Thursday, November 22, 2012
Asylum-seeker flood sinks Australian Labor Party's offshore processing policy
THE Gillard government has admitted its Pacific Solution has been overwhelmed, declaring asylum-seekers arriving since the policy was announced will be allowed to live in the Australian community.
As Papua New Guinea's Manus Island processing centre received its first detainees today, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen conceded Nauru and Manus would not be able to accommodate all the asylum-seekers intercepted since the August 13 policy announcement.
He said the government's new “no-advantage” principle would therefore have to be applied to the overflow of unauthorised arrivals brought to Australia.
The principle requires asylum-seekers to wait for a refugee visa for as long as they would have if they had waited offshore to be settled through official channels.
“Accordingly, some of these people will be processed in the Australian community,” Mr Bowen said in Sydney.
“They will not, however, be issued with a permanent protection visa if found to be a refugee, until such time that they would have been resettled in Australia after being processed in our region,” Mr Bowen said.
“People arriving by boat are subject to this `no advantage' principle, whether that means being transferred offshore to have their claims processed, remaining in detention, or being placed in the community.”
Asylum-seekers settled in the community will be placed on bridging visas without work rights and would receive only basic accommodation assistance, Mr Bowen said.
Nauru and Manus Island will accommodate about 2100 asylum-seekers when at full capacity.
About 7000 asylum-seekers have arrived since the new Pacific Solution was announced.
Mr Bowen said all post-August 13 unauthorised arrivals would be processed according on the no-disadvantage principle, even if they were processed in Australia.
He said their status as offshore entrants would be unchanged, and “consideration can be given to transfer these people offshore at a future date”.
A charter flight arrived on Manus Island early today from Christmas Island with 19 asylum-seekers aboard.
The group of seven families from Sri Lanka and Iran, including 15 adults and four children, were accompanied by Australian Federal Police officers, Department of Immigration personnel, interpreters and medical staff.
Mr Bowen also announced the transfer of 100 Sri Lankan men back to Colombo today, the ninth and largest involuntary removal to date.
The transfers come amid growing unrest on Nauru, where 387 asylum-seekers are housed in conditions that have been condemned by Amnesty International.
The human rights body has also expressed concern about nine asylum-seekers who have been on a hunger strike, including one who has not eaten for 40 days.
Tony Abbott said he was “all in favour” of offshore processing but did not believe Labor's plan would stop the boats.
“This government just doesn't have its heart in it,” Mr Abbott said.
“And for this government to say, oh look at the (19) that have gone to Manus when you've got 2000-plus coming every month demonstrates that they just don't get it.”
The Opposition Leader said people who came to Australia could not expect “to be treated like they are staying in a four or five star hotel”.
“The people who have come illegally to this country need to know that they are breaking our laws and that they are, if I may say so, taking unfair advantage of our decency as a people,” Mr Abbott said.
“It is illegal to come to Australia without papers, without proper documentation, without adhering to the normal requirements that we expect of people coming to this country.”
It's offensive to be called Australian?
Few Australians would think so
A CZECH-BORN woman has been found guilty of racially abusing her New Zealand-born neighbour by calling her a "stupid, fat Australian".
The Daily Mail reports that the row started after New Zealander Chelsea O'Reilly called the police following a fight between her neighbour Petra Mills and her husband in Macclesfield, England.
Ms O'Reilly said: "She called me a stupid, fat Australian b****. Because of my accent there can be some confusion over my nationality. She knew I was from New Zealand.
"She was trying to be offensive. I was really insulted. She said she would kill my dog. Bizarrely she then blew raspberries at me like a child."
Ms Mills said she did yell at Ms O'Reilly but that "it had nothing to do with racism". "I did not use the word Australian. I used to live with an Australian person. She was very nice," Ms Mills said.
Judge Brian Donohue however saw things differently. "The word Australian was used. It was racially aggravated and the main reason it was used was in hostility," he said.
She was fined 110 pounds ($168) for racially aggravated public disorder, 50 pounds to be awarded to Ms O'Reilly and 500 pounds to cover all court costs.
Ms Mills and her husband have since moved away from Macclesfield.
Three current articles below
The fine art of scaring children
by Tony Thomas
Ballarat has a great art gallery, with its original architecture and gold-financed 19th century acquisitions. I was stooging around there last week after enjoying its show on floral illustrations, dating back to William Dampier.In the main halls it has an “art trail” for children, directing them to half a dozen works. Each has a screed alongside backgrounding the painting and giving the kids some quizzes.
So far so good…until I began reading those screeds.
The first involved an aquatic storm scene by ship captain-turned-artist Johan Bennetter (1886), A Bore on the Hooghli. Sailing ships and lifeboats thrash about amid surges and spume under a furious sky. (A “bore” is a storm surge after a very low tide).
The screed quickly cuts to the chase:
“Climate change, bringing with it an increase in extreme weather and rising sea levels, means that phenomena like the famous bores on the Hooghli at the Bay of Bengal now threaten the lives and livelihoods of literally hundreds of millions of people. This is one of the places in the world most vulnerable to catastrophe arising out of rapid rises in sea level…
What other changes in natural phenomena do you know of as a result of global warming?
How will predicted climate change affect your life?”
Hmmm. The author may be referring to the prediction in 2005 by the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) of 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010. An astute reporter for Asian Correspondent realized last year that the prediction had fallen due, but not a single “climate refugee” could be identified. Embarrassed, UNEP and its scientific boosters furtively rubbed out their map of 50 million climate refugees, circa 2010, and shifted the year out to 2020.
Let us move on to the next way-station along the kiddie-art climate trail.
At Kiddie Station 2 we find David Davies (1890), Under the Burden and Heat of the Day, which shows a swaggie near-collapsed from heat and being offered a mug of water by his fellow swaggie in the red shirt.
“…Australia is getting hotter and climate change has arrived. There is more on the way, but how much of an increase will depend on us. How do we cope with such heat? Massive air conditioner use threatens peak electrical supply while the electricity used to power them comes mainly from coal. Greenhouse gases are produced to cope with the symptoms of existing greenhouse gases – we are kelpies chasing our tails on a hot day.
Renewable energy, better house design and a reduction in the atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases will all be needed if we are going to beat the heat…
How can we keep cool without making demands on energy supplies? How do we know whether our individual actions make a difference?”
It was a fairly hot day outside but cool inside the gallery. Reason: It is air-conditioned. 
Kiddie Station 3. A modern work: Tony Cran (2007) – “We’ve come for what’s ours” . This shows a kangaroo, a reindeer and a wolf on the coastline, two of them brandishing a eucalypt swatch.
Our narrator tells the kids:
“In this vision we have poisoned our environment with toxic waste and used up all the natural resources until the earth could no longer support us…In this painting, people are just a memory. The earth has survived and with it some of the plants and animals which lived in harmony with nature, only taking what they needed and adapting…
We have become reckless with our consumption, buying bigger and better things with more and more packaging [blah blah, insert here more Greens Party boilerplate].
Who should be responsible for the effects of our heavy consumption of resources? How can we reduce the cost of sustaining our natural resources?”
To me, this draws the long bow. For a start, although "people are just a memory", a lighthouse in the background is still lit up. Maybe the reindeer is maintaining it. Second, it’s nice that the three animals are living in harmony with nature, only taking what they need. Let’s hope for the ’roo and reindeer’s sake that this particular wolf is a vegetarian.
High chance of above-average rainfall for southeast Queensland until February
Wot?? No drought. Warmists are united in saying the the drought in parts of the USA is due to global warming so surely Australia should be having drought too? I hate to mention it, but Australia IS part of the globe!
THE chances of southeast Queensland and eastern NSW receiving above median rainfall from next month to February are 60 per cent to 75 per cent.
National Climate Centre climatologist Andrew Watkins said the forecast for potentially wetter than average conditions was because it was the wettest time of year for the southeast and an expectation that moisture would be dragged across the continent by warmer Indian Ocean temperatures.
``It will be wetter than the last forecast period but even though it will be above median odds, it will be nothing like (La Nina years) 2010-11,'' Dr Watkins said.
Chances of a drought-bearing El Nino occurring had reduced over the past two months and the Pacific ocean had cooled to neutral levels. It will be the first neutral summer since 2005-06.
Sea surface temperatures in the Indian ocean off the West Australian coast were the equal second warmest on record for October. A warm Indian Ocean is associated with increased summer rainfall over eastern parts of the continent and large parts of WA.
It and a powerful La Nina were the major factors in floods last year and in 2010.
Greens support sliding away in Tasmania
Tassie is the stronghold of the Greens in Oz
THE Tasmanian Greens and their leader Nick McKim have suffered a major slump in popularity, according to the latest EMRS poll.
At the same time that the Tasmanian Liberals have continued a strong showing in the polls, Mr McKim's approval rating as preferred premier and that of his party have dropped to the lowest levels since the March 2010 election when the Greens formed government with Labor.
The Opposition's push for a majority government also appears to be working, with the figures showing that for the first time since August 2011, the gap between support for the Liberal Party and the cumulative support of Labor and Greens has widened.
The poll of 1000 Tasmanians undertaken between November 12 and 16 shows support for Labor had remained steady while the Greens slumped by seven percentage points.
Coming off the back of calls for Mr McKim to be kicked out of Cabinet for linking forest protesters to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, the Greens leader's approval rating as preferred premier dropped from 15 per cent to 11 per cent, down from 17 per cent in May this year.
Ms Giddings approval rating as preferred premier grew 3 per cent to 25 per cent while Mr Hodgman's went to 47 per cent, up from 45 per cent in August but down from 48 per cent in November last year.
Support for the Liberal Party returned to that seen in August 2011, 55 per cent, largely on the back of a decrease in support for the Greens.
Ms Giddings said the Liberals' strong showing was the result of a strong advertising campaign off the back of tobacco donations. "It just goes to show what $40,000 of tobacco donation money can buy you in months and months worth of TV advertising," Ms Giddings said. "I believe you are also seeing people don't accept the glib one-liners from Will Hodgman."
Mr McKim said the poll had highlighted the volatility of opinion polls. "The Greens are not a poll-driven party," he said. "We will always act based on our values and what we believe is right, no matter what the polls are saying."
Will Hodgman said the poll showed that Tasmanians saw the Labor-Green experiment as failing. "It's clear that only the Liberals can deliver the strong, stable majority government that Tasmania needs."