In a significant U-turn for the Australian Labor Party (ALP), the Australian Government has decided to re-open the processing camps on Nauru and Manus Island, and bring back tough new proposals to deter refugees from coming to Australia in the boats.
These processing camps on Nauru are the very ones that the ALP closed down saying that they did not work, and that the Liberal party was WRONG to have started them and created the “Pacific Solution” that Labor were so opposed to in opposition. But which has now become their big U-turn in policy.
John Howard, the Liberal prime minister of the time set up the detention centres on Manus Island and in Nauru, with an agreement signed in 2001.
The Manus Island detention centre was closed in 2004.
The Nauru detention centre was closed in late 2007, after the ALP won the 2007 Federal Election.
In 2007 the ALP had complained that the detention of boat arrivals on Nauru and Manus by the Liberal government had wasted over $300 million since 2001 and had tarnished Australia’s international human rights reputation.
In 2013 the ALP is set to do the same, as it may be the only solution that might work after all.
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