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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Greens’ inquiry into Manus Island attack to go ahead

Posted by Steve on March 5, 2014

Manus-Island-protest

The Australian Greens’ inquiry into the attack on the Manus Island detention camp, which resulted in the death of Reza Barati, has been supported by the Senate.

“we have secured the only genuinely independent investigation into Reza Barati’s death,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“A man has died in the Australian Government’s care and anything less than a Parliamentary Inquiry would have been grossly insufficient.

“It was disappointing, though not surprising, to see the Liberal Party once again vote against transparency and accountability in an attempt to continue its cover-up campaign.

“Through this inquiry the workers who were there that night and the refugees who were attacked will have the opportunity to tell their stories, free form the Government’s gag order.

“It’s essential for us to find out exactly what happened that night and the Government’s internal review, as part of its coordinated whitewash, is simply not good enough.”

Amnesty International report shows why Australia must never revisit the Malaysia swap deal for seekers

Posted by Steve on May 24, 2012

Amnesty International’s latest annual report card explains in clear terms the risks involved were the Gillard government to succeed in its quest to resurrect the inhumane Malaysian people swap, according to the Australian Greens.

“The report states the deal to expel 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 refugees who were awaiting resettlement would contravene our international obligations to people seeking our protection,” Greens’ human rights spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

“It cites the successful legal challenge to the deal which resulted in the High Court reminding the Gillard government it must abide by the obligations of the Migration Act. The act forbids Australia from expelling people to places where their rights could not be guaranteed.

“Malaysia in August 2011 broke international law by forcibly returning Uighurs to China, routinely detains undocumented migrants indefinitely and in some cases canes them.

“The Gillard government ought to stop trying to revive the Malaysian deal as the Greens will never support it.

“Australia is also continuing to breach the Refugee Convention by warehousing asylum seekers indefinitely in remote and inhospitable parts of the continent. This is causing easily preventable mental and physical damage to people who’ve fled persecution, torture and trauma.

“The Amnesty report also notes the shameful continued violation of the rights of First Australians. For example, indigenous residents in remote parts of the Northern Territory have limited access to basic services like water.

“Instead of being a world leader in upholding people’s rights, Australia has in the past year recoiled and rejected many United Nations recommendations that would have improved human rights.

“While the federal government agreed to ratify an Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and consider ratifying a convention for indigenous people, several important rights advancements continue to be ignored.

“On a positive note, in February 2012 all Australian federal, state and territory governments endorsed a national plan to reduce violence against women and children.

“The Greens will continue monitoring how governments are adhering to this plan, as well as continuing our efforts to ensure the government stops trampling on the rights of Australia’s indigenous people, asylum seekers and other people at risk of harm.”

Citizenship shambles at Noosa Australia Day ceremony – it had nothing to do with the rain

Posted by Jim McDonald on January 26, 2012

I have just returned from the Noosa Australia Day Citizenship ceremony. I have mentioned elsewhere that I regard these ceremonies as one of the most solemn and important secular ceremonies in our country. I stayed until the end of the formal “ceremony” and left in disgust.

You’d think, that if citizenship and welcoming migrants as fellow Australians were important, some thought would be put into ensuring their formal induction is a memorable day for those people who have come to our country, and decided to adopt the responsibilities of full citizenship.

What the Sunshine Coast Regional Council dished up was an appalling, ocker display that appeared to have been put together in the most diffident fashion. Mayor, Bob Abbott, for the most part was the only speaker to give the ceremony some gravitas. Bob couldn’t help himself and finishing off with a loud “Aussie, Aussie Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi” at the end of the formal ceremony was a banal end to his barely audible reading of the Oath and Affirmation.

They were the only clear words we heard from Bob Abbott. He spoke quietly into an inadequate PA system and could not be heard by most of the audience. A Council, which will spend $80,000 on electrical equipment for a commercial food and wine festival in Noosa, could not even be bothered installing a professional PA system.

Councillor Russell Green gave a blokey introduction to the MC whose only qualifications for the job seemed to be inappropriate blokey in-jokes [Cr Green really hit the mark] and the fact that he’d been the presenter for some travel program. Enunciation was not one of his qualities and I wonder what those new citizens for whom English is a second language made of it. At the end of what should have been an important and significant highlight of the morning he engaged in banter about football and cricket.

Noosa Citizenship

Noosa Citizenship Ceremony, Australia Day 2012 (photo: Jim McDonald)

I didn’t stay to hear any of the other speakers so I didn’t get to hear local member Glen Elmes who looked not the least embarrassed by the nonsense and I wondered whether a woman’s voice would be heard on stage before the pipe band arrived.

This appalling clique that was onstage throughout has got to go!

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate, Noosa
Australia Day

Greens candidate to attend citizenship ceremony in Noosa

Posted by Jim McDonald on January 25, 2012

The Greens candidate for Noosa, Dr Jim McDonald, said he will be attending the Australia Day ceremony at the Recreational Hall at Wallace Park.

He said, “I think it is important that a candidate aspiring to represent Noosa should be present at the formal induction of new citizens into the community.

“Citizenship ceremonies are one of the most moving secular ceremonies in our nation. I have always admired the bravery of migrants who choose to set up a new life in Australia and to formally identify themselves with our nation by taking on citizenship.

“My own migrant origins in Australia stretch back 180 years, so there hasn’t been a tradition in my family of people formally taking on citizenship. But the challenges facing today’s migrants and my forebears who were free settlers are similar in many respects.

“Some of our new citizens will have fled tyranny and persecution and we welcome them into our community and wish them a safe and prosperous future in our country.

“On behalf of the Noosa Greens, I welcome all our new fellow Australians.”

Jim McDonald
Greens Candidate Noosa

Media Release, 25 January 2012

Greens condemn inhumane Malaysian people swap deal

Posted by Steve on July 25, 2011

The Australian Greens have condemned the Malaysian Solution reached today which will involve sending up to 800 people, including unaccompanied children, to an unknown fate.

“Under this deal, the Australian government is shirking its international obligations to offer protection to those seeking our assistance,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

“The Greens are doubtful that in reality the rights and protections of 800 vulnerable people sent by Australia will be any different to the 94,000 asylum seekers already in Malaysia.

“Ultimately these 800 people will be subject to domestic Malaysian law, and we know these laws do not meet appropriate human rights standards.

“We do not support any policy to expel unaccompanied children and families to a country which has not signed the UN Refugee Convention.

“This four-year deal is a waste of Australian taxpayers’ money that would be better spent increasing our humanitarian intake so 800 people do not have to board boats before 4,000 refugees are taken from Malaysia.

“Both houses of parliament have already condemned this deal, but it can be enacted because the Immigration Minister does not need parliament’s approval.

“Nearly 10 years ago the Greens condemned the Pacific Solution. We condemn its newest version, the Malaysian solution.”

Greens condemn Malaysian human swap following new revelations

Posted by Steve on June 2, 2011

“The documents clearly show terms such as ‘asylum seeker’ has been replaced by ‘illegal immigrant’ and there’s no mention of human rights,” Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“While the Prime Minister claims the 800 people to be sent to Malaysia will be treated in accordance with our human rights standards, these documents, and e-mails from the UNHCR, ridicule her remarks.

“In this race to the bottom between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott to see how tough they can be on asylum seekers, where is the Prime Minister’s bottom line on walking away from the human rights she says would underpin the agreement?

“We also have confirmation that unaccompanied children already on Christmas Island will be expelled to Malaysia – something the Greens have long feared would happen.

“The Immigration Minister has a clear conflict of interest, because he is by law the guardian of these children and must ensure they are not endangered.

“By emphasising the government is trying to send messages to people smugglers, Mr Bowen is ignoring the nine unaccompanied children already on Christmas Island.

“Australia has domestic and international obligations to ensure the safety of these children.

“Australian tax payers’ money should not be spent on this deal which means Australia pays the cost for expelling 800 people and having no say in how those asylum seekers will be treated.

“The Australian government should walk away from this deal if it cannot guarantee that Australian human rights standards will be used in the final agreement, which must be made public whenever the two governments sign it.”

The Greens’ policy on asylum seekers can be found here

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