Allow those fleeing Tuvalu to arrive in Australia as Environmental Refugees
- Attorney General Robert McClelland
Like the majority of the Australian public you may or may not be aware that there is a sovereign Polynesian island nation located in the Pacific Ocean called Tuvalu. You may also be unaware that due to the adverse effects of global warming that our country (the single biggest emitter of greenhouses gasses), along with other industrialized states has created, Tuvalu is soon to be our first victim.
Tuvalu is but only nine atolls rising to no more than around 4 metres above sea level and as scientists predict, in less than 50 years the entire nation will be underwater. Tuvalu’s 12,000 inhabitants live off their land, fishing and farming to sustain their way of life. Soon they will find themselves stuck in an untenable situation where at first their daily life will be gravely affected until their entire way of life has been destroyed.
The growing fear of Tuvalu sinking prompted the island to begin to try and strike a deal where its people could slowly migrate to New Zealand and Australia as Environmental Refugees, before the threat robbed them of their lives. New Zealand agreed to begin a 30 year migration program but Australia promptly and flatly denied their request. Then time Australian Attorney General Phillip Ruddock stated, 'Why would I agree with that? I think it is on a 30, 40 or 50-year horizon, if it's going to occur at all.'
Ruddock based his stance on the belief that the evidence he had obtained from the National Tide Facility based at Flinders University that showed no rise in average tide levels since its record keeping began in 1993. What is not known by the average Australian is that this information has been manipulated and is based on a loophole, when looked at deeper; the NTF’s findings are being used for their face value rather than their actual relevance to Tuvalu’s crisis.
Tuvalu’s highest tides continue to grow higher and their lowest lower so therefore there is obviously no change in the NTF’s ‘average’. A much less publicised tide gauge on Tuvalu (and one never mentioned by Mr Ruddock) run by the University of Hawaii’s Sea Centre, covering a much longer period (1976 – 2006) shows a substantial (2.2cm) yearly rise in Tuvalu’s average tide. Mr Ruddock would like us all to believe that the people of Tuvalu are simply lying about their situation.
The problem lies in Tuvalu’s absolute lack of natural resources; therefore there is no benefit to our government taking a vested interest in liberating them from this threat of real global terrorism. With no real economic power it seems there is no real need for our government to help these people. Australia still lets in the one of the lowest amounts of immigrants per capita in the entire world and to add injury to insult, Mr Ruddock requested that Tuvalu find room on its 10 square miles to take in boat people who weren’t allowed into Australia!
You may be shocked that this could go on and still be almost unheard of amongst our public and not represented by our media. Unfortunately the time has come to realise that the majority of our media does hold the journalistic credibility we’d like to believe and our government wants us to behave and think in a way that does not compromise their financial ambitions.
Now a new government has taken power, and with that government comes all the promises of change and social responsibility they have promised to the Australian people. One issue that was never brought up was that of Tuvalu and their situation.
Our new Attorney General Robert McClelland has said little to nothing about Tuvalu in the past. As a member of the opposition in 2007, he stated that
"Even if the sea were to rise less than the predicted 14-32cm in the Pacific by 2050, there would still be devastating results for Pacific islands. The worst case scenario is total inundation. That is a real prospect faced by Tuvalu..."
Now the Rudd government has come into power and we the people must make them accountable for their promise to be a more compassionate and responsible one then their predecessors. If nothing is done, by us, the real people of Australia for them, the real people of Tuvalu, then they will die and there culture will disappear as if it never existed.
We don’t want your money, all we want is for you to use your voice to strengthen theirs and sign this petition so that we can use our democracy for good and make the government do the will of its people.
We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Federal Government to allow the entry of citizens of the sovereign island of Tuvalu entry into Australia as Environmental Refugees.
You can further help this campaign by sponsoring it
The Allow those fleeing Tuvalu to arrive in Australia as Environmental Refugees petition to Attorney General Robert McClelland was written by Save Tuvalu Now! and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.