The Northern Territory news Tue 21 Aug 2012
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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin
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Nationwide News Pty. Limited
www.ntnews.com.au Tuesday, August 21, 2012. NT NEWS. 15 P U B : NTNE-WS-DA-TE:21-AGE:15 CO-LO-R: C-M Y-K Things to know before you can: *Same day funding is available for existing customers who apply before noon, Monday to Friday. Unavailable for secured loans, when a guarantor is required, if an application is incomplete or needs to be referred for a more detailed review by a lending specialist and subject to system availability. Applications for fi nance are subject to the Banks normal credit approval. Full terms and conditions will be included in our loan offer. Fees and charges are payable. Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124. Australian credit licence 234945. SAME DAY PERSONAL LOANS* Visit: In branch Call: 13 14 31 Apply today: commbank.com.au/personalloan Get what you want without having to wait. Cool look at facts about boat people People arriving by boat make up only 2 per cent of immigration arrivals EVEN before John Howard and the Tampa incident, the topic of people arriving in Australia by boat has been highly divisive among the Australian public. It would be fair to say the asylum-seeker issue is the most kicked political football of the past decade. With the Labor Governments recent policy turnaround and the return to offshore processing of asylum seekers, now is a good time to forget all the political tit-fortat and to look at some of the facts around the issue. Fact 1: Coming by boat to Australia is legal Under the Migration Act of 1958, it is perfectly legal to seek asylum in Australia, by boat or plane. If youve heard asylum seekers referred to as illegal immigrants then youre listening to someone not familiar with our laws, or with an agenda. Fact 2: Asylum seekers are not queue jumpers Australias refugee intake program has two components, an onshore one for people applying once arriving to Australia and an offshore one, settling recognised refugees currently living overseas. Since many countries in conflict have no channel to apply to be resettled, people must leave in any way they can. Put simply, for many asylum seekers, there is no queue. Fact 3: Asylum seekers arriving by boat make up less than 2 per cent of immigration arrivals Government stats show 441,200 people arrived in Australia last year. Only around 5000 of them were asylum seekers arriving on boats. The whole debate is highly disproportionate to the size of the problem. We are not being swamped or invaded. Fact 4: Developing countries host 80 per cent of the worlds refugees Pakistan hosts more than 1.7 million refugees. If that isnt a staggering figure to put our problems into perspective, I dont know what is. Fact 5: More than 90 per cent of asylum seekers arriving by boat are deemed to be genuine refugees Comparatively, only about 45 per cent of people arriving in Australia on temporary tourist, student or work visas are eventually approved as genuine refugees. Lets accept the refugees and send home people who are just trying it on. Fact 6: Australia ranks 68th in the world on a refugee-per-capita basis, and 77th on a refugee-perGDP basis That means we accept very few refugees compared with most other countries. Considering Australia is free from war and religious persecution, we have ample space, resources and a strong economy, I believe we should be accepting a greater percentage of the worlds refugees. Fact 7: 453 current asylum seekers have been in detention for more than two years. The longest period in detention served has been seven years Detaining asylum seekers indefinitely, when they have committed no crime, is unfair and cruel. The mental health ramifications of this indefinite detention have been widely documented and are often exacerbated by the fact that people fleeing conflict are often survivors of torture or persecution. Asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat are just everyday people desperate to escape from war and persecution at any cost. As a country founded on immigration, I think we should give these people a fair go.