The multi-million dollar drama, commissioned by the Customs and Border Security Agency, is for broadcast in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan where deteriorating security is contributing to the worst global refugee crisis in more than 60 years.
Sydney-based production house Put It Out There Pictures has been given the contract for the drama, which will include storylines featuring the Australian Navy, and scenes of asylum seekers drowning at sea. It will also carry strong messages that asylum seekers should not trust people smugglers but instead wait to be processed.
I’m not so sure on this. To me it sounds like Orwellian statist propaganda, and although I’d like to see fake asylum seekers stop coming, I’d prefer that it was enforcement of the law that achieved this objective.
Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning said the proposed drama was unlikely to convince people fleeing the horrors of Islamic State and a resurgent Taliban to follow official channels. “People smugglers are more attractive because they can get people moving within five days of making a down payment,” he said.
I find it strange in all of these discussions that no one ever seems to make the point that to escape the Taliban, or seek refuge from countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, there are other solutions before getting on a boat and traveling all the way to Australia.