7 Apr 2011
WE THINK WE HAVE A PROBLEM--That's not a problem--This is a problem!
People who have fled desperate poverty or persecution or both should not be held behind bars and barbed wire say the United Nations.
The Australian Prime Minister has continued to justify the Government's dogged stance with the spurious suggestion that keeping new arrivals in detention is protecting the public from an unknown danger.
There aren't detention centres in Italy, in the past six weeks, 16,000 people have arrived by boat from Tunisia.
Between 12 to 13 boats are leaving Tunisia every day.
People who arrive by boat are put into holding centres but they're not locked up, they can come and go as they please.
On average, it takes two months to process asylum claims.
Once a person's identity is established they are given one of two potential documents - either please leave the country within five days or you are free to live in Italy if you qualify.
There are some obvious inadequacies with the Italian way, however you have to wonder why it takes us so long to process people who arrive in Australia.
I am not suggesting that we adapt the Italian model but there must be a better system than the one we presently use.
The costs associated with keeping these people under lock and key is exorbitant, surely speeding up processing is the answer, why can't we, are the Italians that much smarter than us...I don't think so!
THE AUSTRALIAN WAY
Frightening step towards a police state and we we are blindly letting it happen in the name of security.
The book is by veteran journalist Brian Toohey, and reflects his half century of writing about defence and national security issues. To...