Australia to Boost Refugee Numbers

Telegraph (London), August 23, 2012

Australia said it would increase its annual refugee intake by 40 per cent to 20,000 a year, as part of a plan to deter people smugglers.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the rise, which was recommended by a recent expert inquiry into refugee policy, would include the immediate resettlement of 400 asylum-seekers from Indonesia as a gesture of goodwill

“We will be increasing our annual refugee intake from 13,750 to 20,000 places in this financial year,” Mrs Gillard said in a statement. The financial year began on July 1.

“This is a more than 40 percent increase to our humanitarian intake and the biggest boost to Australia’s refugee intake in 30 years.”

The boost, accompanied by a £6.8 million funding injection to regional refugee programmes, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, is part of tough new policies aimed at stopping people-smuggling.

Canberra hopes the measures, which include the offshore detention of boatpeople on remote Manus Island and Nauru in the Pacific for indefinite periods, will deter asylum-seekers from making the dangerous sea voyage.

Hundreds have died in the past year in the seas between Indonesia and Australia in smuggling ship accidents, but that has not deterred asylum-seekers from continuing to attempt the voyage in record numbers.

Gillard said the immediate resettlement of 400 refugees from key transit country Indonesia “underscores our commitment to offering safe alternatives to dangerous boat journeys”.

“This increase shows that people can pursue regular options and be safely referred to resettlement countries such as Australia as part of an orderly humanitarian program. Taking a dangerous boat journey is no advantage.”

Australia would consult with the UN’s refugee agency and regional partners to allocate the remaining places, with Immigration Minister Chris Bowen saying they would mostly be drawn from the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Africa.

According to Bowen, the new quota would make Australia the world’s second-largest refugee resettlement country after the United States.

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  • CoweringCoward

    Yeah go ahead and make the country so crappy, no one would want to live there! Great plan to reduce “people smuggling”.

  •  Gillard said the immediate resettlement of 400 refugees from key transit
    country Indonesia “underscores our commitment to offering safe
    alternatives to dangerous boat journeys”.

    Because of course, the job of the Australian Prime Minister is to ensure the safety of foreign boat people, not to represent the interests of Australia and Australians.

  • RisingReich

    Good night, good luck Australia. 
    If you turn Australia into the Congo, people won’t be smuggling other people into Australia anymore, they will be smuggling into the Congo!
    Viola, problem solved!

    • Sherman_McCoy

      Don’t get me wrong, my friend.  I love classical music and all stringed orchestral instruments.  I first learned about music playing an “alto violin,” otherwise known as a:  Viola.

      I think you meant: voilà.

      • RisingReich

        I knew I was going to get in trouble on that one.
        Thanks for the help.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    “underscores our commitment to offering safe alternatives to dangerous boat journeys..”

    How about letting the entire third world know that refugees and asylum seekers will simply be put on a plane and sent back to whence they came? What better alternative to a “dangerous boat journey” can there be than staying at home!

    “Taking a dangerous boat journey is no advantage”

    Not necessarily, it might put some people off.
    (A proper patriotic Australian government would make it even dangerous-er, by utilizing the Navy with orders to ‘open fire’ if necessary)

    • CoweringCoward

       I am thinking sharks with laser’s on their heads.

  • IstvanIN

    When you reward bad behavior you get more of it.  Want to end people smuggling?  Here’s how:
    1) Execute people smugglers;
    2) Place smuggled people in tents camps with the barest of necessities until they can be repatriated;
    3) If a smuggled person shows up in Australia a second time they will be executed;
    4) Problem will solve itself.

  • Diamond_Lil

    PM Gillard’s decision is based on recommendations from recent expert inquiry into refugee policy?  How about the needs and desires of the citizens instead?

  • Church_of_Jed

    Prime Minister thinks this will stop people smugglers,

    and if Whitey complains about this latest front in the war on his criminalized White privilege, then shock therapy, lobotomization, extreme psychotropic drugs with lifelong debilitating side effects from just one dose, or genetic manipulation are always govt. options to deal with the “danger”.

  • Some Australian haoles are stupid beyond belief. Exhibit A – Julia Gillard.

  • KenelmDigby

    So the way to curtail illegal immigration is to encourage more of it.

    Politician’s logic.

  • JackKrak

    The do-gooders are assuming that the rise in the number of refugees accepted will soak up the excess “demand” among the trash of Asia to get into Australia. This is absurd – the demand is well above 20,000 a year.

    The result of this policy – the utterly predictable, totally obvious result – will be to ratchet up the legal intake while having no effect whatsoever on the number of people trying to get in any way they can.

    Once again, liberals judge themselves by their good intentions and don’t care how their idiot plans actually turn out for the rest of us.

    • RisingReich

       The number of do-gooders done-in by those they were trying to do-good for are many.

  • GM (Australia)

    Agree completely, but how do we get our politicians to listen?

  • KenelmDigby

    Australia simply cannot support a mass population.
    Settlement is confined to a tiny fraction of the continent’s land area because of the fact of water shortage. Therefore Australians must be very wary of any attempt to sneak in massive, uncontrolled immigration. 

  • Australians built a beautiful country and now this idiot is trying to destroy it.

  • Julia Gillard is beyond stupid.