Australia Bileola family’s solution is staring the Coalition in the face — stopping the boats has been a success
Israel Drops Benjamin Netanyahu but Democrats and Palestinians See Little Hope
A new coalition will end Netanyahu's long reign, but U.S.-Israeli tensions will remain over the fate of the Palestinians.A tough, controversial, calculating politician, Netanyahu has become symbolic of the rightward shift of Israeli politics of recent decades. But that conservative sentiment is bigger than any one politician, and his departure is not a sign that Israel is pivoting away from the status quo Netanyahu has helped craft.
The government’s jury-rigged solution this week to the vexing problem of the Murugappan family — keep trying to deport them but allow them to stay in community detention until legal avenues are exhausted, instead of Christmas Island — isn’t sustainable politically or logically, let alone morally.
At some point the government will have to make a permanent decision: continue to try to deport them or let them live in Biloela, in Queensland. It may get lucky and have a judge make the decision for it, but it shouldn’t count on the political environment for deportation improving significantly. Images of little kids in distress have a way of overriding the community’s general antipathy to asylum seekers.
Out of border
Good morning, early birds. Health authorities have identified more than two dozen exposure sites in New South Wales and Queensland, and Japan has backed the Australian government’s campaign against China’s “economic coercion”. It's the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.The woman, who Guardian Australia explains could be a recovered case, apparently travelled through Gillenbah, Forbes, Dubbo, Moree, Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, Kings Beach, Moffat Beach, Caloundra, and Buddina before arriving in Baringa on Tuesday, June 9.
Exacerbating the political problem is that it doesn’t have a strong policy argument for deporting a family with two children born here and with strong roots in a regional community — the kind of roots that in other circumstances would have the government celebrating the family as exactly what Australia needs.
The entire argument is that even now, years after the boats were stopped, the tiniest lack of resolution on the part of Australia will see an armada set forth for our shores.
There’s some finicky detail-type problems with this argument. Having allowed the Murugappans to remain in community detention in Perth, surely that would be all that’s needed for the apparent army of people smugglers overseas to hype into Australia weakening its resolve and opening the gates. People smugglers — whether— aren’t known for their rigorous and honest assessment of Australian administrative and migration law when hoping to encourage gullible asylum seekers on to boats.
China's Xinjiang a 'dystopian hellscape' for Muslims, new Amnesty report says
In a landmark new report, Amnesty International accuses the Chinese Communist Party of committing crimes against humanity in Xinjiang."Even when I when I went to buy a meal, I had to fill in a form saying I had been in a camp," she said.
But the bigger problem is that the “blinking = floodgates” argument no longer holds up once you’ve demonstrated you can turn boats back and prevent them from reaching Australian territory — which the government has done very effectively. Indeed it’s puzzling that it has not made much more of its success. The fact that its boat-turnaround policy worked so well, when so many, including Crikey, claimed it wouldn’t, should allow it to demonstrate that it can be flexible in unusual cases — as this one, involving children born in Australia, is.
Video: Australia-UK FTA likely to be ‘a lot of hype and not much heft’ (Sky News Australia)
Far from being a challenge to the government’s resolution against abetting people smugglers, the Murugappan family should have been an opportunity to display the benefits of its success at stopping the boats.
Israel parliament poised to vote on anti-Netanyahu govt
Israeli lawmakers are to vote Sunday on a "change" coalition government of bitter ideological rivals united by their determination to banish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from power. The crunch Knesset vote will either terminate the hawkish premier's uninterrupted 12-year tenure or return Israel to a stalemate likely to trigger a fifth general election since 2019.
The Migration Act, after all, offers extensive discretion for ministers to replace decisions on visa applications with more favourable ones, on humanitarian grounds or otherwise in the public interest. The current system may not be as foundationally discretionary as the pre-1989 system that Labor’s migration minister Robert Ray transformed, but the minister still has wide-ranging powers to intervene.
Frequently, as Ray warned at the time, this use of discretion is motivated by access to the minister — which means mates and donors can benefit.
“Those who tend to get access to a minister are members of parliament and other prominent people around the country,”. “I worry for those who do not have access and whether they are being treated equally by not having access to a minister.”
Ray was exactly right. Amanda Vanstone famouslyin 2005 to an alleged organised crime figure — later jailed for drug trafficking — who was connected to Liberal Party donors. Philip Ruddock was the target of unproven in 2003. Peter Dutton used his discretionary power to help two au pairs employed by people linked to him — as part of hundreds of exercises of his power.
The fall of “King Bibi”
How Netanyahu’s ouster could change Israel.On Sunday, Netanyahu’s opponents in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, voted to replace him with a “change” coalition: a group of diverse parties from across the Israeli political spectrum united only by their interest in pushing Netanyahu out. The new prime minister is Naftali Bennett, from the far-right Yamina party — though Yair Lapid, from the centrist Yesh Atid party, will have a veto over his decisions.
Progressive critics of the government and refugee advocates are reluctant to give the government any credit for its asylum-seeker policies. And, as so many including Crikey have reported over the years, they have been marked by ostentatious punishment, bloodymindedness, lies, negligence, censorship and the murder, abuse and sexual assault of people under our protection.
But any realistic appraisal must include that the boat turnback policy has prevented hundreds of deaths from maritime incidents among those trying to reach Australian shores — a major achievement regardless of what motivated it.
And the success of that policy is what should allow the government to exercise the flexibility in its migration powers that it is so ready to use for those with greater access to ministers.
Does the “blinking = floodgates” argument still hold up now the boats have stopped? Write to, and don’t forget to include your full name if you’d like to be considered for publication.
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Echuca ski racing 'hero' jailed for stealing boat from V8 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom .
Brett Spits was more than $20 million in debt when he went on a boat-stealing spree with an accomplice, the County Court hears, including targeting Bathurst 1000 winner Mark Winterbottom.Brett Spits, 38, was today sentenced in Victoria's County Court to two years behind bars over the $525,000 racket on the Victorian border, which left four families without their watercraft.