Tony Abbott’s hand-picked auditor charged with assessing government spending and advising on outsourcing runs a company that has won contracts from the federal government worth more than half a billion dollars.
These include the contract for maintenance and support services at the Nauru detention centre worth $184.3 million.
This website focuses on five crucial aspects of the Australian Government’s policies around the border. It seeks to generate discussion, compile key information and analysis, and encourage practical efforts that break with the downward spiral of successive government approaches. We do not seek to trade in suffering but to end it by highlighting the violent machinery and machinations of policy.
"xBorder Operational Matters: a Working Paper"
This last few weeks has provided a quick lesson in the myth and mechanics of border policing in and beyond Australia. Below is a Working Paper on ‘operational matters’ in the campaigns around border issues in and beyond Australia. It is meant to provoke a focused discussion about how to bring about change.
1. Violence is integral to the policies of Operation Sovereign Borders and mandatory detention. That violence can only be justified by giving credence to and encouraging racism.
2. Successive Australian government policies are a global problem that require a range of global responses.
3. The subcontracted, multi-agency character of internment, deterrence and expulsions makes everyone complicit. It also makes active non-compliance and refusal possible at each step in the supply-chain.
4. Campaigns in support of asylum seekers and refugees have to confront their own “positional errors” and “unintentional-but-repeated” reiterations of colonial sovereignty.
The navy has launched an investigation into revelations defence personnel are members of an online racist group that calls for members to fight the ”Muslim infiltration of our country”.
At least 20 personnel are members of the Australian Defence League, which is affiliated with the hardline English Defence League, known for its links to football hooliganism and violent street marches.
It is understood some work in the frontline of Australia’s efforts to control the number of asylum seekers coming to Australia by boat.
On its Facebook page, the ADL has called for members to go to Lakemba Park for Australia Day. One member wrote: ”It’ll be great fun, bring your baseball bats and cricket bats. There will be a lot of balls to hit.”Advertisement
The page’s administrator cautioned members that ”you do understand that if their [sic] is an issue your public comments on here may become a component of an investigation”.
After Fairfax Media provided the Australian Defence Force with screen shots of more than 20 ADL members, who listed their employment as the navy, the army and Defence, a spokeswoman said it would take swift action.
”Navy has initiated an investigation into this matter and as such, it would be inappropriate to make further comment,” she said. ”Army is currently conducting inquiries into reports that army personnel are associated with the Facebook page.
”Should it be confirmed that any serving member of the ADF has made comments on any Facebook page which are contrary to defence values and social media policy, disciplinary and/or administrative action may be taken.”
The ADF introduced strict social media guidelines for members in January last year, including private use where they could be identified as an employee or member of the ADF.
Last week, Fairfax Media revealed Defence was investigating a navy member who had commented on a friend’s Facebook post about asylum seekers.
The friend, who claimed to be an Australian Defence League member, wrote about asylum seekers whose boat had sunk, claiming they had come to Australia ”to jump on Centrelink and get free government housing”.
The navy member commented: ”I’m about to head out today to deal with these f—-ers.”
After the post was shared hundreds of times, the navy member closed his Facebook account.
The defence spokeswoman said the ADF would pursue disciplinary action against any member who broke its social media policy, including its anti-discrimination rules.
A spokeswoman for Customs and Border Protection said: ”Officers are aware of their responsibilities under current policies detailing the responsible use of online social networks [and] employees who breach this policy will be dealt with in accordance with this internal policy and the [Australian Public Service] values and code of conduct.”
After two decades of horrible policy, who didn’t expect that the Australian Navy would both recruit from - and be an attractive recruiting ground for - fascists?
I more than agree with the message but someone’s gonna have to convince this was the right way to go about it.
Is “the right way” the way that doesn’t upset anyone at all? Maybe colonization is upsetting. Maybe there needs to be a conversation about why staining a domestic shrine to colonial occupation *with paint that can be removed* is regarded as more upsetting than annual celebrations of that colonisation. Maybe the bigger and more important stain is the one many people in this country don’t want to see anymore. Stained mud bricks and English colonial heritage. They already were. Maybe you just needed to see it again in a new light.