The “burkhini” is making a splash with Muslim students in the Riverland.
The wetsuit-style lycra costume, which covers the arms, legs and hair, has given 10 Renmark High School students the chance to learn to swim while remaining true to their culture.
* Learning swimmingly how to make use of infidel generosity
Principal Paul Wilton said since the school bought the burkhinis, the students had become more active.
“We noticed that, while the boys were actively participating in events, the girls were very shy and none of them came to the school swimming carnival,” he said.
“We are a river community (and) learning to swim is a safety issue here and swimming is very much a part of the culture of this town.
The girls, who moved to Renmark from Afghanistan in the past 18 months, now take part in weekly swimming lessons at the local pool.
Dole payment plan for illegal migrants
* We have a ‘caring’ government now, remember?
TAXPAYERS would be forced to pay thousands of illegal immigrants the dole under controversial measures now being considered by the Rudd Government.
‘We have ways to make you like us…’
For the first time asylum seekers and illegal immigrants fighting to stay in the country would be allowed to work and claim welfare benefits while taking the Immigration Department to court.
The proposal will mostly apply to illegal immigrants on tourist visas who fly into the country and then claim asylum when ordered to leave, rather than the stereotype of people who arrive on leaky boats.
They are not in detention centres and are given a so-called “Bridging Visa E” until their cases are sorted out.
The latest figures show there are 5624 people on the visas but the number often swells to as high as 7000.
Although overstayers would pay taxes if they found a job, taxpayers would have to pay millions in Centrelink and Medicare payments to those unable to find work.
As well, taxpayers would have to foot the cost of appeals to the Migration Review Tribunal, the Federal Court, the full bench of the Federal Court and the High Court.
Some court cases last a decade or more. Sources have told The Courier-Mail of one case involving a man who arrived in the 1980s and claimed asylum who was finally kicked out last year after exhausting all his appeal options.
The Opposition has denounced Labor’s plan, warning that without safety measures taxpayers would bear the brunt of vexatious claims. It also said illegal immigrants would target Australia if the law was relaxed.
But Immigration Minister Chris Evans intends to speed-up the appeals process and close the loophole that enables some illegal immigrants to remain in the country for years while seeking numerous judicial reviews.
“The Rudd Government is aware of concerns in the community about the difficulties faced by asylum seekers who are denied work rights or access to Medicare, ” Senator Evans said.
“The department is currently assessing the issue and will consult with a range of stakeholders when developing any changes to bridging visa policy.
“It is also vitally important that the bridging visa regime is not open to abuse.”