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

Australian mainland now off limits for asylum seekers


Australia Asylum SeekersThe government and opposition have rejected a bid to open the offshore detention centres on Nauru and Papua New Guinea for inspection by Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner.

They have also blocked an attempt to give the Australian media the same access to the centres that it has to mainland and Christmas Island detention facilities.

There were angry scenes in parliament on Thursday morning as Labor successfully passed its legislation to excise the entire mainland from the migration zone, with Coalition support.

Previously asylum seekers who made applications for refugee protection on Australian soil could be released into the community and were not subject to the government’s no-advantage rules.

Now only those who arrive by plane and claim asylum will have that right and those who make it to the mainland by boat will be subject to the same conditions – including detention on Manus Island or Nauru – as those who arrive at Australian territories including Christmas Island and the Cocos/Keeling Islands.

The Howard government tried to excise the Australian mainland from the migration zone in 2006, but failed after a backbench revolt led by Liberal moderates.

Amid heated debate on Thursday, the Greens tried and failed to change the Migration Act to give Australian Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs the same access to  offshore processing centres as she has for those detained on the mainland.

”These centres [are] costing Australian taxpayers billions of dollars,” Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said. ”The legal rights of the refugees that are locked up indefinitely have been taken away. There is no transparency at all currently on Manus Island and Nauru.”

But Labor Senator Kate Lundy said enshrining those rights in Australian law would undermine the independence of sovereign nations.

”As sovereign nations, it is the exclusive decision of the governments of both Nauru and PNG to determine to whom they grant lawful entry into their respective countries,” she said.

”With regard to accessing regional processing centres, as a corollary to that, it’s at the discretion of those governments of both Nauru and PNG and not appropriate to be legislated by the Australian government.”

Senator Lundy said the government continued to work with the governments of both countries to introduce ”suitable arrangements” for media access. No media outlet has yet been able to access the centres.

Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs Matt Thistlethwaite said Australian politicians and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had visited the centres.

The UNHCR issued scathing reports on both camps, and recommended the government remove children from the Manus centre.

”The government believes that requiring another country to provide assurances that it will provide access to the Australian Human Rights Commissioner is something that this government cannot guarantee, therefore it’s not appropriate to put it in this legislation,” Senator Thistlethwaite said.

Senator Hanson-Young said there was ”no other explanation” for the government’s stance than it having something to hide.

”If there is nothing to hide, then open the doors.”

She said there were no laws that protected asylum seekers’ human rights or enshrined transparency or oversight mechanisms in law.

The Greens were also blocked in their bid to remove children from the Manus Island detention centre, and to prevent more children being sent there by the government and opposition.

Senator Doug Cameron joined forces with the government, despite previously calling for Manus Island to close because of its poor conditions.

After the vote, Senator Cameron declined to comment, saying his position was on the public record.

Senator Lundy said asylum seekers were checked for ”particular vulnerabilities” before being transferred to offshore processing centres, and exempting children from being sent to Manus Island would encourage people smugglers to put children on boats.

An emotional Senator Hanson-Young said Australia was subjecting asylum seeker children to abuse.

”I don’t say this lightly … we are subjecting these children to child abuse, to institutionalised child abuse. To child abuse by policy. We are creating a damaged generation.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald – Mainland excised from Australia’s migration zone
 

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 14,825 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

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 […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 19, 2021

China faces a three-pronged attack in the realm of public opinion. The Olympics converge with COVID; the third is three levelings up in Chinese military aggression. COVID is seen in the public eye as having mainly originated from China. Even with conspiracy theories surrounding Fauci and Gates, no explanation lets China off the hook. That […]

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Overnight News Headlines (Australia): July 19, 2021

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Race on for Australian rare earth supplies as fears grow over China’s market ‘monopoly’ – It comes two years after David Gainer, the US Consul General to Perth, visited a rare earths mine near Laverton in outback Western Australia just days into the … Swim league to be launched in…

China in the News: July 19, 2021

China in the News: July 19, 2021

First human death due to monkey B virus reported in China – Patients of rare viral infections transmitted from the monkey have been reported in China and the U.S. in succession. According to China’s state-run Global … Commentary: A pity China can’t seem to ditch its wolf warrior diplomacy – Despite recent exhortations from President […]

%d bloggers like this: