THE BRISBANE COURIER-MAIL RECENTLY splashed a story and a triumphal photo of Campbell Newman and Tony Abbott with the provocative headline, ‘Campbell Newman predicts wave of asylum seekers escaping PNG across Torres Strait to Queensland’.
Newman claimed PNG would become a hopping-off point for asylum seekers seeking to gain entry to Australia.
"The Torres Strait is a porous border right now," Mr Newman said. "It's only 4km from PNG on to the soil of Queensland. You can go from PNG into Queensland across the Strait in a row-boat."
We've heard this before. The yellow peril, the black invasion, the need for a white Australia because the ‘Kanakas’ are taking our jobs.
What a worn-out old record. And look at Newman’s emotive language: 'porous border'; 'the soil of Queensland' (sacred ground), 'a row-boat'.
I imagine an Aboriginal elder looking at the first fleet and saying the same things, but with justification.
And Queensland Health Minister Laurence Springborg made it worse. He pulled out the TB card.
"Mr Springborg says others could be using the same route.
"It's a canoe ride, and then it's two air tickets and a taxi ride to western Sydney," Springborg said.
"If we can't keep our borders secure against people from Papua New Guinea, then how can we keep illegal people smugglers from using that as a very, very easy conduit to the Australian mainland?"
So one Syrian man with suspected TB was identified to illustrate the claim that Australia is being invaded by infected “hordes”.
Hordes which are heading to western Sydney? The good people of Penrith must be quaking in their boots.
Give me a break.
The Queensland Hystericals went so far as to suggest the Torres Strait Treaty should be cancelled. It has been operating successfully for around 30 years.
Those pesky Papua New Guineans - trying to sneak across our porous border to seek treatment for TB…. how dare they!
Send them back to their own country, out of our sight and away from our health budgets.
I seem to remember a Rev Dean Swift advocating in A Modest Proposal that the Irish problem could be solved if the Irish were encouraged to eat their babies.
Of course he was a satirist and a humanitarian.
May I suggest that the Papuan New Guineans revert to cannibalism and eat the asylum seekers?
That would solve the problem. Rudd and Abbott would be happy, and could maybe allocate funds to a new AusAID project - Noken Kaikai Man na Meri.