Nowra City Church’s Position on Asylum Seekers.


Recently I copied a Facebook post from Liberal Member for Gilmore, Joanna Gash’s Facebook Wall. The post said this: “ Did you know that more illegal boat arrivals have come this year, 11,616, – than in the entire 11 and a half years of the Howard Government 11,584”.

There was a fair dialogue on the post and then I found out it turned up on Blog site that can only be described as a place where Haters huddle together in the creepy gutless cave of anonymity, waiting to strike in a feeding frenzy of hate filled vitriol.  The blog was titled “Nowra City Church Preaches Against Asylum Seekers”

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The interesting thing is that, I only made the original post and one other comment. In this other comment, I actually spoke of my struggle to come up with a humanitarian response due to the complexity of the issue:-

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But there was a fair frenzy of hate on the blog toward me. Here is just one example:

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Anyway, since then, I have researched, read and spoken to alot of people on the issue of Asylum Seekers. I have also taken part in a Discussion Panel in a Public Forum setting with the Shadow Minister for Immigration, Scott Morrisson, a member of the Greens Party, a local newsreader and adjudicated by the Editor of the South Coast Register. To that end, I now have a position on Asylum Seekers, so here it is

1) I think we should stop calling the people who arrive by boat into our Northern Waters, Asylum Seekers. The Term Asylum Seekers is a de-personifying term and I think we should simple call them People. This should remind us that, every person on a boat arriving into our waters, is indeed a person. A mum, a dad, a scared little child, two teenagers that maybe fell in love on the trip over.

2) The people of Australia elect the Government of the day to govern and to do that in a strategic well thought out way. I understand its not always that simple. However the Gillard Government’s policy on the people arriving by boat, seems to be a “make policy on the fly” type of deal. There seems to be no strategic thought, no commitment to bring about a humanitarian resolution and obviously little or no communication with our northern neighbours.

3) According to my research, there have been just over 600 people who have drowned making the ocean crossing into Australian waters. These are the ones we know of. People leaving Sri Lanka in particular are subjected to a treacherous span of ocean that may well have claimed more lives than we know. If you add to the 600 people statistic, the fact that 433 people would have drowned 6 years ago had it not been for the Tampa Freight carrier picking them  up, you then have over 1000 people who have drowned or came very close to it. My issue is that most of these people are pre-Australians, and if 1000 Australians had of drowned in the last 6 years, there would be Royal Commissions, new laws, new anti drowning advocate groups, there would be national remembrance day etc. But because these people aren’t yet Australians, it like we throw our hands in the air and say “oh well I guess its an acceptable rate of death” It isn’t.

4) The Greens Policy is to have an open border in our North. The Shadow Immigration Minister summed up the Greens policy like this:- “The Greens Policy on Refugees is to fire a starting gun and whoever gets here can stay”. If we are going to do that, which obviously makes the boat trip attractive, then lets run Federally Funded Ferries from Indonesia to Christmas Island. At least if we do that, people will not be drowning.

5) My position is that we should close the Northern Borders of Australia completely so that the boat trip across is simply not worth the risk. At the same time, we should have a generous and sustainable Immigration Policy, understanding that we have a responsibility as a prosperous country within the Global Village, to shoulder some of the weight of caring for people fleeing persecution and war in their own country. The problem that currently exists, is that it’s often the poorer countries that carry most of the weight. Pakistan for instance took in 1.1 million refugees last year.

6) I also have a problem with the Bridging Visas that the Government has just bought in. As part of those Visas, a person waiting processing will receive an allowance from the Government of about 80% of the current Dole payment. This too me doesn’t seem too “humanitarian”. How is a person expected to live in Australia receiving less than the Dole and not allowed to work.

7) There are significant other challenges for people on these Bridging Visas. Real Estates don’t want to sign a lease with people on these Visas, DVD stores wont allow them to start an account to hire movies and they cant hold a drivers license. Whatever solution the Government of the day ultimately settles on: these issues must be dealt with. If we are going to welcome people into our country, then lets not welcome then and then make them live in the tool shed out the back.

I liked the quote from Scott Morrisson last week. He said “There is no decision in the Immigration debate that is free from moral burden.”

So that’s my input into the Immigration Debate.

Peter Pilt

Twitter @PeterPilt

Facebook.com/peterpilt



Categories: Australian, Church related, Current Affairs, Political Commentary or Thoughts, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Hi Peter,

    I have more information on this topic in an assignment I did for TAFE. I specifically looked at the detention centre problems and our responsibilities under treaties we have signed. if you would like a copy just message me on Facebook. I’m on your list
    Dianne Boulton

  2. Peter, I believe you have hit the nail on the head in all areas, Australians are not anti Immigrant, they are anti que jumpers, who destroy the property of taxpayers because they demand Human rights as advocated by the UN.. 80% of the dole would mean they would be marginally better of to remain in Detention centers where they are fed and accommodated, and are taught some skills although basic. The Greens have not got a clue and I must say the sooner we get rid of them the better. Anything to do with reasonable policy is rejected at all levels by the Greens who are waving there deciding votes like big sticks.The Same sex marriage bill was defeated, so now it all starts again State by State……so many important issues for Parliment, and all this time and money lost on a cause that is .not going to resolve the major issues confronting the country. Personally I feel Australia should ditch the UN Treaties, no one else takes them seriously, or practices them at all. The first thing I would ditch is Multiculturalism. Europe has been a multicultural continent for Centuries., and its been one war after another or just one ongoing conflict. We had a chance to avoid that, because we used to be many Nations but assimilating into one culture. But as long as we do not assimilate, we will become a war zone like Europe and the Middle East. Respect is earnt, not a Human right, and that has served this country and its original migrants well.I believe we should reduce and not increase our intake of immigrants, and also be more selective as some cultures do not or wont assimilate even if Multiculturalism wasnt the policy. We want a peaceful future for our children and Grandchildren, and at the same time hold to the culture that our Fathers and Grandfathers fought for regardless of their Nationality.We also owe them that respect.

  3. My problem was not so much your post but the complete refusal by most of the so-called Christians who were displaying very un-Christian behaviour to acknowledge any information which should’ve quelled their fear of illegals (sic). Also you removed my commenting privileges because I didn’t agree with the mob mentality of your fellow “Christians”.
    As for Scott Morrison, well it all makes sense now. He has a lot to answer …for making Christians feel ok to show no empathy, compassion and humanity. SHAME.on you all.

    • I didnt remove any comment. However your whole comment in the one above is a very broad generalisation that involves religiously vilifying all Christians. You dont input into the discussion whatsoever except to hate. But at the same time, critize christians who you have assumed all hate. Its a tad hypocritical.

      • Peter turn the other cheek

      • Donna, turning the other cheek doesnt mean allowing people to make broad generalisations about christianity without saying something. You say some really strange things you know. Funny how you will have a go at me and say nothing to the person who made the original comment. I think that is strange.

    • You didn’t remove my comments – I never said that – you removed my ability to comment & participate in the thread. You also banned me from viewing your posts. Good job not all your friends agreed with you on this one.
      As for generalising, I KNOW that all Christians don’t feel like the ‘Christians’ I encountered on that thread. The people there were like no other Christians I’d ever met. The Christians that I know have a genuine love and concern for people less fortunate than themselves.

      As for the original post; on its own it was very provocative and I wondered why you would fan the flames in this controversial topic. However, as I stated, that wasn’t my issue. My problem was with the ‘mine, mine, mine …sod everyone else’ attitude that errupted when a few of us came to the defence of asylum-seekers. I work with asylum-seekers so I do know a bit about this issue but nobody was interested in facts because that takes away their reason hate. And I”M the hater …puhleeeze.
      Love, compassion and tolerance were absent that day.

      Let me refresh your memory….

  4. fighting fire with fire is never going to work

  5. Yes I understand this but I have spoken with refugees who have spent 5 + years in a refugee camp in Malaysia. These people simply do not have the money to pay the people smugglers so are forced to spend the time in the camps fighting for their life. My thoughts are that by allowing such practices we are allowing those with money to jump the ahead of those less fortunate. Does this not fly in the face of what this whole process is about. Just simple thoughts of someone who struggles to understand what is really behind all of this.

  6. Hi Peter

    From reading your blog it appears to me you are an apologist for the liberal party. I suspect you have no idea what asylum seekers go through and by not directly addressing the term “illegals” you are contributing to the problem.

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