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letter from Mike Griffin to editor Of Nambucca Guardian

Letter to the Editor

Thursday 19th July marks the fifth anniversary of the Rudd government’s decision to reopen the offshore detention centres on Manus and Nauru, and to declare that, from that date, no asylum seekers arriving by boat would ever be resettled in Australia.

For the past four years, no asylum seekers have succeeded in reaching our shores. And yet, we continue to inflict untold suffering on the 2,000 asylum seekers and refugees who we are keeping out of sight in these far-flung places. Their suffering at the hands of our government is well documented by professional witnesses, by the Australian Human Rights Commission and by numerous international agencies. Our government’s actions are in clear contravention of our international obligations.

 There are 42 children living in mouldy tents in the tropical heat on Nauru, and a further 100 living precariously on this tiny island. These children  are receiving inadequate care , have limited access to medical services and are not receiving any education. Most of the children on the island, unsurprisingly, are suffering from untreated mental health conditions. At least seven children, following intervention by the courts, have been transferred to Australia for urgent medical treatment.

It is unconscionable that our government continues to detain these men, women and children in our name.  We are currently spending $2billion a year to keep these people out of sight and out of mind. To date, twelve asylum seekers have died in these offshore hell-holes. How much more suffering will we inflict, how many more people will have to die, before we, the Australian people, insist that enough is enough? We are mostly a compassionate country, but we seem to be losing our moral compass. We are surely better than this!

Mike Griffin

8 July 2018

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