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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

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High Court Rejects Refugee Challenge To Offshore Processing And Resettlement

The High Court has rejected an attempt to strike down Australia’s policy of offshore processing, detention and resettlement.

In essence, the High Court has found that the asylum seeker arrangements with Nauru are legal. Asylum-seekers now face deportation to Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The court found that the Bangladeshi woman who brought the case had standing but rejected her substantive argument. [Read more…]

Scathing UNHCR Report On Conditions On Nauru

The United Nations Refugee Agency has produced a scathing report on conditions at the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.

The report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said “the current policies, conditions and operational approaches” on Nauru “do not comply with international standards”. [Read more…]

A Melbourne Cup Day Observation In Gosford

This is a picture taken outside the Gosford Anglican Church in NSW today.


Full Text Of The Asylum Seekers Agreement With Papua New Guinea

The federal government has released the text of the agreement with Papua New Guinea announced yesterday.


This Arrangement outlines further practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to combat people smuggling. It builds on the mutually agreed principles governing cooperation set out in the Joint Partnership Declaration signed in Port Moresby in May 2013, notes that Australia and Papua New Guinea have a common interest in addressing regional and global challenges, in collaboration with the wider region, including other countries in the South Pacific. The cooperation outlined in this Arrangement underlines the strategic importance and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship, and the commitment of both governments to ensure that the relationship remains relevant to contemporary challenges. [Read more…]

Alternative Universes And The PNG Solution

Alternative universes abounded last night.

But sometimes the media worlds available via a remote control are more alike than they are willing to pretend.

There was the ABC. Within an hour of Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the PNG solution, its screen was filled with refugee advocates castigating the decision. They were joined by frothing right-wingers in an unholy unity ticket of condemnation.

Online, in the ever-so-slightly-nutty world of Twitter, there was talk of White Australia, racism and Labor’s shame. Dire warnings of malaria and rape coalesced with suddenly-expert analyses of the state of civil society in PNG.

Some lamented the shape-shifting Rudd and yearned for The Great Gillard.

There was Sky News, sadly these days a paradise for ever-more vacuous right-wing talk show hosts and those cable-friendly Laborites who make you worry that you might be on the same side.

As on the ABC, the resident Liberals and standalone right-wingers were especially lathered and frenzied. Last night they were born-again campaigners for the down-trodden. They accepted the solution but despaired of its implementation.

I felt somewhat alone. In my foolishness, I thought I might just have witnessed a political masterstroke. Commentators online suggested otherwise. I should be more ashamed, they seemed to say. [Read more…]

Simon Crean’s Address To The National Press Club

This is the text of Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s Address to the National Press Club.

Text of Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s Address to the National Press Club.

CreanIt’s a shame this speech coincided with the Prime Minister’s XI cricket match, but by the size of our audience here today it looks like England batted first.

The first twelve months

It’s been a difficult twelve months – for me, the party and the nation.

But it’s been a tougher twelve months for Australian families.

I want to change things for them, and for the better. [Read more…]

Carmen Lawrence Quits ALP Frontbench

Dr. Carmen Lawrence, the ALP member for Fremantle, former Federal Minister for Health and Western Australian Premier, has resigned from the ALP shadow ministry.

LawrenceAnnouncing her decision at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Dr. Lawrence said had found that the shadow cabinet had “become incredibly conservative – timid, even.” She said was “not able to continue to support and defend policies which, in my view are devised with one eye on the polls, and another on media impact.”

Lawrence’s resignation coincides with the release of the party’s new policy on asylum seekers.

In a wide-ranging statement, Lawrence said she “hated” the ALP’s “acquiescence” on the Tampa issue in 2001. “It’s part of our task in politics to bring the Australian community with us and not to treat them as if they’re incapable of changing their views and in fact assuming that they’re terminally bigoted.”

Lawrence condemned the prevailing culture of the ALP, saying that she wanted to help “take back the heart and the soul of the Labor Party – away from those people for whom it’s good enough to get up in the morning just to think that we’re going to be slightly better managed on that day.” [Read more…]

Labor Releases Asylum-Seekers Policy

The ALP has released a new policy on asylum-seekers that aims to “smash onshore and offshore people smuggling rings” and proposes to station Federal Police officers in Indonesia.

Opposition Leader Simon Crean and Shadow Immigration and Population minister Julia Gillard released the policy. Its key feature is the establishment of a $600 million Australian Coastguard, described as “a cop on the beat 24 hours a day, seven days a week”.

In response to the policy, Dr. Carmen Lawrence, the shadow minister for indigenous affairs, the arts and the status of women, has resigned. The former premier of Western Australia described the ALP’s policy stance as “incredibly conservative and timid”.

The full policy document appears at the bottom of this page.

The Australian

Executive Summary of the ALP’s Asylum-Seeker policy.


The number one priority of the Australian Government is to protect Australia. Labor has a proud record of doing so and will always put protecting Australia first.

Labor will protect Australia’s borders with a $600 million Australian Coastguard, a cop on the beat 24 hours a day, seven days a week. [Read more…]

“Children Overboard” Gallery Of Photographs

These are the photographs released on February 18 from the Defence Department Media Centre. [Read more…]