YOU CHOSE A SHITTY TIME TO JOIN THE NAVY, PAL
by Ross Sharp
From The Age, January 15, 2014 …
Navy personnel carrying out border protection were quietly stripped of some workplace safety protections and obligations last month in an apparent preparation for dangerous operations such as turning back boats.
The Chief of the Defence Force, General David Hurley, used his powers under workplace safety laws shortly before Christmas to exempt Navy sailors from their obligation to take ”reasonable care” to ensure their own safety and that of other sailors and asylum-seekers.
The change aims to give sailors legal protection, meaning they would ”not face individual criminal sanctions under the Act for giving effect to Government policy”, an explanatory statement issued by General Hurley states.
General Hurley acted in consultation with Employment Minister Eric Abetz to make the change, which effectively puts the sailors on a similar footing to military personnel fighting in battle …
A leading industrial law expert, Professor Ron McCallum of the University of Sydney, blasted the workplace change, saying it seemed squarely aimed at carrying out the government’s turnback policy.
”Navy personnel work very hard and I mean no criticism of them … but this is not a war situation,” he said. ”I think it’s a pity to alter those laws and any turnback policy should be ensuring refugees and sailors are safe.”
From The Sydney Morning Herald, January 8, 2014
“Most Australians think asylum seekers who arrive by boat are not genuine refugees and there is strong support for the Abbott government to treat boat arrivals more harshly.
A nationwide opinion poll by UMR Research shows that 59 per cent of people think most boat arrivals are not genuine refugees.
The poll, based on a nationally representative sample of 1000 online interviews, shows only 30 per cent of Australians believe that most asylum seekers are genuine refugees while 12 per cent are unsure.
A strong majority of Australians, 60 per cent, also want the Abbott government to “increase the severity of the treatment of asylum seekers.””
The Prime Minister has listened to the people.
Sailors can now beat the shit out of refugees with iron bars and cattle prods if they so choose.
Or shoot them.