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Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan, the two liberal backbenchers who wedged John Howard over permanent detention and the jailing of children
In 2005 many of the secrets of the DIMIA came unstuck, lost Australians like Cornelia Rau were "found" by advocates in Baxter, and two liberal backbenchers, Petro Georgiou and Judi Moylan, heralded the most successful wedge against the Prime Minister John Howard since his manipulative undermining of human rights started during the Tampa stand-off in 2001: their Private Members Bills made detention policies come unstuck in a major way.

Archived pages 2005

Two liberal backbenchers, Petro Georgiou (Kooyong) and Judi Moylan (Pearce) grace this page for 2005, and that's well-deserved. What the opposition was unable, and largely unwilling, to do, they did - wedging the Prime Minister John Howard over the policy of mandatory detention. Petro and Judi eventually got all asylum seekers locked up since Tampa in 2001, out of the detention centres. We salute them with great honour.

But the year 2005 started with the devastating revelations that an unknown person locked up in Baxter's isolation compound called "Anna" was in fact an Australian citizen, Cornelia Rau. The Cornelia Rau revelations brought the start of a slow and painful undoing of the mismanagement of detention policies by the Department of Immigration, first in the damning report by Mick Palmer, then in the report by Neil Comrie into the other person who made the headlines in this context, Ms Vivian Alvarez-Solon.

Below are the pages we added to the website throughout the year 2005. There are also some links to other pages and sections on the website.




 



Royal Commission

The call for a Royal Commission into detention and the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and immigration detainees has always been relevant, especially since the 2001 Tampa stand-off. With Downloadable Petition Form!

Blog archives

18 October 2006: The Project SafeCom Blog Archives - This is the page that brings together all entries from our Blog. They are manually entered, so please accept apologies if sudden and new entries are not posted to this page immediately.

2005 pages

1. Refugee issues, policies

Year's End 2005: Our 2005 Press Clippings - Once again, just like last year, we are now able to bring you all the news that fits our mandate and that documents Australia's rocky human rights journey under Howard, as one-line links to their original locations.

1 December 2005: Petro Georgiou keeps up the pressure - Again Mr Georgiou speaks about asylum treatment in The House, reporting on progress and partly to bring down considerable pressure on Vanstone's latest dealings with an Indonesian family, who quietly sailed into the Australian territory just a few weeks ago.

20 November 2005: Chris Rau: Try follow the money trail... - "...one thing I keep getting back to, and that all of us should emphasise, is the potential for a public outcry if you follow the money trail. Forget human rights; forget the abuses that are still going on ... people simply don't want to know."

30 October 2005: Tony Kevin's SIEV X 4th Anniversary Speech - "All of us who care - and there are many of us - can use our rights of free speech and free enquiry, and free debate on the internet, to keep the questions about SIEV X alive."

27 October 2005: The Kiwi who went to Baxter - Two plain clothed policemen greeted me at the gate. They asked me to accompany them. They assured me that we were just going up the road and back. I knew I had nothing more to worry about than an overlooked traffic fine so, with curiosity and without concern I complied. Ten minutes later I was being held at the Maribynong Detention Centre.

25 October 2005: Chris Rau and her sister's 'illness-mongers' - I'm standing here today with deep disillusionment. I had the misapprehension that I was among idealists; among people who cared for the interests of people who don't have a voice, legally or otherwise. I thought you were all slaving away, with rings under your eyes, doing pro-bono work in your spare time...

21 October 2005: Marion Lê OAM testifies to the 2005 Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act - "My conclusion, after the last 30 years of working ... is that in the last few years it has developed a culture of denial, suspicion and active destruction of human beings. It absolutely defies belief that people can be that cruel to another human being."

19 October 2005: The SIEV X Landmark of Conscience - "When the evening ended, senators, members of the ACT assembly, officials from museums and planning authorities, and most importantly the refugees themselves, all expressed the same view. You must build it."

18 October 2005: SIEV X four years on: still drowning in spin - Like all disasters in the treatment of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia, the SIEV X affair will not finish until all questions are answered, all documents held in secret by the Howard government are released, and all those who know things they have not told the Australian people, have been subpoenaed to testify and also tell the full and unabbreviated truth about the SIEV X disaster.

16 October 2005: Gerry Georgatos on Australia's "refugee crisis" - "...current designs are shit, the rich exploit the poor, the few are sheltered from the many, if people in their hearts aren't evil their ways are evil, this system isn't working, and lies are manifest and swallowed..."

16 October 2005: Photos of our Fremantle World Refugee Day 2005 - During World Refugee Day weekend in 2005, we again had our stall and the Cage in a Daybreak in Detention event with Amnesty outside the Fremantle Markets in Fremantle. Here are the photos.

7 October 2005: The Migration Litigation Reform Bill 2005 - To propose further limits on legal services and judicial review after the wrongful detentions of Rau and Alvarez suggests that the Government has learned nothing from these tragic cases. These laws do nothing to confront the culture of denial and secrecy in the Immigration Department.

5 October 2005: Dave McKay's The Worst of Woomera - Woomera has been well and truly mothballed and most of the anonymous subjects of the stories live in the Australian community as refugees; but the horrendous period and the associated stories should never be forgotten.

27 August 2005: Don't ask too many questions: the story of DIMIA's cover-up of the Vivian Alvarez affair - this is a copy of a 2-part article from the Sydney Morning Herald, written by investigative reporter David Marr: "The lies that kept Vivian Alvarez hidden for years" and "The cover-up comes unstuck".

26 August 2005: Four years on, and still 'illegal'? - readings for Tampa Day 2005: zero changes in policy, and "...the fourth anniversary of the rescue of 433 asylum seekers by the MV Tampa is a reminder that major damage is still being caused..."

18 August 2005: When the Baxter fence closes: life after permanent detention - Life after Petro Georgiou seems to have changed considerably with detention centres running near-emtpy for asylum seekers. But, has it improved?

5 August 2005: The 2005 Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act - The two submissions Project SafeCom sent in for the Inquiry: Removals from Australia should be in line with Convention demands; The primary refugee determination system and also the RRT determinations have led to prolong the sheer agony of asylum seekers....

3 August 2005: Ensnared in a time warp; uninvited refugees inside Australia's immigration detention centres - "... immigration detention deprived children of their social development and excluded them from educational and developmental opportunities. They became Australia's little prisoners."

20 July 2005: David Marr and The Palmer Report - The Palmer Report, or the report of the Inquiry into the circumstances of the Immigration Detention of Cornelia Rau, is damning. And so is David Marrr's analysis from the Sydney Morning Herald.

Flag of Norway  18 July 2005: Har plass, ønsker seg flyktninger - (In Norwegian and English) Etter Australias brutale avvisning av den norske lastebåten Tampa, som hadde plukket opp en skipslast skipbrudne flyktninger på åpne havet, sitter vi igjen med et inntrykk av et svært lite flyktningvennlig regime. Hvordan er det å jobbe for at landet åpner sine grenser?

13 July 2005: Black and blue justice in Port Hedland - On December 4, 2003, anger arose at the Port Hedland detention centre: the authories told detainees that the girls could not visit because the refugees would rape them. Of course fury followed.

11 July 2005: Rino Breebaart, A Stateless Passport, Please - "In an ideal world, such an extensive devolution of the border mentality might actually induce many countries to work together and take the sting out of nationalistic politics."

Following them home11 July 2005: David Corlett, Following them home: The fate of the returned asylum seekers - "One of the things that I found that was almost universal was that the implications of Australia's detention policies continued to affect people's lives as they had been returned ... They spoke of, as a result of Australia's asylum seeker policies, of losing their dignity, of having lost their humanity, and they also spoke of being institutionalised in Australia's detention regime ... There was a couple of instances in Iran of people who had been sent back with documents that put them at risk, and they were interrogated as a result of those documents."

5 July 2005: Christine Rau: my sister's 309 days - "Cornelia has had a terrible ordeal and is understandably angry about it. She was locked up in isolation, has said she felt treated like a caged animal, for the crime of mental illness which led her to lie about her identity."

5 July 2005: Amnesty International: The impact of indefinite detention - This is Amnesty's Opus Magnum about Australia's policies since Tampa, where the organisation makes a case to change Australia's mandatory detention regime. "By implementing the model for change proposed, the government would meet its international legal obligations, protect human rights of asylum-seekers, and go some way towards introducing a humane immigration policy."

14 June 2005: Countering the Kooyong breakout: Howard supporters and their anti-Georgiou camp strategies - Since the February speech in Parliament by Petro Georgiou, several front-benchers in the Howard government have been beavering away in an effort to control the damage.

12 June 2005: A summary of the Georgiou Bills - This is a copy of communication sent by Petro Georgiou MP to all MP's in the Coalition government on 24 May this year. The communication summarises the two Bills tabled in the Coalition party room that same date.

8 June 2005: Debunking anti-Georgiou camp tactics - Myths are being peddled by A-G Phillip Ruddock, Hon Peter Costello, intended to influence Mr Malcolm Turnbull and others in the Liberal-National Coalition, in what we see as an attempt to discredit the Petro Georgiou Bills. Here are the facts that debunk those myths.

8 June 2005: Hiding in Melbourne, Australia: The Chinese Falun Gong Defectors - A fugitive Chinese agent hiding in Melbourne has been inspired by the recent defection of Chinese diplomat Mr Chen Yonglin to reveal information about human rights abuses in China, especially those against Falun Gong practitioners.

6 June 2005: Marion Lê OAM, Advancing the asylum-seeker cause - a case for pragmatism - "...give some insight into four areas pivotal to this notion of the PM that 'we decide who's coming and the means by which they come': Ministerial Interventions, dob-ins, false travel documents and the Pacific Solution.

31 May 2005: Holding the glass to our nation: human rights in an age of terror - "This idea that we should be protected from bad law and bad government shapes my thinking about the Australian response to the threat of terrorist attack. As governments search to protect the nation from evildoers, they are liable to inflict damage on human rights, which we generally take as given." Amnesty International's 2005 AGM speech by Chas Savage.

21 May 2005: The Federal Parliament and the Protection of Human Rights, by George Williams - "The Federal Parliament has a central role to play in the protection of the basic rights of the Australian people. To date, this role has not been fully realised."

20 May 2005: From container arrival to container storage - How the Dutch deal with their out-processed asylum seekers and unlawful non-citizens. "In a quiet corner of the often-deserted Merwehaven in Rotterdam, the Netherlands - a much quieter harbour than the high-tech Maashaven, two flat barges are moored..."

19 May 2005: How we were duped over Iraq: What We Were Told -Thousands of pages of evidence, hundreds of hours of hearings, scores of witnesses and long lists of recommendations have been produced in Australia, the US and Britain as official inquiries have tried to establish who knew what and when. The world now knows that the path to war in Iraq was paved with untruths, distortions and errors.

16 May 2005: Margo Kingston's Web Diary: Citizen Jack: How a man, a computer and a passion for justice can make a difference in today's Australia. Webdiarist Jack H Smit began Project Safecom after Tampa. He is now one of Australia's most respected and effective refugee advocates. Here is his story.

1 May 2005: The Art of Adam Janali - I am a refugee and I have an temporary protection visa. I am not a citizen, but I do have my human rights. Australians don't look at me like I am a refugee, no, because I am human and I have rights. I can't vote because I am not Australian, but I have other rights as Australians do. I can study, I can do my paintings.

25 April 2005: Does Australia Need a Bill of Rights? - Chief Justice David Malcolm's speech delivered in 1998. "The guidance provided by a Bill of Rights would be one way of both assisting the courts as well as re-asserting the supremacy of Parliament".

17 April 2005: Non-violence at the 2005 Baxter protests: Khristo Newall and the 'grappling hook incident' - Five Perth protesters who went to Baxter for Easter conduct a deliberate breach of the law in a conscious act of non-violent disturbance.

Mr Ruddock goes to Canberra14 April 2005: Geneva versus Canberra: Australia in the dock at the UN - The UN has again attacked the Howard Government's record on race, but this time the politicians are shutting up and news of the verdict isn't getting out. Back in 2000, the UN was unimpressed - and that's the Geneva problem in a nutshell: what works in Canberra doesn't work in in this town. The Howard Government message carries no particular clout. The power of jobs and patronage, so persuasive back home, has no impact in Geneva.

7 April 2005: Justice Michael Kirby, International law: the impact on national constitutions - Drawing upon sources found in international law as contextual principles, judges of municipal courts in this century will assume an important function in making the principles of international law a reality throughout the world.

5 April 2005: Project SafeCom's Chair Lynn MacLaren enters State Parliament - As a Greens Parliamentarian and activist, I have a responsibility to raise 'the community voice' in this chamber. And raise it I will, especially in regard to matters of injustice, indifference, short-sightedness and cruelty. I believe another world is possible. And that each of you has a part to play in bringing about that transformation.

1 April 2005: The April Fools of 2005: ALP attracting Liberal to bench - on April Fools day in 2005, we made a point with an April Fools press release. We made sure that those who need to hear it, heard the point we made.

30 March 2005: Once You've Been to Baxter You Can't Sit on the Fence - By Anna Rose, NUS National Environment Officer: "I spent this Easter in the desert. I spent this Easter protesting at Baxter detention centre to draw the world's attention to the injustice of Australia's racist and inhumane mandatory detention system and treatment of asylum seekers."

26 March 2005: Indefinite detention, Cornelia Rau and the denial of mental illness - Carmen Lawrence MP: We must ensure that our domestic law fully enshrines the principle that imprisonment should occur only after conviction by a court, not by arbitrary action of government.

12 March 2005: The testimony of Moira-Jane - Moira-Jane Conahan went to Woomera in March 2000. Her speaking out was one of the first witness testimonies that eventually dismantled the Woomera detention centre. "The night before I left we were watching Four Corners [...] but I laughed it off and with a minor amount of trepidation left for Woomera."

12 March 2005: Frank Brennan SJ, Australia's judicial isolation - "Perhaps the only cure for Justice Kirby's depression is a bill of rights which would force our judges to take up the slack in a post-September 11 world in which the Government will control the Senate, while thumbing its nose at international conventions and determinations."

8 March 2005: Life in detention, for seven years - the story of Peter Qasim, Australia's longest-serving detained asylum seeker, continues to make headlines, and some dusty aspects start to unravel. Not even inch by inch, but millimeter by millimeter.

The Perth-made debut movie Spell Me Freedom5 March 2005: A Perth-made Debut movie: Spell Me Freedom - Spell Me Freedom is a remarkable movie debut by media students and refugees from Curtin University in Perth. "Spell Me Freedom ... signifies a first for an Australian movie where refugees as actors build, re-build and tell the story that should be told again and again to an Australian and international audience." Directed by Dean Israelite.

4 March 2005: Jane Mayer, Outsourcing Torture: The secret history of America's "extraordinary rendition" program - "The Americans took him to an airfield, cut his clothes off with scissors, dressed him in a jumpsuit, covered his eyes with opaque goggles, and placed him aboard a private plane." (from The New Yorker).

2 March 2005: Let them stay or send them away? A paper about attitudes to asylum seekers - "...a large proportion of the Perth community expressed negative attitudes toward asylum seekers which appear to be largely based in false beliefs ... it would appear that a lot of work on preventing misconceptions about asylum seekers is necessary before Australia can call itself a just and accepting multicultural society." By Anne Pedersen et al.

28 February 2005: The forgetting of Peter Qasim: Greg Egan writes, Dick Smith speaks out - For many detainees in Baxter their life inside means hell for them, and they talk about 'week in, week out'. But for Peter Qasim life is a matter of 'year in, year out'. This page lists some recently published press articles about Peter, including the transcript of two radio interviews with Aussie Icon Dick Smith, who's taken up the banner for him.

27 February 2005: Life after Cornelia Rau: a People's Inquiry into Detention? - "last Saturday the Mick Palmer Inquiry Call for Submissions appeared in The Weekend Australian. While I think this should be called the "Mickey Mouse Inquiry", it may be a useful vehicle for some people to submit material."

27 February 2005: Talking about Cornelia: the Baxter detainees Statement - A page about Cornelia Rau, who was "lost" inside Australia as 'Anna', classed as an 'illegal immigrant' without any evidence for this by Department of Immigration staff.

18 February 2005: The Kooyong Break-out: abandoned backbenchers and 'small-l liberals' revolt - how Petro Georgiou, federal member for Kooyong, leads the quiet pack on a new trail of independence. "One Coalition senator crossing the floor after July 1 will be enough to defeat a Government measure opposed by Labor. Added pressures will come from a large back bench and the frustrated ambitions of those denied promotion."

11 February 2005: Visiting Baxter: Joy Huson and Gareth Evans visit the Baxter detention centre - "Her case exposes the treatment of people by DIMIA, the bungling by Public Services and the "I didn't know" from politicians who surely are required 'to know'."

10 February 2005: Kate Gauthier: The financial cost of Immigration Detention - "The current system of mandatory detention and the Pacific Solution is economic irrationalism at its worst. The administrative reasons for detention are false and the costs far outweigh the purported benefits. The system has been denounced by major NGOs, churches, lawyers, medical bodies, community groups and concerned citizens."

10 February 2005: The Cornelia Rau Inquiry: an emailed Call to Action - Dear all, the Cornelia Rau Affair and the subsequent government inquiry announced by the Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone, should serve all Australians with some very serious food for thought. Sent widely through our contact network.

2 February 2005: Never again, they said: Remembering holocaust shadows - Remembering holocaust shadows from my childhood: "as I heard the promise of Never Again remembered on the television during the commemorations of Auschwitz last week, a voice goes off in my head, 'Once More Please' "...

30 January 2005: History and Identity: Moluccans in the Netherlands - Ben Allen & Aart Loubert write about the story of the Moluccan community in the Netherlands. It is a long and complicated one, and has its roots in commercial expansionism stretching back to the early days of Dutch independence.

26 January 2005: Thai International TG993: A late night 'removal operation' - Sonia Chirgwin was waiting in the Sydney terminal for permission to re-board flight TG993, a Thai International flight from Bangkok which would be returning to Bangkok via Melbourne. She'd been in the air for nine hours ...

24 January 2005: PEN Australia: fighting for Writers in Australian detention - Arnold Zable, Melbourne PEN centre's spokesperson on refugees and writers held in Australian detention, explains what PEN Australia keeps itself busy with.

22 January 2005: The politicisation of Australian compassion: A case of tsunamitis? - Five eloquent thinkers and writers: Julian Burnside QC, Waleed Aly, Misha Schubert, Greg Barns and Anne Summers share their thoughts about the disaster and Australia's subsequent response to the international appeal. And in a late addition, AFL's CEO Andrew Demetriou joins the fray.

16 January 2005: The 2004 Changemakers Innovation Award - Project SafeCom prepared a submission for the 2004 Changemakers Innovation Award - an initiative of the US based Changemakers and Ashoka's Citizen Base Initiative (CBI). Preselection was due on 14 January 2005.

15 January 2005: Australia's response to asylum seekers in the Age of Terrorism - Dr Savitri Taylor of Latrobe University argues that the threat to national security posed by an individual can be no more or less by reason of immigration and citizenship status ... there can be no objective justification for according less procedural fairness to an asylum seeker who may pose a threat to national security ... also not since the 9/11 attacks.

15 January 2005: The Orwellian Removalists: disconnection of the heart in Australian asylum policies - One of democracy's main assets, 'your right to know', lays gasping as if for its last breath. To be replaced by it's bastard son, the 'not in the public interest' notion.

15 January 2005: No way out: the High Court and children in detention - In two important recent cases, the High Court concluded that the Australian Government has the constitutional and statutory authority to detain children mandatorily - even for years ... it is said frequently of Australia's constitutional system that 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. But if there is no way out for a child - it's broke.

7 January 2005: The Bakhtiyari Files - It is likely that the goings-on around the Bakhtiari case constitute one of the Howard government's biggest attempt at a refugee case management cover-up, and the fact that this was a cover-up is a lot more likely than that the Bakhtiaris were, as the Australian government stubbornly maintained, indeed Pakistanis.

5 January 2005: Changing worlds: the coming of envirogees - In the last week of 2004, when undersea earthquakes followed by tsunamis seriously impacted on countless local communities, the entire world was given a wake-up call which none of us can afford to ignore. An article by Project SafeCom's Jack Smit.

Amina Bakhtiari's last peek at Australia  4 January 2005:  Deported: the case of Ali Bakhtiyari - After their five-year struggle to get acceptance for their refugee claim, the Bakhtiari family was finally deported in the middle of the night shortly after Christmas 2004. This is the story of what wass reported as the last phase of their struggle, but we hope that the Bakhtiari case will haunt some agents in the Howard government for a long time - and realistically speaking, we don't expect it will.

2. Opinion, democracy and peace

20 December 2005: Jones and Lawrence: ALP leaders and the Terror laws - The ALP under the federal leadership of Kim Beazley did not cross the floor on the passing of the Terror laws in Federal Parliament - and while we think they owe some serious answers about this to the Australian electorate, there are some speeches from senior party members...

19 December 2005: An empty Senate as Terrorbill becomes law - "It is very important that people looking back on this moment know that the opposition caved in, to a government with a one-seat majority, to taking away Australians' rights without any return defined in terms of security and to eroding those rights unnecessarily--in particular, the right to free speech and the right not to be held without charge, trial or the ability to have a defence."

18 December 2005: Terrorlaw speeches by Bob Brown and John Faulkner - "...it is very important that people looking back on this moment know that the opposition caved in, to a government with a one-seat majority, to taking away Australians' rights without any return defined in terms of security and to eroding those rights - the right to free speech and the right not to be held without charge, trial or the ability to have a defence."

17 December 2005: Warning: this page may contain seditious writings - Read the information on this page by all means - but if you do, you may be charged with sedition under Australian law. You may even be charged by association - and you may not be told when you get arrested why you have been arrested.

16 December 2005: John Howard's New Fair Pay Man - Fair Pay Commissioner Ian Harper is unhappy with the "significant" aspect of the Harvester judgement: "the decision was made without reference to the employer's ability to pay - in other words, without reference to the underlying productivity of the labour being paid the basic wage".

15 December 2005: ALP leaders Barry Jones and Carmen Lawrence on the Terror laws - The Australian Labor Party under the federal leadership of Kim Beazley did not cross the floor on the passing of the Terror laws in Federal Parliament - and while we think they owe some serious answers about this to the Australian electorate.

15 December 2005: Terror laws at the West Australian State Labor Conference - On the weekend of 26/27 November 2005 the State ALP Party Conference took place in Perth. Delegates of the WA Anti-terrorism legislation Action group attended the conference and engaged the delegates, with a degree of success. Colin Penter of the WA Social Justice Network reports, followed by the motion that passed and an extract from the ALP Policy.

4 December 2005: Malcolm Fraser: Human Rights and Responsibilities in the Age of Terror - "The fact that the Government, with the support of the Opposition, has moved so far away from the Rule of Law demonstrates the fragility of our grasp of a liberal, democratic society. If we stand silent in the face of discrimination and in violation of the basic principles of humanity, then we betray our way of life."

29 November 2005: Speaking about the Bill: 3 Parliamentarians speaks out - On this page, three remarkable speeches in reply to the Anti-terrorism Bill No 2, 2005 - from 29 November 2005: Senator Marise Payne (NSW) who also chaired the Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee's Inquiry; the Hon Simon Crean and last but not least, Independent for Calare Mr Peter Andren.

20 November 2005: Eve Hillary, Rising New Movements of Social Justice - Around the world, individual persons, entire communities, fellowships and emerging sweeping movements have put the government on notice that Constitutional Laws and Human rights will not be violated in their area.

19 November 2005: Tony Kevin: The subversion of Australian Democracy - Under the new laws, it is possible that while we sit down to our Christmas dinners, Australian terrorism suspects will have been secretly rendered to offshore preventative detention on Christmas Island, effectively beyond reasonable defence lawyer access and the protections of Australian law.

17 November 2005: The Law Council opposes the Terror Bill - The Law Council of Australia urges the government to abandon proposals to introduce preventative detention orders and control orders. Persons not charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence should not be subjected by the State to imprisonment without trial...

17 November 2005: Will you Cross The Floor, Senator? - an unexpected window of opportunity has appeared, small, but significant. While Parliament was planning to rush these laws through, delays caused by the Industrial Regulations Bills postposed the debate and the voting for the Terror laws in the lower house.

12 November 2005: Of Treason and Sedition - Stop acting like an artist, and especially, stop critiquing Australian society if that includes the Howard government. You may be accused of treason or sedition. Some people already are, in underhand communication coming from the Prime Minister's office.

9 November 2005: The terror laws: What you can do - This page is a web-page copy of the Anti-terrorism Legislation Action Kit distributed throughout the networks shortly after a Perth Forum. The Kit is also downloadable from this page as a PDF File.

8 November 2005: Senator Rachel Siewert: Terror Australis - within the space of a few short months we are now experiencing a fundamental erosion of our democracy and the Australian way of life. The scope of this change is so large it is almost difficult to comprehend, and it is occurring across a front so wide that effective opposition seems to be stymied.

8 November 2005: Mark Cox LLB: Terrifying Democracy - Judges, lawyers, academics, civil and professional organisations, respected individuals, and wide sections of the Australian community, justifiably believe that the Bill and related Federal "anti-terrorist" legislation enacted since 2002 seriously undermine...

8 November 2005: Dr Carmen Lawrence's Freilich Foundation 2005 lectures - brilliant ALP backbencher Dr Carmen Lawrence delivers no-nonsense observations about Australian politics and Australian attitudes and highlights our Fear of the Other, our Fear of Crime, our Fear of Annihilation and the Australian couch attitude in Relaxed and Comfortable?. Over four pages!

7 November 2005: Michael Sinclair-Jones: Risking a Totalitarian State - My union believes the penalty aims to silence journalists, intimidate them into submission, and will allow miscarriages of justice to go unquestioned and - inevitably - unnoticed.

1 November 2005: When the Terrorist Strikes - Resources for Anti-Terror Bill dissenters - You may need to consider how you will have to publicly declare your hand of overt dissent ... if these laws stand as they are at the moment you may need to consider whether in your life a case exists for undermining these laws.

18 October 2005: Petro Georgiou: Multiculturalism does not breed terrorism - This is Petro Georgiou MP's reply to the 2005 Anti-Terrorism Bills. "... the commitment to multiculturalism has been a demonstrably successful response to the diversity of our population. In the war against terrorism, multiculturalism is an ally and not an enemy."

6 October 2005: When Terrorism Outlaws Democracy - In a country without a Bill of Rights, the prospect of more draconian Terror Laws delivers ultimate control through fear. Australia, with its history of penal colonies, racism and detention centers, is now set to become a police state.

4 October 2005: Bombs in Bali, but no Bill? - "....when the bombs hit the Kuta restaurant this weekend, I was looking forward to hearing from Bill. After all, Bill was blessed with the plum posting to Jakarta - the newly appointed Ambassador to Indonesia.

30 September 2005: Building Democratic Institutions for Our Communities - This person is a hitherto unique form of politician in Australia. He or she are not party-based, though she does have an organisation to not only formulate policy but to mobilise for her election. Neither is she independent, though she is certainly independent of the party system. A paper by Hamish Alcorn presented at the 2004 Brisbane Social Forum.

28 September 2005: A Mark Latham lecture: Don't go into politics! - If you are a young, idealistic person, don't get involved in organised politics. Contribute to your community, your neighbourhood, your immediate circle of trust and support. A Mark Latham lecture at the University of Melbourne.

23 September 2005: Report of the Webdiary and Club Chaos' Fremantle launch - with a speech by Carmen Lawrence MP: "I welcome this venture as the latest example of Margo Kingston's commitment to the ideal of quality journalism, a vital component of healthy democracy."

15 September 2005: Friends of the Earth Australia: A Citizens Guide to Climate Refugees - While the Earth has always endured natural climate change variability, we are now facing the possibility of irreversible climate change in the near future.

6 September 2005: The Tipping Model for business - Robert Woodhead proposes a tried-and-tested method for providing compensation - the offering and acceptance of tips - and provides an example of a successful internet business using this model.

22 August 2005: Margo Kingston's Webdiary goes independent - "Creating and building an independent, credible alternative media - a vital task in my view - will depend in part on citizen journalists. This media will need to revolutionise the standard reporting style to counter its co-option by the powerful".

18 July 2005: Feeling squeezed on a magnetic strip? - The London bombings provided a convenient intersection of events with the DIMIA debacles for Australian politicians, and consequently we revived the debate around the formerly failed Australia Card - the ID Card.

3 July 2005: Toe-ing the backbench rabble line - the backbenchers' working groups are set to become the true pressure groups within Parliament, and while the PM may well claim that the coalition holds a majority in both Houses, he should be warned...

31 May 2005: Holding the glass to our nation: human rights in an age of terror - "This idea that we should be protected from bad law and bad government shapes my thinking about the Australian response to the threat of terrorist attack. As governments search to protect the nation from evildoers, they are liable to inflict damage on human rights, which we generally take as given." Amnesty International's 2005 AGM speech by Chas Savage.

25 April 2005: Does Australia Need a Bill of Rights? - Chief Justice David Malcolm's speech delivered in 1998. "The guidance provided by a Bill of Rights would be one way of both assisting the courts as well as re-asserting the supremacy of Parliament".

5 April 2005: Project SafeCom's Chair Lynn MacLaren enters State Parliament - As a Greens Parliamentarian and activist, I have a responsibility to raise 'the community voice' in this chamber. And raise it I will, especially in regard to matters of injustice, indifference, short-sightedness and cruelty. I believe another world is possible. And that each of you has a part to play in bringing about that transformation.

12 March 2005: Frank Brennan SJ, Australia's judicial isolation - "Perhaps the only cure for Justice Kirby's depression is a bill of rights which would force our judges to take up the slack in a post-September 11 world in which the Government will control the Senate, while thumbing its nose at international conventions and determinations."

25 February 2005: Julian Burnside QC: Honesty matters: the ethics of daily life - "The essence of democracy is that the elected representatives are chosen because their constituents think this candidate or that will best represent their views in parliament. If a candidate lies about his or her beliefs and values, the democratic process is compromised. The greater the lie, the greater the damage to the true course of democracy."

19 May 2005: How we were duped over Iraq: What We Were Told -Thousands of pages of evidence, hundreds of hours of hearings, scores of witnesses and long lists of recommendations have been produced in Australia, the US and Britain as official inquiries have tried to establish who knew what and when. The world now knows that the path to war in Iraq was paved with untruths, distortions and errors.

Media Releases 2005

30 November 2005 ALP's Anti-terrorism Bill dissenters leave Harry Quick MP out in the cold
24 November 2005 Any talk of DIMIA "culture change" is hypocritical
12 November 2005 Baxter Fires: DIMIA vilifies detainees by "spinning line" about disturbances
2 November 2005 32 WA groups likely to express resounding "NO" to terror laws
26 October 2005 States should 'shred' Commonwealth Immigration prison detention agreements
19 October 2005 Four years on, an "Aussie" missing boat sparks massive search
7 October 2005 Disgraceful and draconian Migration legislation scheduled in next week's Senate should be stopped
30 September 2005 Considerable climate refugee quotas should be included in Pacific community plans
28 September 2005 Bakhtiyari Afghani identity papers were on Vanstone's Desk from January 2004
19 September 2005 DIMIA wrong "95% of the time", Vanstone's Baxter Cage spruce-up disgusting
14 September 2005 'Lame Duck' Opposition leader in Scott Parkin "security threat" places all Unionist protesters at risk
11 September 2005 Scott Parkin Affair: Ruddock, DIMIA deliberately blur line between terrorism and civil protest
7 September 2005 4 suicide attempts show detention madness continues with...
24 August 2005 Prime Minister and Treasurer play dangerous anti-Muslim control game
18 August 2005 Senators cower to John Howard's Orwellian island excision
16 August 2005 Refugee group remains 'alert and alarmed' over Howard's refugee trickery
10 August 2005 Senate should disallow Howard fiefdom's islands excision regulation changes
2 August 2005 Being an Aussie is a joke under new DIMIA bungling and insensitivity
30 July 2005 Vanstone's GSL outrage fine, but there are a thousand more stories
28 July 2005 Government's Orwellian Excision Game renewed under "freedom" media cries
18 July 2005 Only a Bill of Rights or Hacker Software would safeguard ID Card
17 July 2005 Sir Ronald Wilson's deep legacy has enriched Australia
17 July 2005 It's time for answers over Bill Farmer's DIMIA Indonesian bullying and bribes
15 July 2005 Palmer report does not uncover DIMIA's florishing 'dob-in culture'
15 July 2005 Palmer's "internal evaluation" report damning but 'suggestive' only
14 July 2005 Mick Palmer's No Royal Commission firms up resolve of human rights advocates
13 July 2005 Australia and Kenya played 'refugee ping-pong' with deportee in another DIMIA bungling
11 July 2005 Advocates and former Diplomat express concerns about Farmer
5 July 2005 "Baxter's dirty dozen" remain forgotten, miss out on Vanstone's Visa Lottery Draw
29 June 2005 "Don't rock the boat" Ombudsman office shows Howard's "soft detention adjustments" cannot be trusted
24 June 2005 Immigration is no Small Business, Mr Tony Burke, say advocates
21 June 2005 Long-term detainee Visa Invite does not reflect Vanstone changes
15 June 2005 Amnesty and Project SafeCom link to 'unlawfully detain' Australian citizens
14 June 2005 Carmen Lawrence MP to table Royal Commission petitions in Parliament
8 June 2005 (website) Second China Defector shows urgent need for Australian Falun Gong asylum
6 June 2005 Another DIMIA bungle results in unlawful detention of Serbian-Albanian couple
27 May 2005 John Howard should take new briefing over who is "illegal" and who's not
26 May 2005 Beazley should stop playing politics with democracy and human suffering
18 May 2005 Senate Inquiry should fry DIMIA over Afghanistan deportations MOU
18 May 2005 Re-open refused Bagaric RRT reviews, advocates say
16 May 2005 Vanstone, tell us your truths and lies about Peter Qasim
13 May 2005 Refugee advocates condemn Vanstone Visa change regulations
11 May 2005 Advocates applaud Greens on Vanstone censure motion
8 May 2005 Refugee advocates applaud ALP, launch Royal Commission petition
3 May 2005 Family members of refugees arrested, injured in high death toll Iran protests
2 May 2005 McGauran should stop being toothless and gutless over unlawful detentions
1 May 2005 Immigration Department deports using false travel documents, advocates claim
1 May 2005 Not just "a few" but 33 unlawfully detained, Senate records show
1 May 2005 Include detention deaths in Cornelia Rau Inquiry, advocates say
1 May 2005 Curtail DIMIA powers after deportations and demand Royal Commission
30 April 2005 Vietnam war commemorations should include reflections on refugee treatment
26 April 2005 John Howard's "final solution" should cause a revolution in Parliament
19 April 2005 Block Lynton Crosby's visa for New Zealand, says refugee group
18 April 2005 DIMIA Refugee assessment failure evident from ethnic cleansing and killings of Ahwaz Iranians
12 April 2005 Banned drug Vioxx use in detention centres demands answers and inquiry
7 April 2005 Iranian 'mental health challenge' asylum seeker released to psych ward
4 April 2005 "Baxter madness" court case will test mandatory detention policy
1 April 2005 (website) Secret plan uncovered to attract Lib MP to ALP front bench
29 March 2005 Ruddock Court cost proposal manipulates "fair go" principle
29 March 2005 Vanstone "Security scare" of 14-month-old baby refugee takes 8 or more weeks
27 March 2005 Mike Rann needs to come clean on "police dress-ups"
27 March 2005 "Overkill" police force arrests five Perth protesters
27 March 2005 Baxter Police behaviour and "media spin" scandalous, meanspirited
24 March 2005 New removal pending visa a "con job" to silence the backbenchers
23 March 2005 Announced "detention release grace" does not contain apology
23 March 2005 Quashed conviction of 'people smuggler' shows politically driven justice construct
16 March 2005 Australian-first in short movie with refugee-actors
16 March 2005 Immigration Department's "Gestapo Section" powers should be curtailed
14 March 2005 Another "granny": locked in isolation, in breach of detention standards
13 March 2005 Who will think of Darwin harbour child boat-prisoners?
7 March 2005 Vanstone should be sacked over illegal detention confinement
7 March 2005 PM should accept Dick Smith invite and visit Baxter
4 March 2005 10,000 skilled workers: already here: keen, willing - and hungry
27 February 2005 Project SafeCom welcomes Dick Smith Baxter visit
26 February 2005 Vanstone's 28 days detention limit doesn't undo DIMIA powers
25 February 2005 Vanstone should do work experience with advocacy groups
23 February 2005 Heads should roll in DIMIA over deportation of 104-year-old
18 February 2005 Project SafeCom Chair gets sworn in as Western Australian MLC
17 February 2005 Mick Palmer's Primary Cornelia Rau Inquiry Finding does not need an Inquiry
9 February 2005 Baxter detainees ask for extended Terms Of Reference in Rau Inquiry
8 February 2005 Vanstone's Rau Inquiry should be overridden by parliament and Australians
7 February 2005 Cornelia Rau case shows need for independent psychiatrists' Baxter access
31 January 2005 Christmas Island Detention Centre will no doubt become a US Army base
27 January 2005 Judiciary review and scrutiny should precede deportations
19 January 2005 Immigration Department plans sending UN refugee to his death
12 January 2005 'Glossy promotions lady' Minister Vanstone belies hideousness of new
11 January 2005 Immigration Department "desperately" trying to deport asylum man
7 January 2005 Lobby group warns government about tsunami's 'envirogees' intake
2008-2012
2005-2012
Project SafeCom