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Word Count: 761
For those whove come across the seas Weve boundless plains to share Advance Australia Fair No countries in the world have gone to such lengths to close their borders to those fleeing repression and terror No countries turn back leaky fishing boats packed with hundreds of asylum seekers and refuse to take responsibility for the consequences And no countries so openly violate their international obligations to refugees That is to say no countries except Australia There are over 14 million refugees worldwide In 2001 13545 people applied for refugee status in Australia The sad truth is that only 15 were successful Thats approximately 2000 people or 001 of the worlds refugees So what happened to the other 11000 desperate applicants These people were sent back to the countries they feared most- the countries they had to flee for fear of persecution Who knows what became of these people Who even knows if theyre alive or dead In 2002 Australia had 03 of the worlds population living on 5 of the worlds land mass It had the worlds third-lowest population density at 26 people per square kilometre with the global average being 45 peoplesq km It is however a dry continent with fragile ecology yet with a 60000km coastline Australia could accommodate 50 new cities each with an average population of 15 million and spaced 1200km apart which still doesnt exceed 45 peoplesq km Under international law the word refugee has a very precise meaning an individual who has a well-founded fear of persecution is outside the country they normally reside in and is unable or unwilling to return home for fear of persecution These people rarely have the chance to make plans for their departure and often they have little idea about where they are going Refugees who come to Australia frequently hold a scant understanding about this country and the nature of society here They come because they desire their freedom
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