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letter to opposition leader, petition signed by 1396 people and call on Labor party to take principled stand on this issue 10 October 2016

10th October 2016

Dear Mr Shorten,

Please find attached a letter to the Prime Minister which sets out the deep concerns shared by many Australians about our nation's cruel, inhumane and extremely expensive offshore detention policy. As you will note, the letter was accompanied by a petition signed by 1396 people.
We are aware of the concerns that the Labor Party has voiced in recent times about indefinite offshore detention and we have noted the proposals about greater transparency and oversight of the detention centres. These proposals do not, however, go anywhere near far enough. The constant mantra of "anywhere but Australia", linked to what amounts to the coercion of refugees to return to their countries of origin is simply wrong, unprincipled and morally reprehensible.
We therefore call upon the Labor Party to finally take a principled stand on this issue. We urge you to accept that ending this cruel treatment of refugees and asylum seekers is an urgent priority, which needs to be dealt with now, rather than later. The solution has to involve the resettlement in Australia of the genuine refugees who make up the great majority of the people currently detained on Nauru and Manus, though the generous offer of the New Zealand government to accept some refugees should not be ignored. We have surely done enough damage to these people in the name of border protection. We cannot go on like this, and we look to the Labor Opposition to help to bring about an end to this cruelty which is being inflicted on innocent people in our name.
On behalf of Rural Australians for Refugees, I look forward to your response.

                                                                                                            Yours sincerely,

                                                                                                            Mike Griffin

Copy to Tanya Plibersek MP

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