Digging his feet in, Tony Abbott eventually got his way; asylum seekers would be dumped on Nauru. I’ve commented on this match of political table tennis a number of times before (see the links below) and I never fail to face palm over the stupidity we endure within Australia because we are at least “lucky” enough to have a pretty impressive moat – as though it were enough for us to validate treating people in such a disgusting manner.
So how well is Nauru working for us?
Not so good, I would argue.
I mean, we are talking about less than 1% of new Australians (including born in Australia) and Nauru is supposed to cost Australia $2 billion over a four year period and then there is Nauru charging Australia for a special visa on these asylum seekers, ten times the normal rate. This is a few thousand people a year. Being generous, let’s say ten thousand people; the outlined $2 billion works out to be more than the per capita income for Australia in 2011!
I can understand prisons for individuals proven to undertake terrible activities, but how on Earth does this waste of money make sense for asylum seekers?
What’s more, around 200 asylum seekers on Nauru are demonstrating just how improved the situation is from the former case in Christmas Island with a time honoured classic; the hungry strike. Nearly two weeks so far.
Australian political will relating to this issue is simply part of the branding monotony we endure which is more sickly sweet and pathetic than that between two rival cola manufactures and, more importantly, it is inhumane. It’s a molehill which exploits a historic xenophobia within Australia that I hope is old and on the way out.
Our attitude towards asylum seekers must be deplorable to most countries without the luxury of a natural moat. I, for one, would like to ensure the world that Australian policies regarding this matter do not reflect my attitude.
While Julia Gillard did not bring a whole lot to the table to begin with, it is amazing the effect Tony Abbott has had on this subject as the opposition; imagine what he would be like in power!
More on my rants over Australian politics regarding Asylum Seekers:
Asylum Seekers Beware: You’re Australia’s Political ‘Hot Potato’
The UN gives Australia a rightful kick in the arse!
The Nauseating Song of Abbott’s Campaign