EAST WEST LINK HOMES LANGUISH AMIDST HOMELESSNESS CRISIS
Early this morning a coalition comprising members of the Homeless Persons Union Victoria and Melbourne’s homeless community began demonstrating at a number of empty properties on Bendigo St, Collingwood. The properties are among those that were compulsorily acquired by the former Napthine government for the now defunct East West link.
The demonstration seeks clarification on issues surrounding the ownership, management and occupancy of these empty, publicly-owned properties. The lack of transparency has led to confusion within the homeless community.
Six months ago there were media reports that 20 properties were transferred to the Collingwood Football Club’s ‘Magpie Nest’ program, a partnership with The Salvation Army, to house the homeless. A spokesman from Magpie Nest claims that all properties transferred to their management have been filled.
In light of this, the demonstrators call on those responsible to immediately provide clarification on…
Also this moving around could cause those with negative refugee outcome to decide to return to their home country. The refugee determination process is not a fair one and we know Australia has returned men to their home countries who have then been tortured or killed.
After almost every comment the government makes about its refugee policies they say ‘and we’ve saved lives, stopped the drownings’.
Its boat turn back policies prove without a doubt that this rhetoric is false.
Last week in the same press release Minister Dutton says Operation Sovereign Borders had ‘no doubt saved innumerable lives’ and had turned back 25 boats carrying 698 people.
He claims these people returned safely to the country they departed from, but how do they know this? And what constitutes safety?
There was one boat recently turned back to Sri Lanka, if refugees are fleeing Sri Lanka (most likely Tamils) returning them is not safe.
The same applies to Indonesia, refugees in Indonesia are not safe, Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees. Refugees there do not have an income and are in danger from corrupt police and hostile locals (I know from first hand accounts).
The governments policy of boat turnbacks is much like its policy of on and offshore detention of refugees. To deter one group of people you have to destroy the lives of another group of people.
“However we cannot take that success for granted, we must remain vigilant and resolute, the people smugglers will seek to take any opportunity to re-start their evil and dangerous trade.”
It is more evil and dangerous to turn back boats of vulnerable people to uncertain destinations. It is also ‘evil and dangerous’ to send people to island gulags or return them to countries where they face persecution or death.
“Our intelligence tells us there are 14,000 people positioned in Indonesia alone who are prepared to hop on boats and attempt to travel illegally to Australia.”
You mean people who need our help Mr Dutton?
Mr Dutton said the ABF and ADF have recently significantly reinforced deterrence measures with the ADF vesselOceanProtectorjoining the ABF’s OceanShieldand an increased presence of other response vessels across the approaches to Australia while aerial surveillance had also been intensified.
If measures to prevent refugees boarding boats to Australia (like accepting refugees through the UNHCR from Indonesia so they could come by place) are not put in place then these measures could be used to save lives at at sea (which the govt care about so much)
He said the other benefit of stopping the boats was a halt to new illegal arrivals being placed in detention and a reduction in numbers of those already in detention.
New arrivals don’t have to languish in detention and those living in the community don’t have to wait so long for the determination of their case.
If Dutton and his Government really cared about people in detention why are refugees and kept in such appalling conditions in offshore detention centers?
As much of the Middle East and Muslim communities celebrates New Year protest have occurred on Nauru the island nation on which Australia has been keeping refugees in appalling conditions.
The protests started 30mins after the Eid celebrations had begun in Iran.
The so called asylum seekers chanted freedom and asked the Australian people and politicians to close the offshore detention centers.
They held signs saying 995 days which is the time they have been kept on the Island in moldy tents with hostile guards and little chance of a future on the 22km square Island.
4 Babies, 45 children, 53 women and 46 men still waiting for their refugee determination joined in the protest.
According to Free the Children Nauru the other 839 refugees living in the impoverished community would have been jailed had they joined in.
According to Free the Children an hour ago Wilson Security guards and Nauru police were at the scene and may have broken up the protest.
Some Wilson guards and Nauruan police are known for their brutal treatment of detainees so we will wait for reports on what eventuates.
The protests on Nauru come as more than 50 000 people around Australia joined in Palm Sunday rallies to say welcome to refugees and demand the closure of the offshore detention centers.
Refugee advocates say attitudes among Australia’s towards refugees are changing.
The Human Rights Law Center’s Daniel Webb says the situation where Doctors at the Lady Cilento Childrens Hospital in Brisbane used to discharge a baby which was in danger of being sent back to Nauru was an example of the changing attitudes.
“We’ve seen every single state premier, every single state premier, support calls for Malcolm Turnbull to show some compassion.
“And then there’s you right now, around Australia, tens of thousands of people are standing together to demand better.”
The Refugee Action Coalition’s Ian Rintoul told the Sydney rally Australians had not forgotten any man, woman or child in offshore detention.
“We will not rest until all of them are safe in Australia,”
End Offshore Detention: Save $3Billion
Data from the Parliamentary Budget Office just released shows a calculated $2.47 billion saving in the 2016-2017 budget forward estimates.
An estimated further $448n million could be saved during the same period by transferring offshore detainees to onshore detention and were processed within 30 days and released into the community.
The fact that the figures are unreliable because closure of offshore detention would increase the number of boat arrivals is being reported without any mention of strategies which could be put in place to prevent people taking the enormous risk of getting on a dodgy boat to reach Australia.
Some options for Australia to stop people from getting on boats from Indonesia are:
Start accepting refugees from Indonesia again
Contributing $1 billion to help the UNHCR speed up the process (still saving $3 billion)
Help make it easier to successfully apply for a Visa in refugee producing countries (rich/lucky people do get Visas to enter without claiming refugee status)