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Newsletter for 15 September 2015 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Hi everyone

Support for migrants from Syria

There has been an outpouring of support to help with migrants from the war torn area of Syria.  Local vigils have been held in Coffs Harbour and Bellingen. Both the Coffs Harbour and Bellingen Candlelight vigils for the Syrian refugees saw over 100 people of all ages at each event. Everyone expressed their desire for our Federal government and opposition to drop the politics and get on with helping people in need. Both events were arranged spontaneously by individuals from the community and thanks to social media the events were broadcast widely. Hopefully we can build on people’s enthusiasm to maintain pressure on our politicians.

After saying the numbers would not be increased initially, Tony Abbott was forced to agree to a one off special allocation on top of our current humanitarian intake. This was due to pressure from his own ministers and backbenchers but more largely due to the massive public gatherings in support of the Syrians. 

The response will be slow as the government cranks up their settlement support services and there has been some talk of prioritizing Christians. This suggestion has been widely condemned. Several members of the government have sought to use this suggestion to continue their anti-Muslim rhetoric. While our group is encouraged by Tony Abbott’s back down the next day he announced that our Air Force will expand its mission to include bombing of targets in Syria. This can only lead to more misery and movements of people, further worsening this humanitarian crisis. 

There has been some shift in rhetoric with some officials referring to the incoming people as migrants rather than asylum seekers.
The hard line on those held on Manus Island and Nauru has been reiterated. Whilst there are Syrian and Iraqi asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru they will not be included in this assistance. As Germany and other states begin to close their borders it is up to Britain, Australia and the USA, who have largely been responsible for the mayhem in the Middle East since the ill considered illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003, to take some responsibility for the massive problems of dislocation that have occurred.

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

Letter to Nambucca Guardian News on Australia's responsibility in Syria

A compelling letter from Peter can be read on our blog

Problems with Offshore detention centre

New Zealand suspends funding of Nauru Justice over concerns on rule of law

Cambodia will not receive more refugees from Nauru

PNG stops appeals against negative refugee determination 

PNG El Nino droughts 2015

Border Force performance

Border Force has an appalling record of achieving anything, so how would they cope with an influx of thousands of Syrian Asylum Seekers.

No asylum seekers languishing on Manus Island have been resettled  despite being in detention for more than 2 years

Only 4 refugees have been resettled in Cambodia despite the National Party Government paying Cambodia $55 million for this ill conceived plan

The legislation for Temporary Protection Visas for existing asylum seekers in Australia, who would move to regional areas was passed by Parliament in December 2014. After nine months nothing seems to have happened?

The Federal Government has ceased processing citizen applications for refugees otherwise entitled  to become Australian Citizens 


We collected $90 in direct donations for our favoured charity ChilOut at our recent Harbourside Markets stall in Coffs Harbour. Any profit we make from sales of bumper stickers, t-shirts, tea towels and bags also goes to ChilOut. 

"Dear John,
That’s wonderful news! Thank you to you and RAR Bellingen and Nambucca for your ongoing generosity and support! We are so grateful to all of you.
It’s ok with your group, I would love to publicise this on ChilOut’s social media pages.
Thanks again and keep up your incredible work! 
Best regards,
Campaign Co-ordinator 

Chilout Newsletter for August is on our blog

Valla Market: Saturday 3 October

Our next market stall will be at the Valla Beach market on Saturday  3rd October. The markets are a great opportunity for our group to publicise the cause for the humane and compassionate treatment of asylum seekers and to continue our campaign to raise public awareness of the terrible conditions  on Nauru and Manus islands. Asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru continue to be treated harshly in prison-like conditions, though they have committed no crimes.  Many of them have now survived up to three years in these intolerable hellholes , with no end in sight. Not a single refugee has so far been settled in PNG.
Please consider joining us on the market stall for an hour or two on 3rd October. John and Mike will be setting up the stall at 7.00 am, and we would appreciate support from 9.00 am onwards, until 1.00 pm.
If you can join us, then please email Mike on  or phone him on 6569 5419.

 Picket outside Luke Hartsuyker's Office

The next picket will be on Thursday 24 September 11.30am to 1pm.

Please contact Robin for more detail 


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

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Email Address

David Wallin

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