[Editor’s Note: Last night (28 June 2013) Rudd said Abbott’s policy of turning back the boats could lead to armed conflict with Indonesia … this morning voters are very worried about an incoming Indonesian missile in the seat of Griffith in Brisbane … The Australian has reported Kevin Rudd is out sand bagging bomb shelters in Balmoral today before his flight to Jakarta next week to prevent Konfrontasi … (NB: Balmoral is a suburb in the heart of Rudd’s electorate of Griffith)
WBT asks: This kind of rhetoric may help Rudd win the election but how does it help refugees in Indonesia?]
Pamela Curr: OF course I did not actually say that Rudd would slow the boats…
Rudd would slow the boats: advocate Pamela Curr
by: Stuart Rintoul
From: The Australian
June 27, 2013 10:36AM
KEVIN Rudd has the foreign affairs credentials to broker a new agreement with Indonesia capable of slowing the dramatic rise in the number of boats making the dangerous journey to Australia, according to one of the nation’s leading asylum-seeker advocates.
With Tony Abbott promising to “stop the boats” as a key election policy, Pamela Curr, campaign coordinator at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, told The Australian this morning: “The prime minister has got extensive experience in foreign affairs. This gives him an opportunity to approach the Indonesian government within a new framework.
“Until now, Australia has expected Indonesia to be the Great Wall of China against asylum seekers, to hold them and to hold them back.
“The fact is Australia has to go to Indonesia and listen to Indonesia, which spoke very clearly last week when it said that Australia has to take more people, we have to be prepared to accept refugees.
“If Australia showed a willingness to increase to increase the intake from Indonesia, then people would wait.
“The reason they are running now is because they believe Australia is about the close the doors and what they have seen is people sitting up there for years and years with no chance of resettlement. That’s got to change. We live in a real world where refugees and asylum seekers exist, we have international agreements in order to regulate and manage that problem and what we are doing is trying to duck out the back door and pretend that we don’t have any responsibility, and we do.”
Ms Curr said when Mr Rudd was previously prime minister, he “lost his nerve” on boats.
“Australia is on a hiding to nowhere with this crazy ‘stop the boats’ rhetoric,” she said. “What we need now is a principled political leader who can address the Australian people in a sensible way and explain to them why we have a responsibility to refugees and why it is not a crisis.
“Rudd has possibly got the respect and gravitas and the ability to explain to Australia what we have to do.
“He has possibly got that. But will he do it? We don’t know. He faces an aggressive animal in Tony Abbott who is running this issue for all it is worth. It is a test now for Rudd, as a leader. Can he change the rhetoric and with it change the perception that we are in crisis. We are not in crisis.”
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre
12 Batman st West Melbourne 3003
ph 03 9326 6066 / 0417517075
“AUSTRALIA. Built by boatpeople.”