Don’t stop the boats

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sinking boat

A friend rang yesterday to tell me something Australian Green’s Senator Christine Milne just said in Parliament.

“Sue,” he said, “Remember your suggestion about stopping Indonesian people smugglers?”

“Yeah,” I replied.

“Well, I mulled over what you said and then I spoke to a representative at Christine Milne’s office who promised to pass it on to her.”


“Guess what? Milne made a reference to it during a speech today.”

“Good grief. What did she say?”

“She said that Australia could offer to run the boats themselves.”

I started laughing.

“So you never know,” he said. “You might have just helped to change the thinking in Parliament.”

Change the thinking?

Or maybe, like most Australians, I’m sick of the issue going round in circles.

Australia is unable to halt the influx of sea-borne asylum seekers. Every day the media reports on failed Government policies to ‘Stop the boats’.

In the meantime, Indonesian people smugglers profit from refugees who are crammed onto leaky boats which sink or are detained by the Australian Navy.

All asylum seekers are sent to detention centres where  their claims are processed over several years.

Clearly, people smugglers need to be put out of business and the Australian Government can do it.

Why not offer an Australian transportation alternative?

If Australia offered a cheap service, with a guarantee of safe passage, this could put the smugglers out of business. Personally, I’d rather board a well maintained boat with a competent crew than one with a high risk of sinking.

There’s no guarantee  the Australian Government would grant asylum, but it’s a better option than being exploited by people smugglers.

And I know this is a wacky idea but the current approach isn’t working.

At least there’s one politician prepared to think about it.

What about you?

Author: Sue Bell
Sue Bell is an entertainment writer and author of Backpacked: A mostly true story, Beat Street and When Dreamworks came to Stanley.

3 thoughts on “Don’t stop the boats

  1. Brilliant idea, Sue! It’s so left-of-field that it’s got a good chance of working. Have you considered going into politics? Or sailing?
    Great post.

  2. Sue! I am not an Aussie, but nevermind, this is a great example for all humans with minds that need to turn, twist, topsy-turvy and flex flexibility.
    Sometimes what seems a too simplistic or laughable solution is just what is required!
    My fav archetypes are the (Holy)Fool and the Trickster who are such great teachers for “thinking beyond the box, all the boxes our very domesticated minds have shaped over the millenia. Holy Fool says: “ride your horse (aka MIND) backwards”, trickster says turn EVERYTHING upside down if you truly want to go beyond predictable solutions!
    What you suggest about boats and Australian chutzpah, to just do what needs doing about this “problem” and ignore the naysayers, is brilliant. All the committees in the world who study human problems have not put a dent in creating a new world, as I see it. I say just do it, whatever it is and then modify the solution as needed, but just get safe boats, and Australian know- how moving on this! Next the Palestinians and Israelis might try your problem solving method as well if they truly want to MOVE to a new dimension of consciousness. Well, not to single them out, I will say all of us might try it!
    Thanks for tweaking my brain and problem solving skills!
    Just sayin…….Morgana

  3. Thanks for your comment Morgana. I’m glad it hit a chord with you. Sometimes the least obvious approach turns out to be the best one.
    cheers, sue

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