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Newsletter for 17 November 2015 - RAR Bello and Nambucca

NO RAR stall at Bellingen Market, THIS Saturday 21st November

It has not been possible to book a stall at the Bellingen Markets, because it is full.

New information sheets had been prepared for the market and are below

This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes to read the newsletter click below

 Our next market stall will be on Saturday 5 December at Valla Beach.

 John and Mike will be setting up the stall at 7.00 am and would welcome volunteers from 9.00 am through until 1.00 pm. If you can help for an hour or two, please contact Mike at:, or phone him on 6569 5419. It’s a great market and we always have lots of interest from the public, who are happy to engage in discussion, sign our petition and sometimes purchase our various items of merchandise. Please consider joining us for a while, even if just to drop by, have a chat and sign the latest petition to the Prime Minister.  It would be good to welcome some new faces, so why not give it a go?

Next picket outside Luke Hartsuyker's office Thursday 26 November 2015

This will be our final picket/protest outside Luke Hartsuyker's office for this year so help us to make it a big one. 11.30 to 1pm Little Street Coffs Harbour, then lunch at the The Happy Frog just around the corner. Bring your placards and help us to keep up the pressure on the government.
Meeting to discuss future of Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts group

The event will take place on Sunday 21st February 2016, starting at midday with a meeting to discuss progress and strategy, followed at 1.00 pm by lunch. Please put the date in your diary. Further details will be circulated nearer the time.

Christmas Island death and riots November 2015

reports on the unfolding story on Christmas Island on the blog see

Labor’s response to letters about ALP asylum policy
I write letters on a regular basis to politicians of all stripes. In recent times, I have received responses from Tanya Plibersek (16.10.15), Richard Marles (20.10.15) and from the Office of the Leader of the Opposition (9.11.15), written by Shawn Lambert.
The three letters have common themes:
  • They seek to distance Labor from the way that detention centres are being managed.
  • They pledge to introduce independent oversight of all detention centres.
  • They promise to introduce mandatory reporting of child abuse.
  • They commit to lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding detention centres, including allowing  centre workers to speak out about conditions and abuse.
  • They promise to remove children from detention “as quickly as possible”.
  • They commit to increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake.
  • They promise to abolish Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs). 
These are not insignificant issues.  But what about the critically important issues on which we have all been campaigning – the closure of offshore detention centres; the mandatory and indefinite detention of men, women and children who are exercising  their legal right to seek asylum; the refusal to resettle in Australia those refugees who happen to arrive by boat; the policy of turning back boats?
The letter from the office of the Leader of the Opposition is unequivocal on these matters. After explaining at length how important it is to disrupt the people-smuggler trade in order to prevent drowning at sea, the letter states: 
“ A future Labor Government cannot and will not allow this human tragedy to unfold ever again. This is why Labor will:
  • Stand firm on maintaining a policy of offshore processing;
  • Maintain a policy of regional resettlement of any refugee who arrives by boat; and
  • Retain the option to turn back boats where safe to do so.”
The letter concludes by stating that “This approach will keep vulnerable people safe, prevent serious organised crime and restore Australia’s place as a respected and responsible global citizen”. (my incredulous emphasis).
Labor policy, therefore remains substantially unchanged. Asylum seekers will continue to be warehoused indefinitely in offshore gulags, they will continue to have no hope of being resettled in Australia, and will be encouraged to either settle in countries such as Cambodia and the Philippines, or return home to the dangers from which they have fled in the first place. Is it any wonder that refugees become so desperate and mentally unwell that they take their own lives?
This lack of humanity and compassion on the part of the Labor leadership, and the total disregard for the international conventions and treaties to which Australia is a signatory, is utterly shameful.
We must surely keep up our campaign against the policies of the Liberals, Nationals and Labor as the Federal election approaches. Our voices have to be heard as we speak out on behalf of these vulnerable and traumatised people who have committed no crime and who are entitled to our protection under international law.



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