eX-detainees’ Statement 14/05/2021: Unashamed white Australia allocates $464 Million on expanding the onshore refugee detention torture network during the Australian 2021 budget. 

While spending $464 Million on expanding the onshore refugee detention torture network, this financial year, Australia will also spend over $1.2 Billion on the offshore detention torture network. For the last 8 years, Australia has spent more than $12 Billion on offshore processing. Yet the recent budget announcement tells us that all Australian immigrants must now also wait for 4 years to access welfare and support services. 

This barbaric policy will impact our community- especially family reunification. This is shocking news for the refugee and eX-detainee community who have lodged their applications for family reunion and are waiting for their families to arrive in Australia. This will mean a legislated increase in poverty and social disadvantage for one of Australia’s already most vulnerable and marginalised communities. 

This is also devastating news for the nearly 30000 eX-detainees and detainees in onshore and offshore indefinite detention, many of whom continue to live in limbo with no guarantee of remaining in Australia. If they are ever allowed into the community after the trauma of up to nearly 10 years of indefinite detention, they will be doing so without access to the necessary social support for their survival. Nothing in the budget is specifically for our protection or benefit even after we were unduly impacted by the bushfires and COVID-19.

Further, during this world pandemic and 2021 budget, Australian politicians are obsessed with targeting us daily in and out of detention centres. This consists of continuing the detention torture system as well as ensuring our ongoing suffering by not allowing us to have welfare benefits, job keeper support or work and study rights. 

Even a pandemic will not stop the white supremacist refugee policies in Australia.  We eX-detainees and detainees are routinely treated as disposable. 

Successive Australian Government policies, both Labor and Coalition, have demonstrated an aggressive and continued culture of white supremacy. Australia’s foundation of white colonisation, from the border control mechanisms of the ‘White Australia’ policy to police violence are repeated in the way in which detainees and eX-detainees are treated. The demonisation of refugees who seek safe harbour in Australia by boat, mandatory and indefinite detention policies, boat turn back schemes and the reopening offshore camps have all won elections. 

The problem is not refugees who come here by boat. The problem is the xenophobic and white supremacist culture of the Australian Government.

Has this year Australia increased its refugee quota from 13000+ yearly intake? NO, but they have increased 464 Million on expanding the onshore refugee detention torture network and spending 1.2 billion on offshore torture camps.

Due to Australia’s racist mandatory detention policy, our eX-detainee and detainee members are permanently damaged, “criminalised” and made to feel unwanted and disposable even after release from the detention torture regime.

This is the same Australian politicians who cut people’s Centrelink payments, wouldn’t apply jobkeeper to those on temporary protection visas and don’t want to spend money to improve hotel quarantine vaccination schemes for people in Australia. This is the same Australia that dumped and indefinitely detained refugees coming by boats in poorer countries such as PNG and Nauru.  

We are tired of responding constantly to the vulturous and sickeningly racist behaviours of every Australian politician. Every day there is something new targeting us. Australian culture is encouraged by its government to be inherently xenophobic- we know this because all three parties support mandatory detention. They want us to disappear from this country. 

We are not going to stay silent when political parties explicitly support mandatory detention torture policies or structurally discriminate against those in our community who are refugees arriving by boats to seek protection in Australia.

Our community has been subjected to over 30 years of misery to serve the interests of politicians and profiteers of the refugee detention industry.

Enough is enough, Australia has blood on its hands.

eX-detainee Team