Monday August 14, 2006, 11:20am WST
For Immediate Release
"The fact that the Prime Minister has conceded defeat over his Migration Amendment Bill 2006 constitutes a win for human rights, for decency and for the democratic process," WA Rights group Project SafeCom said on the breaking news.
"The defeat is also a win for what remains one of Australia's most powerful lobby groups that has operated since the Tampa standoff off Christmas Island," Mr Smit said.
"The win over the Migration Amendment Bill can however not lead to complacency for the refugee lobby. Some right-wing sections in the Howard government remain determined to treat unannounced asylum seekers arriving by boat as vermin, whose human rights should be undermined if not taken away," Mr Smit commented. "Knowing John Howard, it is imperative to remain vigilant, because 4600 islands remain excised from Australia's migration zone, and the $380 million dollar project on Christmas Island remains of course one of the favoured options where unannounced boat arrivals will now be banned to if they would arrive."
"Never mind the presence of the orange-bellied parrot on Christmas Island - the bird used by the Environment Minister Ian Campbell to grandstand over Victorian windfarms: the bird remains unlikely to rate a mention when it comes to the building of the mega-gulag on Christmas Island. This government remains a master-administration when it comes to spin and smoke screens when it is deemed suitable, as we have seen in the selling points around the Migration Bill - as if it would give equal rights to those who make landfall and those who only make it to one of the 4600 excised islands," Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]