Waleed Aly, Steve Price butt heads over Nauru

There’s been a lot of talk about Nauru in the last few days, and if you watched The Project last

There’s been a lot of talk about Nauru in the last few days, and if you watched The Project last night, you would have heard all about it.

If you missed it, the panel began discussing Amnesty International’s latest report that compared asylum conditions on Nauru to torture.

The discussion turned into a debate when co-host Waleed Aly and panellist Steve Price disagreed on the issue.

Price said he didn’t believe conditions on Nauru was the Australian government’s fault.

“Torture is obviously a very inflammatory word,” he said

“I mean we’ve got to remind ourselves of a few things.

“The Nauruan Government administers what happens there, the Australian Government provides education and health services.”

Aly on the other disagreed.

 “I think it’s time to stop hiding behind Nauru, let’s not pretend they’re in charge of this – they’re not,” he said.

“We give them heaps of money as part of this arrangement – the High Court has found that we are in effective control of this. This is our problem.”

As the debate continued, Price argued against calling the detention centre on Nauru a closed prison.

He said it was an “open” one and the asylum seekers could go home at the expense of the Australian Government.

“But if they’re going back home to a place they’re fleeing, it’s not an option,” Aly responded.

At one point The Project co-host stumbled over his words while the argument continued.

“I think that you’re missing the point,” Aly said.

But Price wasn’t backing down.

“I don’t think I am. I like Australia to be described as someone as torturing people, I don’t think we are,” he said.

The Project debate prompted backlash on social media, with many taking aim at Price’s views.

“Steve Price can not like Australia being told they are torturers as much as he likes, that is negligible, we are torturing like it or not,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

Others accused Price of being “a right-wing mouthpiece”.

What do you think? Is Steve Price right? Or do you think Waleed Aly was right?


  1. P Worrall  

    How can their be any doubt?Australia’s unwise involvement in the Iraq Invasion,that triggered the flood of people fleeing for their life.Surely we are morally bound to assist these People

    • Klaus wolff  

      They all came through several other countries to come to Australia. Why, because we are known as the soft touch. They could have stoped in any of the countries they came through. If you don’t like what is given to them FREE, go back.

  2. I agree with Waleed, we put them there. We must take responsibility for them. They are human beings. People have to stop passing the buck and closing their eyes.😢

    • Pamela  

      We put them into newly built clean structures in good working order.

      They foul their own nest and never clean up after themselves.

      They have cost tens of millions of dollars for the damage they caused during riots, then have the hide to complain.

      Any squalid living conditions are their own fault.

  3. Heather Jennings  

    What amazes me as a lot of these people fleeing danger from their country’s return for a holiday a few years later to visit relatives? The only immigrants that should come into our country is not through the back door cue jumping but legally through the front door

  4. Robert Cripps  

    In an age with population pressure and massive religious divide causing massive geopolitical issues we would be nieve to be weak on border control. In addition we have social tension within our country due to religious difference, fueled by middle east unrest. This tension cannot be ignored & is reflected in the rise in One Nation support since the Federal Election.
    In Australia we are experiencing indecisive government and therefore necessary social policy to ensure law abidence & an educated productive population is not enacted. We do not need open borders to further impact on our society.

  5. Jenny  

    Waleed Ali is much smarter than Steve Price who is just another “loudmouth” radio presenter!!

    • patsy evans  

      Steve Price runs rings around Aly upstart.. Aly does radio TV And newspaper..he doesn’t have the e xperience that Steve P. has…who heard Waleed Aly 5 years ago???

    • Elmer Fudd  

      Firstly ,why did asylum seekers on Nauru destroy their papers? If their being “tortured” as claimed, how do they run businesses and work?

  6. Michelle Thornton  

    Can someone please tell me where we run to if our country is invaded! Who is going to give us sanction ……..what country would take us, more to the point….where would we want to go? Or …do we stay and fight for what is ours! This country is my home….and you bet I’d fight for her survival. I have much empathy for real refugees…..but, the majority are men fleeing like cowards…we take them in and they still complain. The conditions may not be perfect…but hey, beggars can’t be choosers! If we are not careful….we could be in the same boat, literally! Have a real good think……how much are YOU willing to give up!

    • john massey  

      Couldn’t have expressed this any better..well written…John

    • Maureen Davies  

      If your country is invaded you stay and fight. I don’t think all our young men would be fleeing to another country

      • Anna  

        Maureen you are spot on, we would stay in our country and fight for it. But they especially the men abandon their country why?.

  7. G Smith  

    The “refugees “on Nauru are attempting to enter this country illegally,they have in most cases flown from their homelands in the middle east,then paid thousands to smugglers for a ride on a boat,lets face it they are economic refugees ,looking for a free ride,they could have gone somewhere closer to their own home if safety was the real reason for fleeing.send them back.

    • Kerry  

      The majority of those on Manus and Nauru have been declared legitimate refugees. Are you suggesting that they return to their country to be killed? This has happened when several refugees returned to Afghanistan protesting they could be killed because of their ethnicity, Hazara. They were killed. Some refugees have more money than others, they are not economic refugees, they are fleeing for their lives. Why would you leave a country if you were well off to live here unless your life was in danger. Check the facts, most inhabitants of Australia’s off shore detention policy have been accepted by the UN as refugees. In spite of this we incarcerate them.

  8. Mack Carson  

    If you all stop for a minute and take a breath.

    Look on the map. Where is Syria…
    Now. Where is Australia..

    Long way isn’t it.
    How many country’s do they go THROUGH to get here.

    They NOT refugees.
    They are just somebody else wanting for free.
    What we and OUR FOREBEARERS have worked hard all our lives to attain.

    A refugee is somebody with NOTHING. bolting to the nearest war free hole.

    NOT Somebody having thousands and paying thousands to be brought across several other country’s to get to the honey Pot. AUSTRALIA.

    They ain’t Refugees.

    I saw TRUE refugees in West Germany AFTER the war, in the ’50’s.
    when the fence was up, and they’d not yet built the wall.(I was a British soldier stationed there.)
    The Eastern European “soldiers?” were shooting the women and children as they tries to climb over the fence. Ripping their hands to shreds on the barbed wire. while trying to do so.

    THEY….. Are refugees.

    I was an import to Australia, back in ’73. with wife and 3 kids.
    Went through the system. Not a problem.
    as thousands of others are also doing.

    The only difference between them and these border jumpers. are the Border Jumpers have money and want the honey pot….. US
    NOT true safety.

    They went past that several country’s ago
    Anybody who sees it any other way is a FOOL.
    A Gullible fool.

    • Rosemary Waters  

      Are you sure you are not my husband using a pseudonym?

    • Rosemary Lynch  

      So if you were a British soldier what are you doing here? Are you a ten pound pom? An economic migrant? Aren’t you lucky you are not escaping political or religious persecution or war being waged around you and your family? That is NO reason to close the door once you got in!

      • rob harrp  

        don’t use the word Pom its racist

    • john massey  

      Talk about being unfair..he came to Australia through the front door as was required by Australian law and you want to criticise him in favor of someone who has jumped the line and been smuggled in by rouge operators making a profit from dealing in slave trading..how much longer are you going to be blinded by what is really going on here and drop the left sided political correct approach you all seem to hang on too.Oh yeah! is calling a returned service soldier a pom.. racist…. like calling Italians.. wogs… ect , i should think you may well consider that if it had not been for the service this soldier and others had given his country you may well be speaking German or even Japanese and things may have worked out a lot different for us all..for me i welcome him and any other front door migrants and rather than insult him for doing the right thing i would much rather say “thank you for the freedom that your service allowed us all” and ” thank you for your contribution to the Australian community in the time you have been here”….

    • Robert Young  

      Mick Carson I agree with your post well written and to the point I dare say you will be condemned though that seems to be the norm these days when you tell the truth and report evens accurately and honestly.

    • Poor things! May I suggest that if you are being tortured it would be much safer to return to your own country, where you can live in the luxury you are accustomed. Oh and take Whinging Wally and any other ungrateul, demanding, invaders with you. You were not invited here and you are not our responsibility, we have enough Australians living in real poverrty. Going without because of you and the dictatorship of the United Nations and all its offshoots. Take your socialist deviants and show the where you came from, they do not care about Australia, they are just Glory seekers trying to create anarchy, and trying to destroy what our slave labour ancestors worked themselves to death for. WSe are running out of generosity.

  9. Rosemary Lynch  

    Waleed is right, again! What is it about comparatively recent arrivals wanting to slam the door shut after they get here? We need them, we owe them, amnesty and their school teachers say we have set up a methodical system of deprivation for them which amounts to torture!

    The question at issue here is, What do we do about that? My suggestion is, stop the big money migrants for 5 seconds, and let these poor unfortunates in to make a home, just like we did after the Tien An Min massacre, after the Vietnamese war, and after World War 2. The country was much better for all those people becoming Aussies, let’s be the people we hope to be, and do what is right, and do it now.

  10. rob harrp  

    aly has his own agenda ,more muslims in Australia …….torture ,really if the camp is worse than where they cam from the choice is easy….and of course they came fro a transit place which is Islamic so not direct from conflict wake up people …..

    • Judith  

      Good one Rob I think we treat these people well they get everything they want we have so many homeless people in Australia who would like a roof over there heads so why are these so call rsfugees complaining about they should be greatful. To every one stop picking on Steve.

  11. desleigh clarke  

    After watching 4 Corners the other night I think there needs to be some common sense put into this – those beautiful young girls from Myanmar should DEFINITELY be let in to Australia, they were found to be real refugees. However, single men from the Middle East should be sent back in a leaky boat.

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