Fine words but no action on Christmas Island

Linda Briskman & Susie Latham; 25/1/10

Two years after the Rudd government’s election, disturbing news about immigration detention rolls on. Some of Christmas Island’s asylum-seeker population are now housed in tents. Christmas Island’s detention facilities are being expanded beyond capacity and are now “home” to more than 1300 people. Too many are children, most of whom are held in the gated and guarded construction camp. Curtin University researcher Lucy Fiske, who met children aged from seven months through to 17 years on the island, says: “There is no natural shade, no grassed area, no open space where children can run or play, and no outdoor space for communal gatherings. There is very little to do.” Only weeks ago we saw other disturbing images of women and children who disembarked from the Oceanic Viking, pleading for help behind the barred windows of a locked room in Indonesia. They had been promised that they would not be held in the Australian-funded Indonesian detention centre.

See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/fine-words-but-no-action-on-christmas-island/story-e6frg6zo-1225823063217; Abbott ‘offensive’ on immigration; Ellie Harvey & Jonathan Pearlman; 25/1/10; http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-offensive-on-immigration-20100124-mskw.html; Indifferent land keeps desperate people waiting; David Marr; 23/1/10