My slightly cynical nature sometimes comes through during election time, so I could not resist taken these two photos at the Fremantle Primary School poling station this morning.
The first photo very well portraits the extremely low public profile the Liberal candidate has in Fremantle. I noticed her only once ever during the campaign.
The second photo might be an indication that Labor will roll out Medicare for detention centres. “We’ll put people first.” as long as they don’t arrive by boat, hey Bill Shorten!
Reminding us of our history often gets the points across, as these posters in Henry Street, Fremantle do for me. Too often we are frightened of something new and change, and throughout history we have initially failed to embrace and we even rejected migrants to Australia.
In hindsight though we appreciate how much migrants have contributed to our country, so time to lose that fear again and be open and open-minded to those who come from different cultures and religions.
Don’t judge the majority of good people on the madness of minorities.
Retiring Fremantle Federal MP Melissa Parke gave her last, valedictory, speech in Canberra’s Parliament House today accusing the government of creating hysteria in Australia over asylum seekers.
“I came into this place to represent the Fremantle electorate and to engage in what I termed the war against indifference. Before I expand on that, I would observe that there have been many wars fought in this place — the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on people-smugglers, the war on each other. Only the last one seems to have had any success, and that has been to the ultimate detriment of all of us, and of public trust in our political system.”
The ‘war on terror’ has too often become a tool used by governments around the world to suppress dissent, to shrink civil society, to curtail independent media, to increase surveillance of civilian populations, and to erode the rule of law and hard-won civil liberties. We are seeing this in Egypt, Turkey, Russia, Malaysia and Ethiopia, to name just a few countries, but we are also seeing it much closer to home.
“The war on people smugglers, accompanied by a faux concern for drownings at sea, has facilitated the profound deterioration in Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees,” Parke told Parliament.
The human rights advocate attacked the lack of transparency from an “increasingly militarised immigration and border protection agency”.
“The present offshore detention system is a festering wound that is killing people and eroding our national character and reputation. It needs to be healed.”
Melissa Parke proposed an increase in the present humanitarian intake and said Australia should meet its international obligations and take in more refugees.
I want to thank Melissa for her tireless work for human rights all over the world and for her passion and integrity. I have found Melissa to be a absolutely delightful person and feel privileged to have met her on many occasions. I wish her all the very best and look forward to catching up with her in Freo.
City of Fremantle Councillors, staff and the community will show their support for refugees by marching in the annual Palm Sunday Walk for Justice for Refugees this Sunday 20 March.
The group will gather at 11.30 am at Pioneer Park (opposite Fremantle Train Station) and board a train to Perth to join the main event at 1.00 pm outside St George’s Cathedral.
Fremantle councillor and refugee rights advocate Cr Sam Wainwright said the Walk For Justice aimed to shed light on the injustices refugees face when attempting to seek refuge in Australia.
“Overwhelming evidence indicates severe and systemic abuse of asylum seekers’ human rights is occurring within Australia’s immigration processing system,” Cr Wainwright said.
“We’ve seen a recent surge of concern about the conditions in Australia’s offshore detention centres in particular as a result of the impending deportation of 267 asylum seekers. A lot of this attention was focused around the fate of “Baby Asha”, who doctors in Brisbane only agreed to release on the condition she would not be returned to Nauru.
“It’s completely unacceptable to detain people like this and I’m really proud of the actions the Fremantle council has taken recently to help defend the rights and raise the profiles of these innocent people.
“We’re now calling on our famously compassionate local community to stand together to support refugee rights by attending the march with us,” Cr Wainwright said.