Australia has 'tarnished' Manus Island and military base isn't welcome, governor says
29 July 2019
Charlie Benjamin says Australia has left people of Manus Island with nothing but ‘bad memories’
The Australian and Papua New Guinean governments have failed the people of Manus Island, who did Australia a favour in hosting its offshore immigration centre only to be left with “bad memories” and no infrastructure, the province’s governor has said.
Charlie Benjamin, who joined the PNG prime minister for an official visit to Australia last week, also opposed the forthcoming joint US-Australia military base, chiefly because of the way Australia treated Manus Island over the past six years.
“The enormity and importance of this program to Australia – stopping the boat people – was very successful,” he told Guardian Australia in an exclusive interview. “And I thought Australia would be even more grateful to us, and would have given a lot more, because this is nothing compared to the assistance they should be able to give us.”
Greens senator Nick McKim deported from Manus Island
20 July 2019
Tasmanian member says he was asked to leave after trying to visit East Lorengau transit centre
The Greens senator Nick McKim says he was deported from Manus Island because he “simply stood on a public street and asked politely” to see conditions in a refugee and asylum seeker transit camp.
The Tasmanian senator arrived back in Australia on Saturday after he was told to leave Papua New Guinea on Thursday night.
McKim – who has a 12-month, multiple-entry visa – was visiting to mark the sixth anniversary of Australia’s resumption of mandatory offshore detention, when then-prime minister Kevin Rudd announced that all asylum seekers who arrived by boat would not be resettled in Australia.
Manus Island governor urges Australia to help resettle refugees urgently
22 July 2019
Charlie Benjamin says the sooner refugees find a country the better and calls the situation ‘uncomfortable’
The governor of Manus Island, Charlie Benjamin, says Australia must “step up” and help resettle refugees from his province to a third country, saying the “uncomfortable” situation requires urgent action.
Speaking as part of a delegation from Papua New Guinea and following bilateral talks between Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, and PNG’s prime minister, James Marape, on Monday, Benjamin said they stood ready to assist Australia if it accepted an offer from New Zealand to resettle up to 150 refugees.
“People have been there for quite a long time, we sympathise with them,” Benjamin said. “We want their travel to come to an end, they have to find a place to go to, but I think the onus is really on Australia, because they [the refugees] don’t want to be in Papua New Guinea.”
Australia's Orwellian anti-refugee system hints at what's to come for climate refugees
16 July 2019
They might be the victims but, as international law now stands, climate refugees are not entitled to anything
If you want to imagine the politics of the future, think about climate refugees.
This week the ABC published internal briefing notes from the Australian Defence Force warning about huge population flows spurred by environmental disasters, with the former defence force chief Chris Barrie telling the broadcaster he once estimated the number at 100 million people.
Already, catastrophic weather forces some 24 million from their homes each year. We can expect more of that: more sudden floods and storms and other disasters of the kind that send people seeking shelter.
Judge accuses Australia of putting relationship with Nauru before the law
13 July 2019
Judgement follows failure to transfer seriously ill refugee under medevac laws
A federal court judge has excoriated the Australian government, accusing it of putting its relationship with Nauru ahead of complying with court orders and federal law.
The judgement by Justice Debra Mortimer was published on Friday, after the government failed to comply with a 14 June order to transfer a refugee with “serious medical and psychiatric issues” to Australia under the medevac laws.
The transfer was approved by the Australian government but held up by the Nauru government’s requirement for multiple levels of approval, which were then delayed for this man’s case.
UN inspectors primed for 'unfettered access' to Australian detention centres
5 July 2019
Human rights inspectors due to visit for the first time, with the right to go into any place of detention unannounced.
United Nations human rights inspectors will have “completely unfettered access to all places of detention” when they visit Australia in coming months.
This week the UN subcommittee on prevention of torture announced it would visit six countries to inspect places of detention, including Australia and Nauru.
4 July 2019
Coalition wants to repeal medical evacuations bill it was forced to accept during minority parliament.
Legislation to repeal the medevac transfer process cannot pass the parliament before late October because it will go to a Senate inquiry, a process giving supporters of the current arrangements a public platform to argue for their retention.
The repeal legislation, introduced to the House of Representatives on Thursday, will now proceed to an inquiry by the Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Legislative Committee, with a report date of 18 October.
Peter Dutton's move to abolish medevac regime delayed by Senate inquiry
‘The boats are coming’ is one of the greatest lies told to the Australian people
2 July 2019
Over the years the policy of imprisoning refugees could have easily been overturned but there are still political and financial gains to be made.
In less than a month the political strategy of exiling and incarcerating refugees on Manus Island and Nauru will hit the six-year mark – we enter the seventh year of illegal imprisonment. If we pay attention to the discourse and propaganda techniques of consecutive governments over these years we notice that essentially the same language and rhetoric has been maintained without the slightest change.
Every government has imposed the same logic on society: the policies have been designed and implemented to “stop the boats”. As a result of this simplistic reasoning they have justified an inhumane political program.
Centre Alliance senator warns Coalition not to repeal medevac law
2 July 2019
Stirling Griff says reversing asylum seeker medical transfers will ‘sully’ his relationship with government as income tax cuts package negotiations under way
Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff has put the Morrison government on notice that repealing the medical evacuations bill will “sully the relationship” between himself and the Coalition.
With negotiations continuing on the Morrison government’s $158bn income tax cut package as the 46th parliament opened on Tuesday, Griff told the ABC it would be a “brave move” to repeal the new system of medical transfers for asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru.