I write to express my disbelief and frustration that we have a Minister for Immigration who can front the Television cameras and expect the viewers to believe that ships of the Royal Australian Navy are unable to detect, or know, where in the world they are when we have farmers who happily drive their tractors and headers using GPS technology supplied by their favourite tractor dealer to plough, seed and harvest their crops!
The Minister does not attempt to build a picture to disguise the failure; no lack of satellite information, no claim that the ship was only “X” metres inside Indonesian territory, or some other excuse which could be verified as false, just an admission that the event occurred for reasons unspecified. Indeed it is another example of ‘but the cat ate my homework, sir’!
I await with concern, for the sad but likely day when a boat loaded with a minimum of refugees and a maximum of explosives lures an Australian vessel to come alongside them before detonating the charge. The Indonesians were well practiced in this routine and executed it successfully during the Malaysian Confrontation [circa 1961 – 1968] when the Australian Navy supported the British Navy in protecting Malaysia and its eastern Provence of Borneo. When you see footage of refugees being instructed to swim to the ‘rescuing vessel’ you will understand why this procedure is followed.
Why did we elect a government which so regularly avoids the truth & realities while pretending they are working for our benefit?
P.H. ’Herb’ Gardner
PS. I served for over 21 years in the Royal Australian Navy [1961 – 1982] joining as a Cadet Midshipman and leaving as a Lieutenant Commander. On acceptance of my resignation I was transferred to the ‘Reserve List’ from which I resigned immediately after “The TAMPA Incident” as that was an illegal act under international law conducted at the instructions of the Howard Government. I enjoyed my time in the Navy, but failed miserably to be compliant with its foolish- ness’s. I was very pleased to return to a civilian life.