Eight years of cruelty
Monday July 19 marks eight years since then-PM Kevin Rudd announced that no refugee who arrived by boat would be allowed to settle in Australia.
Announcements made in the heat of political pressure - there was an election in the offing - often prove to be problematic.
Neither Rudd, nor any of the leaders who have followed, have been creative enough to come up with a conclusion to the tragic story that Rudd put into motion and successive governments have shamefully continued.
Thousands of innocent refugees - yes, innocent; it is not a crime to seek asylum when fleeing war and violence - have been condemned to lives of futility, with indefinite detention damaging bodies, minds and spirits.
This, in spite of a standing offer from New Zealand to resettle 150 refugees per year.
Why has this offer not been taken up? Why does the Morrison government continue to injure and destroy rather than choosing the path of justice, respect and compassion?
It makes a grand display of its Christian virtue, yet denies it in its actions...there is a word for that.
One can only speculate about the evil politics that result in such cruel injustice.
Surely we can do better than this, and start to undo the damage of the past eight years? We know about the great contribution that refugees make to our nation - it's time we made them welcome.
Ken Rookes, California Gully
We desperately need a change
Is it any wonder Victorians are feeling totally peed off with the biased treatment afforded LNP states, and it is also abundantly clear that we are not "all in this together".
But all is not lost.
Victoria could kiss Morrison and his incompetent cronies goodbye, and take our taxes with us and become the third state of New Zealand, because Labor states are not wanted in Australia, but at least we would all be treated with respect and most of all equally, in the land of the long white cloud.
What is happening in Australia today is an absolute disgrace.
This incompetent government has only one objective - look after their LNP mates, in the LNP states.
We are bombarded on a daily basis by a conga line of alleged lies, treating Australians as absolute idiots, but the true idiots are the ones espousing this rubbish in an attempt to justify there total failure to do their job.
If these people were in private enterprise they would have been shown the door long before this, or if not, that business would have gone bankrupt.
Talking of bankrupt, if Morrison and Hunt had any ideas at all they would take advice from the experts that know, because as sure as night follows day, these two excuses for leaders have not got a clue.
Australia desperately requires an election to send these overpaid failures packing, because when it is all said and done, nobody could be as hopeless as these two.
Ken Price, Eaglehawk
We can't ignore our government's human rights violations
In other countries, when innocent people are imprisoned, we call it an abuse of human rights.
In Australia, we call it Immigration Detention.
To most of us, it is incomprehensible that innocent people could be imprisoned for almost a decade - no crime, no trial, no release date.
Yet it is happening here, in Australia.
To people who simply ask for a safe place to live.
On Monday, July 19, it will be 8 years since people were sent to offshore detention, to Nauru or Papua New Guinea.
When people become extremely ill, they are brought to Australia, taken to hospital in handcuffs, and then imprisoned in hotels or detention centres.
Early this year, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few of these people were released, penniless and homeless - after eight years of imprisonment, no explanation for their sudden release, no explanation for others who remain locked in hotels and detention centres.
These people committed no crime. They simply asked for safety.
We must not look away when our Australian government commits human rights abuses.
For more information: Bendigo.Amnesty@gmail.com
Jan Govett, Convener, Amnesty International Bendigo
COVID-19 response requires a systematic approach
It is very alarming to hear the latest reports about the COVID-19 cases in NSW and the appearance of cases in Victoria.
The authorities, being one trick ponies, are ramping up the call to everyone to get vaccinated.
They should stop and think.
The scattergun approach, where if you have an arm, they will stick a needle in it, has not worked. Before anyone goes 'but, but, but', its but nothing. It hasn't.
There are too many people to beat this by randomly vaccinating them.
This needs a targeted approach. The virus does not arrive by itself.
People bring it in from overseas. I suggest that every overseas arrival be rested and vaccinated, then every immediate contact be tested and vaccinated, then every contact of those contacts be tested and vaccinated, and so on and so on.
Then the next arrival from overseas begins a new cycle.
In short order there would be a great many people who are vulnerable fully vaccinated in a blanket fashion, while others who are not travelling or in contact with at risk people can be vaccinated as the opportunity arises.
I must say I think that would be a much better use of resources. Target the vaccine where it is most likely to occur.
It would not be hard, all the data of departures and arrivals is there.
It wont happen. It's too sensible for the people in charge.
They will just keep crashing around looking like they know what they are doing.
Murray McPhie, Epsom
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