Australasia

Vietnamese asylum seekers forcibly returned by Australia face jail

Four Vietnamese asylum seekers forcibly returned to their country by Australia will appear in court on Thursday, facing up to seven years in jail for trying to flee. Four others have already been jailed for between two and three years for illegally leaving the country, despite written assurances from the Vietnamese government – according to the commander of Operation Sovereign Borders – that they would not be charged or punished for leaving… Source: Inkl: The Guardian – AU – Vietnamese ... Read More »

Former Liberal Party treasurer admits he knew of illegal donations

The Liberal Party’s former federal treasurer, Michael Yabsley, has admitted he knew of illegal donations made through the notorious Free Enterprise Foundation during his tenure. His admission that property developers had “in a couple of cases” donated to the NSW Liberal Party will put further pressure on the party’s former treasurer in that state, Arthur Sinodinos, who denies he had any knowledge of such donations. Mr Yabsley was asked by the ABC’s Four Corners program whether he knew prohibited donors… Source: Former ... Read More »

Nauru, Manus Island Detention Inflicts ‘Psychological Torture’

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World Vision’s Tim Costello has weighed into the asylum seeker debate. The Greens support the World Vision boss’ criticism of offshore detention. The Australian Greens have backed comments by World Vision boss Tim Costello who says detaining asylum seekers offshore constitutes psychological torture. Costello on Sunday said there was “no question” about the mental torture… Source: Nauru, Manus Island Detention Inflicts ‘Psychological Torture’ Read More »

Chinese interests play increasing role in Australian political donations

A Chinese government-backed propaganda unit and a swag of companies that stand to gain from the China Australia Free Trade Agreement have made more than half a million dollars of political donations in Victoria… Source: Chinese interests play increasing role in Australian political donations Read More »

Iranian-born refugee wins major literary award, criticises Dutton’s ‘illiterate’ comments

Iranian refugee Osamah Sami, 33, has taken out the Multicultural category at the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for his memoir, ‘Good Muslim Boy’. The book, which describes his own experiences of fleeing Iran, was printed last year. He took this opportunity to criticise comments made by Immigration Minister Peter Dutton on ‘illiterate refugees.’… Source: Iranian-born refugee wins major literary award, criticises Dutton’s ‘illiterate’ comments | SBS News Read More »

Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the absurd

Papua New Guinea is an extraordinary country very close to my heart, but I can say with absolute surety that it is not an appropriate country in which to resettle refugees.. Ihave recently spent six weeks in the city of Lae in Papua New Guinea, with unique access to the first group of refugees resettled from Manus Island, and have been able to experience their resettled life first-hand… Source: Resettling refugees in Papua New Guinea: a tragic theatre of the ... Read More »

Match words with action on Papua abuses

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The detention of more than 1,500 Papuan independence supporters on May 2 for “lacking a permit to hold a rally” speaks volumes of the government’s stubbornly problematic approach to dealing with dissent in the restive territory of Papua… Andreas Harsono Source: Match words with action on Papua abuses – The Jakarta Post Read More »

Judge says WA is worst in world for meth

A senior judge says levels of ice use in WA are among the worst in the civilised world and are a sign that the so-called war on drugs has been lost.. During a sentencing hearing of a meth dealer in the District Court yesterday, Judge Philip McCann said the State’s ice epidemic was “a national and international disgrace”, caused by Chinese drug cartels targeting the WA economy when it was booming… Source: Judge says WA is worst in world for ... Read More »

How Australia stood up to minister’s ‘illiterate migrants’ comments – BBC News

When Australia’s immigration minister spoke out about the level of literacy and numeracy among migrants late on Tuesday, he was addressing what has become one of the hot potatoes of this election season. With the build-up to the 2 July vote now in full swing, Peter Dutton responded to proposals by the opposition Labor party to increase annual refugee numbers from 13,750 to 27,000. Source: How Australia stood up to minister’s ‘illiterate migrants’ comments – BBC News Read More »

It’s a matter of trust: the policies we need to restore our faith in politics

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Australia has a trust deficit and it seems to be getting worse. Some early media stories signal that this election is not very welcome, because fewer see the political system as able to fix the problems we are facing. Australians see issues like inequality as problematic and needing fixing. But so far there are few signs that either major party is really tackling the… Source: It’s a matter of trust: the policies we need to restore our faith in politics Read More »

Australia ‘talking rubbish’ about breaking people smugglers’ business model, lawyer says

A human rights lawyer in Sri Lanka accuses Australia of breaching international obligations over the recent return of a group of asylum seekers.. Lakshan Dias is representing some of the 12 men, women and children who reached the Cocos-Keeling Islands in early May and were subsequently flown back to the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo… Source: Australia ‘talking rubbish’ about breaking people smugglers’ business model, lawyer says – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Read More »

Changing the conversation can lead to a better way on asylum seekers

Debates on Australia’s policies toward asylum seekers have made an early appearance in the 2016 election campaign. Several current and retiring Labor MPs, as well as some candidates, have spoken out against the party’s support for offshore processing and turning back asylum-seeker boats. Both major parties support offshore processing and boat turnbacks. But… Source: Changing the conversation can lead to a better way on asylum seekers Read More »

Legal Aid in crisis, Canberra lawyers to rally

A crisis in funding for Legal Aid is preventing Australia’s most disadvantaged from obtaining a lawyer, the ACT Law Society has said. Lawyers will rally on Wednesday in support of a national “Legal Aid Matters” campaign, which seeks to put pressure on the major parties to commit to reversing cuts and injecting new money into services ahead of the federal election… Source: Legal Aid in crisis, Canberra lawyers to rally Read More »

Multiculturalism: not an ideal, but a reality

We need to create human societies from people of many different backgrounds.. I’m reading Stan Grant’s book Talking To My Country. A journalist with Aboriginal and Irish heritage, Grant wrote an article last year at the height of the Adam Goodes drama, which proved very telling. The story was both simple and complex. In expressing the historic principle at stake with dignity and clarity while also illuminating the complexities of the issues of Aboriginal identity it raised, Grant was in ... Read More »

‘The Green tide is coming in’: Di Natale challenges Turnbull, Shorten to leaders debate

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has challenged Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to include him in the next leaders debate, claiming the rising “Green tide” is causing panic in Labor and Liberal ranks… Under soft green lighting at the Greens national conference in Melbourne on Saturday morning, Dr Di Natale told the party faithful the establishment was running scared. Comparing the old parties to the Coles and Woolworths duopoly, who “shut out the little guy”… Source: ‘The Green tide is coming in’: ... Read More »

If Europe Turns Its Back Now The Concept Of ‘Refugee’ Will Cease To Exist

As Europe contemplates taking a path forged by Australia, the lives of those who flee conflict now and in the future hang in the balance, writes Paul McPhun. This week Europe celebrated unity and peace on Europe Day. But in 2016 we fear its leaders, like Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader BillMore… Source: If Europe Turns Its Back Now The Concept Of ‘Refugee’ Will Cease To Exist – New Matilda Read More »