The ABC has news on Jon Stanhope’s stand against the Government out on Christmas Island:
Christmas Island’s administrator Jon Stanhope says he will have to reconsider his position if told not to speak publicly about boat arrivals.
His comments come a day after the first asylum seeker vessel since the Federal Government implemented its new border protection policy arrived on Christmas Island, carrying about 30 people.
The Government is not providing any details of the boat, but the ABC has been told by people on Christmas Island that the passengers include men, women and children from the Middle East.
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Under the previous Labor government, media outlets were notified each time a boat was intercepted.
However, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison imposed new restrictions on the flow of information about asylum seeker boats, saying he will only provide weekly briefings – the first of which will be today.
One imagines that if Administrator Stanhope doesn’t stick to his knitting the Abbott Government will not hesitate for a second to sack him.
It is also worth noting that the decision to announce via media release every single boat arrival is largely what made this stupid non-issue into the maker and breaker of Governments.
We do not announce every 747 arriving at Sydney Airport with asylum seekers onboard (they are never, ever announced, nor are British backpackers overstaying their visas).
Ceasing to bother with the feverish announcement of boat arrivals is the best thing we can do to de-politicise the issue and stop worrying about them in the much bigger picture of the huge migrant inflows to Australia that continue under both parties.
But Jon Stanhope has never been one to let pragmatism or even his own ideals get in the way of a chance to play the martyr.