Time for policy re-think
Australia's way of treating asylum seekers is to detain, delay and demonise.
Those who are eventually deemed to have valid claims to asylum are granted one of several kinds of temporary visa.
Having arrived by boat after a certain date a refugee will never be allowed to stay in Australia although international law does not permit this discrimination.
This policy results in indefinite detention.
This system costs taxpayers millions of dollars per year.
New Zealand has offered to take 150 refugees per year and Canada also offers resettlement.
The government refuses these offers.
The government justifies this policy by their intentions to stop refugee boats arriving and possible drownings at sea.
In fact, the boat turnback policy has completely stopped the arrival of people smuggling boats so the government's stated motivation is a fantasy.
So why this policy?
Presumably they think enough voters are influenced by fear and racism to support what is represented to be hard line border protection.
It's time to stop torturing people, save a fortune in taxes and redeem our reputation as a nation prepared to give people a fair go.
Pat Horan, Sebastian
Climate's change needs urgent action
As I perceive it the majority of the people in Australia want to see urgent action taken by our federal government to counter human induced climate change.
At the very least they want to see a commitment by the Coalition to reach net zero greenhouse emissions by 2050. This is frustratingly overdue.
The big problem now is how can any real and positive action, including an essential detailed long term plan, be undertaken by the federal government regarding reducing greenhouse emissions, with Barnaby Joyce being both the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and also the leader of the National Party.
Reducing greenhouse emissions to net zero is an essential requirement to countering human induced climate change.
The absolute reality is that both Barnaby Joyce and the Nationals are firmly opposed to reducing greenhouse emissions.
The existing restrictions facing the coalition regarding taking action on climate change are easily assessed.
But solving the problems will possibly require a level of understanding and flexibility not often seen in the political sphere.
There can be no ifs or buts here, the federal coalition must quickly resolve the climate action restrictions that they have created.
In my opinion, no alternative will be acceptable to the majority of people in Australia.
Brian Measday, Myrtle Bank
Each week, our Letter of the Week will win its author a $30 Coles voucher.
This week's Letter of the Week winner is Pat Horan, for the letter published above in today's edition in support of asylum seekers' rights.
Please note, letters may be edited for reasons of space or their legality.
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