The architect of Manus and Nauru is now our treasurer.

 Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

Morrison and Abbott. Alleged perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

The smiling architect of the horrors of Nauru and Manus, Scott Morrison, made Malcolm Turnbull Australia’s new Prime Minister. I don’t often write about politics. It is a too depressing subject. He gave his support to Turnbull for which in return he was made treasurer. A Machiavellian turn of events. It was Scott Morrison whose ‘creative bend’ conjured up the evil of what will eventually be seen as one of the worst acts against refugees.

During the Abbott’s regime the boats who did make it anywhere near Australia’s coastline were intercepted by Australia’s defence force. A clamp on all news about boat arrivals were put in place as secret ‘operational matters’. All questions about refugees were left unanswered by simply referring them to ‘operational matters’ and people were referred to as ‘illegal maritime arrivals’.

Those refugees that did make it were shipped over in secret to the islands of Nauru and Manus island and put into detention. It was with great fanfare and drum-rolls that ‘the boats had been stopped’ and from then it became a mantra repeated over and over again by a glowing Tony Abbott. He would face the camera, and after due licking of lips, would announce  ‘we have stopped the boats’.

While the Manus and Nauru centres were set up well before Abbott’s and Morrison’s collaboration. The  suicides, sewing of lips together, and crimes of rape,and sexual abuse  by guards that have finally been coming to the attention should have ensured their immediate closure. There was never a clamp down on journalists trying to find out the fate of thousands of refugees locked up in indefinite detention during the days of ALP Prime ministerships.

The following from Wikipedia:

Australian immigration detention facilities comprise a number of different facilities throughout Australia (including one on the Australian territory of Christmas Island).[1] They are currently used to imprison people who are detained under Australia’s policy of mandatory detention, and previously under the now defunct Pacific Solution.[2] The facilities are currently operated by Serco, and were previously run under G4S who used to be named Global Solutions Limited (GSL), under contract from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).[3]

Pacific Solution facilities[edit]

Manus Island regional processing facility (Image by DIAC)

Since the implementation of the Pacific Solution Australia also funded immigration detention centres on:[citation needed]


The facilities have been a source of much controversy during their time of operation. There have been a number of riots and escapes,[13] as well as accusations of human rights abuses from organisations such as refugee advocates, Amnesty International, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations.

On January 2014, the Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens accused the government of a cover-up over a violent clash on 18 October 2013 at the Manus Island facility between the Papua New Guinea army and the Papua New Guinea police mobile squad hired for the facility’s security, leading to Australian expatriate staff being evacuated, while local staff and asylum seekers remained.[14] On 5 May 2014, it was reported that several Salvation Army staffers had alleged that refugees were regularly subjected to beatings, racist slurs, and sexual assaults within the facility.[15]

In March 2002, Irene Khan, the Secretary General of Amnesty International, said:

It is obvious that the prolonged periods of detention, characterised by frustration and insecurity, are doing further damage to individuals who have fled grave human rights abuses. The detention policy has failed as a deterrent and succeeded only as punishment.
How much longer will children and their families be punished for seeking safety from persecution?[16]

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18 Responses to “The architect of Manus and Nauru is now our treasurer.”

  1. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Thanks again for keeping us up to date, Gerard. The whole refugee business is building up to be one of the greatest tragedies of modern times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thanks Curt. It’s sheer hopelessness that makes people want to try and escape the horrors of wars. Again, people are moving about trying to find somewhere safe. No one wants to leave their homes and family behind.


  2. Yvonne Says:

    How can Tony Abbott claim to be a Christian? How can Australia allow these dreadful places to exist?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. elizabeth2560 Says:

    We probably have the same wolf with just a different coat on.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. sedwith Says:

    Hi Gerard! As I write my Palestinian rellies are preparing to board a plane from Bangkok where they patiently waited for 18 months for a UNHCR (They are already UNRWA registered) interview and were told in June 1 week b4 the due date that it had been changed to sept 2016. They are tired and will pay the 80,000 bhat overstay fee being unable to go elsewhere and fearing immigration arrest. They leave on their Syrian Palestinian travel document and will use their Gaza document to get into KL. From there to Turkey then on to Europe. Lots of luck involved and blind faith. We talked Aus but they don’t trust our govt. And Abbott’s ‘only xtian’ doctrine sealed their decision…..we wait and hope they are safe and get the dull safe and boring lives we all enjoy without thinking. Thanks for the post…timely.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    I hadn’t realised the close connection between these two lovable politicians. I don’t suppose much will change under the new order.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    I wish the world would get together and we all would find a solution for this crisis. As so often, I feel ashamed how we treat them.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. stuartbramhall Says:

    When it comes to dealing with refugees, it strikes me that Australia is even more repressive than the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The scrutiny that refugees have to go through takes years and years. When we migrated in 1956 it took a couple of months to get approval. Many that migrated from war torn Europe were also refugees.
      Somehow refugees that come by boat or cross oceans are ‘different’ and spend many years in detention before finally, if ever, given the right to stay.


      • stuartbramhall Says:

        I just heard on the news that some Kiwi immigrant has been forcibly transferred from Darwin to Christmas Island. That’s not supposed to happen, you know – not under the immigration treaty we have with Australia.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, it is all so cloak and dagger stuff. There is complete media black-out imposed on all migration and refugee issues.
        I do hope our new PM can sort it out.


      • berlioz1935 Says:

        The expectations are too high. He might be a more benign person than Tony Abbott, but he is still a Liberal and a sweet talking lawyer.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, I know, but after Abbott we need to at least rejoice a little in that he is now gone. A bit of spreading of sweetness never does much harm.
        Malcolm is a good talker. But he at least seems to have ideas for the future and is a republican.
        He will never give knighthoods nor will he resort to talk of death-cults, terrorism and constant messages of misery.

        He seems to have occasional twinges of compassion and seems to posess a social conscience.

        But, this is a big but…we shall wait and see. In the meantime a relief from Abbott.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Look Berlioz,

        I might be overreacting. After the last two dark years allow a bit of overexcitement to take place. A moment of a victorious little dance-step. A shandy of jubilation imbibed in the bar-lounge of give and take. It is normal. I am usually known around town as a terrific curmudgeon, a Jerimiah relishing negativity.

        We shall wait and see.

        I am with you that when all is condensed and dissected, a reward has to filter down to a better and more fulfilling life for everyone. No sleeping under bridges or endless agony at Manus and Nauru. Humanity has to shine towards the taxi driver rather than to the belching captains of industry or the emporiums of the cash register.

        We shall wait and see.


  8. Patti Kuche Says:

    Certain people are all too keen in pulling up the drawbridge to others in the same need. Shame.


  9. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Keep talking about it, Gerard, because their clampdown means the newspapers don’t find the problem worth reporting (non-arrival of boats…). I cannot hit the Like button.


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