Inside Australia’s Covid internment camp
Freddie Sayers spoke to Hayley Hodgson, who has returned from a 14-day detention
Hayley Hodgson, 26, moved to Darwin from Melbourne to escape the never-ending lockdowns — only to find herself locked up in a Covid Internment Camp without even having the virus.
She’s just returned from a 14-day detention at Howard Springs, the 2000-capacity Covid camp outside Darwin to which regional Covid cases are transported by the authorities. In an exclusive interview with Freddie Sayers, she recounted her experiences.
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It all began when a friend of hers tested positive. She recounts how investigators came to her home shortly afterwards, having run the numberplate of her scooter to identify her as a ‘close contact’. They asked if she had done a Covid test, and in the moment she lied and said she had, when she in fact had not yet. This set in train an extraordinary series of events.
“So then the police officers blocked my driveway,” she says. “I walked out and I said, “what’s going on, are you guys testing me for COVID? What’s happening?” They said, “no, you’re getting taken away. And you have no choice. You’re going to Howard Springs. You either come with us now, and we’ll put you in the back of the divvy van. Or you can have a choice to get a ‘COVID cab’… I just said, “I don’t consent to this. I don’t understand why I can’t just self-isolate at home, like a lot of other people are doing.” And they just said, “we’ve just been told from higher up where to take you. And that’s all that there is.”
She was ordered to pack a bag and was told that she could be released once she tested negative. Collected in the back of a rented van, she was then transported to Howard Springs. On arrival, she was told that she would have to stay there for the full 14 days:
She was tested three times during the 14 days, and on each occasion tested negative.
At one stage she was disciplined for leaving the confines of her cabin without a mask and was threatened with a $5000 AUD fine. On another occasion, she told how she was offered Valium to calm her down.
What Hayley is still not certain about is whether her sentence at Howard Springs was punitive and related to her original mistake about the test — that is the impression she got from one call with the Australian Centre for Disease Control.
She has since lost her job at a store, which was on a casual basis. At no stage was she reminded of her rights or put in contact with a lawyer.
This has all taken place in a state that has recorded a total of 290 cases and no deaths. The Northern Territories has suffered comparatively far less than other Australian regions, but it has not shied away from highly draconian measures. Just last month, Katherine Town in the state went into a snap lockdown after three cases were reported.
The state’s Howard Springs centre has been described by the Australian Government as ‘the safest and most functional design for quarantine in Australia’. It has served as a model for quarantine camps elsewhere in the country, with the Australian Government partnering with state governments to deliver ‘Centres for National Resilience’ in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. These are all expected to be completed in the next 6 months.
You can watch the full account of Hayley’s experience above.
Additional reporting: Florence Read (@florubyread/[email protected])
This is truly chilling; I’m at a loss as to how anyone can justify the response in Australia, it’s almost as if they have imported Chinese values in exchange for their coal.
Surely some Australian politicians are speaking out against this by now? Haven’t any of them ever read a history book? Don’t they know how this ends?
I heard Scott Morrison retort to criticism (from Ron DeSantis, not any Aussie politician), that Covid doesn’t care about your values!
Well, no. But then, neither do your human adversaries care about your values. The point is, you are supposed to, and that’s supposed to be true in the face of adversity. That’s why we call them values.
Anyone supportive of this needs to ask themselves if they still have a healthy relationship with their own humanity.
Any of you watch Dr Campbell on youtube? he is the best for updates – he is really mainstream in distancing, mask and vax + booster, but you can see he is has real doubts – check out his Ivermectin stuff, and the interview with Kyle…But he knows Youtube will ban him if he takes one step over the line.
But what I mention him for is – His Australian Woman Interview from last week just Disappeared! Vanished…..
The Australians have gone totally insane/Fas* ist – reminds me of the 1930s in Italy, because the everyday Italian is the antithesis of your Militarized people. Sure, the Japanese and Germans all suddenly went mad and super militarized, and marched to war, and that seems likely with their culture of the time – but Italians? They are the last people one can imagining goose-stepping off to war – BUT They Did! A National Psychosis swept through them and off they went, invading Ethiopia….
Now the Australians; Like BLM and CRT and Biden in USA – the world has gone crazy, and the bill to pay for all this madness is going to be huge….
Sorry but your Campbell guy is a media grifter. His videos are not helpful. His channel was not banned because he’s very pro-vax. To satisfy both sides he speculates on Ivermectin or invites some “fallen angels” to increase his popularity.
I find his channel helpful – he has given a platform to both sides of the debate (and a very large platform to Ivermectin ongoing for the better part of a year). In fact I watched the scales drop from his eyes in about March and from then on he entertained ‘the other side’ more frequently, but not exclusively. I much prefer someone in media who shows all sides of the story, than the usual corporate one-sided media – mostly left wing and with huge funding by interested big business.
As for media grifters – all YouTube channels have to make their money somehow, so I guess that in your lexicon they are all grifters.
On the off chance that any Australian police officer might be reading this — you are a piece of filth for enforcing this tyranny. I don’t want to hear any garbage about “just doing your job”. Get another job, because while you are doing this one you remain a piece of filth.
Clearly you do not share my superstitions 😉
I, too, was struck by this! He could use some history lessons!
Dread to think of the longer term impact on Aussie tourism, given how the nation’s publicity material relies upon the barefoot, laid back, freedom loving, beach bum stereotype that we’ve all just watched being pepper sprayed, beaten up, arrested and dragged by the hair to a detention camp.
Australia used to be high on my list of countries to visit, and now I think I’d rather go to China. I literally won’t step foot in that country for years to come, perhaps ever if things don’t change.
Sam, I’m Australian, and I lived/worked in China for years, and I can tell you that both countries are a lot more complex and varied and interesting than what you might see in the daily headlines. I’ve read in Unherd and other places about things happening in Portland and Seattle, but I don’t assume that reflects that current state of all of the USA. I hope that before you travel you read some histories, biographies and novels, get a bit of a feel for the depth of the place you’re going to visit – I think when you go there, you’ll find a lot more than some story that appeared in the media. We all need to be a little more patient and not jump to conclusions so easily.
It’s hard not to form a negative opinion of Australia. Both English and South African friends have described it as extremely rule bound and intolerant – this before Covid. Since Covid, there have been increasingly scary images and accounts of draconian authoritarianism pouring out of Australia.
UK: where the Great & Good from politicians, legals, media, universities tried to overthrow the Referendum before it was enacted. Who belittled & mocked Leavers with some suggesting they should not have the vote.
Where the Police “check your thinking”. Where Councils fail thousands of groomed, drugged, raped children in their care? And an MP tells parents and friends not to make a fuss “for the sake of diversity”?
Then there’s the Official Opposition riddled with antisemitism..
Australia was the 19th century’s world’s biggest prison camp. It’s descendants are both convicts and prison officers. Plus a welcome to many millions from round the world. Some of whom bought with them their issues with each other. I’ve never forgotten the white South African in a Sydney restaurant who called a black waiter “Boy”.
Australia has come a very, very long way since 1901 when it was founded. It’s over governed and has some terrible politicians. It apes the worst of the US.
But other countries should look in the mirror.
The UK is a nanny state but as a comparison, it is like the Wild West compared to Australia.
South Africa has moved on from calling people ‘boy’. As bad as South Africa is, Covid restrictions engender defiance in most of the populace.
Russell …..very cute and naive answer. I do not count the number of times I have been in Australia…..at the time, carefree, she’ll be right mate….fair dinkum …..etc……just part of the folklore like cheese fondue is in Switzerland or frog legs in France.
Walks like a duck…..talks like a duck…..it has to be a duck. Live with it. There is something totally dystopian in the way Australia and New Zealand address this covid pandemic and I think both these countries have shown what they really are like…..Sure, Banjo Paterson, Manning Clark…..etc…..and other great Australian authors, or painters……but too busy waxing your surf board, you have giving the keys to the shop to nothing else but a bunch of illiterate fa…ts and the majority seems to be very contend………on your knees…..please Mr Henchman…..let me live a little bit longer, even between my 4 walls.
Scott Morrisson, Barnaby Jones who not so long ago was rapped up in a matrimonial and corruption scandal…..great…let’s make him deputy PM, Jacinda Adern in NZ, Daniel Andrews in Victoria…..etc….etc….a jolly antipodean freak show.
It is just too bad she lied about having been tested. Lying is never a good tactic, especially in a country that has lost its marbles like Oz has.
Like you & I Bruno, Australians are very well travelled. Many of us have lived and worked overseas for years. Compared to the citizens of many countries, we’re fairly familiar with life in other places.I don’t think many of us want to swap our passport for that of another country. There hasn’t been any exodus of Australians fleeing the ‘police state’, on the contrary never have so many Australians returned home. Our politicians aren’t brilliant, but are they worse than those in the U.K., U.S.A ., Canada or other western democracies?
Watching the young lady in the video reminded me of some of the articles Mary Harrington has written recently posing the question – are we taking individual ‘freedom’ too far? It’s an interesting, complex issue. But life in Australia, for all it’s faults, is marvellous – I’m grateful every day for living here, now.
Russell……to your questions are Australian politicians worst than the US ? …..No………Western Europe ? Hell yes !! That is if you count Bojo out.
I was fortunate enough to meet Bob Hawke once and having a friend of mine working for him, I was lucky to have a glimpse and a better understanding than probably your average foreigner about Australian politic. Your ruling class is made up of scary clowns and the most visible one would Daniel Andrew.
Clearly very different from the old guard.
As to Australians giving away their passeport ? Why would they when most of them hold another one, handy to travel to and work in Europe.
This pandemic will leave scars …….whenever and if it ever finishes because between dystopian politicians and mad scientists…….I have my doubts.
The first enjoy they newly acquired power and the second want to leave in a world with zero…..well…..zero covid, zero death, zero illness………got news for you…..everyone will die anyway and I pity those who will have forgotten to live in the meantime
Australia and New Zealand reming me of this tv show, the prisoner with Patrick Mcgoohan ……….everyone happy as long as they do what they’re told.
This lady should not have lied……..big mistake that was used against her and gives traction to all who defend such a system.
For the record BA and Virgin crews when tested positive in Hong Kong are arrested and placed in a camp for about 14 days. Why not send them straight back home ?
This has an air of déjà vu…..don’t you think ?
Deja vu for my school days?. That was a time when polio and TB were a thing – when it was just announced that the Public Health Department had arrived at the school to vaccinate you. Everyone lined up, I don’t remember even having a thought of ‘objecting’. The government was the authority – an attitude perhaps still lingering on from WW2 times.
But then we lived through the 70s and ‘do your own thing’ – women’s rights, gay rights, black people’s rights etc. so now people are much more likely to think that they can decide everything for themselves. People who think Australia has suddenly become much more authoritarian just weren’t around to remember what it was like. It’s still largely a British culture with an added touch of larrikinism and laziness. One of the most open and free countries in the world.
Unherd shouldn’t have called this interview Inside Australia’s COVID Internment Camp – that’s just the sort of hysterical misuse of language that you find on the worst internet sites. Everyone knows that the connotation of ‘internment’ is confinement in a sort of prison for people considered enemies. Did other countries use hotels for quarantine, as we have? Were they called internment hotels? A commenter here gave a detailed description of the camp – the camps are quarantine camps, after two weeks you’re cleared, you were never considered an enemy. Quarantine camps are not new in Australia, people with infectious diseases were put in them until they recovered … somehow liberty survived in Australia.
I forgot some of your points – no I’m not afraid at all of dying: we have sensibly provided ourselves with legal ‘voluntary assisted dying’ so the worst suffering can hopefully be avoided.
Politicians – much the same around the western democracies. Scott Morrison (PM) and the Leader of the Opposition are both hopeless, but both of their deputies are quite presentable, so I hope they both take over asap.
Barnaby Jones……presentable ????
And the UK’s Official Opposition antisemitism? What of that? And the Councils that failed thousands of groomed, drugged, raped girls in their care? The cop “checking thinking”?
The converted attempt by many politicians of all parties, universities, media, lawyers to overturn the Referendum before it was enacted? (A very badly set up and run Referendum too. Should have asked Oz how to do it.)
The SNP’s Named Persons Act? Indeed, just the SNP?
BoJo has many faults. By now, he should be toast. So it says a great deal for the poor quality of the other parties that he isn’t.
I’m an Australian resident in UK. There’s much that shocks and saddens about back home. But I would courteously suggest glass houses, bricks.
I am South African and wanted to live in many places besides here – including the Western nirvana, Australia. Australia has been crossed off my list along with some others during Covid. Australia is an effing scary place. Shows that some people’s dreams are completely different to others. Some want a sanitized lifestyle managed by the state and others want more freedom.
It seems she only lied about it for 5 minutes–which was an understandable reaction based on fear. Why do “random” people have the right to ask for this health info anyway? Not ask for–demand!
At least China is not pretending to be something else it’s not. It is safer to know your enemy unlike Australia pretending to be a human rights advocate.
“At least China is not pretending to be something else it’s not.”
Really? Truly? Well, bless my Uighurs’ socks!
Anyone else beginning to feel like there’s been a coup but its not being televised on the MSN? It can’t be true if it’s not on the BBC, CNN, in the Guardian can it? Everything must be fine and dandy. The internment of healthy, innocent people? – now also threatened in Austria and Canada – what will these camps be used for next once covid is eventually allowed to die? Three, desperate teenagers escaped this incarceration and a man hunt was launched with state wide road blocks as if they were serial killers. If people don’t start waking up now and getting to those marches and making their voices heard they are complicit in what is to come.
Oh, yes, ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘
1970 when music was an art – classic Funk….. It is so sad what rap has become, not music at all – this is where rap came from, just think it came from Funk – then through Punk and Blondie, and finally to the gangster – who then stopped being music at all, and all the silly youngsters listen to it… sad.. – no musical instruments and talent and thought…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnJFhuOWgXg The revolution will not be televised, because the revolution will not be televised…….
Gill Scott-Heron… maybe Australia has all gone on Angel Dust….. (PCP, the true crazy drug) Angel Dust….. this stuff is right from my past…. how the world has turned since 1970…..
He was groovin’
and that was when he coulda sworn
the room was movin’
But that was only in his mind
He was sailin’
he never really seemed to notice
’cause that was all part of the high
Sweat was pourin’
he couldn’t take it
The room was exploding
he might not make it.
Angel Dust Please, children would you listen.
Angel Dust Just ain’t where it’s at.
Angel Dust You won’t remember what you’re
missin’, but down some dead end streets
there ain’t no turnin’ back.”
“”but down some dead end streets
there ain’t no turnin’ back.”””
how true – can’t undo this crazy shi*
Can anyone explain what the hell is happening? How the f**k has Australia gone so far off the deep end, so fast? The country seems to have gone quite literally insane, and… I’m struggling to understand it.
The short answer is that state premiers went power crazy. And although they get an allocation of GST (like VAT) and grants from income tax from the Fed govt as well as their own licence-raj taxes, in practice, the Feds never penalise them for overspending but make up the shortfall – rather like Nicola gets in Scotland. So, just like Nicola, they have the luxury of heroically opposing the Federal govt if it’s the opposite party, as it is for most at the moment, with no downside. Not to mention that the media is still so angry that Morrison won after they’d already declared Bill Shorten the winner and popped the champagne corks in 2019, that their campaign against him has been relentless ever since.
Fed PM Morrison also invited them into a national cabinet to deal with potential COVID issues and pretty much went along with , or only weakly opposed, whatever draconian methods they thought up.
Events like these serve no purposeful end, save to erode trust in government and public institutions.
the purpose is to demonstrate to the person under the jackboot of only that in itself
They absolutely serve a purpose–the intended purpose: to put the citizens in fear.
Seems to work.
I watched this on YouTube earlier.
Covid-19 has exposed various societies value systems.
Whenever I hear the argument “muh freedom” vs “muh health”
So far, it is fairly obvious to anyone that Covid-19 isn’t going to be going away. So the pandemic trajectory is going to be what it is
My point being, these measures are not temporary. I think people need to get their heads around this. Covid “mitigation measures” are here to stay. I thought the UK was done with it, but the speed with which flights were shut down and masks were brought back surprised me (and make me cancel a trip to London in December)
So what is the tradeoff. Surrendering everything about liberal society, liberal democracy, human rights, in order to make a nasty virus slightly less nasty? No, I think not
The mandatory mitigation measures are the greatest threat to civilization as we cherish it.
Australia is a disgrace, no other way to put it. Ron Desantis said it right when he said they are no longer a free country
The story revolves around this incident from her perspective and how this she felt she was treated! The sight was originally owned by a gas company that provided lodging for the workers. There’s a fence around the sight now and it’s been literally turned into a internment camp. There are plenty of videos of the sight on YouTube. The drift towards treating people as inmates and not as citizens is obvious. That alone makes this very creepy! If you try to leave you are a criminal but what’s worse is you now are recorded as having been quarantined as well. You are now officially branded, the only thing missing is the tattoo. There is also the stigma that goes along with this. For some it might seem harmless and humane, for others it isn’t.
I feel duty bound to share this piece. Chilling stuff.
What this surely confirms is that a Rubicon has been crossed – there is no going back to ‘normal’. Anyone who thinks otherwise is deluding themselves. And whilst, following Desmet’s analysis, we may understand why so many frightened people have lost their powers of reason, that doesn’t let the politicians off the hook. Those advocating for mandates and passports etc. know there is no medical justification for such measures, which raises the question we are all asking ourselves.
There is much talk these days about ‘being on the right side of history’, usually in relation to some gesture of performance activism. But here, where it really is an issue, all those voices are silent.
Whilst we live in a very small world the reality is there are substantial differences between various cultures and it is typical of the Western Media to always place/overlay its values on other cultures which function in very different ways and then be surprised by outcomes. Indo China the Middle East one could go on.
What the outbreak of the Virus has reminded us is that as with the individual when under stress we revert to type and “the West” breaks down.
The Swedish have pursued Lagom the British obstinancy and fragmentation, Southern Europe the extended family under one roof come what may.
Australians are brutish and adversarial, the young girl has a healthy disregard for rules which in this case I judge to be innocent and that clashes with the heavy-handed brash use of rules. No circumspection, no thought no pragmatism. I have always found any contractual matter in Oz is dealt with with a sledgehammer and in an aggressive manner.
What makes the Australians particularly stupid is 78% of the deaths in Victoria last year were in state-regulated nursing homes fueled by multiple job immigrants with no social security. They trashed the economy for no benefit 3 to 1 death Covid/Flu anyway.
But what makes them particularly stupid is 40% yes nearly half are obese. NOW THAT IS A HEALTH CRISIS.11,000 died in the three months they locked down in Victoria of which just over 800 were those Covid cases. So a super restrictive Lockdown and a death ratio the same as UK 3 to 1.
Locking up close contacts of positives where 50% are asymptomatic how dim is that. There are so many more subtle ways you can deal with that a 10 day GPS wristwatch and three tests but that would be subtle and pragmatic like the Arabs.
Remind me never to return.
That video was chilling we have changed forever because as much as I hate to admit they are us. We are all tarnished by such thoughtless behavoiur.
Thank you for this! Excellent commentary!
I think this story highlights one of the reasons there is the Second Amendment in the U.S.
Here’s a debate that I have with myself that I’ve not answered. I am not against the 2nd amendment, but let’s take this to the logical conclusion.
A police officer, or several police officers come to take you to a camp. You are a gun owner with multiple weapons. What do you do? For the guns to mean anything, logically speaking, you would need to shoot the police officers in the face, correct?
I am not advocating this! But for guns to be a deterrent they have to get used at some point, correct? And if you logically extrapolate that out to the end, at some point it ends with people shooting police officers and then national guardsmen and then the army.
2nd amendment defenders seem to have this mythical interpretation that the guns will keep the government off our back, but if nobody is willing to shoot a police officer in the face, do the guns even matter?
That is NOT what the second amendment is about! It is not about shooting people, it is about being free – as a People and Nation.
“2nd amendment defenders seem to have this mythical interpretation that the guns will keep the government off our back,”
No one has that impression. The Second is not about an individual being some Bad A**, it is that the people are free. Australians disarmed their people. Insane – its not like it is Holland and all urban and crowded, the Australians just are FU**ed up, they are Pu**ies – they were not before, but something has changed with them. I hope they learn from this and revolt and kick the Bas**rds Out of office..
I would make sure to be in a group, and everyone being armed. Safety in numbers. Yes, it does sound like the Walking Dead, but somehow this is not a ridiculous statement
Interesting question as posed. At some point, armed resistance to tyranny is legitimate, which is why I predict a coming civil war in the US. Some may resist by shooting police (tyranny), and some police may abandon, “Hey, mate, I’m just following orders. This has nothing to do with me.”
In the US, the military is constantly told that they do not have a duty to follow “illegal” orders, and have a duty to NOT follow them. If someone is taken away by the police by force (no choice) for “lying”, no right to counsel, no charges, no going before a judge, let’s hope that some enlightened minds will stop following these orders.
“Talk and listen” no longer works.
Lock and load!
Sayers sums it up: ‘raises some important questions what the end goal of all this is’.
Quillette, which is run by Claire Lehmann, who I believe hails from Australia, shares much of the mission of UnHerd. But it seems to be on the side of calling complaints about the camps anti-Australian hysteria.
For me, “the thing speaks for itself.” It’s quite horrible.
I’m Australian – and it annoys me when Claire acts as if she speaks for the entire country. What Australia needs right now is outside judgement and comment.
To be imprisoned (don’t split hairs, that’s what is was) with no right to have a lawyer question the sentence or respond on her behalf to an assertion that “we will extend your time in here” just can’t take place in a liberal democracy. But it has!
It would be interesting to know if such a sentence – without representation – could even happen in a state democracy like Russia.
When Neal Fergusson initially fabricated his numbers creating panic, the West looked at China, with soldiers deployed to keep people under control, locked in their homes until…..whenever the Party says they can leave, the left looked and said “Wow! That’s great! Wish we could do that here. Will never fly in the West.” Then someone said….Well, if we make the people afraid, really afraid….Let’s give it a go!
I’m pro-vaccine–for me, you make your own choice–but anti-tyranny. Scary stuff.
The comparison to Russia (or former USSR) is apt. Didn’t they lock up dissidents in mental hospitals and drug them? You’re upset by being imprisoned for no reason w/o charge? Have some valium. On us!
It seems to be getting to the stage in Australia, that the only phrase needed in any dealings with authority begins and end with the same letter.
This is so serious, do we have good verification of her story?
Once you let robotocracy out of the box, putting it back is very hard. It’s the precautionary principle, stupid! Why waste resources on imprisoning people who are not infected? Pour encourager les autres?
To all my British + American friends: you are welcome to comment on Australia’s abysmal reaction to COVID. Please do not fall for ‘you just don’t understand Australia’ or ‘stay out of my country.’ What Australia needs is outside comment and judgement. I say this as an Australian.
Excellent point. It should be obvious, but perhaps not.
It’s interesting the final comments on lawyers, legal advice or lack thereof because Australia has form on locking people up, most notably and recently asylum seekers*, first in camps such as these (though without the ‘self-isolation’ aspect though they were still very definitely no picnic) and later of course offshore in Australian territories or compliant third countries under Australian sway. However, in those cases there were at least lawyers – some Australians would have said too many and too much involvement of lawyers, and the involvement of lawyers and the legal process of appeals against deportation orders and so on both dragged out the incarceration for the unfortunate people there and probably helped encourage continuation of this approach. The length of incarceration of asylum seekers and their treatment led to many striking protests such as self-harming incidents when they sewed their lips together as well as escape attempts. So this approach by Australia does not surprise me at all. What does though is the complete lack of involvement of lawyers and for want of a better term ‘do-gooders’, or maybe it doesn’t since there’s been a notable lack of backbone from those types almost everywhere in the world in the face of the reaction to covid.
*It goes a long way back – see for example “Sending them home: Refugees and the new politics of indifference” Robert Manne with David Corlett in Quarterly Essay, Issue 13, 2004, http://www.quarterlyessay.com
The way they deal with Illegal Migrants, who are breaking actual, serious, law – is 100% correct. That is the duty of a government to keep the people prosperous and free, and the Nation Sovereign.
That they have turned on their own people is Shocking! That the people put up with it is even more shocking!
Until the lockdowns, Australia continued to take a relatively high number of refugees and a phenomenally high number of regular immigrants.
What they have stopped (virtually overnight) via detentions and tow-backs is the maritime people-smuggler trade that had led to thousands of deaths on the high seas. Most of those deaths occurred in the period 2007-13 when the incoming Labor government adopted a “compassionate” open borders policy as proposed by your man Manne and the people-smuggler business went into overdrive.
It is wrong to compare the way a country treats invading scammers and the way it treats its own citizen. Period.
that’s actually more lenient than the situation in HK
Well that’s no surprise.
“Come to Australia – it’s more lenient than HK!” sounds like a winning slogan. Not.
This story is a police state with Australian characteristics. There was no trial, no conviction and no due process. It was summary imprisonment without trial. If this had happened in the US, there would have been shooting. Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t have a 2nd Amendment.
I hope you are right that there would be shooting. Civil War coming soon.
After Port Arthur, Aussies surrendered ALL of their guns, more or less. Did that make this abomination possible?
I would be screaming night & day out on the balcony . There is no rule against that ?
They do it in Israel, it is called “administrative detention”. No lawyer, no charge, no court, no offense. Just in case, for “security” concerns, indefinitely, until decided that it is enough, oftentimes for decades without charge. No wonder the rare monster Sunstein called this governing system “Administrative State”. That governs not by laws and Constitution but by administrative measures and administrative detention.
Viewed with a lens of “0 covid strategy is the best strategy”, these measures actually make sense, as an efficient way to stem potential transmission.
The bigger question is whether the 0 Covid strategy practiced here (in Australia, in HK, China,…) has any scientific basis today.
I live in HK, where we have been facing the threat of “internment” for the last 2 years. Ours is 3 weeks, by the way.
Daily Mail Online had an article on this. Comments on the site had been closed so I could not post, and many others were a bit extreme I thought; it is a bit over the top to compare it with the Holocaust.
Aussies hit back at Americans calling NT quarantine centre a ‘concentration camp’ | Daily Mail Online
However what caught me was a response by an apologist sneering at ‘right wing’ American people who had commented, with a whole load of pictures purporting to show how luxurious this camp was. It was illustrated by photos of a few nubile young women sunbathing or doing callisthenics. Are all the inmates beautiful young women then?! It was pure Potemkin village stuff, and that lying and deceit is, if anything, even more chilling than the existence of the camps themselves. As we know the Uighurs are all in China’s camps for their own good. Have there ever been internment camps which the government did NOT say were necessary for the public good?
I don’t know what to say about this. I would say it is beyond belief except that I do believe it.
As an aside, isn’t it the sort of thing that the UK ought to use as the basis for imposing sanctions upon Australia? False arrest, detention without charge, habeas corpus and all that?
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There’s something not totally sincere about the interviewee to my suspicious mind. She seems nothing less than totally delighted at what’s happening – largely that she’s getting a massive amount of attention. I’m very concerned about the gradual shift to technological control of our lives, but it’s very easy to unquestioningly believe anything that supports your view. If I try to be dispassionate about this I don’t find her a credible witness of the imposition of tyranny. I hope Unherd get an official interview to balance out the story.
I am sure that just counting the likes on your post would make you glee so why can’t she enjoy telling her story?
A couple of things to add: (and I have from the beginning of COVID been against lockdowns etc.) – that quarantine station was there before COVID; others are being built around Australia because they are better than the hotel quarantine that has been used. In hotels, you can catch COVID via the air-conditioning and you are confined to a small sealed room, no balcony usually. These new rooms have a deck, at least, and will be safer re transmission of a virus.
The Northern Territory, where this young lady is, has remote Aboriginal communities – many people in those communities are not vaccinated. There is a sorry history of Aborigines not having resistance to the many diseases that came with white settlers, so there is a special effort to keep COVID out of those communities.
I suspect this young lady got taken to the centre, whereas her friends/housemates didn’t, because she lied to the police. Understandably, if you lie to the police they will think “we can’t trust anything she says” and take the most fail-safe measure to protect the community.
The relative popularity of governments in Australia is probably a sign that not too many people have felt the hard edge of the quarantine policy.
You lock people up for two weeks in an awful stark concentration camp staffed by people in hazmat suits (we saw it – it belongs in a gulag) because she lied about a Covid test and then retracted the lie?
If Australians think this is OK, they are in more trouble than they think and this really has nothing to do with aborigines (maybe lock down the country forever because of vaccine hesitancy of aborigines?) It has to do with values and rights and it has to do with the lunatic Zero Covid approach of an increasingly authoritarian government, which is it seems being enabled by its citizens.
But she tested negative, repeatedly, so “protecting the community” from what, exactly? Wrongspeak? What does it matter what she said? She wasn’t under oath.
If you have been in contact with a COVID-positive person you are required to be in quarantine facility, or self-quarantine at home, for two weeks – presumably it can take two weeks, after contact, for the disease to manifest itself. If you test negative after two weeks you’re free to go. The young lady, who had been in contact with a positive person, lied to the police, so I guess they didn’t trust her – their default position would be that it was safest for the community, particularly the Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, for her to be in a facility for two weeks. And yes Lesley, a lot of Australia does look rather ‘stark’ – the home counties it ain’t.
Australia, as someone commented below, has had very, very, very few COVID deaths. After a slow start our vaccination rate is getting quite high, and as it does the restrictions are being relaxed. The government/s expects that the disease, in some variation or another, will spread across the country during 2022, but we will have prepared ourselves as well as we can, so that our public health system doesn’t collapse because of large numbers of people needing hospitalisation.
I wouldn’t have done it that way, I would have let the virus rip from the beginning. But Australia, with its basically British democratic and legal system, has long been one of the freest countries in the world, and it hasn’t drastically changed its soul because of the experience of the pandemic, over the last two years.
When I lived in Australia, lying to a police officer on the street didn’t get you a custodial sentence. Even perjurers got a warning first.
Presumably you didn’t live here during a global pandemic – it alters things somewhat. It’ll pass.
Wow, you just don’t get it mate! she only lied to the police for 5 minutes–an understandable reaction in the climate of fear. She corrected the lie.
This was purely punishment!
If what you say in the last paragraph is true, it is clearly not the case any more.
It doesn’t take two weeks to manifest the disease on a test, it takes less than three days. Two weeks is how long it takes to get sick and recover or die, usually!
There’s really no scientific or medical reason why a negative test wouldn’t obviate even the razor-thin “justification” for this. It’s simply a way to punish the non-compliant.
“they will think….” Who is they? Who appointed them judge, jury, and punisher?
The relative popularity of governments down under is probably a sign that once tough Aussies (Crocodile Dundee, Chopper Read) have mutated into sheep.
Sad. Australia has enough sheep.
Australia has a 87% double vaccination rate for people 16+ years and is now opening up. Covid deaths to date in Australia are 2,033 in a population of 26 million. Compare this with the UK, 145,281 deaths in a population of 68 million. A few days temporary inconvenience in a quarantine facility does not seem to be unreasonable.
So as the virus takes hold you will just build more concentration camps?
The term ‘concentration camp’ seems to be used rather extravagantly these days. The Howard Springs Quarantine Facility has a maximum stay of 14 days in motel type accommodation with en-suite bathroom, television, air-conditioning and three meals a day with vegetarian, vegan, halal and other dietary options. It can no way be equated with the permanent incarceration, starvation, appalling conditions and murderous barbarity of 1930’s/WW2 concentration camps.
Ironic that the woman involved moved 3,100 km interstate to escape frequent lockdowns in Melbourne. Darwin at that time had no lockdowns as there was no community transmission of Covid. Why no Covid? – because the Northern Territory controls its borders and has a testing and quarantine system that she chose to evade.
As for more ‘camps’, most states use 3/4 star hotels for their 14 day quarantine period and restrictions are increasingly being relaxed with the high rate of double vaccination.
You’re kidding, right? Max stay of 14 days? Motel? I think the girl disputed that quite well, mate!
And since when do “max stays” remain the way they were initially imposed. The max stay will change as it suits the needs of the tyrants who impose them.
Fortunately this girl has a big mouth and has spoken out. Well done! Maybe they will come after her again to teach her a lesson!
Send us postcards when they lock you there!
Wait till it opens up. I think deaths with Covid will rise. Significantly.
who cares about covid, when something like this is going on?? Where are people’s priorities? Do we remember at all that the reason why the Jewish ghettos were fenced off in Germany was because it was announced that the Jews spread syphilis and typhus? It started with the narrative that Jews are infectious.
Quarantine for 14 days in Australia, mostly in 3/4 star hotels was/is on the basis of exposure to Covid not ethnicity.
I have always been superstitious: I believe that being deliberately rude to police officers is likely to bring you bad luck. Maybe the same applies to lying about testing status in the middle of a pandemic that other people take seriously.
I was not aware internment was a thing again.
good balance there Rasmus (as always)
Most civilised people can take something seriously without brutalising and dehumanising their fellow man.
Person is rude to police officer, gets locked in internment camp. What happens if you punch a police officer then, your entire family should get murdered?
Yes, of course. Isn’t that obvious? They should be tortured first. Sins of the fathers…
I thought you were Danish, not Icelandic. I thought only the Icelanders believed in elves, fairies, ghosts….
Did you miss the point about the lie lasting for 5 minutes? Immediately corrected? Understandable in the climate of fear?
Pay attention, mate!
Defund the Australian Police!
I watched a couple Australian TV youtubes where the head cops explain how insanely brutally they plan to treat you if you fail to obey the covid mandates totally – it is Scary! And they act like this is all normal, and for the stupid citizen’s own good. Pigs.
AND, at no point have I seen any legal person explain how this power is legal – It seems the authority has just been taken by the Government individuals without the bother of the legal process….
If you have never lied to the Police you have not been up to much.
Remember being young and the police stop you and ask – have you had anything to drink, taken any drugs, do you have any drugs in your car…… What would you say ‘Yes, I am drunk, stoned, and have drugs under the passenger seat.’
The police has this bad habit of asking you to self incriminate, Although I suppose it can be bad luck if you lie to them as they tend to take it out on you if they catch you out…….which is a bummer…….
The only time I ever had a real beating from Police was when things got weird fast and they decided I was ‘resisting’, which I guess I was, but like I said, it all happened real fast – and I do not hold it against them. Otherwise I pretty much like Police, but I know enough I also have a tiny reservation about their mentality – although I totally get why they are like they are – it is a job which sets one up for failure at times….
It takes one to know one!
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