Better late than never, but all this could have been avoided.
KEVIN Rudd has reopened one of the most controversial Howard-era detention centres, the Curtin facility in Western Australia, in an attempt to send a clear signal to prospective asylum-seekers that Australia is toughening up its refugee policies.
Rudd would never say as much, but essentially he has vindicated Howard. And not a moment too soon considering the number of asylum-seekers has gone up five-fold, and the centre on Christmas Island is literally overflowing since Rudd’s heart started bleeding.
And what does this actually seem more about? This just looks like more Rudd spin. He hasn’t indicated that he’ll actually change any of the policies (laws?) that he so disastrously weakened over a year ago. Rather than “toughening up its refugee policies”, this smacks of a PM applying a band-aid solution to a gunshot wound. With the same weakened laws in place, and no will to change them, Rudd has no other option than to open up more accomodations. One doubts this sends a clear message at all, other than, “Keep coming, guys, we’ve made more beds available.”
An insight from someone who worked in a detention centre, what it’s really like, and some of the types Rudd has let in.