Pacific Solution for refugees in Australia: old policy, new situation

Andrew Robb, Liberal MP, said  the Party’s newest way to impede illegal-refugees entries is to use the Howard Government’s Pacific Solution and successful policies.

The current Australia Government has weakness on solving the illegal migration problem.

“The government is soft on adhering to laws,” said Mr. Robb. “Boats will be turned around where necessary to demonstrate a clear resolve that illegal entries will not be accepted.”

The number of asylum seekers travelling to Australia decreased from 5561 in 2001 to less than 150 in 2007.

Mr. Robb said the data shows the Howard-era policies can solve the illegal-refugee entry problem.

But not all the people agree with using Pacific Solution to expelling refugees.

“Howard turned Australians’ unfamiliarity with refugees into fear by demonizing them as terrorists and criminals.” said Waleed Aly, Monash University Politics Lecturer.

The offshore processing in Nauru, Christmas and Manu Islands shows the government is controlling Australian’s safety. But Mr. Aly said this repressive policy is inhumane.

“We as a nation amongst the world nations,” Pamela Curr, ASRC Campaign Manager said, “have got a responsibility (to take care of the refugee), because we signed the refugee convention.”

Arnold Zable, refugee advocate said a better leadership and a bi-partisan approach is more effective than using the controversial Pacific Solution to deal with this illegal entries problem.


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24 Billion Dollars On Melbourne Desalination Plant: Good or Bad?


The Victorian Government’s plan of spending 24 billion dollars on building the Victorian desalination plant caused a controversy.

 “If we don’t have a supply of water that is not climate proof,” Kelly O’Shanassy, Environment Victoria CEO said, “then more and more stress will be put on taking water out of our rivers to supply Melbournians”

The Victorian Government planed to build the desal plant to solve the water shortage problem in 2007

“There was no doubt that in building a large industrial plant with fairly well known mature technology will actually provide you a secure source of water,” Dr. Grace Mitchell, Independent Water Use Expert said, “(but it’s) energy hungry source of water.”

Kelly O’Shanassy said, “(The desal plant) is the most energy intensive way in the world you can use to create water”

To pump the desalinated water from Wonthaggi to Melbourne need lots of energy, this plant is an environmental disaster.

Dr. Mitchell said she was afraid that using the desalination plants would cause more environmental problems.

This desalination plant can secure the water, but cannot secure the river, such as Gippsland Lake and Yarra River.

Kelly O’Shanassy said, “Of course if you don’t have a healthy river, you can’t have a secure water supply for consumers.”

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Overloading Blocks Melbourne’s Traffic Network

Graham Currie, Monash University Public Transport Chair and Daniel Bowen, President of Public Transport Users’ Association said overloading railways and poor traffic system block Melbourne’s Traffic Network.

Professor Currie said the Melbourne’s railways have 100% growth in the past ten years. Now public transport has 40% of overloading in the peak, and that will get to 44% in five years.

The Victoria government will spend 2 billion dollars buying 38 new trains. “That would make a very little difference to overloading,” Currie said, “Because the 38 train just help us keep pace with the growth that is occurring.”

“The second (problem),” Mr. Bowen said, “It’s lack of services in so many areas, particularly middle and outer suburbs.”

Currie said poor traffic system make passengers change indirect routes many times to arrive destinations. Some buses finish by 10pm on weekdays and some do not run on Sunday.

Traffic will be twice as bad within 10 years. Streetcars will be slower and slower due to the traffic overcrowding.

Professor Currie said closing High Street, Victoria Street and Toorak Road halfway down and forbidding drive-through can make train attractive to take more passengers.