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Luke Hartsuyker's priorities - letter to newspaper

Dear Editor

Recently readers may have received a mail-out from our federal member, Luke Hartsuyker.  Among the issues he wishes you to prioritise is "securing Australia's borders".  Sounds scary, doesn't it?  Are Islamic State battleships arranged on the horizon, about to attack?

No, the terrifying craft lurching toward our shores, intent on invasion, is a leaky, creaky fishing boat whose passengers are ordinary people fleeing misery.  A terrorist would come safely by plane.   These refugees are running away from terrorism. 

Among those passengers might be a young girl from a county where it is unsafe to go to school because of religious extremists.  She may be persecuted because she belongs to a particular ethnic group.  She may have seen her friend blown up by a road-side bomb or killed by machete in an attack on a village.  A relative may have been tortured and murdered by a bloody regime.

But Mr Hartsuyker wants to protect you from this nasty young girl.  If he has his way, her boat will be sent back.  He doesn't want her to come here and apply for asylum, which she is legally entitled to do.  If she makes it here, he'll incarcerate her behind barbed wire for an indefinite period, so there's no danger you will come into contact with this modern-day Anne Frank.

But wait!  There's someone else of whom you should be afraid: doctors and nurses!  Hartsuyker's government has passed the Border Force Act, which will protect us from the disturbing communications and nefarious activities of any health professional who would be so rashly ethical as to blow the whistle on any abuse of asylum seeker patients.  A person demonstrating such concern and compassion will be gagged could be gaoled.

Meanwhile, more densely-populated European countries are dealing with the current migration crisis by each welcoming ten times our annual humanitarian intake.  The Coalition and Labor seem happy to send those who seek our help to the off-shore concentration camps.  The Greens oppose the cruelty and secrecy of such treatment.

Why does Mr Hartsuyker want you to be scared?  So that he can adopt the posture of being tough on border security and you will vote for him.  He doesn't want to bother you with leadership that is based on higher ethical principles; he doesn't want to trouble you with trying to make Australia a better, more compassionate society.  He just wants a safe seat.

Yours faithfully


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