Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a new “solution”part IV ... it’s all a matter of perspective

As of August 2012 there were 107,000 Malian refugees in Burkina Faso, itself a “developing” country. In this camp, water is rationed to 15 L per person per day.

2nd photo This woman has spent 18 years as a refugee in the Dominican Republic. After her resident’s card expired she became one of the 12 million stateless people in the world. Her children have no birth certificates, and no nationality.


UNHCR identifies a major protracted refugee situation as one where more than 25,000 refugees have been in exile for more than five years. Using this definition, nearly two-thirds of refugees in the world today – over six million people – are in protracted refugee situations.
According to UNHCR, in 2009 there are some 30 major protracted refugee situations around the world.

The average length of stay in these states of virtual limbo is now approaching 20 years, up from an average of nine years in the early 1990s.


Quite honestly, I’m sick of hearing about how unhappy the UNHCR, the world, impractical do-gooders and asylum seekers themselves are with the way we are handling this situation.

I do not bear asylum seekers any ill-will – nor do I bear any ill-will to the many millions languishing in refugee camps elsewhere around the globe.

What does concern me is that if the unreasonable criticisms from outside do not stop, and if the behaviour of detainees does not improve, Australians will develop a case of sympathy fatigue.


What else do we see in Australian news reports?

We do sometimes see pictures of hungry or malnourished children, suffering from a famine. Famine sounds such a temporary thing.
We rarely see people who have been waiting 20 years for a placement, and have little reason to hope for more than they already have.

We see people arriving by boat, risking their own lives and the lives of their children to get here. We know men are leaving their families behind in unspeakable situations, assuming they will eventually be able to get family re-union visas.

We see and hear of people in Australian detention centres going on hunger strikes or mutilating themselves or rioting or destroying property.

There are some things we don't see that we should see, and this applies at home as well as overseas.
Those of us who live in Australia but do not live in ivory towers know somebody who is doing it tough; landlord exploitation is appalling, we all know somebody who is waiting for surgery that severely affects their quality of life.

I'm actually pleased that part of the new deal included an increase in our refugee intake. But when we see what some Australians have compared to what some inmates of detention centres are complaining about I just wish someone would give some detainees a good swift kick up the bum.


Public housing is a thing of the past

105,000 Australians are homeless on any given night.

Story and Photo from The Age

Elisha Fox, with daughters Ava and Amelie, right, and dog Tyson, pays $1300 rent a month for a vermin-infested and dangerous home in Glenroy. 

Picture: Jake Nowakowski Source: Sunday Herald Sun 

Allen Mo, pictured in his cramped bedroom, was beaten by his landlord after he complained about the living conditions in a boarding house. 

One four-bedroom house visited by the Sunday Herald Sun had 16 people living in it, including six people who slept in the garage, with each tenant charged $100.

Breast cancer survivor Janine, 46, was evicted from her Doncaster rooming house when her landlord fled the state.
He had leased 23 properties and left 124 renters in the lurch after he ran off with thousands of dollars meant for rent, bond and bills.


A failing public health system

Elective surgery is surgery that can safely be delayed for more than 24 hoursThe term ‘elective’ is used only to distinguish it from emergency surgery, which is required within 24 hours to save a life. 

Elective surgery does not mean that the surgery is optional – elective surgery is often life saving (for example removal of a tumour) or very important to a patient’s health and well-being (such as a hip replacement). It is also known as planned or booked surgery. Elective surgery can be postponed and, unfortunately, too often is postponed for far too long.

Cat 1
Admission within 30 days desirable for a condition that has the potential to deteriorate quickly, to the point that it may become an emergency
Cat 2
Admission within 90 days desirable for a condition causing some pain, dysfunction or disability, but which is not likely to deteriorate quickly or become an emergency
Cat 3
Admission within 365 days for a condition causing minimal or no pain, dysfunction or disability, which is unlikely to deteriorate quickly and which does not have the potential to become an emergency

With the current state of affairs in our public hospitals, one in ten patients do not receive their surgery within the recommended time frame, and 3 quarters of these are people living in Qld, Vic and Tas. 


part V – onshore, offshore, and other questions


  1. so sad that the pathetic governments - local, state and federal, that WE elected, cannot harrass vicious landlords overcharging,or despotic african nations stealing aid and neglecting their people.

    I feel helpless in the face of it. and where is the man who fathered those 2 Glenroy children and why cannot he follow cum with f-n CASH.

    1. Two children and a dog.

      As for aid and civil wars and government priorities... don't get me started.


      Too late.