The Refugee Action Coalition also stated that Nauru’s detention center was a “hell hole”. Of course while the Nauru center was operational most Coalition politicians were meticulous in their avoidance of the place.
Susan Metcalfe of the Brisbane Times provides the description:
Philip Ruddock was the only Howard government immigration minister to visit Nauru, in 2002. The mostly Afghani men, women and children who greeted Ruddock with their traditional hospitality still remember his harsh words as he told them to go back to their country because they had come through the window instead of the door. Many have since become proud Australian citizens.
When Amanda Vanstone took over as immigration minister in late 2003, she avoided travelling to Nauru altogether, as did the next minister, Kevin Andrews. Then foreign minister Alexander Downer did travel to Nauru more than once, but refugees in 2007 remember Downer walking through the gates, doing a round of the camp and walking out again.
The OO generously describes Abbott’s visit as: “OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott will meet with Nauru’s president to gauge the island nation’s willingness to reopen its asylum seeker detention centre”. Of course Nauru is willing, the place is bankrupt!
Over to you…
UPDATE: Below courtesy of Scott Prince
Where is it? It is a small island in the south pacific. It is one of the Marshall Islands with a population of only 13000. It is 21sq klm in size and can fit 3000 times into Tasmania. Health is the main concern of Nauru. The main probl…ems are the infliction of diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes. The result of switching the dietary habits to a westernised culture. The life expectancy of a healthy adult is 61yo and infant mortality is 10 in 1000. Nauru is a republic, one of the smallest democracies in the world. The unemployment rate is 90%. The temperature averages around 25c most of the year and is monsoonal nov to feb.
Now why don’t we use Nauru? the liberal party pretty much barged in and set up camp (the detention centre) which has not been endorsed or passed by the U.N. The Nauru detention centers will remain a brutal part of Australia’s chequered history toward refugees and immigrants. Immense suffering was caused to men, women and children as a direct and deliberate part of the liberal government. “The Labor government must be congratulated for putting an end to this abomination” from Democrat senator Andrew Bartlett. Under the coalitions policy, all new “illegal” boat arrivals will be sent to this tiny island nation to be processed. This is nothing more, nothing less than a political stunt, an attempt again to trick the Australian public into believing that somehow there is a quick and easy fix to asylum seeker issues.