Monday, September 29, 2008

Ruddock's shameful legacy - About time an empowered post-mortem on the Howard human rights legacy proceeded!

In today's Canberra Times Jacquie Everitt puts the lie to any defence Howard govt frontbenchers may launch against a critique of their human rights record. It was abysmal and I remain concerned that a judicial review has not been convened into the worst excesses of the Howard experiment.

Everitt writes:

"The stars of the former government are in decline, none more absolutely than Philip Ruddock, who recently celebrated 35 years in Parliament. With his hard stance on refugees, he assisted John Howard more than any other minister to win an election the Coalition had been in danger of losing before the Tampa incident.

In a last-minute conversion to humanity or a desperate attempt to resurrect his depleted reputation, this Father of the House, has finally expressed unease about one aspect of Australia's mandatory immigration detention policy: the length of time it took the Howard Government to release the children from detention.

While others might be concerned at the legacy of mental damage done to the children, he told The Australian (August 13, 2008), ''If I have any regrets, it's not so much the question of the policies but the question of the speed and implementation.'' He went on to blame lack of funding as the reason the children had remained locked up for so long.

This is specious nonsense. As minister for immigration from 1996 to 2003, he had it in his power to release the children at any time and chose not to...."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


MSF are inviting you to their free awareness-raising event in Canberra on Saturday 20 September at Glebe Park.

Make sure you don't miss this chance to meet Médecins Sans Frontières field workers and discover life in a refugee camp. No bookings are required - just turn up on the day.

The event is open from 9:00am every day, with fully escorted tours, for a maximum 15 people, leaving every 15 minutes. The last tour departs at 5:00pm.

The venue and dates are:

GLEBE PARK (Corner of Akuna & Bunda Street)
Saturday 20 - Wednesday 24 September, 2008

For more information on REFUGEE CAMP IN YOUR CITY, please see the MSF website.