The post was pulled today after critics on social media called the poll “extreme bullying” and part of a “vendetta.” Seven News apologized, prompting a wry observation from Ms. Abdel-Magied on Twitter:
Why is her departure a national debate?
Australia has a controversial track record with minorities or women — or worse, both — who call out the country on its racism.
“Australia is generally a very tolerant society until its minorities demonstrate that they don’t know their place,” the TV host and Times op-ed contributor Waleed Aly said in 2015.
He was talking about Adam Goodes, the Indigenous Australian rules football player who was subjected to relentless booing at games after he had a 13-year-old girl who called him an “ape” ejected from a match in 2013. The heckling intensified after May 2015, when Goodes celebrated a goal with an Indigenous war dance. He retired at the end of that year.
While many consider Goodes the greatest Indigenous player in the league’s history, the booing — and many pundits’ defense of the fans’ right to boo him — hung over his final season like a cloud.
Ms. Abdel-Magied has not said why she is moving to London, and attempts to reach her for comment on Wednesday were unsuccessful. But while it could be a coincidence, last week she spoke up on Twitter about the emotional impact of prolonged online abuse.
[Published at 12:30 p.m.]
An Unlawful Detour
Put the sporting competition to one side: Australians view New Zealand as their closest ally — closer than the U.K., closer than the United States. But is there a head-scratching incongruence to the way Kiwis are treated as migrants?
It’s a question that’s bubbled to the surface after revelations that two men who hold dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship were illegally sent to detention on Christmas Island. The pair were detained under Section 501 of the Migration Act, which cites a “character test” that foreign nationals can fail because of a criminal offense. What Australian Border Force authorities failed to realize, though, was that the two men were also Australian citizens — and as such, exempt from those laws.
Here’s a fact that might raise eyebrows: As of May, New Zealanders are the most-represented nation in Australian detention centers. But how did this happen? Slowly, it turns out.
Is Australian policy too harsh toward its closest ally?
The two countries’ policies toward each other’s citizens are lopsided.
Unsurprisingly, Kiwis are the second-biggest migrant group in Australia (after Britons): They make up more than 600,000 of the country’s population. The tightknit Australia-New Zealand relationship has long been underscored by the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, which allows citizens of both countries to travel, live and work freely between them. Indefinite visas, pathways to citizenship, access to government benefits are all on the table — or were.
Piece by piece, successive Australian governments have eroded the benefits offered to migrating New Zealanders.
Immigration laws passed in 2001 made the path to Australian citizenship more difficult for New Zealanders and blocked them from gaining access to benefits like social security.
And in 2014, the Australian government amended the Migration Act — adding a stricter “character test.” From then on, any foreign national who had spent 12 or more months in prison would automatically have his or her visa revoked. The legislation was retroactive and cumulative, meaning that a Kiwi who had been living here for 30 years could still face deportation and be sent to an Australian detention center — even for a decades-old suspended sentence.
“Some, given the option to return to New Zealand, choose to stay and appeal the decision. They’ve built a life in Australia, they’ve got wives and kids in Australia. They might own a home in Australia,” says Dr. Timothy Gassin, chairman of Oz Kiwi, an advocacy group for New Zealanders living in Australia.
“The fact that people can still move freely shows that yes, it’s a special arrangement that doesn’t exist with other countries,” said Dr. Gassin. “But as far as immigration goes, it’s been step after step backwards.”
[Published at 1:27 p.m.]
Other News We’re Reading …
• Need a copy of your medical records? Try the dark web. Australian doctors are worried about the erosion of patient trust after underground internet forums put Medicare details up for sale. (via ABC)
• Why did it take so long to create a map of the massacres of Aboriginal people during the Frontier Wars? The killings were “designed not to be discovered,” said the historian Lyndall Ryan. (via ABC)
• Melburnians are on the brink of outgrowing their busiest rail lines. (via The Age)
[Published at 3:35 p.m.]
Continue reading the main story