Manus Island: one day we will be held accountable
The recent disturbance on Manus Island which resulted in one death and some 60 asylum seekers injured may become, in a perverse way, the key episode in stemming the flow of asylum seekers to Australia.
After all, why would you spend your family’s life savings fleeing persecution in your homeland only to suffer further persecution in a country such as Australia.
So the boat problem may well have been overcome, at least for the time being. But at what cost? The cost comes not just in the billions of dollars paid out to overseas companies who bring their private for-profit prison experience to Australian detention centres; but also the cost to our collective sense of morality.
Do the ends (stopping the boats) justify the means (off shore detention centres)? Most Australians and both major political parties obviously believe so.
However I believe that one day we as a nation will be called to account for our harsh responses to people who seek asylum here.