Friday, June 29, 2012

Parliamentarians 'pull your fingers out'! + Asylum seekers

One of the best things about the past two days was that all sides of the political divide came together in an attempt to provide a workable solution for border protection, as well as humanitarian options for genuine asylum seekers who risk their lives to travel to our shore by boat. It didn't matter that the bill, as amended didn't get through the senate, what did matter was that the debate occurred and that perhaps over the next six weeks of the Winter break parliamentarians have the opportunity to think really hard about the big picture and how they might be able to work together to resolve this issue, which not only affects Australia, but the rest of the world. Whilst there is poverty, famine, oppression or war individuals will wish to flee their country and seek somewhere safer for themselves and their family, and as citizens of the world we have a responsibility to each other to ensure that they have a safe place to live. Sure, what complicates this is that we in Australia (as other countries do) need to protect our borders from those particular individuals who might want to threaten our biodiversity, our marine life, our ships or our personal freedoms and, our border protection policy ensures that these undesirables will not gain entry. However, in our desire to filter out genuine asylum seeks from those who might threaten our life and liberty we become confused and sometimes see desperate people fleeing persecution as potential terrorists. The government needs to come up with a long term working solution that will ensure that genuine refugees are not treaty badly whilst their applications for asylum are being assessed. Surely this could be accomplished faster. We have a responsibility that can no longer be shirked and we need to call on the government to forgo politics and think ethically about a problem that's not going away any time soon. So come on parliamentarians  'pull your fingers out' and get the job done!

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