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Public Sector Informant : PSI
[MAY 2010] THE PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMANT 41 increase the likelihood that the deten- tion of those who are affected will cross the line from being justified to being arbitrary before their status is determined and they are released or removed. This is because the negative effect of detention on the individual tends to increase as the duration of detention increases. The longer the period of detention, the more difficult it becomes to describe the detention as a proportionate means of achieving any legitimate end. Processing freezes are not a new development in Australia's handling of asylum-seekers. In the immediate aftermath of the toppling of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the Coalition government imposed a processing freeze on Afghan asylum claims which lasted until early 2002. Similarly, around the time of the overthrow of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the government froze the processing of Iraqi asylum claims, a decision that was reversed in April 2004 when immigration minister Amanda Vanstone conceded that ''we thought things might settle down [in Iraq]. We think perhaps that is not the case . . .'' All that those two freezes achieved was a prolongation of human misery, because in each case the government's assessment of the probable trajectory of change in the country concerned proved entirely too optimistic. I doubt things will turn out any differently this time around, but I would be happy to be proven wrong. After all, if conditions in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan do improve beyond recognition in the space of three or six months then everybody wins, not just the Govern- ment. Savitri Taylor is a senior lecturer in La Trobe University's school of law. This article first appeared in Inside Story (inside.org.au). TAXATION FOR PEOPLE SEEKING SOCIAL JUSTICE A FREE FOUR WEEK COURSE Social problems including low wages, unemployment and poverty can be remedied through the restoration by peaceful means of our natural rights, especially the right to use land. The collection of full site rent as the sole source for public revenue would eliminate land price and re-instate our natural and equal right to access the Earth. Taxes on work deny opportunity, rob working people and promote monopolies and inefficiencies. DATES: Saturday 8 May, 15 May, 22 May & 29 May TIME: 2pm -- 4pm VENUE: Shop No.3, Holt Shops, Off Beaurepaire Cres. CONTACT: Please contact Association for Good Government ACT Branch Secretary Ron Johnson on 6254 1897 to book your place in the course or email firstname.lastname@example.org 10-05569/2 "Rising land prices have made a much greater inroad into the incomes of the ordinary wage and salary earner than any other single factor." --- The Hon. Clyde R. Cameron, 1984, Australian Minister for Labour 1972 to 1975. Sign our online Petition to the Senate: www.associationforgoodgov.org.au
PSI - September