by Julian Burnside – 26 June 2015
On 20 May 2015, the Australian Parliament passed the Border Force Act. The Act comes into force until 1 July 2015. Until then no-one is bound by its restrictions.
It includes secrecy provisions which have potentially very far-reaching consequences, but it is to be hoped that these provisions will be read down. What is really alarming bout the Border Force Act is that it shows the willingness of the government to suppress the facts connected with its brutal mistreatment of asylum seekers. I think the attempt will fail, but it should not have been made in the first place. It is of a piece with Tony Abbott’s response to Q & A allowing a quuestion from Zaky Mallah to go to air: instead of regretting an error of judgment, he asked “Whose side is ABC on?”. Abbott appears to think that the best way to deal with the world is to ignore facts which contradict your view of it.
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