THERE is no political gain to be had by trying to make a family of innocent people appear criminal.
Rather than appearing to be tough on border policy and keeping us safe, the actions of the government ('Biloela family sent to community detention', Herald 15/6) in my opinion do not inspire confidence in the area of competency or probity.
A reason suggested for the persistence of detaining people indefinitely is because it is a form of corporate welfare for the prison industry.
With each moment that this family is separated, placed under guard, denied a return to their home in Biloela, the potential for a terminal fall from grace for this government becomes more and more significant.
Or to put it simply: the harder they come, the harder they fall.
Niko Leka, Mayfield
True queue cues are important
JULIE Robinson's comment (Letters, 12/6) on the "Tamil asylum seekers" needs a dose of fact and realism.
Firstly, the Tamil family are not asylum seekers as the courts have decreed.
Secondly, they have jumped the queue in front of many genuine Tamils seeking settlement in Australia.
I would wager that if Ms Robinson and her like were in a queue and someone walked to the front of the queue then she would be far from happy.
John Cooper, Charlestown
Biloela backlash was avoidable
CONGRATULATIONS to Trent Zimmerman (Liberal MP for North Sydney) who seems to be a lone (public) voice within the party in support of the Murugappan family in their efforts to remain in Australia. It is hoped his call is heard by the minister to use their political discretion and allow the family to settle in Biloela.
The inaction by the government on this issue has not only cost millions, but they have successfully backed themselves into a no-win situation.
Resettling the family in another country will send exactly the same message as allowing them to settle in Biloela.
The government can no longer hide behind the excuse of what message allowing the family to stay will send. The current message being sent is one of inhumanity and this must stop.
How many other politicians like Trent Zimmerman now wish the minister had dealt humanely with this issue in a quiet and just way when it first arose? The government is now in an impossible position and unless a humane solution is found, it will haunt the Liberal Party for decades to come.
John Carr, Toronto
Costs of the climate adding up
SORRY to disappoint you Steve Barnett (Short Takes, 14/6), but one cold winter doesn't mean climate change has gone away; rather it is alive and very active.
Scientists tell us climate warming causes more extreme weather events, occurring more frequently.
A very recent example is the storm event that has hit Victoria, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage.
You might think that's just a one-off storm, but it affects us all in one significant way: insurance.
Notice how your home insurance premiums have gone up about 20 per cent this year? That's a result of the numerous severe weather events in the last five years; drought, fires, cyclones and floods.
If you look at the financial reports of our big insurance companies, they tell us that climate change is having a real effect right now to drive up premiums. If the pattern continues, (as it will) we could see our insurance costs double in as little as five years, with some areas becoming uninsurable. Scary isn't it?
Bruce Graham, Warners Bay
Vaile uni role may be wrong fit
Do Novocastrians really want Mark Vaile to become chancellor of Newcastle university, their most important academic institution? Does he deserve to be there? ("Vaile debate heats up", Herald 12/6)?
Mark Vaile has had a distinguished political career but I believe he is now a political has-been. He is a coal baron and climate change denier (oh god, not one of those!).
Mr Vaile's appointment has already caused so much opposition from academics that one, distinguished medical scientist and researcher Professor Jennifer Martin, has resigned from the university council.
Geoff Black, Caves Beach
Migration's causes laid bare
US vice president Kamala Harris got little publicity when she advised migrants not to come because they would be turned back at the border and the US would continue to enforce border laws.
This was her first comment after being given control of a surge in migration at the southern border and she described her task as finding a solution to tackle the root cause of the crises including corruption, adding that most people don't want to leave where their grandmother lives.
It's a noble aim, and one that should have been addressed much earlier because treating the cause rather than the symptoms is the only long-term solution.
There are many issues that are part of this crisis, many of them related to the US habit of supporting South American right-wing dictators and criminal gangs because of the US public's drug habit.
But the major problem that links poverty and corruption was articulated by Venezuela's previous president, Hugo Chavez, who had the audacity to point out at the 2005 UN world summit that market-orientated or open market policies were the fundamental cause of the great evils and tragedies suffered by the third world, including our dependence on cheap migrant labor.
His attack on one of the fundamentals of capitalism was met with raucous applause, earning him the enmity of US presidents including Barack Obama, who declared him a threat to national security and imposed sanctions.
Don Owers, Dudley
Top cop had a change of heart
UPON glancing over the article "Pub trial takes shape" (Herald, 9/6) a second time, I noticed that the article refers to Newcastle police commander Wayne Humphrey stating that he felt removing the lockout laws was "absolute lunacy".
Whilst Detective Superintendent Humphrey did originally make this statement, as reported in the Herald ("Police slam lockout review", 3/2), he has however since reversed his stance on the matter, as also reported in the Herald ("Enough resources for trial", 24/4).
This article features quotes from Superintendent Humphrey at the protest meeting against the trial on April 22, where he stated that he would "not be drawn on criticising" the trial, and that "my position is now that I support the trial".
Adz Carter, Newcastle
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FEDERAL politicians of all parties, please show compassion towards the Tamil family of Priya and Nades Murugappan and their two children Kopika and Tharunicaa by letting them settle permanently in Biloela, Queensland.
Ian Stewart, Elermore Vale
JEFF Corbett's column always gave us so much to ponder and reflect upon, or to chuckle away quietly at, that it really made the Saturday edition a special one. We can only hope that the column ideas file that Jeff is still keeping, just overflows and bubbles away until he absolutely must write again. In any case Jeff Corbett, very best wishes for the future, to you and your family.
Jo Wark, Hamilton
FRED McInerney, could you enlighten me on how they make the glass, metals, aluminium and plastics that make up said solar panels and fan blades by using only renewable energy? I suppose you could always make a big rat run and employ people to run said run. Just a thought ...
Ken Stead, Lambton
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison's attempt to shore-up his re-election prospects by dropping into the G7 summit is doomed to fail. Swanning about with true world leaders while Australians are begging the PM to show competence at home is yet another poorly-considered move.
John Butler, Windella
HANGERS-ON in the Liberal government have discovered there could be political advantage shifting sides regarding the Biloela Tamil prisoners. Coming up to an election they have found humanity and compassion. A festering pox on the lot of them.
Gary Hayward, Cardiff
THE federal government has a big decision to make in the next couple of days on the Biloela family. Every fair-minded Australian knows what the right decision should be. Australia and the rest of the world is watching. I hope pig-headedness does not get in the way of the right decision.
Darryl Tuckwell, Eleebana
DETAINING Australian-born children on Christmas Island is state-sponsored child abuse and a crime against child human rights. Where are our human rights lawyers?
Richard Ryan, Summerland Point
IN my opinion the Biloela Tamils might have a better chance of staying here permanently if they joined Hillsong or if the mum was a Peter Dutton au pair.
John Bonnyman, Fern Bay
IF Steve Barnett (Short Takes, 14/6) were able to read a graph on global temperature trends from a reputable source then maybe he would think twice about expressing his doubts. Temperature rises are real and the rate of rise is increasing.
Lloyd Davies, Stockton
THE problem with evangelical Christians is that there's nothing about being kind, caring or compassionate. It's all about being personally rewarded for loving God, not for loving your fellow travellers.