JOHN MENADUE. Asylum seekers are pouring into Australia in record numbers by air, but the media and politicians are not interested in the facts.

Our discussion on asylum seekers is ill-informed .It is a disgrace.  Our politicians and our media have failed us.  This was made obvious to me yesterday on Insiders.  Do Christopher Pyne and Phillip Corey think we are fools. They were both pushing the cruel partisan Coalition line on refugees and boats. Both see refugees not as people but as political  opportunities to be exploited.

With boat arrivals stopped, people smugglers have turned  to the air to bring asylum seekers to Australia in record numbers. .Peter Dutton and the media have turned a blind eye to this breakdown in our border protection.

The Insiders ‘debate’ was all about the politics and the politics of fear.  We were incessantly warned that boat arrivals would start again if we did anything serious to support the 1,000 wounded souls that we have abandoned in Manus and Nauru.  It is dishonest nonsense and propaganda to assert that the Australian Navy in cooperation with Indonesia cannot stop boat arrivals.

But as Abul Rizvi has pointed out in his article  ‘The best of 2018:  Duttton sets new asylum seeker application record‘ that whilst boat arrivals of asylum seekers has stopped, asylum seekers are coming to Australia in record numbers by air.  In 2017/2018, 27,931 asylum seekers came by air and claimed protection visas. That compares with 18,365 asylum seekers who came by boat in 20 12/2013 at the peak of the inflow in the Gillard/Rudd years.

Yet the media and politicians show disinterest in an honest and informed debate about protecting our borders.  Peter Dutton is not held accountable for his failure to protect our borders . Instead of telling us the facts on asylum seekers coming to Australia in record numbers by air our mainstream media including  the ABC allow Dutton to continue uncontested his appalling politicisation of the issue.

If only the media would look to table 1 in Abul Rizvi’s article, they might allow themselves to be better informed. Table 1 came from the Home Affairs Website – Onshore Humanitarian Program.

Public life is more than just playing politics.  Facts are important.


John Laurence Menadue is the publisher of Pearls & Irritations. He has had a distinguished career both in the private sector and in the Public Service.

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11 Responses to JOHN MENADUE. Asylum seekers are pouring into Australia in record numbers by air, but the media and politicians are not interested in the facts.

  1. Stephen Lusher says:

    How many of those arriving by plane drowned?

    Just asking …

  2. Peter Best says:

    Do Christopher Pyne and Phillip Corey think we are fools? They know we are fools.

  3. Kim Wingerei says:

    John, have you considered submitting this to the Guardian? SMH? It is a message so important, yet is is constantly ignored. Thanks for raising it (again).

  4. margaret callinan says:

    What’s really, really not talked about is all the actual illegal immigrants who are here, those never asking for asylum and also not going home when their visa time is up.

  5. Malcolm Crout says:

    I watched the PM’s cringe worthy address at the Press Club today on this issue which left me disgusted at the bald lies coming out of the man’s mouth. He is a national embarrassment on the political landscape. His cheer squad of Ministers were in the room supporting him like nodding car dogs as he emptied his bile on Shorten. I thought Turnbull was a waste of oxygen, but this man takes negativity to a new level. Roll on May.

  6. tasi timor says:

    ‘It is dishonest nonsense and propaganda to assert that the Australian Navy in co-operation with Indonesia cannot stop boat arrivals’

    Yes John, the debate on asylum seekers arriving by boat has always been an ill-informed disgrace, as is the continuing ignorant and partisan adhoccery of both ALP and Coalition and their deliberate deceit of the public. Once more, Jakarta has the potential ability to determine the outcome of an election in Australia. How Morrison and Dutton must be praying for Jakarta to release a few boats to turn the election their way.

    Jakarta will almost certainly be hoping for a Coalition win, the Palestine fluff is not a first order issue for them. Papua however, is –

    ‘The ACTU recognises and wholly supports their right to self determination and urges the Australian Government to vote in favour of a motion at the UN General Assembly scheduled for September this year to reinstate West Papua to the UN decolonisation list.’ [Ged Kearney and Sally McManus in a letter to PM Turnbull 11/7/2018]

    Jakarta of course interprets this sort of stuff as a threat to Indonesia’s territorial integrity. If Papuan separatists, emboldened by such ACTU actvism decide to test an incoming Shorten Govt with a boat, and he caves like Howard [but unlike Abbott] we may soon be back to the days of no co-operation.

    • Kim Wingerei says:

      From my vantage point (Bali, Indonesia) I don’t think Jakarta cares too much about who wins the Australian election. But I do believe the embassy issue did not go down well. Jokowi was reportedly livid, which is why he insisted to see Turnbull, not Morrison.

  7. Ross Ollquist says:

    If medical refugees are allowed in I have no doubt that the Canberra desperadoes will arrange for some boats to arrive

  8. James Knight says:

    One assumes all the air arrivals are also coming in with the appropriate passports and visas and other documentation? Perhaps fraudulent? Do these air arrivals get the same treatment when they do breach the rules? Many a Nigerian scamster seems to be just as profitable in Villawood?

    The deaths at sea was the major factor in the public preventing boat arrivals – barring, perhaps, Malaysian Airlines, most other aircraft get to their destination without extraordinary happenings. The fact that these ‘boat’ people were coming from third countries where they were ostensibly safe, and, arguably, more culturally and religiously similar seems to also be ignored.

    As recent reports on the ABC have shown, these ‘economic’ migrants were offending the queue jumping rule and changing positions as the wind blew, and even once successfully placed off Manus etc, were never really going to be happy isolated from family and without some for of cultural assimilation, the latter, anathema in multicultural circles.

    Australians, on the whole, don’t care about race, age, gender, but, they do get upset when people try to get all the benefits (or opportunities) without the reciprocal acceptance of the culture that has given us rule of law and the schema for the society we have. The ‘when in Rome’ maxim cannot be applied when we have a polity that accepts cultural relativitism as a social good and excuses ‘bad behaviour’ as a cultural issue.

  9. Laurie Mills says:

    Political fake news, imposing cruelty in the expectation of garnering votes.

    Look at the asylum opportunities through the eyes of a person seeking refuge in Australia. The price of a boat ticket is quoted at more than $5,000. The probability of penetrating Australia’s sea border cordon is a few percent. The risk of drowning is high. Even if the trip is a ‘success,’ and refugee status is granted, it will result in years in indefinite detention.

    Why not apply for a tourist visa, buy an inexpensive plane ticket, and apply for asylum after arrival in Australia.

    So Prime Minister Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Dutton, it is not indefinite detention of certified asylum seekers that is ‘stopping the boats’, it is human common sense.

    Australian politicians might be mugs, but we Australians are not, and we will send you are clear message at the next Federal election.

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