This morning I received a comment from Marilyn about this post, published by us on Monday 21 October 2013.
Eyewitness report of 130 illegal boat people arriving at Christmas Island 20 October 2013
Shaz reports that she was on the water in her own boat yesterday and saw HMAS Warramunga coming in to Christmas Island. She saw about 130 people on board and took these photos from the water on a beautiful day on CI.
Marilyn is a real person. I'm seeing a lot more new readers coming to the blog for the first time and leaving comments on older posts like this one - often in language much like Marilyn's. I don't know Marilyn, but the things said in this comment are vile and terribly ill-informed and I'd like to take this head-on just the once.
Inciting race hate is a criminal offence in New South Wales. Accusing someone of racism and even worse, of inciting race hate is a serious and horrible allegation. Marilyn is wrong about the race related element of our work. She's also mistaken in her judgement about the "innocence" of the people she assumes I am racist about in so far as that innocence relates to a history of no illegal acts in Australia.
I'm very proud of the work Shaz has done continuously now for some months in reporting movements on Christmas Island. It's never race based and always highly accurate, Shaz has very finely attuned radar to potential movements in her part of the world.
On Sunday 20 October Shaz took the shots above and on Monday, 21 October we carried the above report estimating 130 people had arrived. I'm not aware of other media making that report.
Later on that Monday we reported that Triton had arrived with people on board.
As soon as we could confirm our estimate of numbers we carried this further report confirming 40 people transferred to Christmas Island.
I'm not aware of any other media covering those arrivals at the time.
Government policy now is not to make arrival and boat information available as it happens. The weekly briefings are held each Friday, here's a link to last Friday, 25 October, 2013.
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Commander of Operation Soverign Borders Joint Agency Task Force address press conference - 25 October 2013
ANGUS CAMPBELL: Thank you Minister.
Welcome to the Operation Sovereign Borders weekly briefing for the period 9 o'clock Friday 18 October until 9 o'clock this morning. For those who have not previously attended, I will just note that my comments will be confined to activities during the week, ending 9 o'clock this morning relating to the off-water reception and processing of illegal maritime arrivals under the control of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. I will not discuss current or potential future on-water operations.
During the reporting period, people from two suspected illegal entry vessels had arrived into immigration processing.
On Sunday 20 October, 126 people were transferred to Immigration authorities at Christmas Island.
On Monday 21 October, a further 40 people were transferred to Immigration authorities from a second vessel. In addition, during the reporting period four crew members were transferred to the control of Immigration authorities.
Marilyn, the purpose of our articles, photographs and first hand interviews is to report the truth. Your ill-informed observation doesn't advance that goal in any way - but we can help you in learning a little about the law that makes entry by boat without a visa illegal.
It may be Marilyn that you'd ignore our analysis of the Migration Act 1958 and in particular the provisions particularised in Section 14 that define the illegality. You might be tempted to use some colourful language in dismissing our analysis. That might make you feel better but it won't fix the gaps in your knowledge.
So rather than tempt fate with our own analysis, here's the ABC's in-house website which following your logic must be dedicated to "continuing to incite race hatred against innocent people, who are not more illegal "anything" than the ABC itself".