13 Apr 2015
Trying to push a message for Syrian families caught up by the war in Syria. The federal government of Australia spends $4.1m on the production of Stop-the-boat telemovie, designed to dissuade asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat. The telemovie, set to be broadcast in refuge hotspots including Syria, Afghanistan and Iran, would include storylines about asylum seekers drowning at sea trying to reach Australia. However, the telemovie is under divergence of views; where the department of Immigration and Border Protection thinks it will realistically portray the journeys of people and the challenges they face, Senator Nick Xenophon who supports the government’s border asylum policy called the project “ridiculous”. Sydney production company Put It Out There Pictures has been given the contract to produce the telemovie, with filmmaker Trudi-Ann Tierney at the helm. The Refugee Council of Australia argued that they don’t think the government understands why people are on the move if they think a TV drama will be a deterrent Greens immigration spokeswoman Senator Hanson-Young attacked the telemovie on Friday as “a shameless abuse of taxpayer funds”. “With the brutal conflicts in Syria and Iraq the only message we are sending refugee families caught up in the violence is ‘bugger off, Australia does not care about your suffering’,” she said.