- From: AAP
- September 17, 2011
Mr Bowen was halfway through the press conference in Smithfield, in the city's west, when members of the Refugee Action Coalition arrived and began shouting over the minister as he attempted to answer questions from journalists.
Mr Bowen remained calm and after several minutes of heckling again began taking questions from journalists. After the press conference, Mr Bowen drove off and was chased for about a kilometre by angry members of the Refugee Action Coalition shouting "shame Bowen shame".
The group had been holding a demonstration outside the minister's office in nearby Fairfield earlier this morning. During his press conference Mr Bowen urged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to back the government's plans to amend the Migration Act.
"Mr Abbott shouldn't risk offshore processing, he should work with the government in good faith to see legislation passed," Mr Bowen told reporters.
With the Greens already ruling out supporting changes to the act, the government will need the coalition's support if it's to make any progress.
Mr Abbott appears unlikely to support the government but is expected to wait until the legislation is before the shadow cabinet and party room before announcing a final decision.
Nick Riemer, from the Refugee Action Coalition, said his group's earlier demonstration was held to voice opposition to offshore processing.
"The protest is completely opposed to offshore processing of any kind," he said.
"On the grounds that it violates our international obligation . . . to welcome refugees in this country.
"Whether it's in Malaysia, whether it's in Nauru, it doesn't matter"Refugees who apply to Australia for help should be helped here." Mr Bowen did not front the demonstration outside his office
_______________ | _______________
Politics is a science that sometimes traps you insidiously. The latest asylum proposed policy to circumvent the Australian High Court is bad public policy and is further proof that the Gillard Government has lost its judgment and to some commentators it authority and therefore its legitimacy to govern.
The High Court by ruling that the Australian Government adhere to the United Nations signed protocol on the refugee's human rights, provided the Government with a perfect escape clause to abandon its external third party refugee policy and process refugee's application within Australian territories.
In passing, let me say that the High Court will continue to involve itself in such administrative matters, when called upon by aggrieved person, while Australia does not have a Bill of Rights.
Gillard instead chose to catch up with the Abbott setting agenda of third party processing. In doing so the Government is furiously digging itself into a deep hole that could ultimately suffocate it from the continuing collapse of 'middle Australia' support.
If Gillard had the ticker to be a leader of note, she should have abandoned the 'metoism' policy and declare from now on Australia will abide with the spirit and the letter of the law of the signed asylum seeker protocol.
Whitlam, Fraser, and Hawke found no difficulties in aligning individually with altruism. I am still at a loss to fathom, why of all politicians, Keating in 1991, would introduce mandatory detention.
What Gillard fears, the perception of lack of nationalism, will instead be perceived as a sign of strength and more importantly adhering to ALP policy. What Gillard is effectively doing is endorsing Hansenism which Howard similar to Gillard was wedged into endorsing.
Gillard should trust middle Australia and leave it to the electorate to reward what would be statesmanship and decisive leadership.
Gillard should forget about recent spin such as window dressing the ALP with her stale vision of Americanism primaries and instead turn to the real Julia that is submersed somewhere deep within her soul.