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The problem with boats policy is now Gillard's and no longer Rudd's

Comments on Dennis Shanahan “Boats policy left in a muddle”, 29/04/2011, http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/boats-policy-left-in-a-muddle/story-e6frgd0x-1226046531647

There is no point to continue to lay blames to Rudd for the current mess, given that he has lost his prime ministership for 8 months that is long enough for the Gillard government to introduce an effective border protection policy and to deal with those who were in detention.

Gillard could have used the Nauru existing detention facilities that Australia spent money to build for a temporary and transitional measure to have stopped the boats from arriving. At the same time to have developed a better solution, such as the essence of her regional processing centres, though not necessarily in East Timor, in a measured and much accepted diplomatic way.

In that way she would have allowed more time on her side.

Further, for the existing asylum seekers in detention in Australia, she could have established a temporary transitional visa for them to be out of detention, pending for permanent residency subject to security and character checks. The risk would have been small because few new boats will arrive if an offshore processing will be the way to go with an existing Nauru solution in place as an interim measure.

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