//
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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 14,832 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

China looking at expropriating foreign-held tech shares

Those foreigners who hold shares in Chinese tech companies are being warned that all is not well. It is China expert Gordon Chang who explained at Gatestone Institute, where he is a distinguished senior fellow and a member of the advisory board, that the nation controlled by a repressive Communist regime is “on the road […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

While a typhoon largely evaded Taiwan over the weekend, tragedy struck the mainland. Shanghai faced flooding and death while India suffered a landslide in the Himalayas. In a shocking video, one boulder took out a bridge. Several people died. But, speaking of Taiwan’s tendency to fall out of manure smelling like roses, there’s nothing like […]

On This Day In Australia: In 1950, Australia announced they would send troops to the Korean War

On This Day In Australia: In 1950, Australia announced they would send troops to the Korean War

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Third Royal Australian Regiment Only five years after the end of the Second World War, Australia became involved in the Korean War. Personnel from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the Australian Regular Army (ARA) were committed soon after the war began and would serve…

What have we learnt in the past century?

What have we learnt in the past century?

It is 100 years since we were supposedly getting over the war to end all wars, World War I, and forming the League of Nations with the purpose of preventing such a conflict and slaughter happening again. Regrettably, the only good that came out of it was the proposal to form the League of Nations; […]

China’s borders will likely remain shut for months, but some may be wary of visiting even after they reopen

China’s borders will likely remain shut for months, but some may be wary of visiting even after they reopen

Last week, the Biden administration warned American companies about the risk of doing business in Hong Kong, citing Beijing’s increasing crackdown on the city. “The bottom line is that businesses should be aware that the risks faced in mainland China are now increasingly present in Hong Kong,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters. […]

China Threatens to Nuke Japan in ‘Full Scale’ War if They Intervene in Taiwan

China Threatens to Nuke Japan in ‘Full Scale’ War if They Intervene in Taiwan

In an ominous new video that was circulated by the Communist Party of China, they vow to use nuclear bombs on Japan “continuously until it’s unconditional surrender” in an all out war if they decide to intervene in China’s planned re-taking of Taiwan.   “When we ‘liberate’ Taiwan, if Japan dares to intervene by force – […]

Afghanistan: No Peace Without a Clear Vision

Afghanistan: No Peace Without a Clear Vision

Peace is the absence of war, while war is the absence of peace! A negotiated peace in Afghanistan presents a number of challenges. The duration of the war over several decades has created a number of situations, that requires an in-depth examination in light of the peace negotiations that took place between the United States […]

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

US-China rivalry rooted in lost trust

As early as 2005 John Gersham and Melvin Goodman alerted against the trend of an over-militarized US foreign policy. The warning has been a recurrent theme of American debate, although it gained little traction. The debate recently spilled into mainstream media with The Economist averring that “an over-militarized foreign policy that embraces unrealistic objectives is liable to fail.” […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 20, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Children account for 15 per cent of Australian farm deaths, says AgHealth study – 15 per cent of farm deaths are children under 14 years old, according to an AgHealth Australia study; A Ballarat farmer says she is shocked almost one in six … Australia’s first body image program for…

China in the News: July 20, 2021

China in the News: July 20, 2021

Ford unveils lower-priced Mustang Mach-E in China to qualify for subsidies – Previously, this was the only Mach-E priced low enough to qualify for China’s EV subsidies. It was joined by Extended Range RWD and AWD versions as well as the … NZ in ‘position of vulnerability’ over China hacking accusations – New Zealand has […]

%d bloggers like this: