There’s no shortage of issues to be concerned with at the moment, foremost of which is Australia’s energy ‘restructure’ that will have major implications for this country’s emissions…not that you’d know because no-one seems remotely interested in it.
What everyone is interested in is the ridiculously polarised debate over the detainees on Manus island. Honestly, it’s like the two sides of the media collude to create a brainless duopoly. Missing altogether is any mention of the real mandate of the anti-asylum seeker politicians.
It’s all very well to talk about how few asylum seekers are coming to Australia, or how Australia should admit those who’re currently being held in (or ‘released’ from) the Manus island detention centre BUT the main reason Australians continue to vote against asylum seekers is that they think if Australia admits everyone who comes by boat or plane then more will come.
I personally think Australia should take many more refugees than it does – we are currently engaged and complicit in fucking up the Middle East, and have benefitted massively from its general instability, now and in years gone by. Even the most cursory examination of history will tell you how this works. However, that’s my perspective and I know it’s not a popular one.
What needs to be addressed in the refugee debate is the perception that if more can come, more will come. I have only once seen an acknowledgement or discussion of this idea in the mainstream left media (in The Monthly, several years ago).
Now, it’s hard to imagine a more pressing issue than the status of refugees being abandoned in Papua New Guinea. Or at least that’s what I thought. And then I read our local paper this morning. A group of fishermen is petitioning for an artificial reef. That’s right, it turns out that after 200+ years of European despoil there just isn’t quite enough shit cluttering up the bottom of the ocean. If only there were just a little bit more!
After all, it’s getting harder and harder to catch fish, so clearly there needs to be something that organises them into a more easily accessible area. And actually, while we’re at it, let’s get rid of the Marine Park as well. Because God knows, that thing has heaps of fish in it.
You might think this issue is a little mundane, but that’s where you’re wrong. Because the fishermen are not the only local group furiously sweating into their heavily branded baseball caps this week. There is another group of ‘concerned locals’ who’re being actively concerned in the direction of the Mayor, this time about sea level rise. That’s right, our Council has had the audacity to suggest that the avalanche of scientific evidence regarding climate change is, in fact, true. And not only is it true, it will cause the sea to rise. But not without a fight. Nothing turns back the ocean like a group of crimson-faced hefties belligerently sweating into their heavily branded baseball caps. It’s in the bible, somewhere near the back. Check the index for; ‘coastal inundation’, or ‘double-brick’.
There is a delightful symmetry here. Because, on the off-chance that protesting sea level rise does not hold off the inexorable creep of the ocean, our local coastline is set to acquire a rather substantial artificial reef, complete with brick-and-tile patio and floor mounted swivelling bar stools. That’s right, most of the region’s waterfront properties will eventually fall into the sea.
The fishermen would love it for the snagging opportunities alone; ‘Fuck, Bazza, I’m snagged on the rotunda’ would enter the lexicon, a development that is certainly overdue.
The fish would love it too – they could lay their eggs in the entertainment unit and hang fibreglassed humans above the bar.
Why I’m not rich is beyond me.