Australia’s Asylum Seeker Policies Immoral

Off-shore detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island were set up in cooperation with the Nauru and Papua New Guinea governments. These detention centres are remote and lack public scrutiny.

The Australian government is taking advantage of some of the hostile public reactions towards asylum seekers to control the refugees’ entry into the country.

The Australian government has not taken any action to educate the general public about the asylum seeker issue that helps them accept the refugees into the society.

Politicians determined that the general public was hostile to asylum seekers but did not seek to change their attitudes, and implemented asylum seeker policies that prevented refugee entry, said Monash University politics lecturer, Waleed Aly. “There has been a… deliberate avoidance of educating the Australian public on the issue.”

The government is looking into reinstating off-shore processing policies that were part of the abandoned Pacific Solution.

Shadow Finance Minister, Andrew Robb, said that off-shore detention centres like Nauru Island will deter people smugglers from sending asylum seekers to Australia.

Refugee advocates do not support off-shore processing policies.

The public does not have access into off-shore detention centres, and this lack of public scrutiny led to the abuse of human rights on Nauru Island a few years ago, said Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Campaign Coordinator, Pamela Curr.

Refugee advocates also think that mandatory detention for asylum seekers should be stopped.

“This is an absolute disgrace in this nation. There are no other Western nations that have a system where by law, a person entering Australia and seeking asylum who doesn’t have a visa must be locked up indefinitely,” said Curr.


Experts Want Melbourne Water Prices Raised

Wonthaggi desalination plant is expected to produce more water than is required and may discourage efficient water usage, while the North-South pipeline is depleting water supply in Northern Victoria.

Water use experts say that Melbourne’s water prices should be raised to encourage efficient water use as a sustainable water supply strategy.

The Victorian government’s projected water price increase is not sufficient to promote efficient water use.

“There’s not a lot of evidence that shows that pricing of water controls demand of water and efficient use,” Environment Victoria CEO, Kelly O’Shanassy said. “I support proper pricing of water, and what it should include, is the impact on the environment.”

The experts prefer water pricing control as a water sustainability policy over the Victorian desalination project and North-South pipeline.

The upcoming Wonthaggi desalination plant is an expensive investment, and is expected to result in significant negative environmental impacts.

O’Shanassy said that the desalination plant’s large scale produces more water than required and may discourage efficient water use.

Sustainable water use expert, Dr Grace Mitchell, said, “It’s a reasonably energy hungry source of water… when we already know that we’re having an impact on the environment as far as greenhouse gases, we go and choose something that is going the wrong direction.”

Water from the North-South pipeline should be reserved for communities and rivers in the dryer North, instead of being brought to Melbourne, said O’Shanassy. “It’s… a silly investment, and it won’t produce a whole lot of water into the future.”