Fear behind, fear ahead

IT’S inhumane, un-Australian and downright disturbing. Do we really plan to make the experience of asylum seekers arriving in Australia so horrible that they would rather stay and face persecution or atrocity?

Conditions for asylum seekers in detention centres are already shameful. These mums, dads and kids are faced with choices that no person should have to make. Often their choice is between certain death or merely possible death. The distant threat of a detention centre – whether in Villawood, Malaysia or Nauru – is not going to make a difference.

We need to be proactive, increase our refugee intake and assist refugee processing in transit countries, such as Indonesia, so the people smugglers have no more business. They come seeking safety from harm. We don’t need new, inhumane practices to make their only option worse. We need to give them a better option.

Mike Collins, Broadmeadow

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