Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
The Federal Government will pay families up to $300 a week to temporarily house asylum seekers in their homes to help deal with the increasing flood of arrivals. With the Immigration Department now facing a potential shortage of community housing to accommodate detainees who are being released into the community, the Government has turned to householders for help. Under a plan slated to start next month, the Government will seek to access the 5000 homes registered under the privately run Australian Homestay Network (AHN) to host asylum seekers released from detention on bridging visas. AHN was originally established to provide short-term private home accommodation and board for international students. The organisation, which first approached the Federal Government with the plan last year, began writing to its national client base three weeks ago seeking applications from home owners to house asylum seekers. The Immigration Department confirmed it would pay for security vetting and training for families which want to take up the offer. It will also pay a weekly stipend of between $220 and $300 to families to cover food and board for detainees. Almost 1000 detainees have been released into the community over the past two months, since the Government's change of policy last year to ease pressure on detention centres. The high cost of the Community Placement Network plan is expected to be allocated from the existing detention centre funding, which will be revealed in next week's Budget. The AHN, which was set up to accommodate international students for short periods in family homes, claimed the initial period of housing for asylum seekers would be for six weeks, but could be extended.
"The Community Placement Network is an initiative designed to provide short-term accommodation (for) eligible asylum seekers while they independently source longer term sustainable accommodation in the community," AHN executive chairman David Bycroft said.
"The CPN is for people interested in assisting asylum seekers to live in the community on a bridging visa while awaiting the resolution of their immigration status. It is not for people interested in international student hosting." The Refugee Council of Australia has backed the plan, claiming it would allow more people to be released from detention and live in the community while their applications were processed.
"Mandatory detention makes people mentally ill and is expensive," the council's CEO Paul Power said. Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison slammed the plan, claiming it confirmed the Government had reached the point of desperation: "Labor's decision to house adult male asylum seekers released on bridging visas in the spare rooms of Australian families is a desperate, reckless policy from a government that has lost control.
"When Australians expressed concern about rising costs of living, this was not an invitation for Julia Gillard to supplement household incomes by offering to pay the rent on your spare room or granny flat for asylum seekers.
"The fact Australian families are now being asked to house asylum seekers who have arrived illegally by boat, including those whose claims have been rejected, shows just how desperate Labor have become over their failed border protection policies which have seen almost 17,000 people now arrive on 301 boats." A spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, said: "This is yet another cheap shot from the Coalition, who like to demonise asylum seeker issues."
I also noted in Julia's speech today, that she said Australia would be 'ONE' of the most capable defence forces in our region......Well Julia, you actually need to be 'THE' most capable to be credible at first contact with the enemy!
I'm no capability expert, but I was trying to explain the valu of artillery to someone today. In the end, I just used Long Tan as an analogy. Without artillery, and bloody good artillerymen, that could have been a very different outcome.
Without artillery, and bloody good artillerymen, that [Long Tan] could have been a very different outcome.
They're cancelling/deferring the long awaited self-propelled arty, which in this day and age, is suicide for the poor bastards manning the towed variety (and therefore [see the quote above, which is 100% accurate], those they're supporting) if they're ever sent into action against a halfway decently equipped enemy, for, today, with radar tracking of arty rounds, the gun needs to move PDQ after firing a very few rounds before its site is pounded to oblivion by counter battery fire.
As for the submarines escaping the cuts... it's all about politics, jobs and pork barrelling in South Australia. But $240 million just for investigations into the new type? Wowsers! That's some serious investigating.
On the ABC (Sydney) this morning, an indignant and outraged SMS from a listener: "Who needs submarines? Child care payments for single parents continuing after the youngest child turns six are far more important." Says it all really, especially about your average ABC listener.
Well, yes, it is against policy because the 3rd aspect (after 12 subs and built in SA) was Non Nuclear.
Either way, it is all political based decision making as was shown in one article as one major aspect they are looking at is interoperability with the US who they know they will be working closely with - most of us would say just use what they are using (assuming they will sell them current class to allies - not sure on that one).