The National – Tuesday, December 28, 2010
By MALUM NALU
COLONIAL legislator John Pasquarelli has criticised the way Australian authorities treated illegal PNG border crossers last week.
He said over the weekend that the treatment of the PNG border crossers was “hypocritical”.
He has also hit out at the Australia media for not giving the matter any prominence.
About 130 Papua New Guineans, on their way to petition the Australian government to recognise them as its citizens last week, were stopped by Australian customs in the Torres Strait and were taken to Thursday Island.
“Illegal boat people from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka regularly arrive on Australian shores and many of these people are culturally-incompatible with mainstream Australians, especially the Muslims with their often unveiled contempt for the traditional Australian/Christian culture but this does not stop them embracing all the benefits that Australia affords, including Centrelink and all the other welfare ‘goodies’,” Pasquarelli told The National yesterday.
“Many ex-PNG expats find it hypocritical and confusing that Australian immigration can send the Papuans ‘packing’ but literally welcome other illegals to our shores.
“The situation is, of course, complex but woe betide Australian authorities if the thousands of West Papuan refugees decide to hop into their canoes and dinghies.”
Pasquarelli said the Australian boat people saga took an interesting turn when the story of Papuans coming across Torres Strait in dinghies surfaced in the Australian media.
“The fact that 120 people apparently made the trip should have meant a huge story but like a lot of politicians, the journos were asleep at the wheel and there was not a single TV image,” he said.
“According to reports, Australian immigration officials seized the dinghies and the Papuans were ‘sent packing’ back to Daru.
“It is alleged that the Papuans were carrying false Australian citizenship documents but until the PNG media investigates, we are all in the dark somewhat.”