9 Comments

Malcolm Fraser has called for a Royal Commission

Malcolm Fraser at the apology to the Stolen Ge...

Malcolm Fraser at the apology to the Stolen Generations (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Manus Island Detention Centre

Manus Island Detention Centre (Photo credit: Greens MPs)

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.”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/sinking-survivors-say-they-will-try-again-20130724-2qjql.html#ixzz2a3MkpHVp

You can’t stop people seeking safety, seeking a future, seeking a life.

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9 comments on “Malcolm Fraser has called for a Royal Commission

  1. Absolutely support a review into this issue and hope the terms are broad enough to encompass those who have politicised this issue and those who supported the demonisation of refugees. Just yesterday, another high ranking Navy officer was reported as saying the situation re The Tampa was “manipulated”.

    I have no doubt that without the political direction and media complicity, this would be (almost) a non issue. Auntyuta asks “what has changed?” My answer would be John W Howard, who was either a racist, condoned racism for political purposes or both. And also those of us who allowed ourselves to be manipulated or remained silent

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    • Thank you Jan. Well said! On a somewhat unrelated, but sort of related issue, I discovered last night Russell Crowe cannot become a citizen. There is something odd about New Zealanders and the Feb 2001 changes. I’m looking into it and will write more when I have researched.

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  2. I agree with a lot of what Dave says about Malcolm Fraser. But I also remember how a lot of people from Vietnam arrived here to be welcomed by Australians. What has changed?

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  3. Hi team,

    My respect for Fraser grows each day, when he was PM I was quite young but even then was not really impressed, as he has aged and moved on from politics he talks a lot of sense, is a humane and thoughtful commentator and should be a guide, role model and mentor for the current crop of politicians of all breeds. This PNG deal is making international news, the bigots are foaming at the mouth with glee and the country is a poorer place for this shameful act. I wonder if I can apply for asylum on some nice Mediterranean island and live in a place not obsessed with such things as a few harmless refugees or a government (opposition and sitting) who lower the bar daily to the point we have an absolutely generic set of parties and policies, one indistinguishable from the other, like the choice between a douche and a shit sandwich on South Park.

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