Click on subject of interest shown on the right under the heading "labels" to see all relevant posts

To look at letters (and some replies) sent to politicians and newspapers, scroll down the index on the right hand side and select the appropriate heading.

Note the blog allows multiple labelling and all letters to politicians are under "letters to pollies".

If you scroll down and cannot go further, look out for icon "Older Posts". Click on that to continue


Newsletter for 25 August 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

Thursday Picket of Luke Hartsuker MP's office 
27 August 2015

New time 11.30am to 1pm 

The change in time will allow people working in Coffs Harbour to join the picket in the lunch time 

Bring a placard and join our dedicated team sending a message to our government. 

We seek to keep the pressure up on the government over their horrendous policy. 

Luke's office is at 39 Little St Coffs Harbour. This a weekly event. Coffs Growers market is on at the same time so give our MP a message and then go and support our local producers.

The Last Refuge: Food Stories
From Myanmar to Coffs Harbour film Thursday 27 August

​Close Nauru

Editorial in the Saturday Paper 22 August 2015

"There is no more simple way to say this: the detention centre on Nauru must be closed and the people held there brought to Australia.
Every day the centre continues to operate, Australia gives away a little more of its decency."

Full article on our blog at

Article about Nauru  'There is a war on women'

Coffs Harbour Market Sunday 6 September 2015

Our next market stall will be in Coffs Harbour, at the Jetty Foreshore on Sunday 6th September . 
Please make a note in your diary and drop in to have a chat, or better still, come and give us a hand for an hour or so between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm.

 If you can help, please let Mike know by emailing him at: or phone him on 6569 5419.

Correspondence with Labor Party on asylum seeker policy

From: Mike
Sent: Friday, August 21, 2015 10:55 AM
Subject: Re: Asylum seekers
Dear Ms Plibersek,
Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email. I followed the asylum debate at the Labor Party Conference and I was impressed by a number of the speakers, who addressed the issues with passion and conviction. I acknowledge that there are some key differences between the policies of the ALP and the Coalition on the issue and I agree with you that the debate in Australia has lost rationality, compassion and respect. However, it is surely important to acknowledge that the Labor Party has played a key role in this race to the bottom.
You state that the Labor Party has made a commitment to double the refugee intake to 27,000 by 2025, but that is a decade and many Federal elections away, yet the crisis of people fleeing their countries because of war and persecution is here and now.
It is deeply dispiriting that, on a day-to-day basis, the Labor Opposition is largely quiet on the plight of asylum seekers languishing on Nauru and Manus islands. In spite of the cloak of secrecy, it is increasingly evident that children and their families on Nauru are suffering unspeakable treatment at the hands of those who are paid to protect them. The government hides behind a raft of legal and procedural measures, which seek to avoid its responsibilities and to keep the Australian public in the dark. The Labor Opposition’s responses to the emerging evidence of abuse is at best muted, and that’s just not good enough. Why is it that we have to rely on the sole voice of Sarah Hanson Young, who battles valiantly on a daily basis to try to bring the Government to account? Where are the passionate Labor voices in parliament and in the media?
Richard Marles has stated frequently that we need to get children out of detention, but when pressed on the issue after the Labor conference, the best he could offer was that we need the international community to take responsibility. Does that mean more dirty deals with corrupt and impoverished nations who will be paid large sums of Australian taxpayers’ money to take ourasylum seekers?  That is neither fair, compassionate or principled. It is time to bite the bullet and resettle genuine asylum seekers in Australia. 
I do hope that the Labor Party will at some stage in the near future rediscover its roots and will once again have the courage to advocate unequivocally for the poor and the dispossessed in our world.
Yours sincerely,
Mike Griffin

For Tanya Plibersek's response to the original emails about the Labor Party Conference see attachment or link  to
Perspective on the world problem for asylum seekers
Letter from Marlene
Dear RAR members,
Our Australian Government thinks it has a problem in relation to refugee numbers. To get these numbers into perspective lets think for a moment about the numbers of refugees fleeing into Europe this year  .
Reports this week from ‘ The Atlantic’  state that the number of migrants fleeing into Europe during this year alone has already reached 235,000, topping the total number of migrants for all of last year, 219,000. 
The International Organization for Migration estimated that number will grow to at least a quarter of a million by the end of August. 
Nearly half of these refugees are Syrians fleeing war at home, escaping into Turkey, and paying smugglers to help them make a dangerous crossing to the Greek island of Kos in tiny inflatable rafts. 
Once on European soil, they make their way north any way they can, on foot or by rail, with help or on their own, passing through Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary bound for Austria, Germany, France, England, and other Western European countries. 
The influx of migrants is placing huge burdens on all nations along the route, especially Greece, which has seen a 750-percent increase in arrivals over the same period as last year. To view photos you can follow the link below. 
It is time our leaders developed a realistic perspective on these issues and developed their policies accordingly. Tony Abbot wants Australia to be a ‘world player’ so let us see some evidence of this in dealing with this pressing and devastating problem on the international  stage. 
How many asylum seekers have  died in Detention

We have a new tab on our blog listing deaths in detention.

It is too easy to forget what has happened in the past - Reza Berati was murdered on Manus Island on 17 February 2014 18 months ago, having been sent to that detention centre in July 2013.

This means that asylum seekers have been on Manus Island for more than 2 years and no one has been resettled!

How much longer can the Government delay in resolving the situation?


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

Blog  includes articles from many sources and letters to politicians.
  (6637 page reads)

check out the index of subjects on the blog

The next newsletter is being drafted on the blog.  If you want to see what is in it so far go to

Our Facebook page can be found at 


We urge you to join the Thursday picket

Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam

Email Address

David Wallin

No comments: