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Newsletter for 8 July 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Hi Everyone

This newsletter is stored here for archival purposes. You can read it by clicking on "read more" below

New initiatives in RED

Coffs Harbour Market.  Sunday 19th July from 8.00 am until 1pm
We have booked a stall for the Coffs market and as usual we are looking for volunteers to help on the day. As you will all know, we have had successful stalls at Bellingen and Valla markets for the past year, and we intend to continue with these. This will be our first stall at the Coffs Harbour market, and we are hoping to reach out to a new group of people and to sign up more supporters to our group. 

If you can help out for an hour or two on the day, then please email Mike at :  or phone him on 6569 5419. The markets are a great opportunity to meet people and to demonstrate  that we continue to stand up for the plight of asylum seekers, especially those imprisoned  on Manus Island and Nauru. Our government, with the support of the opposition, is doing all it can to  maintain a blanket of secrecy around its activities in offshore detention centres, which is all the more reason for us to be out there explaining as best we can what is actually being done in our name. 

Border Force Act 2015 -  write to politicians to express your concern

Last week the ‘Border Force Act 2015 ‘ was implemented. It carries penalties of up to two years in jail for detention staff on Nauru or Manus island should they speak out about the conditions or practices they observe during the course of their work.
Should they witness child abuse, lack of decent sanitation, inappropriate treatment of detainees or lack of services such as medical or educational provision they must stay silent and disclose no information to journalists or to any other member of the general public. 

How shameful is this ? What have the Abbott Government  got to hide by enforcing these draconian measures ?

As a RAR member I am appalled and extremely disturbed by the passing of this act and urge RAR members to write to politicians who have supported it through parliament. We are approaching a dictatorial state and we need to register our protests loud and clear. I thought freedom of speech was every Australian citizens’ right but it seems not to be so. 


Dassan list of politicians is attached

Of course our local member is Luke Hartsuyker and his email address is and you can do more

Let’s put pressure on Luke Hartsuyker 

Our local member of Parliament continues to uncritically support the indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru. He is a senior member of a government which seeks to shroud its asylum policy activities in secrecy and which now threatens doctors, nurses and other support workers with imprisonment if they speak out about the abuses which they observe in these gulags. It’s time to let Mr Hartsuyker know that we are enraged by his government’s actions and that we will continue to make our feelings known. 

To that end, we are planning a new action, namely to hold a peaceful picket outside the office of our Federal Member each Thursday morning, provided that there is support amongst our membership to get the idea off the ground. 

One of our supporters, Robin Hesketh, is very keen to organise the picket and is looking for support. If anyone can make a commitment for a couple of hours on a Thursday morning to support this action, then please email Robin at : You might want to commit to just one session a month, or whatever you feel that you can manage. If a number of people are prepared to do a little, then it can add up to something significant. On behalf of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus,  please support Robin if you can.
Robin is also looking for help with designing and writing placards for the picket, so if anyone could help with that, please let him know. 

Many articles on Border Protection Bill, Nauru and Manus Island on Kaldor Centre web page

The Italian Prime Minister speaks out for asylum seekers

In the UK Guardian, the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, wrote about his government’s response to the many tens of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Italy from Libya each year.  He writes with compassion and principle about the plight of the asylum seekers, and makes it clear that he believes that receiving nations have an obligation to treat people with care and humanity, regardless of the political risks. The contrast between his leadership and principles compared to our own Prime Minister could not be more stark. You can read the article here:

Information from RACS - the following link will take you to the full document.

This is a very informative document as the following headings show

RACS Telephone Advice Service - vital with the new Border Protection Laws
What doesn't make the news
creations of temporary protection visas
creation of fast tracking process
release of children from detention


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

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
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Former SAS commander breaks silence on Tampa

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