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Published: Australian Financial Review

Successive Australian governments having vilified, used and abused refugees for political and electoral gain over the past fourteen years can hardly be surprised at the reaction of the residents of Woodside in South Africa and Northam in Western Australia to the proposal to build detention facilities on the edge of their towns.

The government is getting back in spades what they have fed and nurtured the public with over the past decade and a half. Both sides of politics need to tone down their rhetoric if they wish to implement half reasonable policy toward displaced and traumatised asylum seekers.

I say half reasonable because there is no need to incarcerate asylum seekers beyond a short period to undertake health checks. Security checks are not possible because the power to grant these clearances in most cases rest with the authorities they are fleeing.

Terrorists wishing to come to Australian would come by plane, not by boat. They would walk through the immigration checks along with members of the various east European mafias who organise the banking and property scams. Perhaps some of them are terrorists; money talks. International criminals move around the world with impunity.