Letters to
the editor

Other options for refugee situation

Since it seems unlikely that the United States will take a very large number of those refugees on Manus Island and Nauru, it does appear that Australia has real obligations to the remainder (Editorial, “Deliberate injustice”, May 20-26). The idea that these traumatised people should be sloughed off to a Third World country with far fewer resources than Australia is disgraceful. Our country takes in a very large number of immigrants every year. Why could we not reduce that intake substantially, say by 20,000, and accept all those on the two islands as well as those in camps in Indonesia? Australia is seeking a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. Until we rectify our behaviour we have no right to such a position. 

– Gael Barrett, North Balwyn, Vic

Population growth and job insecurity

Full marks to Mike Seccombe and your paper for a balanced and informative assessment of immigration and population issues (“Migrants targeted as refugee panic founders”, May 20-26). The main take-home is that, contrary to much ill-informed commentary, Australians’ concerns about immigration and population growth are not predominantly based in racism and xenophobia. Rather the concerns are about declining incomes, urban congestion and environmental destruction.

– Peter G. Cook, Palmwoods, Qld

Taking PM at his word

So in 2004 Malcolm Turnbull said we should welcome “as many of the world’s enterprising and energetic” as we can. Like those who, against the odds, get themselves and their families out of danger and across long distances to find somewhere safer to live? 

– Margaret Hurle, Manilla, NSW

Policy decisions to blame

It is certainly hypocritical for politicians to blame migrants for our current employment problems, but demonising of “them” – be it the unemployed, Indigenous, leaners, dole bludgers or migrants – is not only common but for politicians it’s usually successful. It did wonders in terms of free publicity for Pauline Hanson when she incorrectly accused Asians of taking over Australia at a time when the US and Britain owned far more. It also worked well for John Howard and will probably do much the same for both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten. Unfortunately, what will be obscured by this kerfuffle is an examination of the growth policies of our political leaders, one that has seen our population growth, largely from high immigration, becoming the highest in the developed world, creating problems with congestion, infrastructure, housing and, with 163,000 people entering the workforce when only 100,000 new jobs were created, our present unemployment problem.

– Don Owers, Dudley, NSW

We need to talk about immigration 

I don’t fully agree with the tone of Mike Seccombe’s article. Contrary to his belief, I am surprised that neither of the major parties has been saying anything about our overall immigration program, seeing it is of some concern to the public. Most of their emphasis seems to be on those workers arriving here on 457 visas, or as temporary workers. It appears no one wants to be seen as saying anything critical about immigration in case they are identified as being racist or associated with One Nation. But many of us are questioning why we are continuing with a high immigration rate when we have close on two million people either jobless or underemployed. Although not many are aware, our yearly immigration rate is higher than the so-called golden years of the 1950s and ’60s when boats were arriving each week with people mainly from Europe wanting to work. Surely bringing in more than 180,000 people each year is not warranted when we have so many Australians seeking work? We need to dramatically cut the number of immigrants to ensure there is adequate work for everyone who wants it. 

– Con Vaitsas, Ashbury, NSW

Take action against Dutton move

Peter Dutton – shame, shame, shame. I can’t imagine the fear that is generated with the ferocious attack again on asylum seekers who are supposed to prove their protection claims by October 1 after you have not only defunded any legal assistance they are entitled to, created pathways (including 60-page forms in English) that even those of us who understand English have difficulties with, and most of all, are again demonising people who fled the very tumultuous wars and situations we are horrified daily to read, hear about and see in our newspapers, radio, social media and on television. Why must we stand by and continue to let the very soul of Australia be destroyed with this inhumanity? I plead with all who care to take a stand for decency and let politicians know how you feel. People power can create changes. 

– Joan Lynn, Williamstown, Vic

The editor is responsible

In reply to George Williams’ “Editorial writer identify yourself” (Letters, May 20-26), surely the editorial is written by the editor as stated in the Macquarie Dictionary? If not, the author’s name will be given. I rather enjoy this smug publication. 

– Lesley Raper, Bentleigh East, Vic

Suggested heading rewrite

Far be it from me to suggest the subeditor erred with the World heading, however, I think it should have read “Widespread dismay at Trump’s intelligence”, but then again that could have created an oxymoron (Hamish McDonald, “Widespread dismay at Trump intelligence”, May 20-26).

– Allan Gibson, Cherrybrook, NSW

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on May 27, 2017.

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