On public debate and asylum policy

Last week, I commented on academics and the public discussion about asylum policy. In particular, I focused on Donald Rothwell after I attended a forum he participated in. I concluded that leading public experts should do more in relation to the public discussion and Rothwell was too conservative in his responses to questioning.

Given this, I thought it was important to link to Rothwell’s opinion piece at the Drum today, which is based heavily on his speech from last week.

Reading his piece has changed my initial thoughts. His contribution is thoughtful and informs the general reader. Further, he has every right to say whatever he wants. Given the rapid change in policy framework regarding the Navy since the election of the Abbott government, his contribution is a positive and I should have better stated this on my piece last week.

While I personally feel he pulls his punches in critical commentary about Operation Sovereign Borders, this should not take away from the contribution he makes to the public debate.

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