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Newsletter for 12 September 2017 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Next Roadside Demo - Nambucca Plaza Thursday September 21st 2:30pm
Next Market Stall - Bellingen Sat 16th September
Let Them Stay update
Manus Island update
Quote from Tim Winton

Roadside demonstration report

A big thank you to the small band of regular volunteers who  joined our roadside demonstration  at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour last Thursday.  It went really well, though our demos would be so much more effective if we could attract a few more volunteers! Lots of support from passing motorists, and high fives from visitors to the Big Banana. Our next demonstration will take place on Thursday 21st September by the Pacific Highway in Nambucca Heads, adjacent to the Plaza shopping centre from 2.30 to 4.00 pm. Please consider coming to join us if you can.

Our next Market Stall: Saturday 16th September at the Bellingen market

A reminder that our next market stall is this Saturday at the Bellingen market from 9.00 am until 1.30 pm. The forecast is for sunshine, so we can look forward to a busy morning at this popular venue. We have new leaflets to hand out, petitions to sign and merchandise to sell in aid of the Asylum Seekers Centre in Newtown. If you can join us to lend a hand between 10. 00 am and 1.30 pm, then please let Mike know by emailing him  Or just drop by to say hello!

Let them stay : Update

A big thank you to all our supporters  who have written to the local press and to politicians to protest about our government’s cruel decision to punish the 400 asylum seekers living in the community  following their transfer from Manus and Nauru for medical reasons. It is really important that we keep up the pressure by writing to politicians on both sides of the House. Please consider writing to minister Dutton at:  and to the Labor opposition spokesperson, Shayne Neumann at: You might also consider writing to your local MP, who for most of us is:
In the meantime, it is greatly heartening to read that the Victorian government has committed $600,000 to supporting the 100 asylum seekers in Victoria who are affected by this latest cruel policy twist. The Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott stated : “We’re an advanced civilised society and we don’t leave people to starve on the streets”.
We have produced a leaflet about the government’s action, which is attached to this newsletter, and which can be printed as an A5 leaflet. Please consider printing it off and sharing it with friends, family and colleagues, or using it as a guide for letter writing.

Email if you would like to receive the printable pdf version of the leaflet.

 In addition, we have this week donated $150 to the Asylum Seekers Centre to assist them in their vital work.

Manus Island : Update

The situation on Manus Island continues to deteriorate for the  hundreds of men who remain there.  The Greens Senator Nick McKim visited PNG very recently and reported that up to 100 detainees have been transferred to Port Moresby, where they are being warehoused in a motel at the expense of the Australian government. They have been transferred on the pretext of requiring medical treatment that cannot be provided locally, but they have been told that they cannot return to Manus Island. They have little or no prospect of resettlement in PNG and they have no idea what will happen to them in the future, other than that they will face continued coercion to return to their war-torn countries of origin. The situation for them is truly dire.

A quote from Tim Winton

“You see, we’re afraid of strangers. We’re even scared of their traumatised children. Yes, this big brash nation trembles. When people arrive with nothing but the sweat on their backs and a crying need for safe refuge, we’re terrified. Especially if they arrive by boat. It seems the boat makes all the difference. So great and so wild is our fear of maritime arrivals, we can no longer see victims of war and persecution as fellow human beings.  This fear has deranged us.”

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