//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

Australian expert warns of more asylum seeker deaths at sea unless changes made


Australia Asylum SeekersThe Australian governments own immigration expert Paris Aristotle says it is ”absolutely certain” there will be more asylum-seeker deaths at sea unless the government implements the full suite of measures recommended to it last year.

In the wake of the deaths of two asylum-seekers this week Mr Aristotle, who is currently visiting the Nauru detention centre, said the latest incident was not the first this year.

He said last week an asylum-seeker boat capsized mid-voyage and 60 people were left clinging to the hull.

Luckily a surveillance aircraft happened to be  flying over the scene at the time and was able to arrange for those at risk of drowning to be rescued, he said.

”We could have lost another 60 in that incident,” Mr Aristotle told ABC radio.

”There are reports all the time of boats going missing and not knowing where they have ended up.”

Mr Aristotle along with former defence force chief Angus Houston and former DFAT secretary Michael L’Estrange handed down a report last August to the Gillard government with a full package of 22 recommendations -including the reopening of Nauru and Manus Island detention centres- on how to tackle the spate of asylum arrivals in Australian waters.

He said there would be more deaths at sea unless greater action was taken.

”I think it is absolutely certain that there will be more deaths to come if we don’t get on with a proper regional arrangement to deal with these issues,” Mr Aristotle said.

“We know they (asylum-seekers) drown regularly. It is an absolute tragedy and we have to do better.”

He praised the immigration department for doing ”some extraordinary work” in filling 20,000 humanitarian places, saying the results would be seen in coming months.

But he warned asylum seekers would keep coming by boat while some of the Houston review’s recommendations remain to be implemented.

The Malaysia people-swap deal, which Parliament won’t approve, was a critical component, Mr Aristotle said.

But he conceded more work was needed to resolve issues, such as arrangements for unattached minors.

”If we could make that arrangement work well, then you could negotiate with them (Malaysia) about expanding it and if that worked well you could negotiate with countries like Indonesia,” he said.

A young boy and a woman drowned on Monday after a series of large waves smashed their overcrowded boat near Christmas Island.

Three others had narrow escapes.

The Greens and refugee advocates have called for a coronial inquest into the tragedy.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott today told reporters in Melbourne ”the only way to stop the deaths is to stop the boats”.

”The way to stop the boats is rigorous offshore processing, temporary protection visas, a preparedness to turn boats around, and a kind of relationship with Indonesia which the Howard government had and the current government jeopardised,” he said.

Mr Abbott rejected any suggestion the Malaysia people-swap deal would help.

”Every time the PM talks about Malaysia . . . she is yet again signing something for doing nothing,” he said.

But Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Abbott’s vision was just plain ”cruel”.

”What the tragedy has shown this week is being cruel and mean and harsh for the sake of domestic politics, which is what Tony Abbott is all about, doesn’t save lives at sea,” Ms Hanson-Young said.

She said the Houston report needs to be revisited.

”We need a review of the progress of that report and the recommendations.”

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie this morning said a whole new approach was needed on asylum-seeker management.

He said there needed to be a boost in foreign aid for countries such as Pakistan and Iran to prevent people taking the risky boat journey to Australia.

“Neither party has yet to come to realise that this is a really complex problem,” Mr Wilkie told ABC radio of both the government and the opposition.

“It’s not a simple border security problem.”

He said the government needed to “come down like a ton of bricks” on people smugglers.

Source: News.com.au – Labor’s expert warns of more asylum seeker deaths at sea unless changes made
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 17,663 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

Chinese drones now almost a daily appearance over Taiwan

The Chinese military has intensified its drone incursions into the skies above Taiwan with almost daily flights of combat and reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Taiwan’s Defense Ministry said a People’s Liberation Army (PLA) TB-001 drone was spotted crossing the median line of the Taiwan Strait, the de facto boundary between the island and China’s […]

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India says disengagement along disputed area with China to be completed by September 12

India’s foreign ministry said on Friday that disengagement along a disputed border area with China will be completed by Sept. 12. Both countries began disengaging from the Gogra-Hot Springs border area in the western Himalayas on Thursday, over two years after clashes at the frontier strained diplomatic ties. The disengagement comes ahead of a meeting […]

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

How to make EVs without China’s supply chain

Two electrifying moves in recent weeks have the potential to ignite electric vehicle demand in the United States. First, Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, expanding federal tax rebates for EV purchases. Then California approved rules to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars by 2035. The Inflation Reduction Act extends the Obama-era EV tax […]

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

Anti-India forces: Techniques and agendas exposed

In the post-cold war era, India has moved from a policy of non-alignment to a policy of multi-alignment. This means that India has friendly relations with almost all-powerful and developing nations. Today India is carving out a unique path for itself. Such an approach provides prominence and exposes India to the harmful behind-curtain activities by […]

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s Kinmen serves as a reminder of China’s aggression

Taiwan’s frontline island of Kinmen was once again in the headlines when President Tsai Ing-wen paid tribute this week to the soldiers and civilians who “operated in solidarity and safeguarded Taiwan” 64 years ago. On Aug. 23, 1958 mainland Chinese troops attacked Kinmen in a key battle that marked the beginning of the Second Taiwan […]

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

Terrorism: The glue that holds China and Pakistan together 

The father of communism, Karl Marx, once famously said — “We have no compassion, and we ask no compassion from you. When our turn comes, we shall not make excuses for the terror”. This statement summarises how terrorism and communism go hand in hand. Maoist China alone destroyed between 44.5 to 72 million lives. During […]

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

‘New normal’ across the Taiwan Strait as China threat looms ever closer

China is attempting to establish a “new normal” across the Taiwan Strait, eroding self-ruled Taiwan’s territorial control and increasing the threat of a strike with each military sortie, officials and analysts say. Beijing has ramped up military maneuvers in the 110-mile (180-kilometer) wide stretch of water that separates Taiwan from mainland China — and the […]

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

When Beijing was burning, Xi was playing personal games 

A great fire destroyed Rome for six days in the summer of AD 64. Famous Roman historian of that time, Tacitus, recorded that 70 percent of the city was destroyed and half of the city’s residents were displaced. Roman ruler Nero was accused of being indifferent, ineffective, and careless. The end result of this neglect […]

China would re-educate Taiwan in event of reunification

China would re-educate Taiwan in event of reunification

Once China achieves its professed goal of establishing control over Taiwan, a process of “re-education” of the island’s population would follow, according to China’s Ambassador to France Lu Shaye. The ambassador was speaking on French television channel BFM TV on Wednesday night, when he said a majority of the Taiwanese population actually wanted to be […]

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is a political sabotage

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis is a political sabotage

Sri Lanka’s present state confirms the famous statement: “Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” Sri Lankans have been repeating the mistakes of choosing the politicians Rajapaksas again and again. It is confirmed that there were unaccounted payments that the Chinese were liberal with during project negotiations with the island nation. They were paid […]

%d bloggers like this: