Last September, coming back from PNG via Brisbane, I noticed this sign (left) promising PNG citizens their own queue for quick entry into Australia. And this weekend, returning from PNG again through Brisbane I noticed this new sign (right): now Nauruans get the royal treatment as well.
It’s pretty obvious what has happened. Rudd agreed to the dedicated immigration queue (in Brisbane and Cairns) as part of the agreement with PNG last July that it would not only host, but also process and resettle asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat. Nauru, which signed on to an almost identical agreement just a few weeks later, must have seen the PNG sign and complained.
So, too bad if you’re from Solomon Islands or Vanuatu or any other country at all in fact (apart from New Zealand). If you want your own queue in Brisbane, you better offer to do your part to take our asylum seekers. Will Cambodia be the next country to be given the red carpet treatment at Brisbane International?