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Response to Tanya Plibersek letter 26 December 2017

From: Mike
Sent: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 3:50 PM
To: Tanya Plibersek MP
Subject: Offshore detention

Dear Ms Plibersek,
Many thanks for your detailed response of 22nd December to my letter of 13th August, sent to Shayne Neumann and copied to you. I very much appreciate the time and trouble that you have taken to address the issues that I raised and to set out the Labor Party’s position. I do  accept, for the most part, the criticisms that you make of the Turnbull government’s utter failure to deal adequately with the appalling situation for asylum seekers and refugees languishing in offshore detention. But we need to address the problem of the elephant in the room. The Labor party went to the last election promising the Australian people that there was no difference between the Labor party and the Coalition in relation to the key pillars of asylum policy, namely: turning back the boats, the maintenance of offshore detention camps, and the Rudd-era policy of preventing people arriving by boat from ever settling in Australia. In these crucially important areas, the Labor party’s policy stance has not changed. It seems somewhat disingenuous to me for the Labor party to state that the detention camps were never regarded as being indefinite. Apart from the government’s incredibly stupid refusal to take up the NZ government’s offer to resettle 150 refugees annually, the Coalition tells the same story, and Dutton wants us to believe that he is trying to get people off Manus and Nauru as quickly as possible. In the meantime, many hundreds of asylum seekers and refugees continue to suffer both physically and mentally whilst politicians essentially look the other way.
In the present terrible circumstances, the Labor party should bite the bullet, decide that enough is enough and take the political  risk of declaring that all detainees in offshore detention should be brought to Australia  without delay for their safety and well-being. This would allow an orderly progression to appropriate third countries, which would include the US and NZ, but would exclude Third World countries such as Cambodia. Those wishing to remain in Australia, where a number of them have family connections, should be allowed to do so.
It is time to bring this shameful chapter in our history to an end.
Yours sincerely,
Mike Griffin
39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach NSW 2448

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