A man has been killed while in the care of the Australian government. Another lies with a fractured skull, countless others have been injured. The men on Manus Island are in danger, and the Minister for Immigration claims his policies are successful and in no need of change.
The government cannot guarantee the safety of people in its care on Manus Island. The responsible course of action is for the centre to be closed. The riots also raise questions about safety on Nauru and Christmas Island.
Precisely what has happened, we do not know. The government’s commitment to secrecy should be a concern for everyone. Secrecy is completely inadequate for democracy but totally appropriate for tyranny. If the minister will not inform the public, then we are within our right to assume the worst. No free and fair nation operates with secrecy as a blanket policy position. Democracies are based on the foundation of public scrutiny and open government.