Asy­lum-seek­ers in de­ten­tion should be treated in situ

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

The me­di­vac asy­lum-seeker ques­tion makes me won­der what kind of un­usual med­i­cal con­di­tions af­flict asy­lum-seek­ers on Nauru that av­er­age Nau­ru­ans don’t also suf­fer and why can’t they be han­dled in the same way at Nauru’s hospi­tal? Don’t or­di­nary Nau­ru­ans have heart at­tacks, bro­ken bones or give birth from time to time?

And in the case of the stom­ach pains that turned out to be con­sti­pa­tion, what does that say about the di­ag­nos­tic skills of the treat­ing doc­tor? It’s time this med­i­cal evac­u­a­tion of asy­lum-seek­ers was iden­ti­fied as the medico-ac­tivist hoax it is. Jim Ball, Narrabeen, NSW This bill pro­vided for two med­i­cal prac­ti­tion­ers to rec­om­mend that a refugee on Nauru or Manus be brought to Aus­tralia for treat­ment. The min­is­ter had the power to block the trans­fer but would be re­quired to pro­vide rea­sons to par­lia­ment. Isn’t that a fair and rea­son­able step to take to al­le­vi­ate the sit­u­a­tion of refugees in these off­shore cen­tres?

Is the plight of these hap­less in­di­vid­u­als of no in­ter­est to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment? Re­mem­ber that in ap­ply­ing for asy­lum, these peo­ple have not com­mit­ted any crime. It is their right un­der in­ter­na­tional law to make such ap­pli­ca­tions. Robin Roth­field, Al­ph­ing­ton, Vic

Cli­mate bi­lat­er­al­ism

It’s pos­si­ble to ac­cept that cli­mate change oc­curs but not sub­scribe to the view that it is an­thro­pogenic. Grapes were grown in Bri­tain when the Ro­mans in­vaded, and cen­turies later the Thames froze over and peo­ple could skate from bank to bank.

Oth­ers have re­searched and re­ported on pre­his­toric cli­mate change. The fore­cast re­la­tion­ship be­tween CO2 and tem­per­a­ture has been shown to be flawed, but doom­say­ers con­tinue to take the as­cen­dancy and high ground, pro­mot­ing crit­i­cism of a ra­tio­nal­ist un­der­stand­ing of na­ture, and di­vert­ing in­tel­lec­tual en­ergy and re­sources to a fu­tile cause. Ef­forts would be bet­ter di­rected at pop­u­la­tion con­trol and re­for­esta­tion as a means of off­set­ting the ef­fects of our modern civil­i­sa­tion. Pe­ter Quinn, Esk, Qld Per­haps we should have a royal com­mis­sion into cli­mate change so that we can have the au­thor­ity of a pow­er­ful pub­lic doc­u­ment to form the ba­sis of gov­ern­ment pol­icy on the is­sue.

If noth­ing else, it would be good to have pro­po­nents and op­po­nents on the is­sue sub­ject to cross-ex­am­i­na­tion to try and es­tab­lish the strength and weak­ness of their po­si­tions. Kirk Wil­son, Berowra, NSW

Blame bank boards

Fin­ing banks is not the an­swer given that banks pre­serve the wealth of mil­lions of Aus­tralians. Cor­rup­tion and bad be­hav­iour by banks is caused by man­age­ment, gov­ern­ing boards and in­di­vid­u­als within the bank­ing sys- tem. Penal­ties must be di­rected at man­agers and boards. Their salaries, way be­yond the dreams of most cit­i­zens, need cut­ting back to re­al­is­tic lev­els. Hard work keep­ing the bas­tards hon­est usu­ally works. Prue Leem­ing, Mount Clare­mont, WA

Group­think in teach­ing

It is time to re­de­fine ed­u­ca­tion and what we want for our chil­dren. It does not help hav­ing a group of chil­dren parad­ing with signs com­plain­ing that Aus­tralia is not send­ing it­self to the poor house quickly enough in the name of va­garies in the weather.

Then Mark Chap­man (Let­ters, 7/12) tells us these chil­dren have a bet­ter grasp of cli­mate change than many adults. Surely the point is these chil­dren have been in­doc­tri­nated by Marx­ists mas­querad­ing as teach­ers. We would be bet­ter served if teach­ers taught chil­dren how to think, not what to think. But many teach­ers ap­pear to be in­ca­pable of mov­ing be­yond Marx­ist group­think. Mal Clarke, Mor­phett Vale, SA

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