Just when my faith in the Australia people was restored with the resounding Yes vote in the recent marriage equality survey, I am again questioning our leadership with the disgrace that has become of Manus Island.
The Australian Government has spent years detaining asylum seekers on the Papuan island, not willing to accept them in this country, but 18 days ago, they simply turned their back on our fellow man.
It is a public relations disgrace of monumental proportions which the United Nations is describing as a “significant humanitarian crisis”.
This is a facility set-up by the Australian Government to detain those wishing to seek asylum in this country but who have been refused.
The Australian Government then shipped these same people to the remote Papuan island and has now left them for dead.
No back-up plan for their relocation, no secondary consideration for their welfare and nothing them to keep them alive.
At the behest of the Australian Government and under the reign of Minister Peter Dutton – these people have simply been abandoned.
It is outrageous and something we, as a nation should be ashamed of.
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) has called for the Australian Government to allow independent doctors and other health experts to help more than 400 asylum seekers languishing inside the recently-closed detention centre on Manus Island.
The asylum seekers have shut themselves inside the Australian-run Manus Island Centre for the past 18 days, defying attempts by Australia and Papua New Guinea to close it in a standoff.
Australia has shut access to the centre, and staff — including doctors — have left, leaving the men without sufficient food, clean water, power or medical care.
Thinking about the architect of this appalling decision – Peter Dutton – I am reminded of a story my old man used to tell me when I was a kid.
Dad said one day he was driving the backroads around Temora when he came across a fence post with a turtle balanced gently on top.
I remember his telling me the Post Turtle was similar to politicians like this Peter Dutton.
At the time I was puzzled, but Dad confidently explained, saying, “You know he didn’t get up there by himself, he doesn’t belong up there, he doesn’t know what to do while he’s up there, he’s elevated well beyond his ability to function and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put him up there to begin with.”
That pretty much sums up our national response to Manus Island.
Contact your elected representative, Bathurst – as a nation, we are better than this.