Shared: what happened last Thursday – a hopeful take

The below text is from an email that I was sent last week on Friday. Hurrah for the development of politics of conscience (at long bloody last). Let’s keep it going.


This is a long email, but I’ve just returned from Parliament House, and I wanted to let you know exactly what happened.

Yesterday, Scott Morrison’s Government played games in the Senate and then fled the House of Representatives – leaving their entire policy agenda behind – to avoid a bill that would compel Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to transfer children, their families and anyone else in need of medical assessment and treatment from Manus and Nauru to care in Australia. 

But the Morrison Government’s cowardice didn’t stop Senators from an extraordinary coalition of conscience. They voted hour after hour after hour, up against a filibuster from the Government, Pauline Hanson and Cory Bernardi on the final day of sitting for 2018, to push the #KidsOffNauru legislation through the Senate. 

But the final Senate vote came one hour too late. By the time it had passed, the Morrison Government had already shut down the House of Representatives and literally fled the building. 

It was a bittersweet moment. But this legislation will still be waiting when the House of Representatives returns in February – and it will pass. When it does, within 48 hours of it becoming law, we will see the kids and their families off Nauru, and emergency flights of critically ill men and women from offshore detention touch down in Australia. 

But Clare, to come within one hour of passing a bill that would have brought children and critically ill people from Manus and Nauru to Australia BY SUNDAY was absolutely heartbreaking. 

Newly elected Dr Kerryn Phelps, who drove this Bill through in the first fortnight of her Federal career, slumped back in her chair as the Bill passed the Senate but the lights were already off in the House. 

These same scenes repeated themselves as Senators left the chamber. Senator Tim Storer who tabled the Bill, having worked night after night to finely balance competing considerations across the political spectrum, had his head buried in his hands. 

But the thing I most wanted to tell you, Clare, was that in that same moment that our politics most failed us, the incredible potential of politics and our democracy was also at its most evident. 

The extraordinary events of yesterday happened because politicians of principle genuinely listened to the people-powered movement in Australia, and the voices of those still detained. Politicians who knew that the treatment of those on Manus and Nauru isn’t about left and right – it’s about right and wrong. 

I watched the Australian Greens Senators huddle anxiously together outside the Chamber door (with Adam Bandt actually running across from the House of Representatives), trying to find a way through the Government’s filibuster. They knew they were just inches away from saving the lives of those in offshore detention, whose rights they had defended for decades. 

Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Nick McKim stood shoulder to shoulder with Senator Storer to table the bill, working tirelessly with people from across the political spectrum hoping for a win especially for the oft-forgotten adults. As, McKim exited the Senate when it was all done, close to tears, all he could say was:“How can I tell those people in the camps they have to wait another three months for treatment, when they needed it yesterday.” 

I watched the women of the House of Representatives crossbench, Rebekha Sharkie, former Liberal MP Julia Banks, and Cathy McGowan embrace Dr Phelps and her Bill. They also stood in their own right to argue in different ways for a sensible solution to the medical crisis that has enveloped the children, and the adults in offshore detention. 

I watched Senator Derryn Hinch forced to battle Twitter trolls from his Senate seat, remaining emphatic that he stood with all kids, including those detained offshore – even as the Morrison Government cynically dangled legislation he had long fought for to entice him over to their side. He sat alongside Centre Alliance Senators Griff and Patrick, both weary and indignant at the antics of the Government playing with Parliamentary procedure to avoid following the clear desireof the Australian public to get kids off Nauru, and follow doctors’ orders with the women and men. 

There stood Andrew Wilkie and his staff, biting their nails as they watched the Senate filibuster and then the House of Representatives clock. Wilkie had put the initial #KidsOffNauru Bill forward in the House months ago, but had graciously worked with everyone else to help draft a new Bill and find a new pathway through the Senate to ensure it become law. He stood repeatedly in the House this week, as he has done for years and years, arguing for justice for the people detained in our name. 

And then, after so long of being ripped apart on this issue, I watched the Australian Labor Party. Penny Wong, on her feet for hours at the table in the Senate, stabbing her finger in righteous fury at the Government’s dirty tricks. Their Senators determined to hold, in the face of fear-mongering Government speeches about boats and borders, to the fundamental tenet that sick people should never be denied treatment. When Opposition Leader Bill Shorten stood before snapping cameras and said kids should be off Nauru late last night, he stood for the work of a united Labor caucus led by Shadow Immigration Minister Shayne Neumann, which went back and forth for months between lawyers, doctors and internal champions – intent on finding the way through, even from Opposition, to finally address the medical crisis offshore. 

What I saw yesterday was a coalition of conscience emerge. And it renewed my faith in the promise of our politics. 

I watched this coalition of conscience come together and come within one hour of delivering a historic defeat to a cruel Government which has let 12 people die on their watch in offshore detention. 

I saw politicians put aside party and ego. I saw them work together the way we always want them to. I saw them sneaking BBQ Shapes just off the Senate floor, because the filibuster meant they hadn’t eaten since 7am. I saw their faces crumple as they realised children would be spending another 3 months in detention, because the Government had thwarted them on timing. I saw them shake off the despair and go out with a grim smile for the media. And I saw them promise, on national television, that they would be waiting, when the Parliament returns on the 13th of February, to finally deliver care and safety to those offshore, and pass this Bill before the House so it becomes law. 

That’s why I wanted to email you right now even though the words aren’t polished and I’m still in my pyjamas. Because I want you to know that yesterday showed us that this fight is still worth it. I want you to know that every email you send, every phonecall you make, every protest you attend – it’s all worth it. 

Because while politics created the cruel offshore detention regime, it can also break it. 

Stay tuned for next steps. Because this movement won’t just sit waiting for February. We’re going to keep fighting, every step of the way alongside those people detained in our name. And now we know that we will win. 

Yours in hope, 

Shen and Renaire for the GetUp! team 

Ps. The Government’s going to come for this coalition of conscience before February. With Dutton’s usual lies about boats and brown men and what-not. We must be ready to fight back. 

A political rhyme

I thought my first post back after my accidental hiatus /

Would be full of funny musings, an update on my life’s status./

(Free from uni, qualified at last, job hunting and house-move planning set my time steadfast.) /

Or, perchance, a recipe post, I’m overdue for a few of those; /

Plenty of good meals I’ve made in the past two months or so.

Instead, today, I share a rant of politics and power, /

And how a scummy gov’ment contrived to shorten the hour/

And day of parliamentary dismissal,/

To ensure they wouldn’t lose a vote on the floor; no it’s not apocryphal.

Bad enough the week before, they ignored the message sent /

By striking students out to plead and shake some common sense /

Into the minds of climate-change-denying politicians, who are proving remarkably dense. /

This week’s fight was for a different cause, another long-fought war;/

Of words and desperate actions to free those forbidden from our shore; /

Their only “crime” to have fled for their lives, to a safer haven/

Through a dangerous voyage not lightly undertaken. /

A passage that’s NOT illegal, despite what some may say,/

All they want is hope, and we’ve taken it away. /

For six long years, they’ve languished in island hellholes;/ it’s made many sick, with malaise physical and of the souls. /

They’ve bled and struggled and DIED there, out of sight and mind, /

Of the Aussie gov’ment, who are wilfully blind, /

To the cries of anguish from detainees and friends; /

Willing to #bringthemhere and let their trauma end.

And what about the kids? The nation began to ask. #kidsout became the rallying cry; was that too much to ask?

Momentum slowly built, then took off with a rumble; /

When a new independent stood and declared her trouble,/

With the current practices, and made her stand clear. /

“Support my Bill, it’s past time now to bring these people cheer/

And the medical attention that they so sorely need. /

The gauntlet thrown, the players aligned themselves one-by-one; /

Amendments saw Labor at LAST stand up strong. /

For a moment, we felt the gasp, of fresh clear air, /

Heralding a new way forward, the day was nearly here. /

But before we could release our sighs of relief, /

The government went and slammed the door, a thief!/

They knew they’d lose a vote but fought it all the same; /

Continuing their endless turn of passing the blame. /

They trotted out the tired lines of “stopping the boats” and “protecting borders”, /

Ignoring how we all know how they’re false orders,/

Designed to give a reason to an unreasonable crime,/

Of locking up the innocent, for fear and power sublime. /

Yet they call themselves Christian? That I don’t understand, /

When the foundation family once sought refuge in other lands. /

Today’s government has cognitive dissonance of the highest order, /

Drunk on power and influence, and an imaginary world order.

A fact they forget, or they’re choosing to ignore,/

Next year is an election year when we can settle the score. /

They’re on the nose already and can only delay so much,/

When their time’s up, it’s up, regardless of what they do to try to keep in touch, /

Their fake promises and tax cuts will be seen for what they are,

And if they try the racist dog-whistle, well it won’t get far – /

They tried it at a local level last month and it was found quite bizarre./

So angry people discouraged by the latest conservative gasp, /

Let’s follow the State example and chuck them out on their arse!

Life update – and update on Abdi’s story

First, some (qualified) good news: Abdi, whom I told you about last Friday, has been helped over the weekend. On Friday, his leg was finally x-rayed and he was flown to Port Moresby to have his leg looked at properly on Saturday. Reports indicate that he has snapped his patella tendons; at PIH in Port Moresby, they removed 100mL of fluid from around his knee and have given him appropriate painkillers. He’ll need surgery and he also needs an interpreter, as right now without one he’s having trouble understanding what the doctors are saying. So it’s not over yet, but I hope his situation continues to improve. Also I really hope that another refugee mentioned in last Friday’s Guardian article gets help before he loses his sight(!!). I wish things were better. Five years of detention is too long.

Now, onto the life update.

The next couple of weeks are busy. As of the 20th of this month, I’ll have finished my second-last subject of this uni degree and with it my project placement. But there are a number of milestones I have to meet first.

What have I been up to? Well, yesterday I helped out at my uni’s open day, which was interesting. A long day but a good one.

I have read a number of books lately. My strategy is to read on public transport and before bed, and I use my local library. It has online shelves including one called, “For Later”. This becomes my TBR list. I then combine this with the “place on hold” option to get my reading material, because I can read through a book in a matter of days or even hours if I find it interesting enough. Of course, uni and life mean that sometimes it takes me weeks to get through a book as well. So placing several at once on hold, collecting them and making my way through them over time is a good thing.

So far in the past month or so, I have enjoyed Redshirts (John Scalzi), Eat Up! (Ruby Tandoh), Zac and Mia (AJ Betts) and Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves (Rachel Malik).

Redshirts is space satire sci-fi, poking fun at several different tropes, especially a particular Star Trek one about the (minor) character deaths always happening to the ones with red shirts. It makes a good point, in a whimsical way, about being the creator of your own destiny.

Eat Up! is a non-fiction book about food, food culture and food satisfaction. It’s a great read. Food for the soul and very reassuring. I’d like to buy it someday, tbh.

Zac and Mia is about two teenagers who are quite unlike each other, except that both are (as the story starts) in hospital due to cancer. They form a bond that deepens throughout the book. It’s a book that I find hard to define, but it was a really good read. See more here.

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves is an interesting story. It’s a fictional tale of two women in the mid-20th-century that was inspired by a family tale of the author’s. It’s about forging your own path, making your own home and finding your own way. It’s also about how those things can come with consequences, especially if the past catches up with you.

I’m currently reading Second hand: a novel (Michael Zadoorian), which isn’t as engaging as I’d hoped.

Over the next couple of weeks, one of two things will happen: either almost all the posts you see here will be scheduled, or there’ll be very few posts at all. 😉 See you on the other side…

What a couple of weeks…

Hi all.


Things are a bit tough right now, aren’t they?

Ugly stuff is happening. The treatment of refugees in America (and, more quietly, in and offshore from Australia) is one issue. The latest blow-up has occurred during Refugee Week, which is a sick irony – especially when refugee rights matter all the time, as all human rights do. Another issue – especially if you’re a young city woman like me – is the recent murders of young women who were just living life. Earlier in the week (and last week), I’d wanted to write more about that, but plenty of people, especially women, have said lots already. Also, my emotional bandwidth is occupied by those very issues and other life ones.

There are so many good things happening, too. The uproar of resistance, quiet and loud, of people saying, “enough”, is a good sign. A reminder that there are more good people working for “equality, diversity, justice and love” (as I saw it mentioned online) than there are opposing that. I’ll quote him because it lifted me when I needed it yesterday:

“There are hundreds of millions of people in this world who (just like you) wake up every day trying to be the kind of person the world needs; lavish with compassion, overflowing with generosity, relentless with love. You are, even when you’re not aware of it, surrounded on all sides by like-hearted people who are not okay with the suffering around them either.”
source here

So, while getting annoyed at world things and thinking about how to change them, prioritising life things, and keeping on keeping on, I’ll take time for me where I can, to be with good people and do fun things. Like this, today – a mob called the Roo Keepers came to my uni campus and I got to hold some different Australian wildlife.

Keep on doing your thing, people. Be your own superhero, including being brave enough to reach out to people if things aren’t going well.

Book review: Beautiful Messy Love by Tess Woods

Hi everyone!

About a month ago, I heard about an interesting-sounding book from a friend of mine. I decided to read and review it. The book is a new release by author Tess Woods, called “Beautiful Messy Love”.

Front cover of the book, "Beautiful Messy Love". We see a white woman's legs in high-heeled sandals and pink-and-white checked dress. Woman is walking, holding a bunch of red roses, with some rose petals falling. Title of book is in pinkish red, with subtitle in black: "what happens when love and loyalty collide?" Author's name, "Tess Woods" is at the bottom in capitals.

Front cover – I like it. I had to edit the photo so you can see all of Tess Woods’ last name over the library barcode!

It’s a romance story – but more than that. It’s about identities and relationships, traditions and cultures (of family, sport, religion) and how they influence our connections with each other. It tackles footy culture, family cultures and expectations, the all-invasive presence and power of the media (including social) and more. How do we find ourselves, our place in the world, amidst the competing woulds, shoulds and coulds from well-meaning family and friends as well as broader societal/ cultural expectations? How do we find love, negotiating those expectations?

The novel is set in Perth, Australia and centres on four characters – brother and sister Nick and Lily Harding, with Anwar (Anna) Hayati and Toby Watts – and their families and connections.

  • Nick is an AFL footballer for the “Western Rangers” (team colours: red, white and green 😉 ) and he’s a bit of a “bad boy” turning, or turned, good, trying to find a place for himself between footy and the real world.
  • Lily is “Yes Lily”, a medical student who’s two years from finishing her six-year degree but struggling with whether it’s really what she wants to do, or whether she said yes to others’ desires without standing up for herself again.
  • Anna/Anwar is a young Muslim refugee, who has had to grow up too quickly after the tragedies that led to her residency in Australia – as a consequence, she’s very wise and adult in some ways but shy and curious about others.
  • Toby is a man who’s experiencing personal tragedy and has big dreams held down by a sense of duty to others’ dreams.

Huh. Writing that, I can see why Toby and Lily are drawn to each other – they’re both “yes” people. Anwar/Anna and Nick are drawn to each other because they each see and honour each other’s pain and the different worlds they’ve experienced.

I knew I was going to enjoy this book from very early on. I remember sitting on the train, beginning to devour it and probably making other travellers very curious or exasperated as I giggled at a funny moment, then awwed in sympathy the next. I think the thing that sold me on Anna/Anwar and Nick was when Nick asked (at their first meeting) what “leviosa” meant after reading Anna’s t-shirt (“It’s LeviOsa, not LeviosAR” 😀 – I want it!). Anna/Anwar is so surprised he’s never read the series or watched the movies that she gives him her copy of Philosopher’s Stone. Then the way they arranged their first date…

I think it wasn’t long after that point that my brain said, “okay, they better have sorted their inevitable culture clashes et cetera out by the end of the book and still be together”. Or something. They’re so cute! I’m a sucker for romance the way Nick and Anna/Anwar do it. Of course, there are annoying parts too, bits when I wanted to grab one and say, “ugh, do that thing already!” But overall…. *dreamy sigh*. Anna/Anwar is someone I relate to with her feelings about Nick and compassion for others, and I’m sympathetic to her trauma-related struggles. Nick is sweet and footy-mad and dedicated and down-to-earth.

Lily and Toby’s relationship is more “eh” for me, because I think I relate to them less – and I don’t like rebounds much tbh. Apart from the pie-baking scene and other small moments, I found Toby a little annoying at first. Idk if he’s really my type. Therefore his story arc didn’t matter as much to me. Lily is relatable enough: the “Yes Lily” nickname resonates, as assertiveness is something I’m thinking about these days. Also the “crying at the drop of a hat” feeling. I hear you, Lily! She’s also very much the caring sister – as an older sister myself, that made me connect with her. But her personality comes off as a bit flaky to me at first so I only warmed up to her properly as the story went on.

The fact it was a “footy story” allowed for a really good exploration of fame and media and cultures clashing. As established on this blog, I’m a bit of a “floating” footy supporter, largely tied to my family team. I live it vicariously. But I’m also a consumer of media so I’m aware of the downright stupid stuff that footballers can get caught up in. So my lens was coloured by that when reading. Though I should note that Tess Woods wasn’t intending it to be a footy exposé. Just an interesting setting.

Another thing I loved was the way familial and platonic relationships of the four main characters with their family and friends worked. There were plenty of different personalities who all felt real. This was apparent when we saw the same character viewed through the eyes of more than one main character. That’s possible because each chapter is narrated in first person by one of the four characters. This story device can be hit-and-miss, but it works well in this novel. Each character has a distinctive voice and so the alternating insights are welcome. I loved the different perspectives – of the main characters and the supporting voices, especially when advice was given.

The book is divided into three sections plus epilogue, involving time-jumps. I kinda wish there’d been a fourth one, in-between the second and third, because that jump felt a little too big, especially given what was going on at the end of the “second act”. The intervening time was summed up by the characters but it still felt a little off – I’d have preferred to see a bit more of it happening rather than just hear perspectives about it.  For me, it meant the transition to the climax was a little out-of-left-field (sports reference!) and the emotional-arc resolution for Nick and Anna/Anwar felt a little inevitable and flat, though still sweet.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I recommend it to people who like romance, stories about family and identity and finding your own place, and those looking for a light read that’s more than just fluff. Go and get your hands on it now. 🙂





#Iamwatching – For Crying Out Loud, #bringthemhere!

I just spent 10 minutes calling my local MP’s office, as well as the offices of Bill Shorten, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton to express my “utter disgust” (as I phrased it to Turnbull and Dutton’s staffers) at the current situation on Manus. Why, why, why do people still insist on treating refugees and asylum seekers as political footballs? Why do people not see that using punitive measures creates far more problems than it solves? Our response should be compassionate and respectful. Instead, we have this toxic dehumanising scary situation.

For those of you who are still unaware of what I’m talking about, here’s ASRC’s CEO, Kon Karapanagiotidis:

As of 17:00 today (i.e. 30 minutes ago), all food, water (drinking and running water, so no sanitation!), electricity and medicine access to the men imprisoned in offshore detention on Manus Island has been cut off completely. The Australian government workers and contractors have walked off the site and left “control” in the hands of the Paupa New Guinean military forces – the same group that has repeatedly threatened and made attempts to harm the men.

Supply is being cut off in order to force the men to move to a “transit centre” in another part of the island. A centre which hasn’t been built yet! If they more there? Well – as Kon says above it’s not the fault of the local people, who didn’t ask for the men to be on the Island in the first place. But moving 816 men into East Lorengau, with a population of 4,000 people, where resources are scarce enough to begin with – is quite frankly a worrying prospect. As Kon says in the video (starts about the 4 minute mark), the locals do not want them to come. They have petitioned against it and also made threats. Now, why would the asylum seekers want to move there?

These men do not deserve this. Bring them here

The men have been imprisoned for more than four years on Manus Island in squalid conditions. There are better ways of “dealing” with them!

Let’s reiterate some facts:

  1. Seeking asylum is NOT illegal, whether you come by plane or boat (or land but that’s not possible in Australia)
  2. Locking the refugees up doesn’t “stop the boats”
  3. Asylum seekers leave their countries because they’re FORCED to – because they’re scared for their own lives or the lives of their families.

Australia will have blood on our hands after this, I fear.

Read more about the current situation here and here and here.

I’ve written about potential solutions before #BringThemHere, drat it! and REBLOGGED: Alternative to Offshore Detention and many others – search my blog using the keyword refugees and you’ll see. I hate this situation.

😦 I wish the politicians would actually behave compassionately rather than punitively. It bloody sucks.

REBLOGGED: Out of the Bottle

Let’s hope that Ellis is right.


by winstonclose



It might well be that Tony Abbott’s last, or latest, ‘Duke of Edinburgh Moment’ was his Guildhall Thatcher speech on Monday. In a Europe beset by images of a million desperate, grieving, storm-tossed refugees, he said they should have been sent back to countries where they would have been bombed to bits, or beheaded, or crucified, or forcibly married to monsters, sent back at gunpoint to such places; trust me, it’s the only way.

By doing this he not only showed he was an idiot, but he brought to mind those images — of mothers and children on beaches and railway stations, and trudging the superhighways of Hungary, trying to make some sense of their miserable fate in a hostile world.

And by saying it he gave emphasis to our persecuted refugees, and the ill-treatment by our navy of innocents they kidnapped on their way to New Zealand, and paid people smugglers to deliver, illegally, to Indonesia, or so Amnesty alleges. And to Adyan, pregnant, maddened and messed about by Dutton who for ten weeks has refused her an abortion though her pregnancy was caused by rape. These images from Europe emphasise these recent matters. And Abbott’s fool speech emphasised the faces of the hungry, needy children and women and young men on the high roads of Europe, looking for a life.

And now…well, now it seems the refugee genie is out of the bottle; and we hear today of kids on TPVs wanting to go to university and being denied HECS; of adults on TPVs being forbidden paid work though they may be here for twenty more years; of the enslavement of foreign students at work in the 7/11s and chicken factories.

And so it is, and so has lately begun, all of a sudden, The Year of the Refugee; and Abbott’s proudest boast, that he stopped them coming here, looks more and more crazed and malign in the present context, this heroic, awful year of fleeing tribes and life-shattered, struggling multitudes.

It shows us how evil his administration was.

Can Turnbull keep Dutton any longer? Of course he can’t; but his party’s Right (anti-abortion, pro-torture) will force him to. And he will look weaker and weaker and more and more in the thrall of stupid, sadistic, merciless incompetents.

And so it will go.

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The Republican candidates’ debate, on CNBC, now.

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Malcolm’s Latterday Godwin Grech Moment


(First published by Independent Australia)

Four events this week have done damage to Malcolm Turnbull, undermined his authority and made him look, at the very least, unleaderly.

One was Abbott advocating terrorism in Guildhall, for which Malcolm did not reprove him.

Abbott said refugees should be forced back at gunpoint into countries where they might be executed. Though this can be seen to be a breach of Australian law and to attract a sentence of twenty-five years, the Prime Minister, a trained lawyer, merely gave a rueful smile and sadly allowed that Abbott, a mere backbencher, could now say what he liked.

He seemed weak in this, his response to the man he overthrew, now a terrorism advocate, unrepentant, unpunished and gone rogue.

Another event was the Amnesty International finding that a boat on the way to New Zealand was not in distress when Australian military personnel boarded it, kidnapped the people on it, treated them badly in airless cabins, denying one woman her asthma puffer, and paid people smugglers to dump them on a reef off Indonesia, which did not want to take them in.

This means the responsible Minister, Peter Dutton, was himself a people smuggler and in breach of international law, and liable under current Australian law to eight or fifteen years in gaol.

A third event involved Peter Dutton also. It turned out he had refused an abortion to a raped woman and sent her back to a very small country where her rapist, unpunished, could get at her again, and was now, on second thoughts, letting her back into Australia for a termination in her sixteenth or seventeenth week, a sizeable trauma that might endanger her mental health, before sending her back into her rapist’s vicinity again.

Another was a Minister, Fiona Nash, saying on Q&A that farmers should be able to refuse coal seam gas mining companies access to their land. This was after a farmer, George Bender, had suicided after fighting, vainly, the mining moguls for seven years. Malcolm did not fire her, nor make any comment on what she said.

On top of this, he will soon be facing allegations that his Treasurer, Scott Morrison, when Minister for Immigration, assisted the escape of one at least of the murderers of Reza Barati, and furthermore failed to seek punishment for the deeds of twenty other violent men who with bullets, knives, pipes and rocks injured sixty other young men on Manus Island, after having himself provoked them face to face with the cruel, implacable news that they would ‘never, never’ live in Australia, even those who have relatives here.

This will be on top of his neglect of children raped on his watch which makes him, as their sometime legal guardian, guilty of child abuse himself.

Will Malcolm sack him, or stand him down, when these investigations begin? Of course he won’t.

Has he shown himself in these matters to be a weakling? Or, worse, a collaborator in major crime? It certainly looks like both possibilities are now in play.

It is likely, though not certain, that our new Prime Minister’s popularity has peaked, and one or other of the above events will become his latterday ‘Godwin Grech Moment’, and his inevitable plummeting begin.

TO READ MORE ARTICLES from BOB ELLIS click on this link  =


More links about policy, Nauru and refugees: – Short answer: Nauru. – There should be no business in abuse. This is what we’re fighting against in that regard. – We’ve treated Abyan horribly.

Listen to the Cries – Do Not Ignore Them

Ah, dear. Why, why, why?
Of course, there are sharp, promising signs from the community (like the doctors who have refused to discharge children and mothers and publicly supported taking kids out of detention). But still, the government stupidly marches on, to the beat of “lock them up and forget about them”. Meanwhile, the asylum seekers in the damn concentration camps cry out for help.

An open letter from Manus

by The AIM Network

By Jane Salmon

This epic howl of anguish came from the RPC on Manus via the internet, sent on  04/10/2015.

Mourning and Weeping From Hell

These words are coming from hell. There are many broken hearts screaming with heartache because we have been kept for such a long time, with nothing except failing lives …

Our stories might not be interesting to you. If you spend lots of time doing nothing, please listen to our voices and try to feel what these voices and what this letter tells you. It is not magnificent, it’s pain, yes extreme pain. That pain makes tears for all and everyone’s tears have made this letter for this beautiful nation.

Yes, our dreams are failing, we are failing with our hopes and we are failing with our future too. Our lives were set on fire by inhuman politics, that fire burns us little by little every single second.

Those who can feel our bodies and souls burning with our dreams … you’re the real Australians and great humans.

We can’t imagine why humanity is disappearing from this Nation…Waiting and waiting, but there is nothing, just a little bit of hope in everyone’s deep hearts, that the disappearing humanity will return back to everyone. Then we can see that humanity will feel our pain and extreme grief and share our feelings.

let’s see … we are waiting.

We have kids. We can’t think about our future. We can’t do anything for them, even their smallest wish. Our kids are dying slowly in front of us. We can see it with our own eyes, every second our hearts are crying so badly about our kid’s futures. Where are they going to go, what they are going to do? All these questions are killing us. You also have kids, you’ve made plans for when they are growing up. But what can we do? Just one thing: dying all together slowly, day by day, every single second.Please give us your hand to get us out of this deep dark hell. We are so broken. Our souls are crying silently every night. Only our pillow and bed knows. We can’t share our pain with each other here because everyone is in the same boat. We are travelling into the deep darkness, with extreme pain … we can’t smile, we can’t be happy, these things are all gone. Our mind is melting away from us.Now our heads are empty, our lives too. Oh our Nation, many fathers and mothers have children and babies … yes … they are all happy with their freedom and they trust in their lives but we are wasting our lives inside the fence. Our joy and freedom is locked up in this hell. Still, we can’t start our life.

We are asylum seekers. Sorry but we have forgotten our names because now we are just called by our boat numbers. We have been in detention for years in this hell you call offshore processing centre. We cannot describe our suffering. We are tired of being tired. We are dying every single second because of your inhumane treatment. Our presence is burning here. How can we have a future? All you give us is extreme pain and grief …

When we came here we became the victims of your policy. Sent to offshore processing centres and kept there with 2000 people. By the end of 2012 almost 27000 asylum seekers reached your country by boat. Where are they now? You know well some are unlucky and innocent and are still kept in the hell of offshore processing centres.
All the time we are sorry about our life inside the fence on this dry land. We are coping with time and emptiness day by day you make life hard every second and cause us pain too.

Wondering why our lives were saved in the ocean, if we died in the sea it would be wonderful because we can’t cope with your inhuman actions. You took our joy, you took our hope, dreams and locked us up inside the fence … We can’t breathe freely.

844 people from Manus and Nauru signed this letter (but because of our fear we just sent the signatures to one Senator).

What is better than drowning, according to the Australian Government?

by Eva Cripps

The Federal Government is determined to stick to its policy of torturing innocent people to deter criminals. Apparently the only way to take power away from people smugglers is to ensure that perfectly legal asylum seekers who previously made it safely to Australia by boat are treated in the most barbaric way possible. In some kind of twisted Coalition logic, it asserts by its actions that the most effective way to prevent people drowning at sea is to torture those that survive.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton appears to understand that actions are more important than words, as does former Immigration Minister and current Treasurer, Scott Morrison. Both have made it clear that it’s not acceptable to simply intercept boats making their way to Australia, remove asylum seekers and detain the people smugglers. No, the only way to save lives is to detain and subject every man, woman and child to the cruellest, most inhumane treatment possible. The Coalition has a strong message for asylum seekers, “Dare to flee war, persecution or genocide, and we will make your lives so rotten you’ll beg to return to where you came from.”

According to the Coalition, there is nothing worse than drowning at sea. According to the actions of Dutton, Morrison, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, arbitrary detention, torture, rape, sexual abuse, violent assaults, and denial of medical treatment are all better than drowning.

In some respects, they have a point. Death is final. It is the end. There is no return from death. Drowning really is a final outcome.

Torture, on the other hand, rape, sexual abuse, violent assaults, denial of medical treatment; none of these things results in immediate death. No, these things, continuously supported by the Australian Government by its lack of action, ensure that people stay alive; although not so much alive as a lingering, painful existence from which there is no escape. Asylum seekers who attempt to escape by ending their own lives, are subjected to more pain and torture.

It seems the Australian Government is determined to stop people drowning at all costs.

Based on the events of the past few years, the Government has demonstrated a number of things that it believes are better than drowning.

  1. Being bashed to death by security guards who are meant to protect you.
  2. Dying a slow, lingering death from septicaemia from an untreated foot infection.
  3. Housing a five month old baby in a stinking hot, rat-infested tent without access to appropriate formula, hygienic facilities to prepare food, and placing her mother in so much stress she can’t breastfeed properly.
  4. Being so suicidal you can’t be trusted to be left alone for five minutes with a lawyer or husband, but considered well enough to be flown to detention in Nauru.
  5. Depriving women of basic sanitary items and forcing them to ask male security guards for pads while blood clots run down their legs.
  6. Leaving a young child with a broken arm untreated for weeks.
  7. Being brutally raped as a 23 year old, and denied medical treatment for weeks, if not months, and forced to continue a pregnancy that is making you physically sick.
  8. Having medical treatment delayed after being brutally raped and attempting suicide.
  9. Young boys being attacked, beaten and robbed.
  10. The sexual abuse of children.
  11. Sending children who are suffering from serious mental health issues back to detention where they won’t have access to proper treatment and their condition will worsen.
  12. Waterboarding and being cable-tied to a bed and dropped from height.
  13. Dying after being denied medical treatment for two weeks.

Read the rest by clicking on the highlighted title above. That list is pretty damning, isn’t it?

Looking for Humanity? Sign Here….but the kids are All Right

First story: No Business In Abuse

I support this group. Wholeheartedly. Strip away the labels and what remains are people – locked up in appalling conditions as a deterrence measure. They deserve to be free. All they’ve done is try to find a safer place to live, reluctantly leaving behind their homelands which have turned to hellholes in one way or another.
Companies support this inhumane bull. So we have to fight back and show them that we don’t. The way to hit companies is through their profits unfortunately. We’ve got to hit them where they hurt. I believe the campaign is based on the anti-apartheid campaign…..

22 Sep 2015
By Max Chalmers

A group targeting companies profiting from offshore detention won’t be stopped by taunts or legal risks. Max Chalmers reports.

A group of activists, lawyers, unionists and church groups causing increasing headaches for immigration detention contractor Transfield Services say they are prepared to kick on with the fight despite the ‘real risk’ of legal action being launched against them.

The group, which has taken the name No Business in Abuse, has seen a coalition of refugee action and support groups come together to heap pressure on the lead contractor in Australia’s offshore detention facilities by trying to ensure there are broader business ramifications for those who partake in the detention network.

Shen Narayanasamy, Executive Director of No Business in Abuse – who is also the Human Rights Campaign Director at GetUp! – said the campaign was seeking to “dry up” Transfield’s opportunities for expansion by signing individuals and businesses up to a pledge not to work with businesses that profit from the detention industry.

“We’re not only talking to people about a particular company, we’re talking about the values basis on which detention is currently enshrined, which is based on the human rights abuses of vulnerable people,” Narayanasamy said.

As the lead contractor for the Australian funded detention camps on Nauru and Manus Island, Transfield has already faced a separate campaign of divestments,with major super fund HESTA pulling the plug last month.

No Business in Abuse’s campaign shifts the focus to future projects, trying to encourage those working in other sectors where Transfield provides services – including health care, schools, and hospitals – not to do business with the company.
Read more here at winston close – original article from new matilda.

On another note:

Check out this page. The kids are all right, people! This kid is awesome. Joel, aged 9, saw something and was moved to help. One of the important takeaways is what Joel says about the kids on the news just being “other children”. Children like him. Refugees are like us. They have similar wishes and hopes: for a safe happy future, a good place to raise their kids, a steady job. The big difference: they have to fear for their life. We don’t. So why not help out? I’ve mentioned ways to do so several times now. 🙂

Hats off to you, Joel. You rock mate. 😀

From the fundraising website:

“I’m walking 115 miles from my house to Hope Square, London, to help child refugees. I’m 9 years old.
Joel Condron
Email Verified
133 Facebook Friends
United Kingdom
1 Team Member

Contact See More Details

Hello, my name’s Joel…

…and I live in Oakham, Rutland with my Mum, Dad and little brother. I’m 9 years old and like cars, football, playing my guitar, Minecraft and Lego. I go to school each day where I learn, play and hang out with my mates. I’m an ordinary English kid living in a safe town.

Lately, I have heard stories on telly about other children that have had to leave their home towns and go on dangerous journeys because there are bad people around that are fighting in wars. The news calls them refugee children. Some of these kids have had to walk a long way sometimes without their parents to find a safe place to live. A lot of them are even younger than me.

Five (very cute) Syrian refugee children pose for a photo at Domiz Camp in Iraq

I want to do something to help them, so in half-term I am walking 115 miles from my house to the Kindertransport statue in Hope Square, Liverpool Street Station, London so that people can give money to help these children get food, water and somewhere warm and safe to sleep.”

Boundless Plains to Share

Check out the article below. It explains things very well and suggests solutions.

If you want to show your support for a view of Australia as a compassionate nation, willing to do its bit and more to help – rather than the “out-of-sight, out-of-mind”, “lock-’em-up-and-leave-’em” policies of now, there are rallies going on frequently. It’s not always just the capital cities which protest – they just get more attention. Heck, my hometown had two sizeable gatherings last week when vigils to protest the deaths of refugees like Aylan Kurdi were held across Australia. The main protest I know of is the “Walk Together” protest/ rally on October 31st in several capital cities and other places. It’s a “welcoming” protest, so it is more celebratory, perhaps, than some of the others.

From their Facebook page:

Walk Together 2015 will be a huge celebration of diversity and a loud declaration that thousands of Australians believe we can become a nation known for our compassion, generosity and welcome.
Faced with increasing instances of fear and prejudice, it’s more important than ever for values of compassion and welcome to reign. For the sake of our futures, it’s time to Walk Together.

Saturday October 31st at 11.00 am in your city.

Click through below for local details:
Canberra: starting location: near Westside Acton Park, 3 Barrine Drive
Gold Coast:
Mt Gambier:
Sunshine Coast:

Want to volunteer? Host a walk in a city not listed above? Have questions?

There is actually quite a lot of support for a real solution that’s genuine. So this isn’t the only protest occurring, far from it. There’s another one on earlier, on October 11 in Melbourne for instance. It’s called “Stand Up for Refugees” and is aimed specifically at protesting “Operation Sovereign Borders”, the “Border Force Act” and all the unpleasantness surrounding that. (So is perhaps a little narrower in focus.)

Alternatively, if you don’t like traditional protesting for whatever reason, there are other ways to get involved. I mentioned some of them last week, among other posts. Personally I won’t be going to the Oct 11th rally probably – I’ll be elsewhere in Melbourne, attending a picnic run by “Land of Welcome”: “Welcome Home Asylum Seeker Picnics, Learning Each Other’s Food & Culture”. The best way to stop the nonsense of sloganeering and othering and ethnocentrism that’s going on right now is to actually go out and meet people and hear their stories, after all. Ignorance breeds fear, which leads to hatred, which leads to bigotry. But knowledge counters those things, leading to acceptance and then understanding.

Start the boats

By Kris BullenPREFACEWhat a complicated and emotive topic.The challenges associated with refugees and asylum seekers are as vast as the numbers that are actually fleeing their countries. I simply cannot cover all of the considerations in this article. I also don’t know all of the challenges. I am only one person who is not primarily focused on this topic. I can comment only on what I know and understand and I will look to others to help me where my knowledge falls down.

At the end of this article you will find a number of references to resources that are generally far more researched than what I have detailed here. I encourage you to have a look at these to assist you in your understanding of the issue as it has certainly helped me in furthering my understanding of the situation.

I must state from the outset that I don’t agree with making the seeking of asylum in Australia so dangerous that Asylum seekers choose persecution and starvation in other countries over asylum in Australia. Sure that solves our refugee problem but what does that mean about Australian culture? I think we must reflect on the fact that it’s not long gone 200 years since Australia’s border were irreversibly over run and changed forever. Maybe we should reflect on how that occurred and seek to avoid the legacy that left for the original inhabitants of Australia and it’s new settlers.


There are an estimated 42.5 million people displaced by persecution and conflict in the world.

In 2011 only 0.7% of the worlds refugees were resettled.

In the context of our migration program, the number of asylum seekers arriving by boat to Australia is very, very minor. It is less than 1.5 per cent of new migrants.

The USA, Canada and Australia provide 90 percent of global resettlement places.

As at Jun 30, 2015 there are a total of 4,472 people in Australian detention centres (whether in Australia or in offshore detention).

At January 31, 2013, 47 per cent of Australian detainees were Sri Lankan nationals, 13 per cent from Iran and 11 per cent from Afghanistan. Of those in community detention, the largest group were Iranian nationals (34 per cent), followed by Sri Lankans (18 per cent) and Afghan nationals (15 per cent). I have circled these countries in blue on the below map for your reference.

Australia planned to migrate 190,000 people into Australia in 2014-2015. These are skilled workers and their families. Additionally, in the same period, Australia expects to resettle approximately 6,000 refugees (pre 9/9/2015 announcement by then PM Abbott on increasing numbers by 12,000 over an undetermined amount of time).


The war in Syria has been relatively protracted (since 2011) and has caused more than 4.5 million people to flee the area to neighbouring countries. The Syrian refugee crisis is ‘Europe’s biggest refugee movement since the second world war’ and the reasons for the movement of people are diverse and surprisingly somewhat speculative however, this article provides a good summary. I have circled Syria in red on the below map for your reference.


I will attempt to detail the most common thoughts on the challenges associated with Immigration in general, not just with asylum seekers and refugees.


Challenge: Many people hold a sincere fear that among the legitimate asylum seekers, there may be a number of people present who seek to do damage to Australia whether that is through terrorism or other acts.

We must also be mindful that Islamic State has espoused the dispatch of their soldiers to foreign lands with the sole intent of destruction.

Response: It has been determined that, because of Australia’s exhaustive screening process, the chances of anyone entering the country intending to cause harm or damage is almost nil.

I would also remind Australia of our heritage, we are Australians, we come from the Anzacs, we have a proud history of fighting hard and smart, and winning. We need not be scared of any threats, but always cautious and prepared.  If there is a risk to our country or our fellow countrymen/women, isolate it, assess it and then deal with it with determination and conviction.

We shouldn’t let our fear of unknown and unquantifiable threats dilute or dissolve our compassion and humanity when people turn to us for help.


Challenge: Australia already has a rising unemployment rate, we can’t handle any more people that need to be supported.

Response: I haven’t yet read anything that suggests how to effectively tackle this challenge. Things that I reflect on personally are; how much it costs us for our current offshore processing (detailed later in this article) and what benefits to any party we currently see from our existing detention process.


Challenge: Australia’s welfare system can’t handle the additional burden of taking on the refugees.

Response: As above.

I have seen numerous documents justifying the small amount of welfare, asylum seekers who are located in Community Detention are provided. However I struggle to understand how existing Australians such as the elderly and the disabled, afford to live on the amounts paid to them in welfare, therefore I do wonder how someone who does not understand how Australia works, is able to live off less money. Ultimately I don’t think that justifying how much we pay asylum seekers in community detention, by displaying how poorly we support the asylum seekers financially, should satisfy us that we are doing the best by them and us.


Challenge: Refugees and immigrants don’t want to assimilate with Australians or their culture, they will just end up in a ghetto.

Response: Personally, I believe that this should be considered in the integration process. The current situation where we keep people in closed detention centres and then release them into Community Detention with a  few restrictions is negligent and really is setting everyone up for failure. If we don’t teach people about Australia and Australians, and we don’t provide Australians with the opportunity to interact with the asylum seekers, how can we expect them to assimilate? Personally I would welcome the opportunity for my family and I to be engaged in the assimilation process. I’ve always welcomed the opportunity to have conversations with immigrants and refugees as it very rarely fails to open my eyes to how lucky we truly are in this country, and how much of a difference giving these people the opportunity to work and live in Australia makes to them and their family.


From what I deduce, there are two distinct groups who make up asylum seekers

  1. People who flee because of persecution. These people are generally more likely to be granted refugee status.
  2. People who leave their country to seek a country with better prospects. These people are usually fleeing poverty and not necessarily persecution. These people are often referred to as ‘Economic Refugees’.

Response: I look at both of these groups and I see merit in why they are seeking asylum. If I was in their situation I would also be considering seeking a better life and better opportunities than what is possible in my country.

I certainly see why it is important to prioritise issuing refugee status for those asylum seekers who risk torture, rape or execution if they return to their country.

Further to this though (and I will detail this later in the article), I also think that, if both the Economic Refugee and the country in which they are seeking asylum, are both able to benefit out of an asylum arrangement, why wouldn’t an arrangement be put into place?


Challenge: There are widespread reports of asylum seekers destroying any and all personal documentation before they reach the borders of countries in which they are seeking asylum. There are many reasons for this including;

  • the intention to delay the process of refugee determination
  • hiding the true identity of the individual because they want a fresh start
  • panic and uncertainty causes people who are distressed to do things that may not seem logical to onlookers
  • nefarious intent (discussed under the ‘security’ topic above)

Response: To this I would state that we must remember that priority number one of our Government is to ensure the protection of Australia and its people. Everything else falls behind this.

People without documentation pose an unknown threat. This is one of the reasons that it takes so long to determine refugee eligibility. Therefore, I would suggest that we certainly need to keep the unknown risk contained until each individual is determined to pose no risk to Australia or her people.

We also need to let the screening process run its course. If the process can’t be sped up without sacrificing its integrity, so be it.


The Syrian refugee crisis has arisen from many factors,  one of which, regardless of how good our intentions may have been, is that Western societies have been more than willing to enter these lands to teach the population how to wage war on each other and provide the tools in order to overthrow one dictator or regime after another. The problem generally comes when there is never any realistic or practical plan as to how to stabilise the country once the objective has been achieved. It is usually met with the provision of security training for local security forces that are often abandoned and consequently become ineffective. I would suggest that our current situation is an opportunity to show the people how a peaceful democratic society actually functions and we should not turn our backs or be fearful (we should act with caution, not fear). This may be our opportunity to help them to understand the mechanisms of peace as opposed to the mechanisms of war.

I recently had two conversations with two separate people whom I consider very worldly and intelligent. I was surprised that both those conversations, when touching on the topic of immigration and refugees, covered the idea that there needs to be a controlled and democratic location set up within the borders of the lands that the refugees are trying to escape. This is where the refugees, when the crisis that is causing them to flee their homes and when it is safe to do so, should be returned to. I must admit, at that time I hadn’t looked that far ahead and considered this as a plausible option.

Australia is one of the very few countries where the border is extremely secure. People can’t walk, train, bus or drive across our borders. They have to come either by official means through the air or via unauthorised means on the sea. With our technology and our military, we are able to easily identify and transport the people who travel by boat. Australia is truly lucky that we don’t have the challenges faced by countries such as Germany. This means we have a unique opportunity to contain and isolate any potential risks that refugees may pose.

The refugees are fleeing to Australia, because it is safer and has more potential than the country from which they come. In my opinion, Australia can not and must not allow itself to change in order to reflect the culture that is the source of the oppression and the danger from where these people come. However, in saying that, Australia and Australians must be mindful of their multicultural past and accept that refugees don’t only carry the burden of a failing society, there are positive aspects of the culture that they come from and Australians should take the opportunity to learn more about aspects of other cultures while showing the asylum seekers why Australian culture is relatively peaceful and its government is relatively effective.

If we are to take on more refugees and asylum seekers, we must find a viable and sustainable way to do so. Australia is a business, just like any other country. We need to make sure that our expenses aren’t out of control and indeed, it is ideal if our revenue exceeds our expenses. Refugees and asylum seekers are just like me, my family, my neighbours and most other Australians, we are all resources. I work for my employer and in return, I am rewarded. In my case, my employer provides me with professional development and remuneration that I can use to sustain my existence and hopefully further my career. It should be the same for the refugees and the asylum seekers. They flee their country looking for opportunities. Australia doesn’t have huge opportunities as our unemployment rates and welfare rates are already so high. So what we must do is consider if we can create a mutually beneficial arrangement where the refugees and Australia, can work towards a sustainable (and possibly temporary) model where;

  1. the refugees assist in the development of Australian industry and economy while
  2. Australia provides them with refuge and develops the refugees understanding of Australian culture including;
  • our language
  • our history
  • embracing multiculturalism
  • the peaceful and respectful co-existence of varied faiths
  • the mechanisms of democracy and all of its associated systems and consequences.

In 2014, Australia spent $1.2b (that’s $1,200,000,000) on offshore processing. Now, I’m no accountant but I can see that for most of the year, there were about 2,200 people in offshore detention. So that equates to about $545,000 per person to keep them in offshore detention. Things that must be noted here include;

  1. This does not take in to consideration how many were actually processed in that time
  2. The government expects the per person cost to decline in consecutive year


  • We need to understand the facts.
  • We need to understand the situation.
  • We need to look to our past to see what has happened in history in order to address issues and situations such as this.
  • We need to make a plan that satisfies as many of the people, countries, laws and international requirements as possible. This means the satisfaction of short term and long term goals.
  • We need to implement the plan and encourage as many of the other lead countries and agencies to be involved as possible.

Australia is currently in a situation where it is suffering from extreme drought and we are facing some pretty tough economic times. In last weeks blog, I spoke of the farmers who have been devastated by drought in Western QLD. I proposed the construction of a pipeline that captures our reclaimed water and sends it West. The biggest problem with this is that it is extremely expensive and getting a labor force large enough to undertake the work required is logistically difficult as well as very expensive.

In light of the current situation, I think that Australia has been presented with an opportunity to help develop itself, as well as assist in the protection and development of people who seek refuge in our country.

We have an opportunity to engage skilled Australians to mentor and train refugees in skills that will assist them in one or more of many things including;

  • If peace and safety is brought back to Syria and subsequently the refugees are eventually sent back, we are in a position to send them back with skills and knowledge that will make them invaluable to the redevelopment of their country.
  • If the Syrian conflict persists, the time that is spent in detention has been effectively used to train the refugees in English, vocational skills, Australian systems, methodologies, expectations and requirements. Therefore they are more likely to be accepted into many countries as a skilled migrant and no longer as a refugee. The time will also have been used to assess suitability for integration into Australian society.

In order to do this I would propose that refugees be provided with a similar ‘award wage’ to that of apprentices and trainees, however because many of the expenses of the individuals are being met by the government, the government would garnish wages in order to pay for the costs of provision of essential services. When the refugees are assessed as being able to be released from detention, I would hope that the refugees are able to enter society (whichever that ultimately is) with knowledge, skills, self-confidence and some savings.

With the demise of the mining boom, there are huge numbers of highly skilled and experienced Australian workers who could easily lead a multicultural workforce in the achievement of these common goals.

Additional to this, I would say that we should not exclude Australians from undertaking the jobs that would be created from the above proposal. If Australian workers, apprentices or trainees want to take advantage of the opportunities that are presented, they would be more than welcome as this would assist in the assimilation process as both cultures could learn a lot from the interactions with each other.

It seems like an oxymoron but intolerance would not be tolerated by any party. Mutual respect, courtesy and professionalism is crucial for all involved.

If I can draw any comparison of what I have proposed to other existing frameworks, I would compare this proposal to the ChAFTA, where in this instance, Australia would perform a similar role to Chinese businesses and the refugees would be similar to the workers that China would bring in to work on their projects. The major difference is that the financial benefits of this proposal are kept within Australia, the physical assets that are created remain Australian (building a revenue generating asset for Australia again) and instead of just providing remuneration to the workers who come and go as needed, we are investing in their personal and their countries future.

I would also like to note that what I am proposing is a more humane version of what happened to many refugees that resulted from WWII. In many cases, refugees were held in countries until they were able to be sent back to their countries of origin. Often the intent of the refugee camps or ‘displaced person’ camps were simply to keep people alive. Today, in this case, we have an opportunity to do much more.




Kris BAbout the author: Kris Bullen comes from a blue and white collar background and therefore sees merit in the focus of most political parties, but he has become disillusioned by the combative political arena that has emerged. Kris believes that as a consequence of the unwinnable ‘battle for supreme political victory’, Australia and its people, culture and future have been forgotten.  Subsequently, in an attempt to redress the balance and return some democratic power back to the people, Kris is running as a Candidate for the Online Direct Democracy Party in the electorate of Fairfax.