By Situation Theatre 9/06/2015
It's a bold move which has Manly residents fuming.
For some time now the Australian government, the Mother Theresa of international diplomacy, has justified its “stop the boats” policy on humanitarian grounds. They insist their barbaric treatment of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island is all about deterring refugees from jumping on boats for Australia, heroically saving them from drowning at sea.
The Abbott government is just following the famous “Tortured Logic” principle of international human rights law: “the imprisonment, physical and sexual assault, psychological abuse and murder of real people is humanitarian if it saves the lives of hypothetical other people, even in light of many other solutions which do no harm.”
Annoyingly for lovers of inefficiency, inhumanity and byzantine public policy, all this is about to change. That's because the only thing this government hates more than asylum seekers is profligate use of red tape. They have finally cracked and realised spending $1.2 billion a year housing people they hate is a titanic waste of good quality red tape.
So how to save money, tape, and live by their eternal creed to save the lives of asylum seekers?
It’s called the “Manly Ferry Solution”.
From next Wednesday the Manly Ferry service will be redirected to Indonesia, safely shuttling asylum seekers to Northern Australia four times a day. The move will make the elaborate humanitarian use of Nauru and Manus Island redundant, and these detention centres will close.
The government will use the spare $1 billion on their campaign to remove Professor Gillian Triggs as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission. It still won’t be enough because Triggs is a massive legend.