RAC media release: Robert Manne is wrong


“Robert Manne’s argument that the only alternative is off-shore
processing in Nauru is simply wrong. Any policy that starts with the
idea of stopping the boats can only lead to a conclusion that is
morally and politically flawed.

“Robert Manne’s arguments are of a piece with those of Gillard and
Abbott which both violate the rights of asylum seekers and foster
anti-refugee sentiments in Australian society,” said Ian Rintoul from
the Refugee Action Coalition.

“Firstly, it is mistaken to think that you can ultimately uphold the
rights of refugees by systematically undermining them by sending
asylum seekers to Malaysia or Nauru.

“Secondly, for people to be processed in Nauru, they have to get on a
boat and try to get to Australia. That much was obvious under Howard’s
Pacific Solution. Manne himself is less than honest with the figures.
The UNHCR estimates around during the years of the Pacific Solution,
around 1600 asylum seekers tried to get to Australia but were diverted
to Nauru plus another unknown number on boats that were turned around
or towed back.

“There has always been a humanitarian policy option, but neither
Gillard nor Abbott is interested in that. They are too concerned with
domestic politicking at refugees’ expense.

“A number of refugee advocate groups, including the Refugee Action
Coalition and Labor for Refugees have advocated an obvious alternative
solution; to process asylum seekers in Indonesia and guarantee
re-settlement of refugees from Indonesia. If this happened far fewer
people would need to get on a boat.

“If people-smuggling was decriminalized, boats could be prepared in
the open. They could be equipped with life-jackets. They could inform
the authorities when they were ready to sail, so they could be tracked
or even escorted.

“Chris Bowen says he wants to raise the humanitarian intake to 20,000
a year. So he should, without conditions. This number would easily
accommodate all the Indonesian UNHCR mandated refugees and all those
who have registered with UNHCR

“Kevin Rudd had the opportunity to introduce a humanitarian policy in
2007 but opted to keep Howard’s policies mandatory detention and
off-shore processing in place. Now, Chris Bowen is begging Tony Abbott
to join an unholy alliance to push asylum seekers to third countries.

“There are policies that will both save lives and uphold the rights of
asylum seekers. But our politicians are too busy thinking about saving
their own political skins. That is a seriously morally falwed
endeavour and Robert Manne shouldn’t be helping them.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713



just thought you might want to change the title of this to Robert intsead of david. I agree with the sentiment in this generally but processing asylum seekers in Indonesia, other than in the form it is done there now, would not be agreed to by Indonesia. So it is just another policy idea that is not going to happen...however, well-intentioned.

The boat people jump the queue, people that are in camps overseas are are being pushed to the back of the queues by these people.If the government can stop the boats this will stop people risking the lives of their children and themselves surely this is a good thing.If people are processed in places like Nauru they will be safe from the countries they have fled the boats will stop and people that have gone through the correct channels will get a fair go.

Most of the boat people are only economic asylum seekers for example if you flee Afghanistan how many safe countries do these people pass through to get to Australia?They are after more than safety they want the social welfare that Australia gives not just safety,Greedy might be a better word.

If they want to live in Australia they should be told to except Australian customs or you are not welcome.Ever tried to get a McDonalds egg and bacon McMuffin in a place where Muslims live they won't sell you one because the Muslims don't like bacon that pisses me off, they flee a country that their customs have made them leave then they try to uphold the very customs that stuffed their country, can't work that one out can you?Why we let minorities tell us how to live is just bullshit if they don't like our way they can fuck off it is that simple

no it won't, there are millions of refugees in the world. morally, at some point you just have to accept that you can't always boss people about and get what you want.

there are millions upon millions of refugees around the world, and australia gets the smallest amount of them of any country. stop whingeing and get out the welcome mat, we have visitors.

get over it. we can't stop them coming here, and there is nothing ethical we can do to try.

the sooner australia gets a spine and grows up and makes friends with others, the better. you are making me sick. :p