Quick Post: The Expert Panel on ‘Excising the Migration Zone’ #auspol #asylumseekers

One way you can tell if a person/group is irrational is that they assert things only knowable to a psychic or mystic.  ‘They say that they’re doing it for reason X, but really they are doing it for reason Y.’  I’ve now been told several times that Government policy regarding asylum seeker issues is to punish asylum seekers — they don’t really want to set up regional processing mechanisms, they actually want to create an expensive torture machine.  Because there are votes in it.  Or something.

Here’s what the Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers says on the ‘Excising the Migration Zone‘ question:

Reducing risk of longer maritime voyages to Australia

3.72 The panel considers that all possible measures should be implemented to avoid creating an incentive for IMAs taking even greater risks with their lives by seeking to reach the Australian mainland. As a complement to facilities in Nauru and PNG, the panel recommends the government bring forward legislative amendments to the Migration Act 1958 so that arrival on the Australian mainland by irregular maritime means does not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who enter at an excised offshore place, such as Christmas Island (attachment 10).

3.73 Such an amendment will be important to ensure that introduction of processing outside Australia does not encourage asylum seekers to avoid these arrangements by attempting to enter at the Australian mainland. such attempts would increase the existing dangers inherent in irregular maritime travel. legislative change would ensure that all IMAs will be able to be processed outside Australia, regardless of where they first enter the country. [Source]

Oh.  How odd.  Does that mean the Expert Panel was also interested in votes?  How does that work?

Here’s the part that nobody else seems to have spotted: by the time September comes, a lot of the groundwork will be in place for regional processing arrangements.  Should the Opposition take Government after the election, they will not have to battle uphill to get these changes in place.  They can claim that Temporary Protection Visas and whatnot are effective, while all the while putting the regional processing arrangements into place.

Cynical politics at its worst.


Author: Mark Fletcher

Mark Fletcher is a Canberra-based blogger and policy wonk who writes about conservatism, atheism, and popular culture. Read his blog at OnlyTheSangfroid. He tweets at @ClothedVillainy

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