News Release148 Murray Street, Gawler, S.A., 5118.Phone (08) 85 222 878 Fax:    (08) 85 231 392Tony Piccolo MPState Member...
Tony piccolo internment camp motion final media release 3 8 2011
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Tony piccolo internment camp motion final media release 3 8 2011


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This is a very worthwile initiative - and it does not only relate to WW2, but has current relevance for refugees, asylum seekers, policymakers and researchers alike.

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Tony piccolo internment camp motion final media release 3 8 2011

  1. 1. News Release148 Murray Street, Gawler, S.A., 5118.Phone (08) 85 222 878 Fax: (08) 85 231 392Tony Piccolo MPState Member for LightParliamentary Secretary to the PremierChair, Volunteer Ministerial Advisory GroupDeputy Chair, Business Development CouncilNational Convenor, F.I.A.P. Wednesday 3rd August 2011<br />Recognise wartime internment suffering says MP<br />The impact that internment in Australian camps during World War Two had on the lives of migrants and their families will come under the spotlight in the South Australia Parliament as a result of a motion moved by State Labor Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo.<br />Last week Mr Piccolo moved a ten part motion that seeks to shed some light on the experiences of people of Italian, German and Japanese background (amongst others) who were interned at Loveday in the South Australian Riverland, and other camps around Australia during the war.<br />Established in 1941, Loveday held 5382 internees at its peak in May 1943. <br />The 1st of June 2011 marked the 70th anniversary of the opening of the internment camps at Loveday. <br />The camps were constructed for the purpose of detaining “enemy aliens” and prisoners of war.<br />Mr Piccolo said he had moved the motion after he had heard many stories from the families who were affected by the internment policy.<br />“The policy resulted in thousands of Australian citizens being deprived of their liberty for no other reason apart from their cultural background,” Mr Piccolo said.<br />The motion states “that most people were primarily interned in the camps on the basis of their cultural heritage, on the mistaken belief that it posed an unreasonable risk, and not for any demonstrated or validated criminal or security concerns.”<br />Mr Piccolo said the motion seeks to recognise the pain, suffering, grief, and hardship, experienced by the people who were interned and their families.<br />“Internment had a shocking impact on mothers and wives who were left to care for children, homes, farms or businesses alone, without government assistance as other Australians could count on,” Mr Piccolo said.<br />Many of the so called “enemy aliens” interned at the Loveday camps were people who were permanent residents of, or were born in Australia or had become British subjects in accordance with the federal immigration and citizenship laws of the day.<br />Mr Piccolo said that while the internment policy was implemented in the circumstances of a national emergency, it nevertheless resulted in a great deal of injustice that was unnecessary and avoidable.<br />The motion also recognises the significant contribution that former internees and their families have made on the economic, social and cultural development of Australia despite having to rebuild their lives after internment.<br />Mr Piccolo said he hoped that as a maturing nation we have learnt from the World War Two internment experience “to ensure that future generations of migrants to this country, and their descendants, are treated with justice and equality before the law, and not discriminated against on the sole basis of their cultural heritage.”<br />Mr Piccolo is keen to hear from people whose families were affected by the internment of a family member as he would like to be able to incorporate the very “human stories” when he debates the motion in State Parliament on the 20th October 2011.<br />“We have only recently started to analyse these events in our history.”<br />“Until now the war time internment policy has been hidden away from the general public.”<br />“Hopefully, this motion will enable former internees and their families to speak out and have their stories heard.”<br />END<br />Further comment can be obtained from Tony Piccolo MP on 08 85 22 2878.<br />