Bruce Hawker writing in The Australian provides commentary on Tony Abbott’s refusal to negotiate on asylum seeker policy. He qoutes CPD founder and former head of Department of Immigration John Menadue.
“Australians don’t seem to have any real problem with accepting asylum-seekers – provided they come here by plane. They do struggle, however, with the idea that the few refugees who breach our border security have a legitimate right to seek asylum in this way. I don’t pretend to understand the myriad reasons for this, although I suspect a deep-seated national insecurity based on our geography has a fair bit to do with it. Despite our multicultural character many Australians still feel as though they are Europeans living on the edge of Asia. Fraser’s achievement is all the more remarkable therefore, in that he was resettling Indochinese refugees. As John Menadue observed, it was Fraser who, once and for all, broke free of the White Australia policy. In doing so he built on Whitlam’s abolition of the racist laws that supported it.”
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