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Letter to Bill Shorten urging the Labor Party to oppose the governments's policy on asylum seekers 5 October 2015

5th October 2015

Dear Mr Shorten,

Please find enclosed the details of the 370 people who have recently signed the petition published by the Bellingen and Nambucca District Rural Australians for Refugees. The petition reads:

"We, the undersigned, call on the Australian Labor Party to support the millions of Australians who are dismayed by the Coalition government's cruel, immoral and unlawful treatment of asylum seekers. Specifically, we urge you:
·       to seek an end date to the indefinite detention of children on the mainland, on Manus and on Nauru.
to develop policies for the transparent and independent oversight of these centres.
·       to seek amendments to the Border Force Act, in order to enable doctors, nurses and other support workers to report on their experiences in these centres without the fear of prosecution.
to demand access to the centres by NGOs, such as Amnesty International, and by journalists."

We are two relatively small communities, but the support for our campaign to seek an end to the cruel and inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru grows stronger each day. 

We have long since lost count of the number of angry people who tell us that they feel ashamed to be Australian. They are ashamed and angry that the government, with the support of the Labor opposition, continues to preside over the indefinite detention, the cruel and inhumane treatment and the sexual abuse of vulnerable people who have committed no crime.  These people are entitled to our protection, yet we continue to punish them.

We urge the Labor Party to strongly oppose the government's asylum policy and to actively campaign for the closure of offshore detention centres.
Yours sincerely,

Copy to Ms Tanya Plibersek MP                                                        Mike Griffin          

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