Thursday, 20th February 2014

BAD MAPS

It beggars belief that the vessel commanders conducting Operation Sovereign Borders wouldn't know the location of sovereign borders.

The report issued into Australia's six "inadvertent" incursions into Indonesian waters only suggests more government secrecy and blame-shifting. It's a whitewash.

"Each (incursion) arose from incorrect calculation of the boundaries of Indonesian waters rather than as a deliberate action or navigational error," said an unclassified version of the report, effectively holding the vessel commanders responsible.

Headquarters had "devolved the obligation to remain outside Indonesian waters to vessel commanders". Their actions were "in contravention of Australian government policy and operational instructions".

However: "Indonesian Maritime Boundaries constituted important operational information that should have been provided by the headquarters to the Commanders of vessels assigned to Operation Sovereign Borders."

None of it makes any sense. Did they miscalculate or were they not told where the border is? Do customs and the navy commanders need to be told where maritime boundaries are? It seems a basic requirement. Was it a coincidence that commanders on board both navy and customs ships made exactly the same miscalculations? Six times? It seems as plausible as blaming the wind and the tides, as Abbott originally did.

Asylum seekers reported, independently of one another and on separate occasions, that Australian vessels overshot the 12–nautical mile maritime boundary by more than 4 miles, with their lights out. A recent Indonesian naval intelligence report alleges the breaches were knowing and intentional.

In an ironic twist on the government's obsession with secrecy, its inadvertent breach of the privacy details of 10,000 asylum seekers was apparently compounded when the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, revealed (again inadvertently) exactly where the information was located. The leak leaves the asylum seekers vulnerable and will strengthen their claims for protection. 

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Australian vessels ‘unintentionally’ entered Indonesian waters six times

"Australian vessels entered Indonesian waters six times but in every case unintentionally, in breach of instructions and due to “miscalculations” of Indonesia’s boundaries by crews, a review of controversial incursions by the Australian navy and customs has found."

Also: Asylum flow to Indonesia slashed, says UN (The Australian)

Asylum data breach 'unacceptable', says Scott Morrison

"Immigration minister Scott Morrison has responded to a data breach that revealed the personal details of almost 10,000 people in immigration detention, describing it as an “unacceptable incident”. On Wednesday Guardian Australia revealed that the Immigration Department had inadvertently published the data, which contains the full names, dates of birth, nationalities and other details of a third of all asylum seekers in Australia, in a public, downloadable document on its website."

AlsoMorrison comments compounds Immigration data breach "In a remarkable further embarrassment, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison appears to have worsened the Department of Immigration’s data breach of information relating to asylum seekers by revealing exactly where the information was located." (Crikey)

Government pushed SPC to slash wages in return for bailout, union officials say

"The Abbott government pressed SPC Ardmona to slash pay for workers by as much as 40 per cent under a radical bailout plan for the food processor. Three union officials told Fairfax Media they had meetings with SPC Ardmona managing director Peter Kelly before Christmas in which Mr Kelly said he was being pressured by the Abbott government to put workers on the award if the company wanted a $25 million subsidy."