For a nation which is a signatory to the vast majority of UN human rights conventions and which played such an important part in the foundation of the United Nations, Australia seems to be losing its way on these basic commitments expected of a democratic nation.
The extension of the Northern Territory Intervention, which effectively strips vulnerable communities of their capacity for self-determination and reinforces their marginalisation, and the continued detention of asylum seekers are a source of shame and anger for many Australians of all political persuasions.
This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Gerry Hand’s introduction of immigration detention under the Keating government. This is a good time for the demise of this policy, which has wasted up to $100 billion dollars of public funds and seen the incarceration of up to 20,000 men, women and children.
Please read here for some recent speeches I’ve given on this issue.