- Update : Millionaire blabbermouth, professional boofhead and Liberal Party poodle Neil Mitchell expresses support for Andrews and rooly deep concern (characteristic of a landlord) for the residents of Dandenong, Springvale and Noble Park in Above the law in the suburbs (Herald Sun, October 4, 2007); not, surprising as it may seem, an account of “the leaked police report [which] has questioned the future of a senior sergeant accused by lawyers of running a regime of “racially motivated police violence” against local African youths at Flemington police station”, but rather claims by a bottle-shop owner and three policemen that, contra the Victoria Police’s own statistics, Sudanese refugees “choose not to adapt to the Australian way of life and more annoying they do not like to abide by our laws”.
Two Wongs don’t make a White and too many Blacks spoil the broth.
Following his much-lauded success in protecting Australian citizens from the malevolent Dr Mohammed Haneef, Minister for Immigration & Citizenship Kevin Andrews has announced Government plans to significantly decrease the number of African refugees admitted to Australia, from 70 percent of the total of 13,000 refugees two years ago to just 30 percent in the coming year. Given that something like 4,000 have already been admitted into Australia as refugees, this effectively means that no more black refugees will be entering the country until at least July next year.
According to Andrews, the reason for this is that African refugees fail to ‘integrate’ into Australian society. Thus:
We know that there is a large number of people who are young, that is in their teens and in their early 20s, often young men. We know that they have on average, low levels of education and lower levels of education than almost any other group of refugees that have come to Australia. And by low levels I mean, we’re talking about grade 2 and grade 3 primary school levels by way of education. We know that many of them, indeed if not most of them, have spent up to a decade in refugee camps and they’ve spent much of their lives in very much a war torn conflicted situation. And then on top of that they have the challenges of resettling in a culture which is vastly different to the one which they came from. Modern Australia, modern urban Australia largely, is vastly different from the conditions that people have come from in many of the countries, particularly in the Horn of Africa. And that’s played out in terms of young people who’ve got a low level of education, who therefore find it more difficult to get jobs, and come from a different culture from what we’re used to in Australia.
Contra refugees from the Horn of Africa, Andrews studied arts/law at the University of Melbourne, before completing a Master of Laws at Monash in 1979. Prior to selflessly entering Parliament in 1991, he was a practicing barrister, even winning an Australian Young Lawyer of the Year Award. And it’s precisely because of these qualities that Andrews is able to protect the residents of Bulleen, Doncaster, Doncaster East, Donvale, Nunawading, Park Orchards, Ringwood Nth, Templestowe, Templestowe Lower, Warrandyte, Warrandyte South, Warranwood and Wonga Park from suffering the consequences of the failure of these poorly-educated Africans to integrate into suburbs such as these.
Speaking of protecting the public, as in the case of the brown-skinned Haneef, Andrews has sensibly refused to release the evidence upon which he has arrived at his decision. Instead the Minister has simply noted that “an inter-departmental committee made up of very senior people from a range of… Federal Government departments… came to that conclusion”.
In all probability, like Andrews, a number of these very senior people also have law degrees, so it makes sense to trust their judgement.
Typically, however, Andrews’ decision has been cynically interpreted as a threadbare attempt to appeal to the kind of racist sentiment Pauline Hanson expressed to the media last December:
“We’re bringing in people from south Africa at the moment, there’s a huge amount coming into Australia, who have diseases, they’ve got AIDS,” Ms Hanson told news agency AAP. “They are of no benefit to this country whatsoever, they’ll never be able to work. And what my main concern is, is the diseases that they’re bringing in and yet no-one is saying or doing anything about it.”
Obviously, Hanson got it wrong. The problem with Africans is not that they’re disease-ridden, it’s that they’re mostly young, fleeing from war-torn countries, and very very few, if any, have law degrees (let alone an Australian Young Lawyer of the Year Award).
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees said refugees should be accepted based on their need for protection, not their ability to integrate. “UNHCR is not aware of any empirical evidence that suggests there are integration difficulties associated with Sudanese,” a commission spokeswoman said. “Indeed, we note previous comments by the Victorian police … that Sudanese people are under-represented in crime statistics.
What this spokeswoman fails to realise, as Andrews has already indicated, is that a number of very senior people know better. Further, Prime Minister HoWARd has confirmed that the policy is not in any way, shape or form ‘racist’; neither too heavy nor too light; too black nor too white; but just Right: “It’s not in any way racially based but the program is just going to be rebalanced and one of the consequences of that is the reality that there will be no more people coming from Africa until at least July of next year,” Mr HoWARd told ABC Radio.”
Nevertheless, as a result of this kind of unjustified criticism, Andrews has kindly elaborated on the reason for this restriction in the refugee intake, and pinpointed Sudan as being a particular problem. As reported by the ABC, “Just last week 18-year-old Sudanese refugee Liep Gony died after he was beaten up near a railway station in Melbourne’s south-east”.
That the two charged over his murder happen not to be Sudanese is clearly irrelevant, as it’s obvious — as any very senior person could tell you — that they might well have been. (And is it really just a coincidence that the two — Clinton David Rintoull, 22, of Noble Park, and Dylan Sabatino, 19, believed to be from South Australia — both wore black clothing at their most recent hearing?) Irrelevant too, is the fact that “Sudanese refugees are convicted for fewer crimes per capita than the general Victorian population, according to [Victorian] police”.
Senior people know better.
- Kevin’s electorate office is located at 651 Doncaster Road, Doncaster.