At the beginning of September 2015, the Abbott government (remember them?) announced that Australia would be taking 12,000 Syrian refugees.
Today, The Age announced that Around 20 Syrian refugees have so far arrived under the separate commitment to take 12,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria and Iraq.
That’s around four per month. At this glacial rate of progress, it will take 250 years to reach the target of 12,000. By then, the war may even be over. Certainly most of the current refugees will be dead.
Now the government has announced that the process of selection with far more strenuous and presumably more time-consuming.
On 7.30, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton used Australia’s goal of 12,000 refugees as a justification for the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. It’s a spurious argument to begin with but made all the more spurious by the fact that Australia is currently and effectively not taking any refugees at all.
This is despite being an active participant of the bombing that is creating the problem.
Thick smoke from an airstrike by the US-led coalition rises in Kobani, Syria