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Newsletter for 2 February 2016 RAR Bellingen and Nambucca

Let them Stay

This week the High Court will decide the fate of 267 people who have been brought to Australia for urgent medical treatment after suffering harm in Nauru.This case will test if the Australian Government's role in offshore detention on Nauru is legal.
Among the 267 are women who have been sexually assaulted, over 80 children and 41 babies, 32 of which have been born in Australia.
All are terrified of being sent back to Nauru where they have faced sexual. mental and physical harm.

Sydney Morning Herald article 2 February 2016 "The babies Australia doesn't want"

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

Meeting for all supporters to discuss future of Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts group

 Please don't forget that we are planning a meeting and lunch for supporters on Sunday 21st February, starting with the meeting at 12.00 pm, followed by lunch at about 1.30 pm.  The meeting offers the opportunity for us to reflect on what we have achieved to date and to discuss what actions we would like to plan for the future in addition to current activities.  It will be a great chance for you to have your say and to help us to shape our future as a group. We do hope that many of you will want to come along to contribute to the discussion.
The lunch which follows should provide an excellent opportunity for us to relax, get to know one another better and to enjoy a (hopefully sunny) get-together on the back deck. You may want to bring a plate to share, but please don’t feel obliged to do so. Drinks will be provided.
The event will take place at 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach. If you are able to come along, then please let Mike know by emailing him at: The more people that attend, the better we will be able to plan our campaigns for the future.

Directions: Turn  off the Pacific Highway at Valla Beach. Follow Valla Beach Road for about 400 metres, then, just before the water tower, turn left  into Kuta Avenue. Follow this road for about 300 metres. Rogers Drive is the third turning

Valla Beach Market THIS Saturday 6 February 2016

A reminder that our next market stall will be at the Lions Reserve, Valla Beach  this Saturday 6th February. As usual, we will be giving out information leaflets, encouraging people to sign our petition and selling our refugee merchandise.  John and Peter will be setting up the stall at 7.00 am , and are looking for volunteers from 9.00 am. 
If you can help with the stall on Saturday between 9.00 am and 1.00 pm, then please get in touch with John via : You can be assured that you will enjoy the experience and that you will have lots of positive and interesting interactions with people who visit the market. We do depend on our band of volunteers to keep up the momentum to raise public awareness and to maintain the pressure on our elected representatives to change the current dreadful  policy, particularly in relation to the indefinite detention of asylum seekers, so please consider joining us for an hour or two.

Human Rights Watch criticises Australia's asylum policy

In its latest report, the well-respected international rights campaign group, Human Rights Watch,  has slammed Australia’s asylum policy as “abusive” and has called for a major rethink of the policy. Our  government comes in for heavy criticism for failing to respect international standards for asylum seekers, which it argues results in a “heavy human toll” for those affected.The report states: “Australia needs to seriously rethink its abusive refugee policies and take steps to restore its international reputation”. The report goes on to highlight a number of issues which it states merit criticism, including the well-publicised and disgraceful personal attacks on Gillian Triggs, the Human Rights Commissioner, at the time of the publication of “The Forgotten Children” report. The report also cites the gagging of workers in immigration detention centres, the payment of cash to people smugglers and the evidence of sexual assaults against asylum seeker on Nauru as serious failures of our government’s policies.
Let us hope that politicians of all parties will take note of this damning report and will make a bipartisan commitment to significant policy changes.

Mike Baird's view on settlement of refugees in Australia

It was heartening to read our NSW Premier’s Australia Day address last week. Mike Baird speaking on the subject of resettlement of refugees said ‘ To shut our doors to refugees is not our history and not our character’. The Premier looked back to examples of how refugees, if given opportunities can be successful in many fields of endeavour and can contribute significantly to the future development of Australia .  Mike Baird pointed out that we have a choice ‘to continue on the path that brought our nation to where it is today or we can let fear blind us and hate infect us’. These are strong words and an exhortation to the present government to step up its resettlement programme. 
 Marlene G 

 Hurting the disadvantaged Australians
The Federal Government has just stripped $1.2 million from disability pensioners in Australia
ABC The World Today 28 June 2016
"The Federal Government claims its crackdown on the Disability Support Pension (DSP) is working with 8,000 people kicked off the payment in the final half of last year. On top of that, the number of first time applicants being rejected has risen dramatically. 
The Social Services Christian Porter expects those measures to save $1.2 billion, but disability advocates are worried the Government has gone too far..."
​ This poster is also attached in case you want to print it out and put it on a notice board or send it to your local member  of Parliament
 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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check out the index of subjects on the blog
the draft newsletter is on the blog see tab at top and will be sent to 384 recipients
Mission statement for our group has been renamed "who are we?" and can be read at
It includes the updated RAR leaflet
 Our Facebook page can be found at 
 Twitter Account  @RARBellingenNam
 Email Address
David Wallin

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