For broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 28 July 2013.
There are no easy solutions to the problem of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat. But Mr Rudd’s “PNG solution” is really no solution at all, as Dr Susan Harris Rimmer, from the Australian National University, points out.
She says the plan is a colonial insult to Papua New Guinea, further burdening a country to which Australia gives official development assistance.
There are significant legal and administrative impediments. The plan would place children at risk of harm. It would discriminate against West Papuan refugees and the rights of local people. Will the plan really stop deaths at sea? And what about asylum seekers who come by plane?
The PNG solution may not work. And if it does work, that may be worse still. Dr Rimmer suggests the Prime Minister do “a little Bible study” as the election looms – “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.