It is the great lie on which John Howard, Philip Ruddock, Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton have built their political popularity. But it is still a lie.
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A number of doctors have said plainly that detention on Nauru constituted child abuse. No-one familiar with the basics of the system could disagree. Turnbull had a choice: he could deliberately, knowingly send children to a situation amounting to child abuse, or he could begin to recast Australia's shameful refugee detention system.
The question all Australians should ask is this: What sort of country are we? Are we selfish or are we generous? Are we willing to mistreat terrified human beings who have the courage, and the initiative, to escape to safety?