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Newsletter for 6 May 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Newsletter for 6 May 2015

Labor's immigration spokesman Richard Marles is just back from his first visit to Manus Island.

Richard Marles spoke to Naomi Woodley ABC about his Manus Island visit.

RICHARD MARLES: The conditions are improving, but what concerns me greatly is that when it comes to the Abbott Government, it has taken tragedies before they've acted.

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

Right now, for example, the health clinic on Manus is very basic and as a result we saw, last year, the tragic situation of a person pass through that facility, Hamid Kehazaei, who ultimately died of septicaemia. Now the circumstances of that have been investigated, but it's not until that has occurred that we see a new medical facility being built, which is unquestionably state of the art, and that's to be opened in the next couple of months. 

Make the comparison, build "state of the art medical centre on Manus Island, but do not provide basic services to remote aboriginal  communities!

Close Manus Island detention centre now!

Mikes comments

There is some interesting  information about Nauru visas in Monday’s  Weekly update from the Andrew and Renata Kaldor Institute under the headline “Nauru reaps visa windfall”. 

There are now 718 asylum seekers and 500 refugees on Nauru, funded by the Australian government.  In addition to the huge costs of keeping these 1,218 people from our shores, currently estimated at $400,000 per person per annum, our government is now paying $1,000 per person per month in what are euphemistically described as “visa costs.” 

Yes, that’s $1,218,000 per month, or $14,616,000 per annum into the coffers of this tiny island nation of 10,000 people. We can but wonder where the money goes.
Think how much support could be provided to help refugees resettle in Australia with these astronomical sums of money.

The Chilout Newsletter has just been received

click on tab in our blog or use the link

The "Maintaining the Good Order of immigration Detention Facilities Bill
received from National RAR
"In about two week's time the Senate Committee is expected to hand down their report on the bill, after which it'll be put to a vote. While Shadow Immigration Minister Richard Marles has voiced concerns about the bill, Labor have not announced how they plan to vote.

Contact your Labor senator and let them know why they must reject this bill.

These powers are on par with, and in some instances broader than, the powers granted to federal police officers. Despite this, guards won't be required to undergo the same rigorous training and background checks that police officers are subjected to. This will place the safety of asylum seekers at further risk, particularly children and people with mental health conditions.

Furthermore, if an asylum seeker wants to raise concerns about the use of excessive or reasonable force, they can have their concerns investigated by the Immigration Department – the department responsible for hiring and contracting detention centre guard, a conflict of interest that could deny justice to people in detention.

We still have time to convince Labor to vote against this bill. Contact your Labor senator today:

Yours in hope,
Alycia and the Getup team "

The Next Market at which we will have a stall will be in Bellingen on Saturday 16 May 2015
Can you spare an hour or two to join us? The markets are always a pleasant experience and it’s so important to let people know that , as Australian citizens, we are not prepared to let the government keep the appalling realities of their policies out of sight. The treatment of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru are a national disgrace, and we must keep up the pressure to get them closed. So please come along to share the experience, to bear witness, to give out information and to encourage people to sign our petition.

If you can help, then email Mike on 
Or call him on 6569 5419.

#RefugeeWeek 2015 – “With courage let us all combine”

Refugee Week, coordinated by the Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) is Australia's peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

This year Refugee Week will be celebrated from Sunday, 14 June to Saturday 21 June, which includes World Refugee Day on 20 June.

“With courage let us all combine”
RCOA has chosen “With courage let us all combine” as the theme for Refugee Week in Australia for 2015 to 2017. Taken from the second verse of the national anthem, the theme celebrates the courage of refugees and of people who speak out against persecution and injustice. It serves as a call for unity and for positive action, encouraging Australians to improve our nation’s welcome for refugees and to acknowledge the skills and energy refugees bring to their new home.

More information relating to this year’s theme can be found here


National Rural Australians for Refugees - now has current news on their web site 

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"What will it take to change Australian minds about Asylum Seekers?" An interviews with Julian Burnside


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