The boat policy of both major parties was misguided from the start, morally, politically and practically.
The country is now wrestling with the shameful results of it. Given Australia’s legal responsibility to accept political refugees without question, the separation of opportunistic economic and legitimate political refugees should have been done in Indonesia. The UNHCR and Australian Foreign Affairs specialists can still do that effectively. In doing so, they would be reducing the market of people smugglers to nil. Who would pay for a boat trip without a refugee entry visa? This was the essence of my submission to the Expert Panel on Refugees in 2012 which is on the public record. Move all Nauru and Manus people to Australia, please. Both major parties should say sorry.
Email, 29 Oct 2018 Klaas Woldring, Pearl Beach