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Newsletter for 8 November 2016 Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca Districts

Roadside demonstration - Nambucca this Thursday
Next market stall - Bellingen market 19th Nov
RAR annual meeting and get together 20th November
Our latest petition
The governments latest cruelty proposal

A few important reminders

Our next roadside demonstration is this Thursday, 10th November  on the Pacific Highway in Nambucca Heads, adjacent to the Plaza shopping centre.

We will be there between 3.00 pm and 4.30 pm, and we are hoping for a strong turnout in the light of recent punitive actions against asylum seekers and refugees. Please consider joining us. We want people to know that there are many Australians who are deeply dismayed by the government’s treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, particularly those languishing without hope in indefinite detention. We have lots of banners and placards to share. If you can join us, please  let Mike know at: , or just turn up on the day.

Our next market is in Bellingen on Saturday 19th November

John and Mike will be setting up the stall  at the crack of dawn and are looking for helpers between 9.00 am and 1.30 pm. If you can join them for an hour or two, please  let  Mike know in advance. A great opportunity to interact with market goers and to get people to sign our new petition.

Meeting and social gathering on 20th November from 11.30 am

Don’t forget this important date for your diaries. We will hold the meeting from 11.30 am until about 12.30 pm, followed by lunch and social gathering. The plan for the meeting is to report on what we have been doing since we last met in February, evaluate what we have achieved and discuss future actions. Thereafter, it will be a great opportunity for us to relax together on the deck an enjoy good food and conversation. Please bring a plate to share. It would be really helpful if you could let Mike know soon if you are able to come along. Please email him at: Everybody welcome! The venue is 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach. To get there, turn off the old Pacific Highway (now Giinagay Way), onto Valla Beach Road. Proceed along this road until  40 metres before the water tower, at which point, turn left into Kuta Avenue. Proceed along Kuta Avenue until you come to the third turning on the left, which is Rogers Drive. Proceed down Rogers Drive almost to the end, where you will find number 39 on your left. There is plenty of parking on the front garden and the driveway, and there is some off-road parking.

Our latest petition

We have attached the petition again to this newsletter, in the hope that you will print it off and collect signatures from family, friends and colleagues. Our elected representative needs to know that there are many of us who are deeply opposed to the cruel and inhumane punishment of asylum seekers and refugees on Manus and Nauru. The more signatures we can get, the more powerful our message. Please bring completed petition sheets to the market in Bellingen on 19th November, to our meeting on 20th November or to Valla Beach market on 3rd December. Alternatively you can post them to Mike at: Mike Griffin, 39, Rogers Drive, Valla Beach NSW 2448. We are obliged to submit original sheets for these petitions, so electronic copies are not permissible.

The government’s latest asylum seeker legislative proposals

In a further twist to the continued campaign of cruelty towards asylum seekers and refugees, the government has announced new legislation which will impact on all asylum seekers who arrived by boat after 19th July 2013.  As many of you will be aware, the proposals, which are due to be tabled in parliament this week, will permanently ban all of these asylum seekers over the age of eighteen from ever setting foot in Australia. So, a refugee from Manus cannot ever be reunited in Australia with his family who are already here on Protection Visas. Similarly, a refugee who, say, settles in Canada and becomes a citizen of that country, could never ever visit Australia on business, for tourism or to visit family members. As The Saturday Paper editorial put  it: “There is no purpose to this but cruelty. The refugee debate in this country has reached a point where it is answering ministerial confections with punitive policy. It is difficult to write about it with anything other than disgust.” The editorial ends: “We badly need a solution to what is happening to innocent people on Manus and Nauru. This legislation is proof that Dutton has neither the care nor intelligence to offer it. The solution, of course, is simple: bring them here.”
It could be that the Labor party will not support the legislation. Please phone the Opposition Shadow Minister, Shayne Neumann, and urge him and his party to reject this cruelty. His telephone number is: 07 3201 5300.

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