24.6 C
Byron Shire
May 8, 2021

Stop demonising displaced people

Latest News

Join Clarkes Beach paddle out this weekend to stop massive oil and gas field project

Hundreds of local surfers and water-lovers will paddle out at Clarke’s Beach over the weekend to protest against a massive oil and gas field proposed for the NSW coast.

Other News

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

The legal smoke

Paul Rea, Coorabell While Labor stopped taking donations from the tobacco industry in 2004 and the Liberals followed suit a...

House? What house? Stolen car crashes into Terranora house

Police say a house in Terranora is significantly damaged thanks to a mystery thief in a stolen car crashing into it over the weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire and Beyond

A huge amount of entertainment all crammed into one space.

Rous Chair Keith Williams looks ahead

Since the Dunoon Dam was shelved, Rous County Council has put a new draft of the Future Water Project...

Government fails to support dying at home in Northern Rivers

Approaching the subject of dying is always tricky, often awkward, and never easy. But when you are faced with caring for someone at the end of their life, it helps if you can find support from people who have already navigated the path.

Joyce Morley, Tweed Heads South

I am appalled at the situation of asylum seekers being treated like a political football. It started after the events of 9/11 when the Howard government linked refugee boat arrivals with possible terrorist activity. The fear-invoking tactics used then are still being used by both the coalition and Labor to win elections.

There are people fleeing persecution all over the world. As long as there are wars, injustices, oppression, poverty and harsh environments, there will be refugees seeking a better and safer life for themselves and their families. So it is impossible to ‘stop the boats’.

On ABC1’s Q&A program (July 4) it was made very clear that Indonesia will not accept the return of refugee boats into their waters. So this puts an end to the coalition’s ‘turn back the boats’ policy.

There must be a better way to treat those less fortunate than us. As if they haven’t suffered enough, we treat them with suspicion; we lock them up indefinitely in remote locations in sub-standard conditions; we separate families; we deny them the right to work; and we stop assessing their claims for asylum. And to top it all off, we now accuse them of being economic refugees (even though when claims were still being assessed 90 per cent were found to be genuine).

What is the solution? First, stop referring to asylum seekers as a ‘problem’. They are human beings who are suffering and in need of help. It is time that politicians take a humane bi-partisan approach to allowing safe and speedy re-settlement of genuine refugees. I recommend that they refer to the Greens Immigration and Refugee Policies in order to find a kinder and fairer way forward.

Let’s stop demonising desperate displaced people as if they are criminals in need of deterrence and punishment. Instead treat them with the compassion and dignity that we would expect if we were in their shoes.

 


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

1 COMMENT

  1. That seems to be the Achilles heal of the major parties’ argument of why we need to stop refugees getting here by boat, they haven’t raised a single logical, rational argument why we need to stop refugees getting here by boat. Even all the SOLAS arguments say we should get them off those death traps and to dry land (Australia)as quickly possible, not return them to the vagaries of the open ocean and knowingly potentially to their deaths. These people are seeking asylum from persecution; regional businesses want them to fill the gaps in employment and they are outnumbered by genuinely illegal immigrants who arrive by plane with no legitimate legal claim to stay by hundreds to one yet we are spending billions on stopping this non existent ‘problem’. Two words must occur to Labor and Liberal politicians as they step off the podium from yet another ‘stop the boats’ media moment – ‘sucked in’.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man dead after boat capsizes near Yamba

Police say a man has died and a second has been taken to hospital after a boat capsized south of Yamba this morning.

Jonson Street bus shelter gone and an era ended

Byron Shire Council says that the wooden bus shelter on Jonson Street outside the Byron Visitors Centre is being removed today with all bus services operating from the new bus interchange on Butler Street in Byron Bay

Upside down river

Tim Harrington, Lennox Head Letter contributor Richard White (letters 21/4/21) quite correctly identifies the Richmond River as an ‘upside down river’ and nowhere is this more...

Ballina Dragons’ great results at Urunga

The Ballina Dragon Boat Racing Club is a group of paddling people from all walks of life who enjoy being out on the water having fun and keeping fit.