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John Passant

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August 2014



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Pamela Curr: No armed guards for asylum seeker children in detention?

Pamela Carr writes on her Facebook page about the issue of armed guards at detention centres.


HR President Triggs raises concern about the conditions on Christmas Island, saying it is a four-hour flight from Western Australia with a landing strip that is sometimes unsafe to land planes. She says she has been there three times and there were armed guards.

Bowles says: “We do not have armed guards, President. I’d like you to acknowledge that.”

Triggs promises to check.

Bowles continues: “I would like you to check that and I’d like you to retract that.” (Text from direct report in the Guardian.)

However as we know in all refugee and asylum seeker matters, truth is a flexible matter. SERCO detention guards are not armed with guns but they are not the only guards with whom children in detention have to deal. Many of the others are armed with guns, batons, sprays and other pieces of equipment.

From the moment that they arrive on Christmas Island, children are witness to and subject to a continual show of force. On arrival both children and their parents are searched and handled by armed Customs and Navy officers.

Armed Australian Customs officers

Please note they are armed with guns as well as a variety of implements.

SERCO guards are never armed with guns but they carry flexi cuffs and night torches which can be used as truncheons. Some guards carry Hoffman Knives for cutting people down.  When Children are in the detention camps these SERCO ERT (Emergency Response Team) guards enter the camp at any time for “practice and to ensure compliance”.


They march around and as a ten year old told me “they never speak to anyone and their faces are covered up”. I asked what she thought about them she said they make me “scared”.

When there is trouble the AFP may enter the camps. they are always armed with guns, batons, spray. the works.

At the Airport and all over the island armed AFP officers are in evidence.

As can be clearly seen from this small selection of photos of guards and quasi guards, children in detention are faced with heavy surveillance and frightening use of force. For those children who have experienced this in their countries of origin , the prison like environment of the camps re-traumatises children in a way which we would never allow to happen to our own children.

Every moment they are watched. They see their parents ordered around. They learn that the parents they love and from whom they expect protection are unable to give it because they too are under the control of camp guards.


Ready for action?

Happy children with unarmed protectors?


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