The Canberra Times brings word that the Commonwealth is planning to spread the pain of its campaign against “people smugglers” (aka noble impoverished fishermen willing to spend years in our prisons to earn their families enough money to eat while helping desperate people to a better life.)
People smugglers caught in northern Australian waters will be tried in Canberra courts and locked up in the territory’s jail, under a Federal Government plan.
The decision could see Indonesian fishermen jailed for at least five years in the Alexander Maconochie Centre or the Bimberi Youth Justice Centre.
Under the Commonwealth’s scheme, the alleged offenders mostly from Indonesia will face courts and prison in states and territories as far away from their homeland as Tasmania, and local authorities are not being given a choice in the matter.
Bear in mind the “people smugglers” who get caught are not the criminal kingpins, they’re just a couple of blokes per boat with a bare modicum of nautical knowledge willing to take a payment and the following punishment to deliver what are 9 times out of 10 legitimate refugees to our shores.
The ACT’s legal aid budget is now going to get chewed up defending them, and then we have to pay to incarcerate them.