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Free the children - Marlene Griffin

Dear Mr Hartsuyker,

This weekend’s edition of the  SMH features an appeal by  faith leader to all parliamentarians , calling on you, as our representatives, to release children and their families from immigration detentionThere is irrefutable evidence that detaining children for prolonged periods is detrimental to their mental and physical wellbeing.  We need to take concrete steps to bring this shameful episode in Australian politics to an end.

It is also time to close offshore detention facilities. There is a tide of public opinion in favour of this after the appalling conditions and treatment regimes on Nauru and Manus have become increasingly apparent to the general public in recent months. The financial cost of these policies to us as a nation is also influencing public opinion. The present government is finding itself out on a limb on these issues here at home and also in the international political arena. The world has a massive refugee crisis on its hands and  international cooperation is required to address this . 

The policies of the previous Abbott government have not ‘stopped any boats’ . The boats have simply been diverted elsewhere . There is a massive tide of displaced and desperate refugees arriving in Greece , Germany and other parts of Europe every day . It is a travesty to say we have ‘stopped the boats’. Desperate refugees fleeing persecution  are travelling by boat and as International News reports reveal  there is a massive loss of life from these boats on a daily basis. The time for self interested isolation is long gone. Australia must become part of the solution to all this and move from political posturing to meaningful engagement in humanitarian policies. 

I urge you to vote in favour of the appeal by faith leaders  when the Senate’s amendments to the Migration and Maritime Powers Amendment Bill comes before parliament.

Yours sincerely,
Marlene Griffin

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