Bob Gould, 2008
Source: Green Left Weekly discussion list, February 6, 2008
Proofreading, editing, mark-up: Steve Painter
It’s not exactly a socialist revolution, but in an effective if piecemeal way the Rudd Labor government is winding up some of the nastiest remnants of the Howard government’s demagogic, chauvinist refugee policy.
A few days ago some Afghan refugees who were stuck on the Indonesian island of Lombok since being deported there by the Howard government were approved as refugees and given permission to to enter Australia.
Today, the Sydney media report that the last group of refugees, 20 or so Sri Lankans, who had been held on Nauru, have been given refugee status and will be flown immediately to Australia, ending the Howard government’s infamous Pacific Solution, as the detention centre on Nauru is now empty.
There’s more information about these matters on the Refugee Action Committee’s website. There’s still a lot of unfinished business on the refugee question and pressure will have to be maintained on the Labor government for civilised outcomes, but this isn’t a bad start.