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Letter to Luke Hartsuyker concerning the film "the Journey" and interim reply

Dear Mr Hartsuyker,
In this week’s edition of ‘The Sun Herald there is an item announcing that the Immigration Department has made a $6 million telemovie which made its debut on Afghanistan  television last Friday . It is called “The Journey ” and is intended as a deterrent to would be asylum seekers . The film depicts the harsh treatment that refugees can expect if they attempt to come to Australia.  
According to the press report, a Sydney company called “Put it Out There Pictures” was commissioned to make the movie. A trailer is advertised as being available on “Youtube” via the web site of “ Put it Out There Pictures”  showing scenes of a group of Afghan asylum seekers attempting to get to Australia by boat.  Their distress and subsequent treatment is apparently made very clear in the film. When I tried to view the videoclip of the film I found that I could not access it.
The Department of Border Protection and Immigration  spent more on this short film, an estimated $6 million, than most top ranking Australian film classics of recent times. Around $ 1.63 million of tax payers money has been spent on advertising and promotion alone. Apparently the film has already been screened in Pakistan , Iraq and Iran and has been translated into a variety of Middle Eastern languages.
However, we are informed that the film will not be available in English.
The question I am putting to you is this . If the film was commissioned in our name and we, the Australian tax payers  are footing the bill for the film why  are we not being allowed to listen to the commentary in English  ? Why is the film is not being screened with sound track that most Australians understand  ? Furthermore why can we not view the videoclip even in a foreign language ?  I urge you to raise this matter with the Department of Border Protection and Immigration.
We seem to be living in a ‘secret state ‘ where our politicians feel it is appropriate to keep us all in the dark. We deserve to know what has been screened internationally  in our name.
Yours sincerely,
 Marlene Griffin .
28 March 2016

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