Immigration policy lacks human touch

Raelene HallMidwest Times
Marchers make known their support for South African farmers as they gather in Forrest Chase, Perth, last year.
Camera IconMarchers make known their support for South African farmers as they gather in Forrest Chase, Perth, last year. Credit: Nic Ellis

I don’t follow politics a lot but occasionally a policy or decision will catch my attention.

So it was when I heard Nicky’s story in interviews with Peta Credlin (Sky News) and Jane Marwick (6PR).

This South African woman and her family have been refused a humanitarian visa into Australia, with no explanation, despite meeting the UN’s criteria and having family in Australia.

This woman and her children have been through an ordeal that would destroy most people.

Alone at their South African citrus farm, having encouraged her husband to take some time off, Nicky and her children were subjected to four hours of torture and hell.

The beginning of the attack saw Nicky’s eldest son shot at outside the house before the intruder broke in and shot Nicky.

The sheer sadistic nature of the attacks and the cruelty inflicted on the children and their mum (including rape) is unbelievable. It went on for four hours. I don’t have room here to describe it, but believe me, it was horrific.

Through guts, determination and a mother’s instinct to protect her children, Nicky managed to lure her attacker away from the farm before escaping.

Nicky’s attacker was caught and has been imprisoned for 173 years.

No longer feeling safe living at their farm, the family have moved to the city. Despite armed guards protecting their area, there have been attacks. This is not an isolated case.

Nicky is speaking out on behalf of all South African farmers, many of whom are facing the same fear.

So why would we not want this family to come to Australia?

Why would our Government refuse them a visa?

The population of our rural areas is declining. Aren’t these the very people we should be encouraging to move here?

Nicky’s husband has been a citrus farmer for 25 years while Nicky designs, makes and sells clothes.

They have skills, they aren’t afraid of hard work and are prepared to sell their farm to fund their start in Australia.

All they are asking for is the opportunity to move to a country where they can live and work without fear, for themselves and their children.

These are not just names on a form. These are real people looking for sanctuary.

When the interviewer in Pretoria heard Nicky’s reasons for wanting the visa for her family, she was reduced to tears.

One wonders what sort of hell a family has to endure before a “humanitarian” visa is granted?

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails