Australia is the best country in the world to live in.
No, that’s not just an opinion.
It’s a fact. Well… as close to a fact as you’re likely to find. Australia is ranked first in the world according to the OECD‘s Better Life Index, a composite statistic index that includes everything from income, education, safety, health, gender equality, life satisfaction, housing and even work-life balance. So that’s pretty great, right!
Oh yeah! ;)
So naturally, when things are tough in the world, you can always count on Australia to be a compassionate and thoughtful global citizen.
It’s why I’m so glad that Australia will be welcoming refugees from Cambodia.
Cambodia is one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in Asia. Approximately 20% of the population lives below the poverty line and 40% of children are chronically malnourished.
Oh… except we’re not.
Australia is actually re-settling refugees seeking asylum in Australia in Cambodia.
And we’re paying Cambodia for it.
Probably for around AU $40 million or about US $35 million. Yeah, we are literally paying the second most corrupt nation in Asia, second only to North Korea, to take our refugees.
Just let me repeat that. Australia, one of the world’s most peaceful and prosperous nations, is paying one of the poorest, most corrupt nations with a shocking human rights record to take our unwanted refugees because we are too bloody selfish to care about anyone except ourselves.
Oh, and it gets better. Only a month before Australia began negotiations with Cambodia, we condemned Cambodia’s human rights record at the UN. Now, we share champagne as we sell human lives.
Amnesty International described the arrangement as “a new low in Australia’s deplorable and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers”. The UNHCR is “deeply concerned”. There have been protests in Australia and in Cambodia. Mao Pises, one of the protest organisers, asked:
Cambodia is in all respects poorer than Australia, so how can Cambodia take refugees better than Australia?
But what a silly question.
Refugees are vulnerable people fleeing persecution. They will feel much more at home in a country like Cambodia!
And they’ll be fine in a country where the government can’t even look after it’s own people. After all, as our Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has pointed out the refugees who tried to reach Australia by boat are “quite innovative and entrepreneurial” and there will be “opportunities for people with those sorts of skills and enthusiasms”
… in Cambodia.
You’d be mistaken for thinking they were exactly the sort of people Australia would love welcome. But no, being a refugee is “not a ticket to a first-class economy.” Silly refugees, wanting a better life for themselves and their families!
Don’t they know that’s not their place?
As our Prime Minister Tony Abbott assures us that “Jesus knew there was a place for everything and it is not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia.” Because “real Aussies” don’t come to Australia in leaky boats — as Mr. Abbott says, that’s “unChristian”. It’s just the “wrong thing to do.”
No, “real Aussies” came here in leaky boats 200 years ago…
Lord God, no one is a stranger to you and no one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness watch over refugees and asylum seekers, those separated from their loved ones, those who are lost, and those who have been exiled from their homes. Bring them safely to the place where they long to be, and help us always to show your kindness to strangers and those in need. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us. Holy Mary, mother of refugees, pray for us. St Joseph, protector of the Holy Family in Egypt, pray for us. Amen.