Wednesday May 12, 2010 9:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"Billions of dollars have been invested in the false but widely swallowed notion of border security in yesterday's Budget, and this ghastly squandering of taxpayer's money completes the fallacy and politically motivated lie and nasty denial of the UN Declared Convention Rights of the world's most vulnerable in the world," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
In the budget the government included more than $500 million dollars for "Australia's national security capacity", $38.5 million for "organised crime" and $1.2 billion for "border protection" - but most of these vast amounts of money will be spent to try and stop refugees from coming here and criminalise those who assist them in the journey."
This gross amount of expenditure completes the nasty tomfoolery of the government, falsely telling the public that maritime refugees arriving on our shores constitute any threat at all to Australia's national security," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"The budget funds back the vulnerable but entirely politically manipulated attitude around the fact that Australia's "borders" consist of 59,736 kms of coastline, and both major parties have firmly locked themselves into the lie that the borders should be protected, as if that is possible for Australia as the world's largest island nation. To many people around the world Australian politicians are becoming once again the laughing stock of our nation's sick control obsession with the border."
"Kevin Rudd has shown himself up as an opportune userer of an uninformed electorate, and just like John Howard, he banks on support from voters who know nothing about Australia's obligations - and he's not about to tell them about these obligations."
"The budget could instead have shown a mere five million dollars or so for 5-7 large aircraft charter flights to Jakarta to pick up 2,500 refugees stuck there for up to nine years. These could be brought to Australia, assessed as refugees, deported to safe third countries if their assessment proved unsuccessful, and these flights could be repeated on an annual basis. By arranging them in secrecy, they would leave smugglers to wonder what has happened to their business, and we would not need to have the sickening increase in border security, naval resources and intelligence gathering of the current budget: there would be no boat arrivals."
"The fact that refugees, including those coming by boat, are a humanitarian issue and not a "border protection" issue is almost entirely lost to the commentariat, to almost all politicians, and to almost all reporters, journalists and media outlets," Mr Smit said.
"One thing stands out in this entire scenario, and that is, that nobody in their right mind who wants to bank on Australia being a humanitarian country, can possibly vote for any of the major parties at the next election. Australia is a basket case in terms of its compliance with International law and United Nations human rights conventions and Kevin Rudd is about the last person to bring us up to the world's best practice standard."
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]