Tuesday September 25, 2007 7:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"In typical Howard government style, Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty gets it wrong on the issue of what could well be millions of people who may try to reach Australia in the context of climate crisis displacement," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"While Mick Keelty, as a true 'policeman', ramped up the issue of border security at the Adelaide Criminology Conference (news item below), the issue of displaced people and Australia's obligations to those who need our help, has always been a humanitarian issue, invoking our International obligations, rather than engaging the issue of border security," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"We have seen how under a Howard government the notion of Australia's humanitarian response lags behind the world on climate change and corrective action, and how Australia's humanitarian response has almost drowned under the ramping up of the notion of border security."
"Australia's most urgent issue is to bring the issue of displaced people back to the international fold, to return it to the notion of our humanitarian response and our international obligations, and to sweep it away from its xenophobic border-security quarters, where it has been quarantined for political purposes for too long under the Howard government," Mr Smit said.
"This radical return to where the issue belongs can probably not be accomplished at all under another Howard administration - this indeed needs a radical change of government and a radical return to a government prepared to 'ramp up' its humanitarian paradigm once more, like Australia did in the past," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]
Border security link to climate change: Keelty
ABC ONLINE NEWS
5:35 AM 25/09/2007
Posted 29 minutes ago
Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty says climate change will turn border security into Australia's biggest policing issue this century.
Speaking at a criminology conference in Adelaide last night, Mr Keelty said the predicted impact of climate change on China's food production could lead to a flood of displaced people seeking new homes in Australia.
"In their millions, people could begin to look for new land and they will cross oceans and borders to do it.
"Existing cultural tensions may be exacerbated as large numbers of people undertake forced migration.
"The potential security issues are enormous and should not be underestimated."