View Full Version : Oz perspective wanted

1st Sep 2001, 11:39
Never having lived in Australia but having visited the glorious place a fair bit over the years we still "slipped" in SYD, I find myself very susprised at reading the Norwegian media coverage of the current "Tampa" crises.

According to the newsies in this country, the Captain of the Tampa was asked by the Australian coastguard to assist a ship full of people in danger. He did, loaded them on to his freighter and poceeded to Xmas Island where he attempted to drop off the people he had rescued from the seas.
Oz authorities would not allow this, and the Norwegian freighter is now stuck with about 400 refugees living under apalling conditions on her decks.
The refugees seem to be economic migrants and they behave violently towards the ship's crew.

The Norwegian media concede that Oz harbours more refugees than any other country in the world, but also claim that the Norwegian Captain has been badly tricked by the Oz authorities.

Knowing from personal experience that journalism does not always portray the truth as percieved by those involved in a story, I would very much appreciate some info from fellow ppruners hailing from Oz.

If at all possible, and if anyone would care to give some input on this thread at all, could we try NOT to post the kind of stuff that makes the whole thing deteriorate into a hate filled discussion on "racism"?

I am genuinely flabbergasted by the things I read in the local media about a country of which I only have the best of memories, and about a people which I hold in high regard.

Anyone please??

1st Sep 2001, 12:29
Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers......

There is a very large thread on this subject on Dunnunda which will give you more accurate information.

Feeton Terrafirma
1st Sep 2001, 13:15
Hey Flaps, how are you?

I'm not aware that the Tampa Captain was asked to pick up the boat people in the first place. I understood that he responded to the age old seamans tradition of helping out a vessel in distress when he happened across it.

The real problem as I see it is in three parts.

1/ The Indonesian government allows, if not encourages boat people to gather on and depart it's shores knowing full well the dangers they face and the problems they cause.

2/ The boat people are feed lies about the situation in Australia by people who are prepared to charge them huge sums of money to put them in a leaky boat to Australia.

3/ In the past the Australian government has not acted with nearly enough vigor in putting these boat people on a plane to their home land within a week on their arrival.

Now you may think that sounds harsh, but I don't. The majority of these boat people pay a lot of money to get in that leaky boat because they cannot qualify for immigration to Oz. When they arrive in Oz and we put them up, confined in a refugee camp, clothe and feed them, provide medical care, and listen to their claims for the right to stay in Oz they do not appreciate it. If they qualify to stay here the government gives them a sizeable handout, provides more accomodation, puts them on unemployment benefits, and then tries to find them a job.

Whilst they are waiting in the camps to have their claims heard however they conduct themsleves, not as guests in our country, but by organising riots, burning the camp buildings, abusing each other physically, and generally behaving very badly.

Getting back to the case of the Tampa, I understand that the usual process after an ocean rescue is to either drop off the rescuees at the nearest port, or at the next port the ship is due to dock at. In this case, Indonesia was the nearest port, and Christmas Island was not the destination of the Tampa. So I now ask why is the Tampa trying to put these people ashore on Christmas Island where the boat people would out number the locals and there is NO accomodation of any sort available?

The answer is simple. The boat people are using the same tactics that boat people in Australian transit camps comtinue to use. They demand that they have there own way, and threaten to disfigure themselves or worst if we do not comply. Well I for one am sick of having our hospitality abused by these people. They are rarely ligitimate refugees, but usually well off (they need to be to pay for the leaky boat) but not able to qualify for regular immigration.

A local TV station conducted a telephone pole the other day to assess public reaction to the situation, and over 95% of respondents did not want the boat people here. This is something the Australian Government cannot ignore in an election year.

As a last piece of news, I understand that a resolution has been achieved, where New Zealand and Nauru have offered to accept the boat people for screening to establish if they are refugees.

[ 01 September 2001: Message edited by: Feeton Terrafirma ]

Feeton Terrafirma
1st Sep 2001, 13:18
Lame, you've done it again! Another post whilst I was composing mine. You just have to post just before me don't you?

1st Sep 2001, 13:22
Feeton, you PPRuNaholic, think you will find it is NZ and Nauru......

:rolleyes: :D

1st Sep 2001, 13:48
NZ calls for fresh look at Afghan refugee problem

By Graeme Peters

WELLINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - New Zealand on Saturday called for a fresh international approach to the Afghan refugee crisis after accepting up to 150 asylum seekers stranded on a Norwegian freighter off Australia's Christmas Island.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said that to help stop more mass migrations she would make a plea to the United Nations for more financial support for the estimated 3.6 million refugees living immediately outside Afghanistan's borders.

After an international tug-of-war, New Zealand has agreed to accept 45 women, 22 children and their immediate male relatives who for six days have been stranded on a freighter off the Christmas Island.

"Someone had to break the impasse. We've broken the impasse," Clark said.

The tiny island republic of Nauru said it had agreed in principle to provide temporary accommodation for the processing of the remaining 300 currently on board the Norwegian vessel Tampa.

After processing, the asylum seekers will be resettled from Nauru to countries which may include Australia, Norway and Canada.

How they will travel to New Zealand and Nauru is still being worked out, with Clark favouring flights from Singapore followed by an Australian naval ship.

But while the immediate problem had been solved a bigger one remained, she said.

"The best place for this to be contained is on the borders of Afghanistan.

"Pakistan and Iran have had a guts full. They've got 3.6 million (Afghani refugees) between the two of them and they are not getting sufficient support," Clark told Reuters in a telephone interview.

She said that the United Nations had asked for $200 million in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan in 2000, but raised less than half that amount.

Because of lack of support the refugee problem was spilling into Western Europe and Australasia, she said.

"I am calling today for a fresh international approach to the Afghan refugee problem," she said.

Since the beginning of this year, some 180,000 Afghanis have fled to Pakistan and another 200,000 to Iran because of harassment and persecution, war and drought. About 10,000 people are cut off in a no-man's land between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, according to U.N. figures.

Afghanistan has been torn by civil war for 21 years with the Taliban, who control 95 percent of the country, fighting Gen. Ahmed Masood's United Front, which controls a swath in the north.

Clark described the Taliban as "brutal" and "beyond influence" from the international community.

"What I would say to the Taliban is move aside. They are causing their people extreme misery and degradation and the international community a terrible headache."

She conceded that accepting the 150 asylum seekers within New Zealand's annual quota of 750 United Nations-approved refugees would displace others already in the queue but rejected that New Zealand was now seen as a soft touch.

New Zealand's main opposition National Party said on Saturday that accepting 150 refugees in the same week that New Zealand already had 100 Afghanis arriving in a planned resettlement would send the wrong message.

"These (150) are people who have queue jumped in terms of normal refugee avenues and it's quite unfair that they are going to crowd out people who are genuinely refugees," National leader Jenny Shipley told Reuters.

Nauru president Rene Harris said that the 21-square-km (eight square miles) country had the space and facilities to temporarily house the asylum seekers.

"Nauruans are a caring people and we have identified a location in which temporary accommodation can be erected to shelter the asylum seekers," Harris said in a statement.

Nauru, once rich from the mining of its phosphate reserve but now so broke it cannot always afford petrol, would be reimbursed by Australia for the cost of processing the asylum seekers.

"Nauru is proud to be able to provide a solution to this delicate international issue," Harris said.

1st Sep 2001, 14:07
Since you asked for perspective, and the D&G thread is huge...

As I understand it from that thread per capita Australia accepts more refugees and the like than any other country bar Canada.

Way ahead of the Brits, and way ahead of the Norwegians too.

Our centres for processing applicants are full, partly because lawyers drag the process out as long as they can (in order to keep themselves well rewarded) and partly because so many applicants are not genuine (jumping the queue, or already rejected and having another go minus identity).

1st Sep 2001, 14:09
Imagine if George Washington and co had shut the doors of the US after independance was one. You would have today, a small nation with a small population concentrated around a few cities on the coast.

Sound familiar?

1st Sep 2001, 14:24
That has absolutely NOTHING to do with it???

The US still goes to a LOT of trouble to repel illegal immigrants (aliens as they call them), and that is what these people are...............

Australia has a very large intake of migrants, done through the correct legal channels, and also accepts MANY genuine refugees, THESE PEOPLE ARE NEITHER.........

Kaptin M
1st Sep 2001, 14:49
One World a cursory glance at a map showing the geography of Australia would enlighten you as to WHY the cities are located where they are.

Australia has accepted (too) many "boat people" over the past 25 years or so, and invariably they have in general not assimilated well, and forming "enclaves" of their own nationality. As the numbers have increased (because each one then usually finds a way to bring in his brother, sister, mother, father, uncle, aunty, cousin, neighbour, etc) so has the inter-race tension, usually involving knives and/or guns.

1st Sep 2001, 15:10
Flaps, Feeton fairly well summed it up.
I'd just like to add one more thing however, that the media didn't really focus on whilst this whole drama was unfolding.......the fact that literally hundreds of potential refugees were watching very very closely to see the outcome....

And what sort of message would it send to these people if the Australian Government doesn't start to take a stand somewhere and at some time.

And just one other thought to ponder.... most of the refugee seekers who set sail for Australia, form part of a MAJOR people smuggling rackett.... WHICH IS ILLEGAL

Regards GoGirl

tony draper
1st Sep 2001, 15:24
The media here in the UK have decided to spin the humanitarian side of this episode , but from talking to other people I think the average man in the street has more sympathy for the Australian Governments position.
The media luvies won't like this developement,
they have a divine right to tell the people what to think.
PS, have just watched the prime minister of New Zealand giving a statement on tv news , first time I've seen her, jeezus if she's not a bloke I'll stand tapping.

1st Sep 2001, 15:40
What a funny old thing is JB! Here I put up a post hoping that some of my Ozzoie frienads might possibly respond, and then I go off looking for bathroom tiles.
Get back some hours later and low and behold.......

Thank you people, and thank you for pointing out the thread on Dunnunda as well. DID look for one b4 I posted here, but living in Scandinavia, I didn't cotton on to the fact that SAS on that particular thread referred to fearsome looking lads in warpaint and not our local airline....... :o

Feets I'm well, but having probs with the new PC; ppruning OK, but upto now no hotmailing, no pprune mailing and no chat.
:( Perhaps summat to do with Java script, but hard to figure out.

According to my family it's good for me anyway....... :D

Mark Six
1st Sep 2001, 16:35
Tony Draper, I have to agree with you re the NZ PM. Haven't seen her before, and I'm sure she's a very nice person and all that, but is she a female impersonator or what???

1st Sep 2001, 18:54
There is one note of balance which appears to be almost universally misrepresented, especially by overseas contributors. If I can be proven wrong on this, I will retract and apologize.

My understanding is that the captain of the Tampa picked up the refugees in response to a distress message, not in response to a request from Australian authorities. Neither was the vessel in Australian waters at the time. He then attempted to carry out the correct legal maritime procedure of transporting the refugees to the nearest port, in this case Merak, Indonesia. A delegation of the refugees presented themselves to him, "requesting" that he turn around and deliver them to Australia. He felt sufficiently concerned about the safety of his ship/crew to accede to this "request" and advised Australian authorities of his intentions to land at Christmas Island. The word piracy then enters the murky legal waters.

As usual in these matters, emotions get in the way of balanced reporting of the facts. Witness some of the "facts" presented in this thread and the one on Dunnunda about the actual numbers of refugees accepted by various countries. I simply ask the Norwegians, who are rightly peeved at the whole business, to bear the previous paragraph in mind when attempting to assess the situation, then I direct them and other overseas Ppruners towards this url; http://www.theaustralian.news.c om.au/sectionindex2/0,5746,ausfeedback (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/sectionindex2/0,5746,ausfeedback^^TEXT,00.html) It comprises a genuine cross-section of views about this crisis from Australians who don't form their ideas from talkback radio hosts or from "The Little Aussie Battler's Guide to Bar-room Cliches".

As usual, to the detriment of my mental equilibrium, I can see both sides here, but I am genuinely embarrassed at the image we are portraying to the world. So much for the glow from the Olympics.

Does this make me a "media luvie" or just the ubiquitous "bleeding heart?"

[ 01 September 2001: Message edited by: Binoculars ]

1st Sep 2001, 19:33
I also support Australia's actions. Not because I'm a great fan of John Howard, not because I'm a great fan of any particular political party. But because it is the right thing to do - and it hasn't happened any too soon.

Yes, sure, it probably only happened because this is an election year and Howard's stock is pretty low, so he desperately needed a real distraction. One that would be a sure vote winner. He couldn't lose. Even the bleeding heart do-gooders are hard pressed to say anything against the government's action because the majority of the population support it. And Howard undoubtedly recognised this before it came to be a published fact.

The timing here was perfect for him and lousy for those alleged "refugees". I don't personally care why Howard acted because the fact is that he has acted. And it makes it all the easier to repeat - and, yes, there WILL be a need to repeat it.

But it stills sends a very powerful message and that's what I've wanted all along. Makes me proud to be an Ozzie!

1st Sep 2001, 20:11
Binos thought provoking as ever, and oh so very recognizable in your plight of seeing both sides of an issue........
Had a good look at the link u provided and found the following "gem": Australia should deduct the total cost of dealing with people who travel from Indonesia uninvited to our shores from the massive "aid" payment that we make to Indonesia every year. Then perhaps President Megawati Sukarnoputri may become more interested

Nice bit of lateral thinking, and who know, effective perhaps??

Another surprise was a bit of statistic; like Chips I thought OZ was way ahead of most nations in refugee acceptance but have a look at this:

Refugees per 1,000 inhabitants:
Australia: 3.16
Norway: 10.73
UK: 2.33
United States: 1.84
France: 2.20
Germany: 11.86
Switzerland: 11.14
Iran: 27.11
Source: UNHCR 1999

Weird how perceptions and reality can diverge so much eh? Anyway, NZ and Nauru ( Hey there Coco-nuts :) ) the big heros here in Norway now............

All your perspectives gratefully recieved...

2nd Sep 2001, 01:31
3 things:-

1) Thanks for the UN stats. I suspect as with all stats they can be tuned to say different things, starting with the problem of defining a 'refugee'. For instance some would say there are 460 on the Tampa, some none. I expect there are other figures from other sources.

2) Relieved the Brits don't think as their media luvies tell them to.

3) Good to see some balance in this discussion.

2nd Sep 2001, 03:20
Heard on the wireless this a.m. that the "Afghan" refugees are more than likely Pakistani citizens masquerading. Anyone any info on this?

2nd Sep 2001, 04:10

You honestly believe, that a thread on the Australia/New Zealand Forum, would be refering to a Scandinavian Airline storming a boat load of illegal immigrants???????????

Best regards,


:rolleyes: :eek: ;) :D

2nd Sep 2001, 12:02
Australia has now announced the setting up of a military "shield of steel" between Australia and Indonesia, to prevent all these illegals entering Australian waters. (see my thread on Dunnunda).

henry crun
2nd Sep 2001, 12:27
Mr Draper: your query about the sexuality of Ms Clark might well be correct, but we shall never know because it would take the sort of bravery unknown in these times to ask her.

You little realise the danger you have exposed yourself to by watching her, even on tv.

It is a little known fact outside of NZ that some of the statues scattered around Helengrad are not, as you might assume, monuments to war heroes or noted public figures, but those unfortunates who have gazed too long upon her and been turned into stone.

[ 02 September 2001: Message edited by: henry crun ]

henry crun
2nd Sep 2001, 13:22
Lame and others: I have no evidence to prove it but I believe that the majority of Kiwis support the action your government is taking.

Are they economic refugees ?, not if the reports of money they have to raise to get that far are correct.

Are they fleeing religious oppression ?, it would seem not when they pass through several countries of the same religious persuasion.

Are they seeking refuge from political oppression ?, doubtful, given that they have already passed through a number of democratic countries.

Emotional and moral blackmail must not be allowed to succeed or the floodgates will open even further than they are at present.

2nd Sep 2001, 13:39
I gotta agree with Henry. The reality is that if you aren't from a country that is rich enuf to buy us out, ya havta be from a country that is populus enuf to invade by stealth. I make no bones about this, we're in an undeclared war.

I support the "Shield of Steel"!

flaps... just one other point about those UNHCR stats you quoted. I couldn't help noticing that the top countries, by the well-known country mile, are Germany, Switzerland and Norway. All of which are very wealthy countries ... now think in terms of the GDP of Australia.

So, yes, stats can be made to say anything. Australia has already done more with its' meagre finances than most other countries would ever dream of. Lets see some stats that compare GDP now, huh?

2nd Sep 2001, 14:47
OzExpat, what are you talking about?
Australia has a GDP per capita comparable to the wealthiest nations in Europe!

These are all 2000 figures and are in $US

Australia $22,200
Canada $23,300
France $23,300
Germany $22,700
Ireland $20,300
Italy $21,400
New Zealand $17,100
Norway $25,100
Spain $17,300
Switzerland $27,100
UK $21,800
US $33,900

The critical fact for me here is also population. Australia has a land mass the size of the US yet only has a population of 19 million or 6 people per square mile!!!! Whereas the US has now a population of 276 million.
Australia's population is a third of the UK's where the pop. density is 607 per sq. mile. Bit of a difference?

It seems you Aussies have been fabricating statistics to back up your false claim that you take in more refugees and immigrants then anyone else while also giving the impression that you're at bursting point and unable to cope any more.

Just tell me what is the difference between these boat people and your parents/grand parents who set off from the old country in search of a better life all those years ago?
And leave aside the 'legal' argument for a second. It's blind luck, good or bad, where we are born, that could have been you on that boat, you could have had the bad luck to have beeen born in a third world country in dire poverty. And knowing there is a better life in another country, do you really think it's so wrong for these people to want to better themselves by starting a new life?

That's what the US offered to millions of the poorest of the poor and the desperate and look what happened there! These immigrants helped build that country into the richest and most powerful in the world. The immigrants brought nothing but benefits to the country, building railroads, cities, woprking the farms, they built the very foundation that enabled the States to become what it is today. So don't compare yourselves to the Americans when you ask why they no longer take people in, they've more then done their bit.

What would be wrong with allowing more immigration? These immigrants could build your country up to be a giant on the world stage. Anyone who is willing to uproot himself and his family and move to another country far away with another language and culture is going to work his ass off if alowed to. And they won't 'ruin' your culture, they adapt and assimilate as they did in the US.

Australia has potential to be so much better then it is, but by remaining inward looking and unable to see this potential while still clinging to the coat tails of the old British Empire, you'll never reach it.

And before I'm attacked, this is my opinion, something I believe I'm entitled to. And I'm criticizing Australian policy

[ 02 September 2001: Message edited by: OneWorld22 ]

2nd Sep 2001, 15:12
One World,

Of course you are entitled to your opinion, however this thread was started by someone wanting to know the Oz perspective. You do not appear to be in Oz, and certainly do NOT seem to have much idea about the situation in Oz????

How many more times do we have to explain, Australia still takes a very large number of migrants, through legal channels, and also a large number of genuine refugees. These people are neither, they are illegals.......

I have nothing against them personally, and would be quite happy for them to settle in another Country, how about Ireland??????

;) :D

Captain Muff Diver
2nd Sep 2001, 15:23
One World
If you ever come here look around you will find 95% of Oz is arid desert ie:uninhabitable.

They have broken the law and must be punished and or sent home.

If I sailed without documents into most foriegn countries chances are we would be sunk.

We dont want them

2nd Sep 2001, 15:53
Yes, we may have one of the largest land masses with one of the smaller populations but maybe, just maybe there is a reason for that. The fact that the desert takes the majority of our land mass (i saw a figure on the thread but cant remember it) means that we are restricted in where we want to live. its getting very sick and tired of hearing that we aussies must share our land etc etc.

[ 03 September 2001: Message edited by: Luca Brasi ]

2nd Sep 2001, 16:20
One World, truly one of the most ill-informed and poorly educated posts I've seen in a while, and I am not saying that with a nasty tone at all, it's just that you really should check up on your geographical FACTS to start with.
From your 2nd para you lost any credibility your arguement may have had :rolleyes:


2nd Sep 2001, 16:27
2 September 2001


E&OE…………………………………………R 30;………………………………………

Ladies and gentlemen I can announce that an agreement has been reached with the Government of Papua New Guinea for the trans-shipment of the people from the Tampa through Port Moresby and then via aircraft to both Nauru and New Zealand. The proposal is that the people should be transferred from the Tampa to the amphibious troop ship Manoora which is a very large vessel capable of travelling six thousand kilometres. It’s a large troop ship that has extensive medical facilities on board including I understand two operating theatres. Troops remain on this ship for weeks on end. It is within the inevitable constraints of any vessel quite comfortable and it can adequately accommodate all of the people who will be taken from the Tampa.

I am told by the Chief of the Defence Force through the Defence Minister that as I speak the Manoora is ready to take people on board. The Manoora is now ready to take people on board. The idea is that they should be transferred to the Manoora then the Manoora will sail to Port Moresby and then they will be transferred to aircraft that will take them to Nauru and to New Zealand. I can also inform you that a party comprising representatives from the Department of Immigration and other relevant Federal Government departments are on the way to Nauru with a view to putting in hand preparations for the construction of temporary accommodation by way of a tent facility for the people to be received on that island.

So in quite a real sense the arrangements are now in place. We have achieved an humanitarian outcome. All of the people can be properly cared for. They will on my advice be far more comfortable on the Manoora than they are on the Tampa. I repeat that the Manoora is now ready to take people on board. It could begin to take people on board today and complete that process tomorrow. So I want it to be understood that all the arrangements that were necessary to put in place the execution of the arrangement that I negotiated with the governments of New Zealand and Nauru yesterday, all of the things that are necessary to give effect to that are now in place. And from our point of view the government is ready, the Defence Forces are ready, the Immigration authorities are ready to give effect to that plan. I want to record my deep appreciation to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Mekere Morauta, for the cooperation and the willingness of the government of that country to cooperate with Australia in relation to this issue. This is a truly Pacific solution to a problem which involved the governments of Australia, New Zealand, Nauru and Papua New Guinea and they have all worked together and I again express on behalf of the Government and the Australian people our thanks to the governments and the people of those three countries for their willingness to cooperate. I believe that the humanitarian consideration and the best welfare of the people now on the vessel will be better met if they can be transferred as soon as possible to the Manoora where the conditions are obviously more comfortable than what they are on the Tampa.


Will you wait for the outcome of the Federal Court hearing before any movement of people…..?


There is a rule of law in this country.


But you are waiting until the hearing……?


Well I don’t want to talk about the court proceedings. We have a very strong view about the action that’s being brought but that view is being put in the Federal Court by the Commonwealth counsel and it’s not appropriate that I add to it.


What time are you expecting to be able to start moving people onto the Menoora?


Well we are ready but there is a court action going on.


So the court action is delaying it?


Well self evidently if there is a court order that people can’t be shifted we have to take account of that and that is my understanding. But I want it to be known and the court is being informed that the Manoora is now ready to take people.


What are the terms of the financial arrangements with Nauru?


Well I have said that we will underwrite the total cost of this, total cost. There’ll be no expense at all borne by Nauru. None what so ever.


What do you expect that to be?


I don’t know but I should point out that there’s a broad cost of $50,000 a head for each person who comes here and seeks refugee status. So I mean if you’re looking at expense if the whole 460 had been accepted and processed and everything you’re looking at about $22 million. I think people have got to bear that in mind in trying to assess the cost of this. But the cost is important but there are other considerations as well. Cost is not the only issue. But in the long run a rising tide of illegal immigration to this country is very expensive for us, very expensive indeed. So I don’t think anybody should think that what we’re proposing in relation to Nauru and all the other arrangements we’re making are going to be vastly more costly than if we had simply accepted the people in here because accepting them in is quite expensive too. But that is not the dominant consideration. The dominant consideration is to regain control of the integrity of our borders and to make it plain that this country is not a country of easy destination for people smuggling and for illegal immigration.


How does Nauru benefit from this arrangement?


Well it was an act of involvement by Nauru in solving a problem involving the area. I mean I’m very grateful, very grateful indeed.


How significant is it that it’s a Pacific solution rather than an Asian solution?


Well I think it just indicates that there’s a good feeling and there’s a comity amongst the nations of the Pacific and that we have good relations with those countries. But look, I haven’t sort of sat and tried to weigh it on the scale. It just is a very satisfactory outcome and I’m very pleased with the countries of the Pacific. I thank New Zealand, I thank Nauru, and I thank Papua New Guinea.


How do you think the world views our handling of the situation?


People who think will understand why we’ve done it and certainly those people who think about will support what we’ve done.


There are suggestions that one of the asylum seekers on board the Tampa has died…..


I haven’t heard anything about that. I haven’t heard anything to that effect.


Regarding the enhanced patrol, you said five aircraft….


No, I said five vessels and 4 P3 Orion aircraft.


Can you say which …..?


No. I'll have to check on that but….


Do we know which, obviously it involves Indonesia, do you know….


When you say involves Indonesia, I didn’t say that.


Well it’s between Indonesia and…


No it’s in international waters between the Indonesian archipelago and Australia. The surveillance will take place in international waters, the international waters that lie between the Indonesian archipelago and Australia. Indonesia has been informed. Indonesia was informed on Friday. Indonesia thanks us for informing them and they have offered refuelling facilities and home porting facilities.




Well look, I’m sorry, I don’t know yet. You’d have to ask the defence authorities that. I don’t carry that around in my head I’m sorry.


The US State Department says the increase in [inaudible] illegal asylum seekers coming from Indonesia is a demonstration….make it easy for terrorists to infiltrate the region. Is there any information to suggest that there maybe…..?


I haven’t seen that statement but obviously there is a potential when you have an increased flow of illegal immigrants. Of course there is a potential. Mr Ruddock has talked about that on numerous occasions. I mean there are a whole host of reasons relating to that and other reasons why we have to use every means at our disposal consistent with the law and consistent with the decency of Australia as a humane nation to slow and hopefully stop the flow of illegal immigrants now. What we have done we hope and we believe will have a deterrent effect, I can’t guarantee or promise that it is going to stop it altogether. I am not doing that. I want to make that very clear but what I am saying is that we have sent a very strong signal in relation to the Tampa and by the increased surveillance and I hope that will act as a very powerful deterrent. But it is a very difficult issue and we do need a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesia. We have been endeavouring to negotiate that now for months. Any suggestion that we haven’t been trying to do that is wrong. There are three ministers going to Jakarta next week. I raised the matter when I was in Jakarta with senior ministers of the Indonesian government. Our proposal was that we will fully fund construction of a detention centre in Indonesia through the International Organisation of Migration. That remains our position. So we are doing all we can but we need the cooperation of other countries.


What exactly are our vessels going to do when they come across boatpeople?


I have been asked that question on a number of occasions. They will act both lawfully and decently but as to the rest of it, I am not going to go into that.


Are you reviewing policies for refugees?


No we are not reviewing our longstanding willingness to take refugees. We continue to be a country that will shoulder our share of the refugee burden. We are the second most generous country in the world after Canada on a per capita basis and that will remain. This incident will not diminish our willingness to take refugees properly assessed in the normal way by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. That is what we are endeavouring to do. We are endeavouring to establish the integrity of the international refugee assessment process, that’s what we want. That will happen in relation to these people. If they are taken to those third countries they will be assessed out of Australia. Those judged to be refugees will then be treated in accordance with the proper refugee process. Now that is what we want. And if these people some of them can establish a refugee entitlement well they have a right like other refugees to be given an opportunity of settling in another country and Australia will continue to take her share. But what is happening with illegal migration is undermining the whole process of refugee assessment and that is what we are fighting to restore, the integrity of the process. We are not trying to stop countries taking refugees, we want countries to take refugees, we want to take refugees but we are not going to accept people who haven’t established a refugee claim before they come to this country.

Thank you.


Dark Knight
2nd Sep 2001, 16:30
True to form, Truth is the first casualty particularly of the majority of media, commentators and journalists who additionally have great difficulty establishing where their loyalties lie.

Mr. Richard Flanagan writing in Melbourne’s Sunday Age illustrates this point perfectly totally destroying his article and his credibility in his first paragraph thus:
”Some things need to be said plainly. Australia does not have a refugee problem. It is estimated that 11,000,000 illegal migrants cross the Mexican border into the US each year. The European Union faces a similar onslaught from Eastern Europe.
Australia, on the other hand, has fewer than 4000 refugees locked away in detention centres. That is all. We are not being flooded and we are not, given our great physical isolation, ever going to be flooded in the way Europe and the US are.
But we have made a problem of how we look after those few who do make it here, often under great adversity and after experiencing unimaginable horror; those who go on hunger strike, who riot, who sew their lips in protest, whose children appear mute on our television, who sit on the hot, crowded metal deck of a container ship surrounded by heavily armed soldiers.”

A simple search on the Internet `Mexico’ reveals the following:
The eleventh annual census, conducted in 1990, reported a total Mexican population of 81,250,000. This figure represented a 2.3 percent per annum growth rate from the 1980 census and indicated successful government efforts at slowing down the level of population increase. The government reported that the population stood at 91,158,000 at the end of 1995, a 1.8 percent increase over the previous year. Assuming that this most recent level of growth were maintained through the rest of the 1990s, Mexico's population would stand at approximately 100 million persons in the year 2000. A return to the higher 1980 to 1990 growth rate, however, would result in a population total of approximately 102 million persons by the year 2000.
The pace of migration to the United States increased markedly during the 1980s. One analyst, Rodolfo Corona Vázquez, estimated that 4.4 million Mexicans resided outside the country (almost all in the United States) in 1990, roughly double the estimated number in 1980.

Corona Vázquez also noted a changing pattern of emigration since the 1960s. Seven contiguous states in north central Mexico--Jalisco, Michoacán, Guanajuato, Zacatecas, Durango, San Luis Potos', and Aguasca-lientes--accounted for approximately 70 percent of all emigrants in 1960, but only 42 percent in 1990. New important sources of emigration included Chihuahua in the northeast, the Federal District (the administrative unit that includes Mexico City), and the southernmost state of Oaxaca."

Hardly “11,000,000 illegal migrants cross the Mexican border into the US each year“ and Mr Flanagan expects people to buy his new novel Gould's Book of Fish to be published next month. Another litany of mistruths and imaginations, Mr. Flanagan?

Surely, he does not expect us to buy his book now?

Further research reveals migration and in particular ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is of great concern to many countries particularly Western countries the question being not of our compassion for these people or their plight but of our abilities to help all.

Firstly, we protect My Country, Your Country, Our Country then, and only then can we offer compassion, humanity and succour to the rest of the world.

Australia’s record is one we can be proud of!

2nd Sep 2001, 16:33
Guys, you're not honestly telling me that there is in fact no more room in Australia!
I am well aware of Australia's internal geographical make up. But tell me did that stop Phoenix, Albequerque, Sant Fe, Las Vegas, Tucson, El Paso etc. from being built? And look at Australia's huge and complete coastline, is there really no room for any more coastal cities? Even if it would not be possible to build cities in inner Oz there is still unlimited room around the coasts. You have 25,760km of coastline for gods sake!

Come on GoGirl look at my other points and respond to them instead of honing in on a geographical point which I've answered.

Lame, I'd gladly take them in Ireland. No I'm not Australian and therefore my opinion doesn't matter, this kind of matter is for Australians alone to deal with and if you want to shut your doors and keep Oz the way it is, that's your choice and good luck to you. I just think it's a shame.

And please look at Flaps' stats about refugee intake before you all start spouting off about how Australia takes in so many already.

[ 02 September 2001: Message edited by: OneWorld22 ]

Dark Knight
2nd Sep 2001, 16:42
Quote from Mr. John Howard.
Prime Minister of Australia.

"But what is happening with illegal migration is undermining the whole process of refugee assessment and that is what we are fighting to restore, the integrity of the process. We are not trying to stop countries taking refugees, we want countries to take refugees, we want to take refugees but we are not going to accept people who haven’t established a refugee claim before they come to this country."

This applies to other countries not just Australia and I am dammed sure the majority of Australians support this view. And, I strongly suggest, do the peoples of many of countries where some dare to criticise us.

Look firstly to your own history, borders before taking us to task!

Dark Knight
2nd Sep 2001, 16:54

"But tell me did that stop Phoenix, Albequerque, Sant Fe, Las Vegas, Tucson, El Paso etc. from being built?"

You also forgot to mention the building of the huge fence (patrolled)which now almost stretches the complete USA - Mexican border attempting to keep illegal immigrants out of the USA.

Credibility, Truth a fragile thing most often a first casualty!

2nd Sep 2001, 17:16
The merits and drawbacks of immigration into Oz can of course be discussed ad infinitum here. But since I don’t live there I won’t venture in such murky waters...............

What I do know about, is the Norwegian perspective on all of this, and perhaps that would be of interest to some of you?

Bit of background. The Norwegians, living as they do at the top of Europe, have not been used to seeing a lot of foreigners in their country. They are a kind and generous people, and feel it is their moral obligation to help those less fortunate than themselves financially.
They do NOT however, necessarily LIKE having foreigners come to live in their country.
I'm a white skinned foreigner living in Norway who regularly gets "requests" while walking down the street talking my mother tongue withj my kids to "get the f**k back to your own country" so I know of what I speak here

Some years ago the UNHCR took Norway to court in The Hague for NOT filling up their quota of refugees; they have improved their record since.
At the last general election, the party with the biggest gain was a right wing populist mob, who’s main theme is “keep the darkies out of Norway”.
Norway is NOT a member of the European Union, this having been decided by referendum.

All this to explain why the Norwegians themselves, as opposed to the “bleeding heart Liberals” elsewhere, have very little problem understanding the fact that Oz does not want to have these people dumped in it’s lap.
What DOES however p!ss off the Norwegians most royally, is the fact that in their opinion Australia has tricked them. A Norwegian ship was poointedly ASKED by the Australian authorities to pick up these people form the sea. And regardless of the fact that the ship would have obeyed the laws of the sea anyway, in this case there was a direct request by the Australians.
When the resquees became violent and FORCED the crew and Captain of the vessel to Xmas Island, Oz authorities reacted in the way we all know about.
This particulal fact is what sparks a very real sense of moral outrage in this country. They helped, and were then duped by Australia.

Hope this was of interest.

As to all the moral outrage being expressed here and elsewhere about the fact that OZ does not want to accept these people, it smacks of hypocrytism to me. Oz has it's laws and their Prime Minister, looking an election in the face, is trying to stick to those laws. Fair enough IMHO, if not smart in this case.

A total drop of Australia's credibilty and very good reputation in the rest of the world has resulted from this action, so he is now trying to save the tatters of Oz's reputation by means of a politically expedient and humane solution to the problem. Brinkmanship, Realpolitik, whatever you want to call it.
Point is that the "bleeding hearts" can now take a break, the "refugees" will be safe and snug in Nauru and NZ, The Tampa can resume it's sailing and Oz can hope that the world will soon forget........

Lame, I might be simple but I’m not stupid. No I do not think that the Scandinavian Air Services stormed the Tampa. :D
I tried to explain yesterday, but obviously failed so I’ll try again. When I browsed trhough D&G looking for this topic, I did not notice it. Why? Because if you live in Scandinavia and see the letters SAS, your mind immediately clicks: Scandinavian Air Services. And since I wasn’t looking for a story on them, I didn’t look any further.
For Brits and Ozzies the acronym brings the Specail Armed Services to mind. But I’m not a Brit.

2nd Sep 2001, 17:20
Oh dear me One World.....for a start, as I said previously, your post before this one holds NO credibilty....therfore why would I even bother responding to the ill-informed statements you make.

By the way....it's also my opinion that this more recent post of yours holds as little, if not LESS crediblity!!

If you'd even bothered to read what THE PRIME MINISTER said in the statement posted by Lame

...we are not reviewing our longstanding willingness to take refugees. We continue to be a country that will shoulder our share of the refugee burden. We are the second most generous country in the world after Canada on a per capita basis and that will remain. This incident will not diminish our willingness to take refugees properly assessed in the normal way by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. That is what we are endeavouring to do. We are endeavouring to establish the integrity of the international refugee assessment process, that’s what we want. (my own bolding for emphasis of the point.)

So my dear, if you wanna thrash out an arguement on builing cities WHERE THEY JUST CANNOT BE BUILT...go for it, be my guest, but in doing so, you are being extremely ignorant. The issue is not about building new cities to accomodate Illegal Immigrants, it's an issue of trying to decrease the ammount of Organised People Smuggling Racketts that exist as a present danger to THIS country, being Australia.


2nd Sep 2001, 18:46
By all means GoGirl use that convenient excuse to hide the truth. The truth being that your visceral rejection of these asylum seekers has deep and dark roots.

Maybe you can tell me whose national anthem contains the line,

"For those who've come across the seas we've boundless plains to share"

And maybe 'my dear' you can tell us all what the "White Australia policy" was.
You know damn well this has nothing to do with decreasing organised people smuggling rackets, you just don't want any more immigrants/asylum seekers there. Why not admit it? Instead of trying to kid us all that you have genuine compassionate motives. You want Fortress Australia. The dire warnings of boat people washing up on your shores have no basis in reality. Just 5,000 people arrived there illegally last year fewer then Ireland! and tiny compared to the UK's 95,000.

But then again talking tough against foreigners always goes down well with middle Australia and there is an election coming.

Why don't you looks at the FACTS GG, and tackle these points instaed of focusing on one point of my argument and using it as an excuse not to answer the main crux of my debate.

2nd Sep 2001, 18:51
Dark Knight, when Australia has accepted as much immigrants as the United States has in it's history, then you too might be justified in building a fence and saying enough is enough.

As I said, the US does not have to answer to anybody in this regard.

2nd Sep 2001, 19:02
I've just realized I'm responding to a school-kid.

Oops :o

Regards GoGirl

Got better things to do with my time..... trust me ;)

2nd Sep 2001, 19:10
Off you go GoGirl, run along now. You've failed to answer or even tackle the points I've made, instead throwing some light weighted abuse to excuse yourself from a discussion in which are clearly out of your depth,

Who's the schoolkid?
Best leave this debate to the older folks who at least have some facts to back up. their assertions. :rolleyes:

2nd Sep 2001, 20:23
Sigh. Why don’t I just ignore this thread? Why do I worry about the reaction of people I like to my disagreeing with them in print? They clearly feel sufficiently righteous in their opinions to state them without fear of upsetting me, so it’s time to speak, I think.

I have no idea what the answer to this problem is. I consider the “thin end of the wedge” argument to be a valid one, I don’t want the Australian lifestyle ruined by religious extremism or tribal fighting, and the queue-jumping argument is also valid in terms of the poor bastards who have been waiting for years.

But I am ashamed at the blinkered views espoused here by a lot of my fellow Australians. That doesn’t mean I am in favour of a carte blanche approach to letting these unfortunate people in, rather that I despair that so many people so conspicuously fail to even consider an alternative viewpoint when it may lead to some uncomfortable conclusions. And having loudly espoused their own opinions, they react to any opposing viewpoint in a variety of ways including accusations of ignorance, dismissal of the validity of the opinions because the antagonist isn’t from Australia, occasionally direct racial insult, quoting opinions as facts (the most common problem in all arguments) and finally, personal abuse, as in the case of the NZ Prime Minister who made a humane offer to help in a situation not involving her country at all, and is derided by the cheap shots on this forum because she doesn’t look like the Bimbo de Jour.

I have previously posted that I believed Australia had no input into the original rescue of these people from their boat. I have been unable to confirm the facts here, but whichever situation is true it doesn’t change my basic thrust. If Australia did in fact request the assistance of the Tampa initially it makes our case even more hollow.

I apologize in advance for the O_C_B style cut and paste method used here; I let so many posts go unresponded to that I now find it’s the only way I can cogently address them all.
FEETON: “They are rarely ligitimate refugees, but usually well off (they need to be to pay for the leaky boat)”

SHEEP GUTS: “ I read today in the paper, that it costs around $10,000 aud to get from say Iraq to a sinkable bucket off the Coast of Christmas Is.
Now how many REAL REFUGEES can afford that! Send these cue jumpers home. We need to get smarter than them right now! REAL REFUGEES ARE THOSE PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO LIVE ON THOSE BORDER CAMPS IN AGAHNISTAN, NOT THESE PEOPLE WE HAVE NOW!!!!"

What a marvellously convenient policy this one is! We will welcome as refugees the poorest of those from the poorest country on earth, as long as they get themselves here under their own steam. If however they manage to make it here they are by definition not REAL refugees and we won't take them! Tell me, guys, where does this convenient definition originate?

FEETON: “A local TV station conducted a telephone pole (sic) the other day to assess public reaction to the situation, and over 95% of respondents did not want the boat people here.....”

Difficult to argue with such a scientifically based premise as the result of commercial TV phone-in polls, which have zero credibility in any subject and exist only for the ones who can’t get through on the talkback lines to have their say. Sorry, mate, this is crap and you know it, or are you seriously suggesting 95% of the Australian population think this way?

LAME: “Australia has a very large intake of migrants, done through the correct legal channels, and also accepts MANY genuine refugees, THESE PEOPLE ARE NEITHER.........”

Very large? MANY? More well researched and substantiated figures, topped off by an opinion masquerading as a fact.

And just in case we missed it the first time….

LAME: “How many more times do we have to explain, Australia still takes a very large number of migrants, through legal channels, and also a large number of genuine refugees. These people are neither, they are illegals.......”

KAPTIN M: “Australia has accepted (too) many "boat people" over the past 25 years or so, and invariably they have in general not assimilated well,”

Invariably in general? Another personal opinion backed up by specious generalizations.

GOGIRL: “And just one other thought to ponder.... most of the refugee seekers who set sail for Australia, form part of a MAJOR people smuggling rackett.... WHICH IS ILLEGAL

Part of a racket? GG, sweetie, you make it sound as though they are profiting from it. Illegal??? Shock! Horror! If the lives of your family were under daily threat, I’m sure you would base your decisions on whether escaping comprised an administrative illegality in another country.

OZEXPAT: Even the bleeding heart do-gooders are hard pressed to say anything against the government's action because the majority of the population support it..."

Oz, old chap, bleeding heart do-gooders is an emotive term well past it’s use-by date; why not go back to pinko liberals for a while? Whoever they are, they seem to be having no trouble having their voices heard at all from what I read; perhaps we read different papers? The "majority of the population" would support no income tax; so?

Refugees per 1,000 inhabitants:
Australia: 3.16
Norway: 10.73
UK: 2.33
United States: 1.84
France: 2.20
Germany: 11.86
Switzerland: 11.14
Iran: 27.11
Source: UNHCR 1999

This statistic has been universally ignored by all parties whose purpose it doesn’t suit.

LOKI: “Heard on the wireless this a.m. that the "Afghan" refugees are more than likely Pakistani citizens masquerading.”

Phew! In that case…… “The wireless?” “More than likely?” Give me a break…..

CAPTAIN MUFF DIVER: They have broken the law and must be punished and or sent home.

Err, and just what law would this be, Captain?

OZEXPAT: “Lets see some stats that compare GDP now, huh?

OzEx has been in PNG for a while and obviously forgot what skating on thin ice meant, but OW22 cut a hole neatly underneath him. You lost that one big time, mate.

ONEWORLD22: …“It's blind luck, good or bad, where we are born, that could have been you on that boat, you could have had the bad luck to have beeen born in a third world country in dire poverty. And knowing there is a better life in another country, do you really think it's so wrong for these people to want to better themselves by starting a new life?”

Touche, OW22, and one of the points apparently unconsidered by those proposing the “dog in the manger” attitude espoused here. By a pure accident of birth, we live in a preposterously lucky and rich country, yet we seem to claim it as some sort of skill that we have no obligation to share with anybody else.

ONEWORLD22….. “Maybe you can tell me whose national anthem contains the line,
"For those who've come across the seas we've boundless plains to share"
And maybe 'my dear' you can tell us all what the "White Australia policy" was.
You know damn well this has nothing to do with decreasing organised people smuggling rackets, you just don't want any more immigrants/asylum seekers there. Why not admit it? Instead of trying to kid us all that you have genuine compassionate motives. You want Fortress Australia…..”

Well, now we’re really getting to the crux of it aren’t we? If these people were Rhodesian farmers fleeing black oppression, is anybody game to look me in the eye and tell me we wouldn’t welcome them openly?

If we’re going to be racist, let’s not attempt to disguise it with hypocrisy. By all means, as OW22 said, if Australia wants to keep its sandpit to itself, so be it. Just don’t give me this crap about Aussies being in favour of a fair go…….

(Battens down hatches)

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Binoculars ]

2nd Sep 2001, 21:10
Fair play to you Binoculars for coming out with that post, you're right to batten down the hatches! it's OK for me to raise questions as I'm not Australian and will therefore be just dismissed as not knowing what I'm talking about. But you?! I fear for your safety!

In fact my own personal suspicion is that your view is far more common amongst Australians then people think, it's just the most noise has been made by the pro-Howards.
I was shocked to learn that this "poll" saying that 90% supported the Government stance was in fact a radio talk show! I believe a more recent poll shows that 51% are now in support with newspapers now turning against Howard. Probably as they realise how much damage this has done to your reputation abroad.

Can anybody tell me how desperate and miserable Afghan's living under the oppressive Taliban regime go about seeking 'legal' entry to Australia? Do they walk past the religious police and march straight into the (non-existent) Austalian embassy in Kabul? I believe that 92% of Afghan refugees that have sought refuge in Oz last year were accepted proving they do indeed have a case.

2nd Sep 2001, 21:44
Eloquent, factual and balanced.
Aware of the fact that none of us has a patent on the truth the whole thing and nothing but...............
An attempt to see both sides yet again.
In fact NOT the kind of thing that usually goes down well at all.

Binos if they revoke your Oz citizenship you'll be welcome in Norway. ;)

I'll vouch for you any time mate, acidic tongue and all!! :D

3rd Sep 2001, 00:17
Interesting reading this thread and the one over at dunnunda. Up here in Denmark there is an ongoing discussion over the illegal immigration. Danes in general consider themselves to be considerate and willing to help where help is needed. For example, when compared to population Denmark supplies one of the largest contingents of peacekeepers to NATO and the UN and a very large contingent of civilians too. Also, ever since the Vietnamese people fleed in hordes back in the '70ies we've been accepting refugees. The Vietnamese were picked up by danish merchants in the South China Sea, landed in the nearest harbour and flown back to Denmark on the danish government expense.

However, over the last decade we have seen a mass intake of "economic" refugees which to a large extent have reversed many danes feelings towards refugees. As in OZ many tend to build up ghettos and seem unwilling to integrate in the danish society; marrying family members from back home, supressing their female family members, working in business owned by country men only if they work at all etc. And there is a particular dislike to them bringing up family from the old country under a "family uniting" law, meaning that a couple of immigrants can easily grow to large family very quickly.

Further, whilst waiting for their application to be processed, which for an "obvious groundless" refugee can take upwards of 3 months, a lot of these refugees spend their time committing crime and ships back the takings to their families (who can then use the money to buy a "black" ticket to Europe ...). And now young 2nd generation refugees are causing huge problems in "their" areas with almost daily reports of robbery, assault, rape and drugs. In other words, people with total disrespect for the hospitality they are given.

So OZ mates, you are not alone with these feelings. But building an iron curtain around your continent seems like a VERY big task to undertake, and sadly has an aura of cold-war to it.

Finally, flapsforty, you should really don an anorak and go spotting at Fornebu.
SAS stands for Scandinavian Airline System and not " ... Air Service" ;)

3rd Sep 2001, 00:38

I was in NO way at all infering that you were simple or stupid............

I am well aware of the fine Airline SAS, we had several of their MD80 Aircraft at Southern Cross (Compass 2), and if I was browsing the R+N Forum and saw mention of SAS I would presume it was about the SAS Airline. However IF I was on the Dunnunda Forum I would not presume that, particularly if the thread was about storming a boat?

One world,

As I said before, and you admitted, you do NOT have the Oz perspective, so why do you keep going over the same ground? I can only suppose that you are a wind up merchant? Thank you for your kind offer to take all these illegals in Ireland though.

Best regards,


3rd Sep 2001, 00:58

Your post was not there when I started typing my previous post, you seem to have a very good perspective on the situation, unlike some others from outside Australia.

You say "building an iron curtain around your continent", but that is just how desperate and fed up most Australians have become with this continuous stream of illegals. Unlike previous iron curtains this is NOT to keep citizens IN, it is to keep illegals OUT...........

REAL refugees, legal immigrants and all visitors have nothing to fear from this, it is business as usual Downunder (Dunnunda).

Best regards,


3rd Sep 2001, 00:59
Psychodad I stand humbly corrected as to the full meaning of SAS; you are of course quite correct. Spotting at Fornebu might be somewhat less than effective in furthering my education though. It was dismantled some years ago; we now use the fine new airport Oslo Gardemoen. :D
Anyway, good to see some more Scando perspective on this thread.

Lame nurries, was just yanking your chain a bit. ;)

3rd Sep 2001, 01:09

No worries.

I enjoy doing similar myself, however this is not a good issue to yank Australian's chains over........ It is a very serious matter.

Best regards,


3rd Sep 2001, 01:39
F40there I was thinking I had you well and truly only to learn that I am somewhat geographically challenged ... well, trust it can all be settled in beers some fine day ;)

The idea of an iron curtain is not alien to someone living in the EU. Since we've done away with the old borders and allowed free passage, the idea was that countries on the "outer rim" of the union should enforce their policing of outer border to stop illegal immigrants, drug trafficers and other un-wanted elements. So far only Finland seems to be taking this serious and has erected a fence on their border to Russia. Motion sensors, IR equipment, dogs - the whole nine yards. And it works, but probably also given the fact that the Finnish border is way to the north of the civilised world.
On the other hand, Italy with its close proximity to the balkans are almost daily intercepting boats full of illegal (economic) refugees and are very quick to let them lose . The result is that they quickly make their way north and seek assylum in Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden etc etc etc.

And just to yank your chain, however dangerous, the former East German republic used the same phrase to describe their master piece of engineering. Actually I belive they called it "An anti-imperialist defence wall" or something equally stupid.

No easy solution to this problem. But an end to all wars and wealth to every man and woman would go a long way ... Did I hear you say "Utopia" ?

[ 02 September 2001: Message edited by: PsychoDad ]

3rd Sep 2001, 02:04

Sadly there is NO easy answer to this massive problem. Most Australians support our Governments stand on this, something has to be done. See following news story.


Afghans already make up the world's largest refugee population, according to the United Nations, which calls Afghanistan a "humanitarian catastrophe.'' There are 3.7 million Afghans living as refugees in the world, most of them in Pakistan and Iran.

Those two countries are suffering from "asylum fatigue,'' said Yusuf Hassan of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees office in Pakistan.

"Afghans are no longer welcome. The outside world is indifferent toward the sufferings of Afghans, and there are little opportunities for legal resettlement,'' he said.

As a result, Afghans turn to smugglers to get them into a Western country, a lucrative business that nets $9 billion a year, the International Organization for Migration says.

Smugglers in neighboring Pakistan, one of the few countries with diplomatic ties with the Taliban, charge Afghans up to $4,000, said Pierre King, an IMO official in Pakistan. Afghans then sell off everything they own to get one family member to the West.

"These smugglers don't care about the people. They are totally ripped off,'' King said. "It is a sophisticated, big business.''

Indonesia is the major transit route for illegal immigrants going to Australia. Smugglers hire ferries, like the leaky vessel from which the Afghans were rescued, to sneak migrants into Australia, King said.

On Saturday, another group of Afghans who were shipwrecked after their boat sank in a storm between Indonesia and Australia's Christmas Island threatened to stage a hunger strike if they weren't granted political asylum. The 138 Afghans - young children among them - have been detained on the Indonesian prison island of Nusakambangan for two weeks with little food, drinking water and respite from the tropical heat.

Eastern Europe - Bosnia was popular last year - and Iran also are common routes, he said, adding that smugglers "take advantage of a mess in any country'' in finding transit routes to Europe.


Best regards,


3rd Sep 2001, 04:50
Just to show some of you not in Australia how these things get reported, the following is one of the news reports going around the World today.

You will see that the head of the UN says that the UN body IS satisfied with what Australia is doing, but the UN Commissioner for Refugees is not??????????? I bet I know which story you will be fed in Europe and elsewhere?


Australia rejects "inhumane" charge on boat people

By Jason Reed

CHRISTMAS ISLAND, Australia, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Australia rejected on Monday accusations that it was inhumane in preparing to take 433 asylum seekers from a cargo vessel off Christmas Island to be flown to other states willing to take them.

Although the operation was stalled pending a court ruling, Prime Minister John Howard said that the navy troop carrier HMAS Manoora stood ready to take the mainly Afghan boat people from the Norwegian freighter the Tampa to Papua New Guinea.

From there, they would be put on planes for New Zealand and the tiny Pacific island of Nauru.

"The solution we have worked out is fair and humane," Howard told Sydney radio 2UE.

Norway, which wants the asylum seekers landed on Christmas Island and has been critical of Australia's refusal to accept them, has labelled the trans-shipment plan as inhumane.

Howard said he had spoken on Sunday to U.N. Secretary- General Kofi Annan, who has declared that the world body found the plan acceptable.

"Our main concern is that the refugees are treated humanely and their treatment respects the refugee protection laws, and we have been given the assurance by the Australians that they intend to do that," Annan told a news conference in the Democratic Republic of Congo's capital Kinshasa.

"So we hope that the operations go smoothly and the refugees on the boat find refuge soon," he said.

Howard has remained resolute in his refusal to let the asylum seekers onto Australian soil but said that the government would respect Friday's injunction imposed by a court which is considering whether its handling of the crisis has been lawful.

"As we stand we are ready and able to start transferring the people from the Tampa to the Manoora and take them to Papua New Guinea," Howard said in his radio interview.

U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson has rebuked Australia for its handling of the case and called for a speedy end to the asylum seekers' suffering.

"We are dealing with human rights here and it is unacceptable that these people remain stranded on the ship, even if medicines and food were supplied to them," she told Reuters on the sidelines of the U.N. Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa, on Sunday.


Also you will see there where Norway calls the plan inhumane, I bet that gets reported in Europe for home consumption, and yet the Norwegian Ambassador to Australia has been on TV here this morning, after spending much of the weekend on the Tampa, and he said he could see no problem with the plan, and that all was okay on the boat. I bet that doesn't reach Europe, except here on PPRuNe.......

Dark Knight
3rd Sep 2001, 10:26
Prior to penning further uneducated comment on this subject particularly from non-Australians, I suggest all take the time to improve their knowledge of the world by reading & digesting the facts at Australia’s Government Immigration WebPages. http://www.dima.gov.au/index.htm

Similarly undertake the same exercise at the equivalent WebPages for their own country where they may be surprised to find some startling similarities between the two. Additionally, it is most probable that both countries are working in the same International forums to resolve the problem.

In part, some of the information:
Australia has a non-discriminatory immigration policy, which means that anyone from any country can apply to migrate, regardless of their ethnic origin, their gender, colour or religion. There are different criteria for different categories of migrants, as set out in Australia's Migration Regulations.
If a person satisfies Australia's selection criteria, he or she stands an equal chance of being selected, unless there is a cap imposed on the number of visas allocated to the particular category

All applicants for permanent entry to Australia must be assessed against Australia's health and character requirements, which are designed to exclude any person whose presence in Australia would not be in the interest of the Australian community.
People who may be excluded from entry on character grounds include criminals or associates of criminal organizations, war criminals and any person likely to vilify a segment of the community. Migrants are selected in three major streams - Skill and Family; while the Humanitarian Program offers resettlement to refugees and to displaced persons who have suffered discrimination amounting to gross violations of their human rights.

Australia sets the criteria and standards to be met by all foreign nationals who wish to come to Australia. Every year, a number of people abuse the law by attempting to:
- Enter Australia without authority;
- Work without approval;
- Overstay visas; or
- Use fraudulent entry documents.

To protect the integrity of Australia's borders and migration program, the Australian Government is committed to:
- Preventing people smuggling;
- Returning those who arrive without authorisation and are not granted refugee status; and
- Monitoring and enforcing compliance of visa conditions.

Australia's permanent immigration program has two components - Migration (non-Humanitarian) for skilled and family migrants and Humanitarian for refugees and others with humanitarian needs.

A major component of the Humanitarian program is Australia's Offshore Resettlement Program, which assists people in humanitarian need overseas for whom resettlement in another country is the only option.

It is one element of the Australian Government's approach to assisting people affected by international humanitarian crises, which also involves the provision of aid, diplomatic initiatives and peacekeeping.
In the past 50 years, almost 600 000 refugees and displaced people have been resettled in Australia. Many had close family ties to Australia.

Australia provides protection for asylum seekers who meet the United Nations definition of a refugee, as defined in the 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.

The majority of refugees in Australia have been resettled here from other countries after having undergone assessment overseas. Each year however, several thousands of people already in Australia make applications for protection (refugee status).

The UN definition
Australia is one of 138 signatory countries to the United Nations Convention and/or Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees. The Convention defines refugees as people who:
- Are outside their country of nationality or their usual country of residence, and
- Are unable or unwilling to return or to seek the protection of that country due to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.
Protection in Australia
Asylum seekers who are found to be refugees and owed protection by Australia, and who have entered legally on genuine documents and meet health and character requirements, are granted a Protection Visa (PV), which gives them permanent residence.
Those who are found to be refugees and owed protection, but who have entered Australia illegally or on fraudulent documents, are granted a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV), provided they meet health and character requirements, which gives them residence for three years.

Smugglers make contact with potential clients through legitimate travel agencies, recruiters and word of mouth. The more sophisticated and larger the syndicate, the more difficult it becomes to identify the person or persons running the operation. In some cases, organisers may hide their identity even from low level operatives within the syndicate. Some organisers demand payment in advance. Some take a deposit and the balance on delivering the client to the destination country and others are so confident that they take payment only upon successful completion of the operation. In some cases, organization is piecemeal, the clients paying a series of organisers for different services or legs of their journey.
Smugglers use a variety of methods to get people to their destination country. Those arriving by boat usually have no identity documentation and have one of two immediate aims: to contact authorities and apply to remain in Australia permanently (usually on refugee grounds), or to bypass immigration clearance, that is, to enter Australia undetected.
With air arrivals the situation is a little different. Those who wish to enter Australia for a limited period to work will attempt to obtain immigration clearance. Others may have used bogus documentation in order to board an aircraft for Australia, but then arrive at an Australian airport with no travel documents. This method is used most frequently by people who seek refugee status. In this case the organiser may have taken back the bogus passport (for possible re-use later) or have instructed the client to destroy it en route or on arrival. The reason for this is to make it more difficult for DIMA to send the person back and to protect the identity and modus operandi of the organiser.

3rd Sep 2001, 11:08
I am well aware of Australia's internal geographical make up. But tell me did that stop Phoenix, Albequerque, Sant Fe, Las Vegas, Tucson, El Paso etc. from being built? And look at Australia's huge and complete coastline, is there really no room for any more coastal cities? Even if it would not be possible to build cities in inner Oz there is still unlimited room around the coasts. You have 25,760km of coastline for gods sake!

Gosh... one hardly knows where to start with that one!!! Perhaps a look at how many major river systems we have to provide a water source? Perhaps a study of the salinity crisis affecting inland Oz? Dare I suggest a review of the transport infrastructure required?

Nah - of course not....

Let 'em all come in... they can have either of the Simpson Desert, the Great Sandy Desert (great original name that one), the Gibson Desert or the Great Victorian Desert... a whole 1,500,000 km2 to wander around.

Honestly... if we're going to have reasoned debate, fair enough, but this dribble? :confused:

Still - the thought of brand new cities rising Brasillia-like from the deserts is terribly amusing if nothing else...

3rd Sep 2001, 11:59
All I was trying to point out is that for it's huge size Australia has a tiny, tiny population. I would never expect new cities to shoot up in the deserts but I just pointed out that there are desert cities in other countries. My main concentration would be looking at how much bigger cities like Perth or Adelaide could become, in other words how much more people could they take. Is there room for expansion in any of the other coastal towns?

But can any of you truly look at Binoculars' as an Australian and dissagree with him? and someone please answer what is the real difference between these Afghan refugees and your parents/grandparents who made the long trek all those years ago. Without using the "they were legal approach." Like them these refugees are looking for a new start, as I said but for an accident of birth, it could have been you on that container ship.
An intersting point was raised by the media as well, if this ship had contained Zimbabwean white farmers, also illigal, would they have been turned away? Hmmm.

I'm beginning to understand better the Australian mentality. A history lecturer from the University of Queensland explained the fortress Australia mentality,

"The anxiety is that Australia, a small outpost of European civilisation in a hostile Asia-Pacific region, will be overwhelmed by alien Asians who will swamp us and destroy our culture."

And I believe that according to surveys, many Australians live in fear of being invaded by Indonesia, a country of 200million muslims.
I'm trying, Lame, to see this from an Australian perspective and I can indeed understand you fears, you want to protect the great and beautiful, (I have been to Oz, many times), country that you have and not want it to turn into quasi-muslim society that would dilute your culture. I just think it's a shame after the fantastic spectacle of the Sydney Olympics and the great image of Oz that it put out, that that image has now been forgotten and the world has been shocked by what's happened. This is the way one newspaper put it,

"The rest of the world regarded Australia as a country built by immigrants, a society that was easy going and a tradition of welcoming refugees, that image reinforced by the Sydney Olympics was exposed as a thin veneer last week."

Indeed the tital of this article was,
"Fear and loathing of Muslims sparks

That is the way the rest of the world is seeing it and I wouldn't just dismiss what the rest of the world thinks on this matter as being irrelevant. You might find to your cost that it does indeed matter.

As for myself, I've done a little research and I can understand the Oz perspective a little better. I can see what the fear is, irish people have the same fears and the country here is no better and probably worse than yours when it comes to the immigrant position. No insult was intended to any Aussie, I was just questioning Australian policy and trying to see what your side was and engage in a little debate and I think apart from one or two postings this has been a mature and interesting thread. (See, we can be civilised on PPRuNe!)

Anyway, we'll see you down in Oz for the Australia Versus Ireland Aussie rules/Gaelic football series.

3rd Sep 2001, 14:04
IMHO there is no easy solution to this problem.

It is inevitable that people will migrate/refugee/asylum seek as long as we have a world where there are rich and poor countries. You can build all the fences you like – people will still find a way of getting through, legally or illegally. Everyone always wants a better life – the grass is always greener on t’other side of fence….

I'm an economic migrant myself, albeit with the UK, having moved from Oldham in the declining NorthWest, to Milton Keynes in the ‘happening’ South East of England.

I suppose the cry will go up to share out the world’s wealth – a good idea in theory. But in practice, it wouldn’t work that way. Most of these poorer countries have very corrupt governments – the only people who benefit would be the Swiss bankers….. :D

To me, I have no problem with economic migrants, provided the people are coming here to work.

I suppose that’s why there is so much hostility to them here in England. Our rules say they cannot work while their application is being processed. If they were allowed to find work during this time, they wouldn’t be ‘sponging off benefits'....

Can't see an easy solution to any of this. I suppose the Aussies are damned if they do, damned if they don't.... :rolleyes:

I'd rather
3rd Sep 2001, 14:21
Binoculars, may I humbly congratulate you on a SUPERB post!

One angle that hasn't been covered on this thread, but which I think is important: whatever the merits of Australia's arguments about whether it should, in the long run, accept the immigrants, the Master and crew of the Norwegian vessel should NOT have been put in this situation by the Australian government. As I understand it, the vessel responded to an Australian coastguard request to rescue the immigrants (although, as has been pointed out, they would undoubtedly have done so anyway). So you have a situation where private individuals, who are just trying to do their job, are put in a position of enormous pressure and one where they can reasonably believe that their lives are in danger. I know that the Australian government put troops on board and some aid was given, but in my view, that was not sufficient. It is completely wrong that the crew and owners of this ship were left to bear the brunt of this dispute.

Another point to consider: crews of merchant vessels already have enough disincentives to stop and rescue others in danger at sea (in the form of commercial pressure - time is money and any delay to a voyage costs - a LOT). After an experience like this, there is a real danger that seafarers will be deterred from offering help to those in need.

I greatly respect the governments of NZ and Nauru for stepping in and breaking the impasse.

3rd Sep 2001, 15:55
having just been back fromm holiday's and finally reading this thread all the way thru I have a few points and very personal ones at that. I agree with most australians that enough is enough. Like GG I see that australia must take the tough stance against "people smuggling" it is illegal and makes it harder for those true immigrants trying to make it into australia the correct way. I have been involved with the whole gang scene. You will find them in every country on this planet. It is amazing however the difference between these gangs that are in australia. I know that this will offend people but with spicks, slants, black, **** and us skips in different gangs all fighting each other for the right to have our "turf" it is easy for us to fall into gangs that are only of one or two races that are closely alinged to each other. For years I was bought up to believe that everybody has the same right and in australia I can see that this is not the case. I am white OW22 but I do have many black brothers and "Slants" as close friends. I am no longer in the gang situation but I now fight against this. With australia's stance at not taking more refugees that do not come the correct way, I have seen the increase in the tensions of these racial gangs. Be warned everyone that it is not a case of stopping correctly made immigrants from coming to australia, but it is a stance to stamp out illegal proceedings in which these gangs actually play a significant part in. I know because I have done my part in organising many raids on former gang enemy's and their so called "new immigrants" I am ashamed of this former behaviour so now I must try and correct what I have done. I work and try and stop the drugs and help the new citizens of our beautiful country. Don't stop the flow of criticism because each has a part to contribute but do not tell me that illegal immigrants want to work hard for their new country! I have witnessed some of the worst work they can do. But some of those people are very willing to work so let the correctness continue in our fine country...


3rd Sep 2001, 16:27

I just re read my post and your absolutley right, it was a load of crap and totally irrelevant. So no personal offense taken and thank you for pointing out that it was a load of crap. :D Dont know what i was on this morning. Sorry. Wouldnt be the first time ive said something that is irrelevant and a load of crap, is there anyway i can remove it seeing it really isnt adding at all to the discussion?

I guess i was just a little angry at how people can think (as they have little Oz experience i can sorta understand) that we have huge areas and they can magically be made into areas for people when we need them.

I did have something else to say but i dont particularly want a repeat of this morning.

Safe skies

3rd Sep 2001, 16:50
I've read most of the D&G thread and this one with increasing unease. I admire and like the Australians both individually and as a nation (because they are generally very likeable) and for what they've achieved, and frankly it shouldn't be their problem. But unfortunately, with the increasing numbers of refugees (economic, migrant, political and those fleeing harsh or torturous regimes) this is a something that won't go away, just because a few hundred Afghans are placed in a centre on an island (away from mainland Oz) and dealt with. It won't matter if they are stopped or not, you will find it difficult to stem the tide. We haven't.

There are millions of refugees around the world, most fleeing intolerable conditions of their homeland. Do you honestly believe that they would go to all this trouble, leave everything they love, or that is familiar, behind, risking injury or death on journeys lasting days, weeks even months, merely to sponge off a generous nation. Yes, of course some do, but how many?

Everyone seems to be concentrating on solving the problem from the wrong end. Is it the fault (or responsibility) of Australia that a boat-load of Afghans want to go to that golden paradise or should we lay the blame squarely with a repressive, murderous regime from whence they fled.

Someone asked on the D&G thread, which I picked up that perhaps the richer Muslim nations should be more accommodating - and perhaps western governments should be putting pressure on these with all their billions and common heritage. (Perhaps a few less palaces and multiple homes around the world) Or should they be more concerned with why the flood of migrants is out of control and stop trying to deal with this piecemeal and have a more integrated, global policy. Stop this oneupmanship and get down to dealing with the issues.

As for the 'facts' of the numbers of refugees - these are only as good as the authorities' official reported figures and are considered seriously adrift from reality. It is now being admitted that we in the UK do not know the scale of illegal immigrants; possibly double or even treble what is reported. We are doing what we can to manage this situation, and a radical overhaul of that management is long overdue. We cannot continue to insist they sit doing nothing for months or years whilst the process hits bureaucratic apathy and legal obstacles.

OneWorld asks whether Australia could take more people and no doubt they could, but do they just dump them with a week (month) of supplies and let them fend for theirselves in some of the most hostile environment in the world (possibly displacing Aboriginal tribes in the process). Accommodate them in Perth or Adelaide - possibly, but they would still need housing, support, jobs and resources - expanding the infrastructure (to meet the immediate needs of hundreds or possibly thousands) is neither that easy nor always possible.

What is the answer, I have no idea - what it isn't is using it as a political football and shoving it from nation to nation in the hopes that someone else will solve the ever growing flood of humanity seeking shelter.

I would like to think that we in UK would not turn away the Zimbabwean White Farmers, but I'm sadly coming to the conclusion that our Government would not want to upset Robert Mugabe.

3rd Sep 2001, 17:48
It is a terrible dilemma for all parties.
As usual, there are 3 sides to the story, Person A's, Person B's and somewhere in the middle is the truth.
I used to work for Customs Coastwatch (Not guard) and there must be a heck of a lot more to the story than what is being released. It is quite unusual to send armed soldiers to a vessel with SUNC's. So, that little fact alone has tweaked my curiosity about the "whole truth" of the matter.

I honestly think that the world should be asking the question as to why there are so many refugees. What is the govt of the respective countries doing to stem that tide? Why are they leaving? (I know the conditions are appalling, I would like to hear the govts' version) Of course people will want to leave a country for another ( I have done it) however, thousands to millions of people means that there is something wrong.
That is where the collective "we" should be focussing.

Charlie Foxtrot India
3rd Sep 2001, 18:52
Most of this beautiful country is uninhabitable to all but the indiginous people, and the ever diminishing native flora and fauna.

Here in Perth we are facing water restrictions, our dams are only about a quarter full at a time of year when they should be full; our farmers, who are trying to grow food in a land that has been poisoned by the salinity caused by clearing of bush, are now struggling with the worst drought in decades. Every day I fly over more and more areas of bush being bulldozed to build more houses and keep the developers rich.

This country's fragile ecology is being ruined to try to support the EXISTING population, and it is only getting worse. White man has done enough damage, and now people who have never been here, or maybe think that Australia is Bondi Beach, tell us to build more cities?? We need less, not more, if we don't want the whole country to become as barren as the arid interior.

It's not a case of racism or anything else. This country simply cannot support a large population however large a land mass it is. That is why we have to limit the numbers, and ensure that quarantine regulations are adhered to; and that is what motivates many Australians not to want to be overwhelmed by people who haven't gone through the proper channels.
Not because of who they are, or where they came from, or who they pray to; but because so much of what makes so much of Australia a beautiful wilderness will have to be destroyed to support a growing population.

And for those that think the Aussie "Fair Go" is gone forever, not true, we just want to be fair to those who are not trying to compromise our sovereignty, but are patiently waiting their turn.

3rd Sep 2001, 20:38
Well, well, I leave JB alone for a wee while only to return and find this thread having see-sawed to each extreme, but with the pendulum beginning to recentre itself.

Binocs... yes, I was genuinely surprised by those GDP figures. Who'd have thought it? Anyway, okay, so I stand corrected on that score. I'm still entitled to my opinion however and, without giving in to emotive claptrap, the parallel of white farmers from Zimbabwe is a red herring here, designed purely to inflame an already heated scene.

This thread was started because the Oz perspective was being sought. Surely that perspective has now been obtained.

The verdict is in and now some people want to argue with it? Fine. I've enjoyed reading an Oz perspective from people who are not Australian citizens. That's fine by me too because Oz is a country where free speech is okay. Just as it is in here.

We've all had our say and what have we been able to resolve? Zero, nix, nil, nada ... etc. Is there any wonder that the real issue has taken so long to find any sort of solution?

For what it's worth, I stand by my opinion even despite being surprised by GDP figures that I hadn't expected. Fair cop on that score Binocs.

4th Sep 2001, 02:34

free speech in Jetblast my arse, guess you`ve never had one of your topics or replies edited or deleted by the management then?

4th Sep 2001, 03:38
Not a problem Binoculars. No hard feelings taken. If nothing else its made me realise i should be a lot more careful about what i write and to actually think when doing it.

I assure you i wasnt trying to trick you, just being honest.

What ive actually done is removed the second half of my first post, the irrelevant part. I still think the part about sharing our land etc is still relevant.

Hope u got better weather up in Mackay than down here Bino, its one of those days where you would rather be at uni than flying.

Safe Skies

[ 03 September 2001: Message edited by: Luca Brasi ]

4th Sep 2001, 10:11
OzExWe've all had our say and what have we been able to resolve? Zero, nix, nil, nada ...

Mate what do we ever accomplish in here eh??
In this case my understanding of a complicated issue was improved, and I am grateful for it.

Naive probably, but I believe that when understanding between people increases, animosity will proportionally decrease.

Thank you all for having posted here, I appreciate the time you have taken.

Regards f40

4th Sep 2001, 16:58
*Govt claims victory in stance over asylum seekers*

The Federal Government is claiming victory over its stance against
asylum seekers.

The Government has so far achieved its aim of preventing the asylum
seekers from entering the country.

Four Indonesians who crewed the ferry which had been bringing the people
to Australia have been charged and face up to 20 years jail if found

The Justice Minister, Chris Ellison, says Australia will keep cracking
down on people smugglers.

"People smuggling is a callous criminal activity, it is an organised
criminal activity which we're seeing across the world," Senator Ellison

An AC Neilsen poll in "The Age" and "Sydney Morning Herald" shows
support for the Prime Minister is up 11 per cent to 57 per cent and a 77
per cent approval rate for the Government's actions over the Tampa.

Mr Howard insists his actions were not simply aimed at winning support
for the looming election.

"I did it because I thought it was right and it remains my view that the
election at the end of the year is going to be very tough for us," the
Prime Minister said.

The Federal Opposition leader, Kim Beazley, is playing down the latest
opinion poll results.

Mr Beazley says opinion polls will vary in the lead-up to the federal
election which is expected to be called in the next few months.

He does not believe his criticism over the Government's refusal to allow
the asylum seekers to land on Australian soil will cost him victory.

6th Sep 2001, 16:11
Now the Norwegian Captain of the "Tampa", having arrived in Singapore, was on our TV news tonight complaining about the treatment he received from the Australian Authorities.

However in the same interview, he admitted that he initially was contacted by the Indonesian Authorities, NOT the Australian Authorities, and that after picking up the illegals he quite correctly headed towards Indonesia. However he was approached on the bridge by 5 of the illegals who threatened to harm themselves if he did not turn around and go to Christmas Island, and faced with this act of piracy on the high seas, he did just that, even though it was against the expressed wishes of the Australian Government and also International Law.

Now unbelievably the Norwegian Shipping Line, that condones acts of piracy and deliberately defying National Authorities, want to sue Australia for their loss of revenue?????

IF these are the views held in general by the people of Norway? then I know which Country has the problems.........


6th Sep 2001, 19:45
Thanks for the update lame. Looks like the whole situation is much clearer to everyone now. I await the arrival of these boat people, on transit to Nauru and NZ, with something approaching mild interest.

8th Sep 2001, 13:35
I came across an interesting fact the other day. Wasn't it Afghan camel drivers who helped open up the great empty wastes of Australia in the 19th century? And weren't they also involved in many early pioneering expeditions including the ill fated Burkes-Willis expedition of 1861?

The famous Ghan railway line connecting Alice Springs with Adelaide commemerates those Afghans and their camels and have become part of the tourist experience. No doubt tourists will raise a few eyebrows when they hear this in light of recent events!

I believe that many of these Afghan pioneers were treated like heroes in Kabul. Many of the Afghans felt that they shared a common humanity with Australia.

Times sure change, eh?

[ 08 September 2001: Message edited by: OneWorld22 ]

8th Sep 2001, 14:37
Many people from all sorts of Countries have settled here, including the Afghans you mentioned, and lots of others including very large numbers from Ireland. They have all entered legally and been most welcome?

The latest problem has been all these illegals.

I actually came to this thread to post about today's event. Another boat load of illegals was detected leaving Indonesia today, once in International waters they were requested to return to their departure port. They refused and were boarded by a Royal Australian Navy Ship. After checking papers etc and confirming that they were illegals, that is not legal immigrants or genuine refugees, they were ordered back to Indonesia. Several times they tried to still head for Australia, so another RAN Ship came to assist. They are now on the way to PNG with the other illegals.

Feeton Terrafirma
8th Sep 2001, 15:42
OK Binos,
Lets have a look at your comments and see where we stand. From your post:
FEETON: “They are rarely ligitimate refugees, but usually well off (they need to be to pay for the leaky boat)”

SHEEP GUTS: “ I read today in the paper, that it costs around $10,000 aud to get from say Iraq to a sinkable bucket off the Coast of Christmas Is.
Now how many REAL REFUGEES can afford that! Send these cue jumpers home. We need to get smarter than them right now! REAL REFUGEES ARE THOSE PEOPLE STRUGGLING TO LIVE ON THOSE BORDER CAMPS IN AGAHNISTAN, NOT THESE PEOPLE WE HAVE NOW!!!!"

What a marvellously convenient policy this one is! We will welcome as refugees the poorest of those from the poorest country on earth, as long as they get themselves here under their own steam. If however they manage to make it here they are by definition not REAL refugees and we won't take them! Tell me, guys, where does this convenient definition originate?

Australia takes a lot of refugees, and they by in large orginate from the troubled parts of the world. The reason I know that they are refugees is that they past the UN test for refugee status. Makes it pretty simple actually. The large majority of boat people do NOT qualify as refugees acccording to the UN's definition. Often these legitimate refugees own little more than the shirt on their back, and have little idea where their next meal is coming from. I think they need our assistance considerably more than those who can put together $10,000 for the trip that finishes in a leaky boat.

Next, from your post again:
FEETON: “A local TV station conducted a telephone pole (sic) the other day to assess public reaction to the situation, and over 95% of respondents did not want the boat people here.....”

Difficult to argue with such a scientifically based premise as the result of commercial TV phone-in polls, which have zero credibility in any subject and exist only for the ones who can’t get through on the talkback lines to have their say. Sorry, mate, this is crap and you know it, or are you seriously suggesting 95% of the Australian population think this way?

I don't seriously suggest that the 95% figure is correct, however I certainly suggest that it is a stong indication of the feelings of the population. As for it being crap, why don't you do a little research of your own. Perhaps you could start by examining the views of the Aussies in this thread? I suggest you count the posts for and against having the boat people laneded here. Let me know what you find mate....

And once more for my mate lame I quote from your post:
LAME: “Australia has a very large intake of migrants, done through the correct legal channels, and also accepts MANY genuine refugees, THESE PEOPLE ARE NEITHER.........”

Very large? MANY? More well researched and substantiated figures, topped off by an opinion masquerading as a fact.

If you do something as simple as walk the streets of the CBD in Melbourne you will readily identify the relatively newly arrived. Half the people walking down the sreet, or more, are obviously of asian or middle eastern descent. If you look a bit harder, you'll also notice the previous generation of imigrants, but the're harder to spot because they had blended into out culture more. Yes there are the Italians, Greeks, Turks, etc. from immigration in the 50's and 60's and if you look harder you'll find the 10 pound poms from the late 40's and 50's.

If you actually want a few figures, well one that I do know is that Melbourne has the largest concentration of people of Greek origin outside of Anthens!

Nuf said.

Feeton the couch relaxin now

9th Sep 2001, 02:40

You posting just after me AGAIN?????

AND just before me TOO...........

:confused: :rolleyes: :eek: ;) :D

Best regards,


international hog driver
9th Sep 2001, 05:54
OneWorld 22,

I do not doubt your travels and opinion of Australia, but flaps wanted an Australian View....

There is no doubt that Australia has the land mass to support many many millions more than there is now but there is couple things lacking that make Australia inhospitable and that is a major part of our defence policy if you care to look.

The first is fresh water.

There isn't any......

No if's or but's or bore water or sending bottled aquarius. To sustain life and infrastructure and industry and a populus you need water and there is simply no ready supply of fresh water.

The second is infrastructure..

Once again, there may be capitial cities (where most migrants go) but the cities in Australia are built on a 1950's plan and most have exceeded the design capasity of utilities, just ask the victorians how much electricty they are going to have this summer.

The big question is not that we dont what to accecpt more immigrants because of our size but because of the infrastructure base, and the limited revenue producing population base that will have to fund this infrastructure development over vast distances.

That is the rub OO22, who is going to pay, ask any bleeding heart if they want to support more immigrration and they say yes.

Then the goverments say in that case we are going to raise taxes 10% to pay for the infrastructure to support the immigrants on the government teet.

Watch the city based bleeding hearts suddenly change their mind when it hits them in the back pocket.

Lastly OO22 look at Australia, any invasion (militaristic) has got about a billion places to land on mainland Australia without any reistance. But then they have to sustain any combatant force with re-supply missions and that is what Australia's defence forces are geared around "supply interdiction".

Australia's three prime air assets F/A-18, F111 and P3 are all geared for maritime interdiction be it AGM or LGB.

This is Australia defence policy and it is pretty simple really, hit and run attacks on supply lines and deny any enemy the supplys needed to sustain opposition.

Open your eye's to the realities and you see that nationalistic opposition to immigration has nothing to de with creed or race but with the realitys of money, who has it and who does not.

If they can afford $10K US each to pay a people smuggler to try to get to australia, then they could have affored a very nice life in some other parts of the world.


9th Sep 2001, 07:36
Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

In an article in the French newspaper Journal de Dimanche,Mr Blunkett said: "I cannot dispute that the UK is particularly
attractive to asylum seekers. "Many speak English as a second language.Many seek to join friends, relatives and national communities already established in Britain. "And many are attracted by the labour market
and the low level of unemployment. "Most asylum seekers have had plenty of
opportunity to find a safe country before
arriving in France or Britain."It's unacceptable that asylum seekers can 'shop around' to decide which safe country they want to provide their protection."

If you fail to be able to maintain a civil, fair, democratic governmental environment in your own county, don't work to change the system, become a selective illegal immigrant.

A way to a slippery path...down...for some countries and citizens in the first world.

Then become a critic of the system.

There are actually no lifeboats in life. Fix your own problems! Take some resposibility. :mad:

Edited for: see. I didn't mention any bloody relgion.

[ 09 September 2001: Message edited by: Rollingthunder ]

9th Sep 2001, 08:27
well guys i fly the first charter to png and back (to inu) on thursday..the ratio of guards to pax is 1:14 and we are taking all male fight attendants;i am still not sure of the other details security wise but will post as i get them.personally i am a little bit wary, but cockpit door will be locked for the duration of flight (as if that will help.) once these people get to pleasant island they will be placed in a detention centre which is farily modern(twas built for the world championships which never happened),but the compound instead of having a gate will now have a security fence and razor sharp barbed wire around it..not to mention the australian army and local police forces patrolling it with M16'S etc..
The plan is for them to be processed within 3 months (presumably to oz and nz etc),but i fear that my pleasant little island will now be the processing plant for future refugees.
i hope that with this little update i have managed to keep out of the politics etc of this topic.
cheers to all.

9th Sep 2001, 10:28
Good luck to you coco-nuts.........

This news from NZ, at least now the Indonesians have promised to slow down the illegals from entering Indonesia, from where they then head off to Australia.




No home here for more asylum seekers
09 September 2001

New Zealand will not take any of the 200 illegal immigrants the Australian navy intercepted yesterday.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Helen Clark said: "We won't be taking any more." The Mangere detention centre would already be bulging at the seams, he said.

The Australian navy yesterday boarded an Indonesian boat bound for Australia, carrying around 200 suspected illegal immigrants. The migrants were taken off the ship on Friday night and put on the HMAS Manoora, which is heading for Papua New Guinea, carrying 433 Afghan refugees turned away by Prime Minister John Howard after they were rescued from a sinking Indonesian ferry by the crew of the Norwegian cargo ship MV Tampa.

Howard said the latest boat load of refugees was intercepted by HMAS Warramunga after it ignored warnings to stop and continued toward Ashmore Island, off Australia's northwest coast.

The migrants were "taken off the Indonesian vessel and placed on HMAS Manoora, the vessel carrying the other people taken off the Tampa. And the Manoora will continue on its voyage . . . and will be re-provisioned outside Australian territorial waters," Howard said.

Howard said a request made to Indonesian authorities to board the vessel while in Indonesian waters was turned down. Australian authorities then waited for the boat to arrive in international waters before taking action.

"At no stage did this . . . vessel reach Australian territorial waters . . . as a result, the questions of application for asylum status do not arise," he said.

Howard sparked a storm of international protest when he refused to let the Tampa dock in Australia, however his popularity rating soared domestically just months from a general election at which he is seeking a third term.

Australia has had 4141 people in 54 boats arrive on its shores in the last year.

After the Manoora arrives in Papua New Guinea, probably tomorrow, the refugees will be put on planes to New Zealand and the tiny Pacific state of Nauru where their asylum applications will be processed. New Zealand will take 150 of the refugees as part of its annual quota of 750.

The interception highlighted Helen Clark's call in the past week for an international solution to the refugee problem.

In Indonesia, the director general of the immigration department said he would restrict Iraqis, Afghans and Iranians from entering Indonesia so as to cut the number of illegal migrants who pass through the country to Australia.

News of the clampdown came a day after three Australian cabinet ministers ended two days of talks in Jakarta to urge Indonesia to help it solve its worsening refugee problem.

Thousands of illegal migrants - mainly from the Middle East and South Asia - travel to Indonesia every year before boarding wooden boats for a hazardous journey to northern Australia or its nearest territory, Christmas Island.

The visiting ministers - Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Defence Minister Peter Reith and Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock - had tried to persuade Indonesia to accept Australian funding to build a detention centre for the migrants.

However, Indonesian officials declined the offer and agreed instead to accept Australian assistance to boost the capacity of its existing centres.

9th Sep 2001, 14:17
international hog driver,

I do accept your points. Due to geographical make up, the majority of Australia is completely inhospitable, the point I was pressing was that maybe the cities and towns on your coasts could sustain greater populations, but listening to a few of you it seems that also is not the case. One guy who posted here from Perth said the situation there is especially bad.

I did not have all the facts on the present infrastructure in Australian cities, so I apologise for that, I should have done more research before posting. I will say though that the Australian government has done a bad job in stating these facts, you see, the rest of the world has seen this situation as I did, Huge country, small population, loads of room for more people, what's the problem?
If your PM had come out to the rest of the world and said as you and others have that Australia is even struggling somewhat to sustain it's present numbers, then the world might have looked on your situation differently.

And I also have no doubt that there are some people in Australia like Pauline Hanson and her followers, who do focus on creed and race, but there are racists in all country's,
so there's nothing unusual there.

Just to correct one thing that is being staed here, those Afghans belong to the Hazra class, that is a servant class in Afghanistan, in other words they are at the bottom of the barrell. They are not rich by any means, they would have had to sell their homes, any animals they had, borrow from families and basically save for years to make this trip.

But as I said I understand the Australian point of view much better now, there's nothing wrong and you are completely right to try and save your scarce resources and ecological system.

9th Sep 2001, 16:21
Next Thursday Coco?? I had the impression it would've been sooner than that and have already arranged to be elsewhere on that basis. Buggah ... now I gotta change me escape plan... :eek: :D

On the other hand, might hang around to get some "happy snaps" instead... ;) You'll know if I'm around mate, coz I'll be the one hanging off the old control tower!

I'd rather
10th Sep 2001, 14:34
Lame (my, what an appropriate choice of name) - before you criticised the Master of the Tampa, you might have taken a moment to put yourself in his position.

Perhaps you should just shut up and be grateful that you're highly unlikely to be put under that sort of pressure in the course of your job...

tony draper
10th Sep 2001, 15:26
Don't Merchant Ships carry fire arms now, in my day it was probably a old webley and scott .455, nowadays I would asume it would be something like a m16.
The bridge of a ship can easily be defended especialy if those involved in the piracy are unarmed.
Its academic now anyway, if ship owners are the same greedy bastards they used to be, it will be a cold day in hell before any Merchant ships stops to pick up people like that again.

I'd rather
10th Sep 2001, 16:28
Mr. Draper, I'm not sure that turning it into a shoot-out would have been a constructive solution...

But you're absolutely right - the pressure put upon ships' crews by some (not all) shipowners to meet deadlines come what may can be very great and the chances of a crew under that sort of pressure declining to go to the aid of those in distress at sea just got significantly higher.

The owners and crew of the Tampa were left in an invidious position by the Australian and Indonesian governments - who should be ashamed.

We've already got the "chuck 'em overboard" approach to stowaways (because it's less hassle than dealing with the formalities) - it will be a great shame if mariners are deterred from obeying the unwritten laws of the sea because they can't rely on the governments of supposedly civilised countries to support their actions.

Charlie Foxtrot India
10th Sep 2001, 20:09
"I'd rather", it is the ones ruling places like Afganistan who should be ashamed. The world should be focussing attention on preventing the atrocities there rather than accusing Australians of shameful behaviour.

Are you happy with the illegal immigrant situation in the UK? Surely no-one can say it is OK to let unlimited numbers of people stroll through the channel tunnel? Can you blame Australians for not wanting a situation like you have there from happening here?

The captain of the Tampa was put in a bad position, yes, but he should have done the correct thing and taken these people back to the nearest port, which was in Indonesia, where incidentally the "shameful" Australian government is pouring millions of dollars of aid, much of which used to house and feed these people, which they are happy to take advantage of before they embark on their expensive cruise to Australia.

Meanwhile here at home we do have problems of our own that require taxpayers money. Surely a certain amount of charity should begin at home.

For your information, our government is footing the bill for these people to be taken to PNG, and giving millions of dollars to Nauru to help them accommodate these people. Personally I'd prefer my taxes primarily to be spent on those in need here, including refugees who have gone through the appropriate channels to come here.

An aspect I mentioned earlier is the quarantine side of things, it wouldn't take too many uncontrolled pests and diseases to decimate agriculture over here. My other half was held up for ages last week at the international airport by the quarantine people because he had come from working in a country not far from Afganistan. Those of you who have been welcomed to WA by a man with can of fly spray might think it amusing, but there are reasons not to allow uncontrolled access to this country.

For those of you in England who think Australia can accommodate unlimited numbers, go study an atlas, particularly the bits about rainfall.

[ 10 September 2001: Message edited by: Charlie Foxtrot India ]

I'd rather
10th Sep 2001, 21:26
Charlie Foxtrot: of course I agree with you about the regime in Afghanistan.

The point I am making is that criticism of the captain is unwarranted - it's all very well for us to sit in our cosy living-rooms and say, as you do, "he should have done the correct thing". Only he and the crew were able to make that call - he acted to ensure the safety of the crew and the vessel, in an extremely difficult situation. I think it's incredibly arrogant of anyone not in that situation to criticise his actions.

11th Sep 2001, 03:30
Quite frankly, in light of the fact that 16,000 jobs are on the line at Ansett, it pisses me off no end that 70 million bucks has been secured for the accommodation and processing of the ILLEGAL ASSYLUM SEEKERS by the Oz government.(that's 70 million that we know about BTW)

Sorry...it sux! :mad:
Along the same lines as what CFI said, and that's that chartity should begin at home.

And if there are some out there who don't like what I just wrote, I don't giva a fat rats clacker to be honest.
The world is full of Hypocrites.


11th Sep 2001, 07:14
Everyone seems to be missing one important point here. The "refugees" say they are escaping persecution in whereever they are from but they are launching from INDONESIA, a place that accepts all muslims without any visas. They are safe there so why do they need to come here.
A little bullshit goes a long way.

11th Sep 2001, 14:10
I'd rather,

Gee that's constructive, attacking me?

I am all in favour of upholding the time honoured traditions of the sea........

So why weren't these pirates hung from the yard arm, or made to walk the plank??????

Best regards,


PS. YOU will be pleased to know that some Lunatic Judge has just ordered them to be taken to mainland Australia, because Australian law wasn't explained to these pirates????

It is being appealed by BOTH sides of politics, and appears to have outraged most Australians.............

I'd rather
11th Sep 2001, 18:18
Before we all get too carried away with this "pirates" thing, I should just point out that piracy is generally defined as "robbery attempted or committed on the high seas". The refugees on board the Tampa can't actually be considered as pirates, just in case any of you meant it literally.

Apologies for taking the thread off track - I'll shut up now ;)

I'd rather
11th Sep 2001, 18:23
Before we all get too carried away with this "pirates" thing, I should just point out that piracy is generally defined as "robbery attempted or committed on the high seas". The refugees on board the Tampa can't actually be considered as pirates, just in case any of you meant it literally.

Apologies for taking the thread off track - I'll shut up now ;)

Charlie Foxtrot India
11th Sep 2001, 19:53
OK so you don't want to call them pirates, (even though they are robbing the Australian taxpayers.)
If someone boarded my aircraft and demanded with threats to be taken somewhere other than my destination I would consider myself hijacked.

11th Sep 2001, 22:08

I agree with you, but wasnt the Master of the Tampa the one breaking the law by enetering Australian waters?

My deepest feelings for the victims of the actions in the US today.

Charlie Foxtrot India
12th Sep 2001, 08:05
Yes he had been told not to enter Australian waters but he ignored that. Once in Australian waters he announced he couldn't move because his ship wasn't eqipped to sail with all those people on board. Got him to our waters though, didn't it.
And spooky how many of those illegals come from the part of the world that probably masterminded the disgusting, cowardly attack in New York and Washington.

12th Sep 2001, 08:53
You can't really blame them for wanting to get away from the situation at home - any more than you can blame those waiting in the refugee camps for placement wanting to come here.
It's the uncontrolled methods that they have used that's the problem.
Most Australians support the official refugee settlement program but 90% object to the queue jumpers.
But it may not matter for much longer.
Our delightful Federal Court is well on the way to opening our borders to all and sundry. (Lawyers-$$$$, Democracy - nil :eek: )
Concurrently, the combined western governments may shortly become active in freeing the way for a lot of refugees to return home without the threat of repressive regimes.
Time will tell.

13th Sep 2001, 12:05
Well in light of this Mass Murder in Manhattan, I feel even more strongly that NOBODY should EVER be allowed to enter Australia without at least proper documentation.

Although I include everyone in this, regardless of colour, race, religion etc, I just know some people will call me a Redneck or something, well I really don't care, this is too important an issue.