Wednesday, October 15, 2008

When Australia’s humanity is worth less than $80,000.00!

The Aminovs case had exposed a very bitter reality: after 12 years of the neo-liberal agenda, the humanity of this great nation has been reduced to a worth of less than $80,000.00.
When Aminovs son called the Immigration Minister’s office yesterday, the Minister’s Adviser was talking only about the $80,000.00 (required for the visa to be granted within months, instead of decades). The Adviser did not care and did not want to discuss any humanitarian circumstances that could change the Minister’s opinion and heart. She also would not agree to arrange for meeting with the Minister to try to convince him of the logical reasons why this family should have been granted permanent visas a long time ago.
All the evidence of humanitarian circumstances we provided the Minister’s Office was either ignored and regarded as irrelevant or were never presented to the Minister. We believe that the latter is the case. This is why the Aminovs were left with no other option but to try to attract the attention of the media, in a bid to reach the Minister, instead of dealing all the time with his advisers and secretaries.
What had shocked us all is the lack of any interest by any media outlet to speak about this highly humanitarian issue that (until now) had devastated the life of a young Australian permanent resident, turning it into complete misery. This misery has the potential to progress to worse consequences if the issue continues to be totally ignored by the Minister and media outlets.
The latest report by the Aminov’s son’s mental therapist (which was definitely not read by the Minister or his advisers/secretaries) pointed out very clearly that the highly inhumane treatment of this family resulted in the suicidal thoughts and attempts by the son (who will become an Australian citizen early next year, if he will be still alive!!)
The heartlessness of all ministerial staff and other politicians in the Federal parliament casts a very dark shadow about the status of humanity in this great nation.
The Federal government is now talking about spending billions of $s of tax-payers money to correct the mistakes, the greed or the irresponsible actions of a few investors, money borrowers and lenders, or to compensate for the inaction of an irresponsible previous government. How is it that the same government can be so obsessed with the $80,000.00 it wants to collect eagerly from the Aminovs?
What kind of nation have we been reduced to by this current government and the previous government, where everything is calculated by “fiscal management” yardstick, by dollar measurement and by inhumane laws which were introduced by a government that was condemned by all national and international human rights organisations, by its own members and by historical figures of its party?
But even taking this “fiscal management stance” – why would the government not grant the Aminovs a permanent visa?
The decision to prolong the mental torture of Aminovs by prolonging the period until they will be granted PR (11 years so far, in addition to possibly 17 years of waiting) did cost me as a taxpayer the following:
1- The son, Marat, became very sick and so he was unfit for work for the last year and he is expected to retire soon on a disability pension. We lost an average of $8,000.00 taxes from his work.
2- His repeated admission to a mental health institution (north shore hospital – mental health unit) cost me as a tax-payer tens of thousands of dollars
3- The cost of looking after Marat after becoming mentally ill as a result of this ordeal could run to tens of thousands of dollars in rehabilitation programs, specialised employment programs, specialised home-care programs and other related programs.
4- The cost borne so far by community supporters trying to save Marat or any of his family members from physical collapse or attempted suicide to end their suffering has so far been huge.

5- The cost of measures taken by the family and its supporters to reach the Minister to try to change his heart and decision to end its ordeal is becoming more and more expensive. The current and latest effort required several people to travel to Canberra, leaving their families and jobs behind.

And after all these costs, we heard from the Minister’s office one demand to end this family’s deep humanitarian suffering: you should have paid $80,000.00!
How cheap has our great nation’s pride and humanity become?

And so we say: Dear Minister, Please act to end this family’s suffering, before it is too late. If anyone of this innocent family’s members would be lost through the process to reach you and your heart, our nation would suffer a lot. Our suffering will include moral suffering for generations to come. So please grant them permanent visas before it is too late.

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