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The Asylum Seekers

There has been an awful lot of discussion about the 'boat people' in Australia. Most of the talk was of fear. Fear of strangers, fear of loosing jobs, fear of inviting terrorists to live amongst us. The fear has fuelled political grandstanding, after all, we had to have an election, so it was well politicised! Most Australians seemed to be with the 'popular' opinion. I did not hear anyone with constructive, positive proposals to 'handle' the situation, everyone was too busy stating what they did not want. When I'm driving, I listen to a talk-back radio show in Melbourne, 3 AW, so I heard a lot of this. So, I tried to show another way:

"DearNeil, [Mithchel, 3 AW] 31 October 2001 It is a shame that most people's views and perspectives are so narrow with fear that I have not heard anyone with a positive, problem-solving comment. I hope the following 'challenge' may bring some out;


We call our country the 'Lucky' Country and the 'Clever' Country.

Yet when it comes to the subject of the refugees, the asylum seekers, the 'boat people' and the 'illegals' or the queue jumpers, we show all the tolerance and understanding of the leader of the Nazi party.

So much fear, so little understanding, such twisted perspectives that one would think that this Nation has gone through some horrible history, to be so afraid.

All we hear on radio and television, all we read in the newspapers is what we don't want, what we are afraid of and how 'terrible' this whole thing is. And of course, how it has became a political football as well.

HEY PEOPLE! How about some lateral thinking! How about some solutions? Let's put some of our 'cleverness' to work!

Here are some thoughts for your consideration:

Change your perspective of the 'problem'.

For example, Afghanistan is probably the most God-forsaken^ desolate country in the world. Yet the Afghans have learned to eke out a life. That suggests that they are capable of making a life for themselves anywhere.

Have a look at the size of the country on the map. It would probably fit inside one of our northern cattle stations"

These people have mothers, fathers. husbands, wives and children. They are no different to you and I. But in Afghanistan, their life expectancy was just over 50 years of age, even before the war.

Now - what could we do with hardy people like these?

Here is one suggestion. The 'challenge' is for you to come up with some better ones! I am sure you can! The suggestion?:

For manv decades now, we have made numerous plans to make corridors within the vastness of Australia, corridors of green, where now there is only desert. Imagine a wide, fertile strip of green, extending from Adelaide to Darwin. With water and transport corridors all the way. We know how to do it; we know how invaluable it would be for Australia. We just never had the will or the need and therefore, the money.

Even history has shown us just what can be done - just see what the refugees did in Israel. They went into the desert, set up small settlements and created productive oases of green. Yet originally, these were 'soft' people in comparison. They were lawyers, doctors, tailors, bakers and jewellers in the main. City folk.

If they could do it, what do you think these hardy folk on those boats could do?

Why can't we set up dozens of 'kibbutzim' in the desert? Make a deal with them: work the land for five years. After that, we welcome you as Australians. You have earned it! Maybe earned enough for a small slice of the desert for your own as well.

Not only would it cost us less to set them up and supervise them, compared to the millions we are spending now to try to stop them and to 'process' them in other countries, they would soon start contributing effectively to Australia and. listen you fearful ones, it would not cost us one extra job! You know how afraid you are that 'they' will take away jobs from Teal" Australians!

In fact, this will give us more jobs Supplying equipment, clothing, food and expert supervisors, not to mention the bureaucracy to oversee the whole project.

See? A potential win-win situation.

And Australians get to seem like we are warm, wonderful, spiritual people. Warms the cockles of your heart doesn't it?

So come on! I am sure you can come up with a better idea' God bless.

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