Peter Pilt’s Thoughts on the High Court’s Decision on Asylum Seekers and Indeed on Asylum Seekers in General: Aren’t we Better Than This as a Nation?


The High Court of Australia today (3rd Feb 2016) ruled that Australia’s offshore detention of Asylum Seekers was lawful.

The implication of this decision among other things is:

  • Offshore processing of Asylum Seekers on Manus Island and Nauru will continue.
  • Up to 267 Asylum Seekers currently living on the Australian mainland will be deported to either Manus Island or Nauru. This includes 91 children, 36 of who are attending Australian Schools and 37 babies who were born in Australia.

The SBS website in its commentary of the decision and discussing the Government’s response said:

But the government is wary about the message being sent to people smugglers.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was concerned smugglers were channelling a message to potential customers that “Dutton’s a soft touch and you can put women and children on boats and be successful”.

Mr Turnbull issued a strong defence of the coalition’s border protection policies, insisting people smugglers would not prevail over Australia’s sovereignty.

“The line has to be drawn somewhere and it is drawn at our border,” he told parliament.

Here is what I think:

Under the Rudd/Gillard Government some 800 people drowned as Australia’s borders were opened through weak border policies. So we either need to charter ferries from Indonesia for Asylum Seekers or we need policies that close down people smugglers. Having said that though….

For the people who are Asylum Seekers, why don’t we as a nation err on the side of being generous humanitarians? There are enough reports coming out of Manus Island and Nauru that are damming of the conditions that these people are kept in. Additionally their mental health also has to be taken into account and from what I understand – and this doesn’t just come from media reports but from people who are connecting in the first person with Asylum Seekers, the incidence of mental health issues amongst these people is of a significant percentage. Sorry but this is not ok.

We are not a European country that is dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees: According to the Human Rights Commission Website, there were 1852 people in detention at the end of November 2015. So why can’t we look after these people better? Process them thoroughly, keep Australia safe and only let in genuine Asylum Seekers: but as I  read the stories online, hear personal stories and see the images – aren’t we better than this as a nation?

Come on Australia. Let’s not cower in the fear that terrorists and extremists want us to hide our humanity in. The people in our detention centres are exactly that…..people. People like you and me. Mum and dads, kids, young people who looked at life in Australia and thought it was worth risking everything for a chance to be an Aussie.

  • I get the concerns that extremist Islam brings to Australia.
  • I get the issues with softer border policies.
  • I have a little understanding of the financial ramifications of Asylum Seekers.
  • I certainly don’t want to make people smuggling attractive.

But I refuse to trade my basic humanity that looks out for his fellow man, for those issues above.

We are better than this as a nation.

Aussie Aussie Aus…..seems inappropriate right now!

Ps Peter Pilt

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Categories: Australian, Current Affairs, Global Care, Life

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7 replies

  1. Peter, living as I do in South East Asia, I know first hand the rorts which happen re. refugee status.
    I know many people who have claimed bogus refugee status, particularly from Myanmar. The West is well known for falling for every make believe teary story and even those working among the refugees are not beyond helping them falsify their claims.(several I know personally)
    Doesn’t it seem odd to you that many so called refugees will travel well beyond the first safe port of call to get to countries like Germany, Sweden, America, Australia etc. where they are guaranteed income of a certain level (without having to work for it), free housing (and obviously at the expense of veterans and the homeless in those nations).
    Many, particularly Muslims, are violently opposed in many cases, to Christian and Western values and crime rates, particularly rape and theft, have risen exponentially in Germany and Sweden (where one in four Swedish women stands to be raped, according to information I’ve read). Peter you have a wife and daughter (s). Is it worth that risk to you? Right now Europe is on the verge of civil war because of left wing governments who are ‘turning a blind eye’ to these events.
    As an Australian who served in the military and with a grandfather, father, uncles and nephews who have served and currently serve, I am appalled at the left and its’ ‘wishy washy tolerance’, for even contemplating unleashing upon us these same savages who are currently plundering and raping Europe, Britain and elsewhere. I consider myself a Christian and a humanitarian, but there is no way I would countenance willingly endangering my family or countrymen for an experiment which will surely fail.
    However, there is another option to help and that is to provide housing, food and education in the first country of escape for these people eg. in Turkey and other regional nations. Financial statistics show that our refugee/humanitarian giving would be ten times more effective than it is in bringing a refugee to Australia.
    Peter, I am not against helping a man or woman in need but not at the expense of endangering one Australian. The Greens and other mentally challenged loonies, need to do their homework before shooting off their mouths on this issue. If they feel strongly let them donate their salaries or go and work in an offshore refugee camp.
    Don’t trade your basic humanity, but don’t endanger Australia through a false notion of tolerance or Christianity. There are plenty of other options open to you and others to help.

    • Alan, thanks for your reply and the detail you have given. I don’t disagree with the sentiment behind what you are saying and i certainly agree that we need to be focused on keeping Aussies safe. For me though it seems that our detention centres are depriving people of basic humanity and I just wished we could do better.

  2. Well,said Peter, I agree totally.

  3. I choose to reply by quoting Paul Zanetti’s view on this matter..

    THE high court’s ruling, upholding Australia’s offshore processing system, is not only the right one on legal grounds, it’s also profoundly humane.

    No more deaths at sea and no more children ripped from their mother’s arms, sinking to the bottom of a cold, dark cruel sea, ending their short innocent lives

    Governments often need to make hard, tough decisions for the greater good and for the best interest of individuals and the nation.

    The whole idea of refugees, asylum seekers, illegal entrants, boat people – whatever your terms of choice – especially children, stuck in detention until processed is a pretty raw one, and an example of tough decisions needing to be made.

    In an almost unanimous decision (six to one) the high court rejected a legal challenge by a Bangladeshi woman who was on an intercepted boat over two years ago then sent to Nauru, before being transferred to Australia for medical treatment in August 2014, at which time she was pregnant and gave birth in Australia.

    While here she and her new activist best friends seized the opportune legal moment which presented itself.

    Alas, the court found Australia is well within its rights to send illegals to other countries for detention.

    As a consequence of the decision the Australian government is now able to send 267 asylum seekers, the majority here for medical treatment, offshore for proper processing. Nearly 40 are babies born in Australia to mothers from this group, after their transfer to Australia.

    Activists have predictably whipped themselves into a Twitter frenzy, but let’s look at facts not agendas dressed up in hysterical mock drama.

    Kids are being used by criminals, lawyers, activists, the UN, Greens MPs, the Human Rights Commission and a handful of enabling journalists as emotional pawns to tear down Australia’s borders, without any thought about the real human consequences.

    People smugglers are driven by greed. Lawyers are drawn by career advancements through the free publicity. Lawyers love publicity almost as much as money. The publicity helps attract the money.

    The United Nations is hell bent on pursuing its borderless free-for-all ideology.

    The activists are mostly irresponsible attention seekers. There can’t be any other explanation, knowing what we all do, about criminal activity that results in kids drowning.

    Using kids for your own agenda is about as contemptible as it gets. Activists dressed up as journalists do more harm to their publications than the media companies can afford.

    Lawyers and activists know if kids get into Australia legally, it’s on again for young and old and Australia’s borders will be about as effective as Germany’s – with the same results. The socialist dream is everyone else’s nightmare.

    Boat smuggling crims aren’t so ideological and don’t care who they partner with to fill the boats again at $USD 10k a head. They’ve been eyeballing the high court assault in Australia by their fellow morally corrupt enablers, at the ready to kick start their deadly trade. And they haven’t even had to foot the legal bill.

    Having now lost the legal fight, the activists have predictably pulled out the next contemptible card, twitter and keyboard fingers poised to go, immorally plastering dozens of pics of babies on social media in a contrived campaign designed to ‘shame’ Malcolm Turnbull. The real ’shame’ is on those exploiting kids and luring them to their death. The shame is not on a government saving and protecting kids.

    After Labor’s Kevin Rudd tore down our borders resulting in over 1,200 deaths, including babies, over 2,000 lucky-to-be-alive children were held in detention centres with their parents for processing.

    Tony Abbott’s promise to stop the boats, matching words with action, stopped kids dying and reduced the number of kids detained. Today fewer than 80 children remain offshore awaiting a final decision.

    That’s humane.

    Sarah Hanson-Young, sobbed, “Malcolm Turnbull will be signing off to child abuse.” The vacuous senator from Sth Australia still doesn’t get kids have stopped drowning. Her preferred model remains the one delivering dead kids.

    Last October Chris Kenny of The Australian visited Nauru. Kenny interviewed a Somalian women who claimed she was raped on Nauru. When asked for specifics, she refused to give details about when, where and by whom. Police on Nauru said they knew nothing of the allegation.

    “We don’t have any complaint coming from her,” the Commissioner of Police Corey Caleb said.

    Due to the publicity of her alleged rape, police decided to seek her out for an interview and gave her the chance to make a statement – but she declined.

    It’s easy to throw around accusation and allegations especially when advised by phone by activists. Yes, these asylum seekers get all the best advice – and yes they all have mobile phones. A free trip to Nauru if you guess who’s paying for them.

    Unfortunately for the activists the story inevitably came unstuck.

    What Kenny also reported was the picture painted of Nauru by Greens MPs, so-called journalists and activists was patently false.

    The agenda-driven activists had maligned and defamed the people on the island, offensively portraying their island as a living hell on earth with labels like ‘prison island’, ‘guano heap’ or ‘rape culture’ without any thought for their impact on the Nauruans.

    The locals complained people from Australia were “telling lies” about them.

    All the invented slanderous allegations came from pot stirrers nowhere near Nauru.

    Kenny’s report was first hand, thorough, comprehensive and detailed. He spoke to asylum seekers, locals and the police. No other journo has.

    He published many photos of asylum seekers including women, walking freely around the island, clearly identified by their cultural dress of hijabs and burqas. He even spoke to asylum seekers running their own local businesses and restaurants.

    Kenny wrote of having a coffee at a cafe while watching Australia’s ABC 24 showing discredited Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs talking about “detention centres” while Kenny was sipping his coffee across the road from a car wash, which happened to be another business operated by asylum seekers. Other asylum seekers have jobs in the local businesses.

    Kenny says there is no detention on the island. Refugees and asylum-seekers come and go as they please.

    For his efforts, he was howled down and abused by the furious agenda seekers on Twitter, showing again they aren’t interested in truth – just point scoring and more faux-outraged lies, while children are still being exploited by the criminal enablers with no shame. (END QUOTE) The above is from Paul Zanetti.

  4. Arther I so agree with your response. You have not brought politics into your views & have given a very Christ centred approach. Very refreshing.

    • Gail, my previous post (the one you referred to above) had a couple of mistakes in it so I had it deleted. Rather than leave your’s hanging I have reproduced it with corrections. The substance is pretty much the same……

      We have worked with a great many asylum seekers. Some are now residents, others have spent nearly 2 years in various modes of Australian detention.
      Most are now good friends. One in particular, I trust with my wife, my 19 year old son and my 22 year old daughter. He is basically like a member of the family.
      The trust develops over time by making the effort to form relationships. I know there are plenty of Aussies proactive enough to do this.
      I have found the asylum seeker population is much like any other – you find great people, annoying people, geniuses, idiots, the selfish, the generous, the givers and the takers.
      The best way to sift the wheat from the chaff (so to speak) is to engage and form relationships.
      This isn’t the ‘zinger’ solution to end all – it’s just a ‘little picture’ component that hopefully feeds into and informs a more Jesus-centered approach to the ‘big picture’.

  5. I think there are some missing pieces in the comment responses here. This is why I just cannot align with the religious right who have to pin all problems onto the Labor government. I’m not saying that the policy was not created under Labor – it was. But the children overboard moment was a significant part of the formation of this policy – and therefore both parties are culpable and this is *not* a left or right issue.

    There *have* been deaths at sea since the Rudd/Gillard government. But the Abbott government refused the right of the media to know about the deaths that occurred, and has blocked journalists from publishing the information.

    Christians often forget that Jesus was a refugee baby, fleeing Herod’s massacre of children. Egypt welcomed him and his parents. The virtue of hospitality is significantly important in the biblical text.

    There is no justification of bad treatment of those in our asylum centres, and for highlighting that I applaud this post.

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