According to my make-believe statistics, around 99.9% of the Australian population has found it impossible to not hear the phrase ‘Gillard’s migration solution,’ ‘boat people’ or ‘asylum seekers’ being splashed across all forms of media.
The Australian media in particular has been interested in the developments of Gillard’s proposed migration solution, ever since she voiced her idea on sending off-shore processing overseas. In the past, offshore processing of asylum seekers has been at a political stalemate. For instance, the High Court ruled the Labor government’s recent proposal on sending offshore processing to ‘Malaysia Solution’ failed because asylum seekers deserve laws to be protected. Labor’s proposal sounds very similar to the Liberal government ‘Pacific Solution’ proposal.
Nor Malaysia, or Nauru during the Howard government era, where a processing centre there were not signatories to the UN Convention.
Today, a quick search on the internet shows The Sydney Morning Herald, Sky News and The Australian for instance, have been blogging live on the events occurring at Parliament House. Not so long ago, WA Nationals MP Tony Crook’s voted down on the Labor government’s proposed migration amendment. He will support the Opposition’s proposal to only do offshore processing only with countries that have signed the UN Convention.
With offshore processing more likely illegal under Australian legislation after today’s vote, what is the solution for offshore processing? Under the UN Refugee Convention and Migration Act 1958 (Cth), it is not illegal for a refugee to seek an asylum.
So to end, my point is this, what should we do about offshore processing? Should we give asylum seekers a fair go? After all, Australia is a multicultural nation and we now shake our heads over the White Australia Policy. Will we shake our heads at both our government’s proposal and the general public’s reaction over this issue with shame in future?