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Newsletter for 21 January 2015 RAR Bellingen and Nambucca

Hi Everyone

Thanks to Mary for a quick response to the recent email "situation desperate on Manus Island". 
She wrote " I thought the example letter and suggestions as to who to write to were good advice and have now started my letter writing. "

A number of emails are being received from the National RAR,  telling the story of the impact of Government action on the fate of asylum seekers and action being taken.

This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes. To read the complete newsletter click below

Some extracts are shown below. If you feel you need further information email

Have you seen this video about the "Free the Children" installation held in Melbourne in December - remaining children in Nauru


"Dear Friends of and Visitors to the MITA,
 Horrible restrictions are being mooted which would restrict visits to people in the Broadmeadows detention Camp (MITA). We need to speak up now as they are under discussion.
 Please write an email urgently with your own points or those below.
 The SERCO contract bid down in order to be reinstated. Now they are cutting services in order to keep profits up. All sorts of changes are mooted- Limitations on activities, Cutting home visits for long term detained back to 3/4 hours including travel time, cutting access to mosque, temple and church are the obvious ones. I do not know why the visits are to be limited as these cost nothing for SERCO."

5.30pm Wed Jan 21, State Library – corner Swanston & La Trobe St, Melbourne
  • Don't force refugees to Longerau on Jan 22
  • No violence against hunger strikers 
  • Close Manus and all the detention camps
From Ellen O'Gallagher (Castlemaine)
I have just rung Bill Shorten's office and had a 5 minute conversation with his helper--she was quite good, listened to what i said politely and agreed that things were a mess.  I mentioned RAR and the swelling numbers of rural people opposed to this horrible policy and suggested that if he could announce a much more enlightened policy that people would support him in surprising numbers.  His office phone number is 02 6277 4022.  If lots more people wrote or rang him on this subject it might have an effect--particularly now before he has started announcing Labor policies.  Thanks, Ellen
It is important to let the new Immigration Minister know that there are many, many Australians who strongly reject the "Cambodian deal".  Jan

Why not ring a National Party office to let them "know that there are many, many Australians who strongly reject the Cambodian deal"?
Luke Hartsuyker Cowper member 6652 6233 Federal election in 2016
Melinda Pavey Oxley candidate 0419 478 530 State election in March 2015

Ditch the Cambodia Refugee Deal
-------- Original Message --------
Subject:Ditch the Cambodia Refugee Deal Campaign
Date:2015-01-16 13:53
From:Nick Johns via CommunityRun <>
Reply-To:Nick Johns via CommunityRun <>

Dear Campaign Supporters,
Thank you for signing the petition 'Ditch the Cambodia Refugee Deal'.
My fiancé and I have recently returned from our second trip to Cambodia, where we support the Cambodian Children's Trust. Cambodian Prime Minister (and former member of the Khmer Rouge) Hun Sen has just 'celebrated' 30 years in power. Human Rights Watch has marked the anniversary by accusing him of extrajudicial killings, torture, arbitrary arrests, summary trials, censorship, bans on assembly and association and keeping a national network of spies and informers intended to frighten and intimidate the public into submission.
Australia has recently sent Government representatives in secret to our offshore refugee processing centres to meet representatives of the Cambodian Government, in an attempt to bully refugees into accepting the 'deal' to resettle in Cambodia. This is a country where the families of the Government ministers drive around in Lexus 4WDs without number plates while some families live on rubbish dumps and scavenge in the waste for food.
We are bribing the corrupt Cambodian Government with $40million to take vulnerable and persecuted people that legally and morally deserve our help. All for the political agenda of our Government.
Below is the link to the campaign. The plan is to gather more support, and possibly media attention, before delivering the petition, in person, to Tony Abbott's offices in Manly, Sydney. In the same electorate in which I live and work. Lucky me.
If you are in a position to circulate the link below to family, friends, colleagues -- everyone you know, and ask them to sign and share as well. I would be very grateful.
Nick Johns

Jan Govett  suggests As well as signing the Community Run petition it would be excellent if everyone would write to, or email, the Minister for Immigration, Peter Dutton directly. 
Peter Dutton MP
Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
PO Box 6022
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Billy Lids - lets free those kids
Please find attached information about the picnic event to be held on Sunday 1 February at the St Kilda Botanical Gardens. Please circulate this to your networks.  This will be a fabulous day and our music clip will be a wonderful resource to grandmothers every where.  Our facebook page is
 Billy Lids- Let's free those little kids- recording and music clip project
Who we are
We are a group of grandmothers and friends from Melbourne Ports demanding the freedom of refugee children held in detention by the Australian Government.We are not aligned to any party or part of another organisation.  We are grandmothers, and friends, who care. As individuals we share information with other community organisations working in the area such as the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
 Why Our message is simple. Regardless of your politics, your colour or your creed, children do not belong in detention.
 Our aim is to grow the grass roots community call to our government to free the children. We will do this through music and gentle humour, and a song that sticks in your brain until the children are free.
This project has two aims :Increase community awareness, we will distribute the music clip on You Tube, face book, websites, radio stations and
resource all our Grandmother groups around the country and encourage them to stage their own events, singing outside their MP's office, the supermarket, until these children are free.
We are NOT fundraising, or selling this online. 
Our Team
 Tracy Harvey, Comedian/writer, The DressmakerComedy Company has written a song for our cause Billy Lids 
Sam See, Music Director, John Farnham Band, has produced Billy Lids, attached with vocal guide track. 
Fiona Cochrane Film Maker, Four of a Kind, plus numerous music video clips, will direct the Billy Lids music clip at recording studio and other location such as park or community hall 
kind regards, Fiona 
 ph: 9645 8980
mob: 0439 645 858
facebook: Fiona Crawford Artworks


Ongoing correspondence with Luke Hartsuyker

Dear Mr Hartsuyker,
Thank you for your email of 14th January in response to my email of 7th January. 
In your email you set out, once again, the failings of the previous government’s immigration policies in contrast with what you regard as the rigorous and effective policies of your government. Unfortunately, you failed to address any of the issues which I raised with you.
My email referred specifically to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers on the island of Nauru.  I set out some of the concerns that I and many Australians have about the lives of real people, who every day of the week have to live the experience of the government’s offshore detention policies.  I asked you a number of specific questions relating to the safety and wellbeing  of refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru and I invited you to comment on the statement from Save the Children that “Nauru is not a sustainable long-term option for the resettlement of refugees”. 
I would be most grateful if you would now respond to the specific issues that I have raised with you.
Yours sincerely,

The full correspondence is on the blog

Letter to Peter Dutton

From: Mike
Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2015 11:44 AM
Subject: Manus Island

Dear Minister,
I am writing to request that you do all in your power to close the detention centre on Manus Island and to bring the 1035 men who are currently detained there to Australia. I am deeply troubled by recent reports which describe their desperation, self harm and hunger strikes. These are desperate people, who increasingly live in great fear for their lives.  You will be aware that it was recently reported that locals massed menacingly outside the centre and that local staff vandalised the kitchen in one of the compounds.  We are now almost at the anniversary of the terrible violence last year which left one asylum seeker dead and many more injured. It is unsurprising therefore that asylum seekers on Manus are resorting to desperate measures to bring their plight to the attention of the world.
It is a matter of record that many locals in PNG are very hostile towards the refugees. Prospects for their resettlement in PNG are therefore remote, particularly as this is a very poor country with limited services and resources for the population. 
Australia has a duty under international law to ensure the safety of asylum seekers. They are our responsibility.They should therefore be transferred to Australia and have their asylum claims properly and fairly assessed. Those found requiring our protection should be offered resettlement in Australia.
I strongly object to the current costly, damaging and punitive offshore regime. Many PNG nationals and community leaders also strongly object to these arrangements which have been foisted on PNG in return for aid assistance. 
We are better than this. Will you bring this ugly and shameful policy to an end?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Yours sincerely,

A truly shocking article about life on Nauru,  Guardian Australia.
Mike  - see attachment

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.Click on the buttons at the top of the blog  to get ideas for and to see letters already sent to politicians and newspapers  (3651 page reads)

Ongoing correspondence with Luke Hartsuyker, who will not answer the questions raised

New button "Peter Dutton" with start of letter campaign to influence the new Minister - please join in 

You chance to have a say on "Australian Humanitarian Programme 2015-2016 and beyond

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David Wallin

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