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Newsletter for 9 February 2016 - Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca

The #LetThemStay Rally below

Meeting for all supporters to discuss future of Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts - 21 February 2016

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.

This newsletter is stored here for archive purposes. Click below to read complete newsletter

At the moment no one has confirmed that they are coming to the meeting

Attached is the leaflet given out at the markets which explains the position of our group which we need to discuss 

Recent High Court Decision

This week the High Court ruled that offshore processing and detention of refugees is “ legal ”. It does come as a surprise that this case needed to be tested in court at this point in time and suggests that offshore processing, which has been going on for several years,  has been  operating in some kind of illegal limbo up to now.   

As a result of this judgement the present government is intent upon sending back to Nauru 267 asylum seekers who are presently here in Australia.  This figure includes 90 children many of whom are attending schools here and 37 babies who have been born in Australia .  The figure also includes over a dozen women who have been sexually assaulted or raped on Nauru and many others suffering from psychological and medical trauma due to previous detention on Nauru . 

During the course of this week we have seen several doctors risking jail sentences to speak out against the appalling conditions on Nauru and the medical neglect they have observed . There have also been nationwide demonstrations this week against the present government’s policies. It came to a head when finally  3 mainland Premiers and clergy of several churches felt moved to speak out  against the government’s decision and offered  help to resettle these families. 

It is becoming clear that our government has reached rock bottom with its cruel and intransigent stance on the issue. Let’s hope that they can see a way to reassessment of their position. It is in their interests to do this as there is a groundswell of opinion against the position of the present government which will be reflected in loss of votes at the next election. 


The #LetThemStay Rally in Coffs Harbour Sunday 7 February 2016

The sun came out on cue as just over two hundred supporters arrived from as far afield as Eungai Creek, Armidale and Grafton. Luke Wilton opened with an acknowledgement of the Gumbaynggir people. John Pollock addressed the crowd calling on the government to Let Them Stay and detailed the situation on Nauru that these people face if forcibly returned. John spoke about the offer of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews to take care of these people and the response from Churches around the country who have offered sanctuary to these people should they wish to avail them selves of protection from the Australian government. 

Luke played several stirring songs and Michael Blockey an active GetUp member spoke as did John Courcier from the Coffs Harbour Greens. We got just over 100 signatures for our petition to Peter Dutton and raised $558 for Chilout. 

Journalist from the Coffs Coast ABC, NBN Television and The Coffs Coast Advocate gave us great coverage and the final photos of the crowd using the old Jetty as a backdrop was fantastic. Thanks to The Coffs Coast and MidNorth Coast Greens, Amnesty Coffs Harbour, March Australia Coffs Harbour and Dianne Rae and Luke Wilton for their support in organising this inspiring event.

Valla Markets

Another great turn out of volunteers for our market stall at Valla Beach. Big thanks to Peter Sobey who  had the marquee set up for me when I arrived. Lots of signatures and support from visitors to the stall. Lots of people knew about the Rally on Sunday and indicated their intention to attend. The government wants this to go away but while they continue to implement these disgraceful and cruel policies we are all in for the long haul. Next Markets are at Bellingen on 19 March.

The young couple had a Asian street food stall and bought one of our T-shirts and Tea Towel 

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David Wallin

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