Saturday, June 18, 2005

PM caves in, but the policy still remains

Rebel lib admits defeat on core demand - National -

Refugee advocates have welcomed the Prime Minister's changes to the policy of mandatory detention, but we are not happy with the way things have turned out as this may have an effect to quiet the issue down. Rebel backbencher, Petro Georgiou admitted defeat, abeit the changes, because the system of mandatory detention still remained. Senator Bob Brown called the changes 'crumbs,' and he said it did not lessen the need for the bills to be passed - despite Georgiou backing down.

As activists we cannot spit on the changes but also the policy is still there. People are still being locked up and the changes are just a means to shut us up, and unfortunatly for Mr. Howard this will not happen.

The idea that children are being released into the community is a falacy. They will be placed into a hostel environment and these children and their families will still be in a detention environment, with constant monitoring from immigration guards.

The problem with the changes is the effect it will have on public opinion. People may now gain the impression that the problem is over, but it is far from it. On Sunday, there will be a protest to mark world refugee day at Hyde park - stay tuned for a report on this.