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A happy day

June 18th, 2005

Not just for the many families who are to be released from the horrors of mandatory detention but for all decent Australians. Every country has causes for pride and shame, but there have been few things in my lifetime that have made me as ashamed of my country as the way we have treated asylum-seekers. It remains to be seen how the changes announced yesterday will work in detail, but we can hope that it means, as Judi Moylan says, the practical end of indefinite detention.

Congratulations to the four Liberals [Petro Georgiou, Judi Moylan, Russell Broadbent and Bruce Baird] whose threat to cross the floor, combined with a shift back towards decency in Australian public opinion to bring about this change.

I’ll have some more to say later on this whole episode, and there’ll be plenty of room for debate than, but for the moment I don’t feel like hearing any of the old arguments, so I’ve closed this post to comments.

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