[ 16. Apr 2006 ]

Australia to Reject All Asylum Seekers Who Come By Boat

Under new laws, boatpeople landing on the Australian mainland will be shipped to off-shore island prisons. Even if they are accepted as refugees - they will not be allowed into Australia - ever. They will be imprisoned until a third country will take them.


In an incredible move the Australian Government has hardened its anti-refugee laws again - this time excising the mainland effectively from Australia's migration zone. Even if boat people make it to the mainland - they will not be permitted to apply for asylum under Australian migration law. Instead they will be shipped to an off-shore camp - either Nauru, Christmas Island or Manus Island.

Here is the kicker - even if they are found to be refugees - they will still not be able to settle in Australia. Instead the Government says that they will languish in these prisons until a third country can be found to take them in. Which countries will be putting up their hands to take these unwanted refugees is unclear.

This massive exapansion of the previous Pacific Solution has been implemented to appease the Indonesian Government. West Papuans or anyone else who tries to seek asylum in Australia by boat - if they can get past and survive the naval blockade of asylum seekers will no longer be able to settle here.

The policy will not apply to people who over stay their visas or people who apply for asylum if they come by plane.

This policy is sheer madness. Of course Beazley offers half-hearted opposition to the changes - focussing on the fact the Government is appeasing the Indonesians rather than the disgraceful treatment of asylum seekers. Appealing to nationalism is easier than making a case for compassion. In the previous few weeks Beazley has mainly been talking about how we need a coast guard to better be able to turn back the West Papuans before they get here.

Bring on the weekend demonstrations at Villawood and elsewhere. It seems eventually if we want to protest outside a detention centre we will have to get on a boat.

This article was published first @ with the title :: Boat People Never Allowed to Stay in Australia - Mainland Excised on 13th of April 2006.