An opinion piece published online by one of the country’s biggest papers has accused Australians of caring more about the census stuff-up than abused refugees on Nauru.
Documents released today show more than 2000 incidents of abuse and self-inflicted injuries on Nauru, but despite the horrific revelations it seems most Aussies would rather read and talk about the Australian Bureau of Statistics fail with the census on Monday night.
Today, #censusfail has been trending on social media, while talk about the abuse on Nauru barely raised an eyebrow from many.
The writer, Michael Koziol, pointed out in the SMH article that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke passionately about the census drama, saying “heads will roll” at the ABS because of it, but when asked about the Nauru documents his answer was clinical and flat.
“I too am very angry about this. I am bitterly disappointed about this,” Mr Turnbull said about the census.
“My prediction is that there will be some very serious consequences to this,” he told Alan Jones. “But there will be a review.”
When it came to a comment on the refugees though, the fire and passion was gone from his voice.
“The material that’s been published will be examined … to see if there are any complaints there or issues there that were not properly addressed.”
According to the writer even the Labor party, who are usually more vocal on refugee rights, got more riled up about the IT glitch that saw the census website crash than they did about the allegations of abuse on Nauru.
“But now it is crystal clear where the priorities of both government and opposition lie,” he writes. “A minor technological glitch, soon to be resolved, will prompt anger, retribution and perhaps a Senate inquiry. The total moral failure of Australia’s offshore detention regime will only bring about defensiveness, ambivalence and a swift turn away.”
So does he have a point here? There are more people online talking about and clicking into stories about the census than there are people reading and talking about the refugees.
The census fail has dominated conversations around the country, while the Nauru documents have gone largely unnoticed.
What do you think?