanwhile, Tony Abbott, probably seeking not to be outdone by Kevin Rudd’s “master political stroke” of the PNG “solution“, as effectively declared war on asylum seekers. We would have a three-star general (don’t we have any five-star generals?) reporting to the Minister for Immigration! W. T. F? I do not see any logic OR appropriateness in this plan at all. War on people smugglers is one thing – war on asylum seekers is just not on.
Either way, they will keep coming.
”People will keep trying to go to Australia,” he said. ”People like me who can’t go back to our country, they’ll keep trying.”
You can’t stop people seeking safety, seeking a future, seeking a life.
- You: Malcolm Fraser calls for royal commission into asylum seeker ‘gulag’ (guardian.co.uk)
- Blow for PM as camps labelled ‘gulags’ (theage.com.au)