Andrew Bartlett: Mandatory detention (sort of) scrapped
It is wonderful to see the news that the federal government plans to finally scrap mandatory indefinite immigration detention and adopt the common sense (and much cheaper) approach that people should not be locked up for extended periods just because they are without a valid visa, unless there compelling reasons to do so.
Tim Dunlop: Detention Centres
The government is moving to change the way we deal with illegal immigrants. Remembering that it was a Labor Government that introduced mandatory detention in the first place, the changes strike me as major.
Various news articles on the consultations regarding a new indigenous representative body to replace ATSIC – SMH, The Age, Piers Akerman in The Terrorgraph dismissing the consultations and indigenous activists generally as wishing for “the Sun, the Moon and the stars”.
ATSIC is always described as notoriously dysfunctional, but there is more than one way to look at that reputation, despite the infamous and well known examples of some corrrupt individuals. I heard a spokesman on the radio discussing how ATSIC used to cop a lot of flak for infrastructure/institutional shortfalls in areas that were not part of their remit, specifically Education, Housing and Health. I wonder how many of the bureaucrats charged with the actual responsibility for those areas also thought that they should be ATSIC’s problem just because ATSIC was there? Let’s hope that however a new indigenous representative body is constituted, the extent of its remit compared to what remains as the responsibility of other State and Federal departments is made abundantly clear.