THE amount of media coverage given to a few hundred asylum-seekers travelling by boat to our shores in recent months is disproportionate to its real impact on Australia—which is negligible. Speculation about the causes of the tragic explosion aboard an asylum-seeker boat last Thursday exists solely because the facts may provide further opportunity for these desperate folk to be vilified.
What a land we live in, where a handful of sad refugees become innocent political footballs. Shame on the politicians, the press and the paranoid xenophobes amongst us.
Tony Wellington Tinbeerwah, Qld
I don't believe this person. (Link to the Aus letters regarding the boat people.)
Firstly, these illegal immigrants will cost a bomb, er, shitload of money. Forget the fact that some were prepared to take the risk of spreading petrol around the boat which could ignite and harm or kill people (they're not great thinkers, are they?), to blackmail to get their way - what kind of petulant childish behaviour is that, for that's what it is, throwing a tantrum. The cost is in the holding of them in detention, which I think is necessary (sorry mole!), and in the many court challenges which will be mounted against Australia to fight for their refugee status - all this is funded by the taxpayer.
Secondly, Australia knows nothing of these people, only what they tell authorities. What if they are not "of good character"*
*and I'd honestly have my doubts about that seeing the circumstances of their arrival and hearing that at least one had lived for some years in Indonesia and another had already been refused admission to Australia as a refugee.