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Dear Senator Keneally, I have watched the TV footage of the chaos in Kabul

Please see my letter below of some days ago to Senator Keneally. I thought that I would point out to her, a committed Catholic, that various Catholic bodies are calling for a significant increase in our humanitarian visas to support the people fleeing the Taliban. I have not heard the Labor opposition calling for a big increase, but I might have missed it.

What a tragedy. Sadly, we never seem to learn from our serious imperial mistakes, and keep on repeating them. But the  weapons manufacturers need these constant wars to support their bottom line.



Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2021 3:13 PM
To: '' <>
Subject: Afghanistan

Dear Senator Keneally,

Like everyone else, I have watched the TV footage of the chaos in Kabul with deep dismay. The spectacle of seeing thousands of people fleeing for their lives is truly shocking.

As one of the countries which has had a military presence in the country for the past twenty years, we  surely have a moral responsibility to help those who now are begging for our assistance. In previous crises, the Australian government has shown compassion and generosity in making additional humanitarian places available to refugees from Vietnam and Syria. It was, therefore, deeply disappointing to hear the Prime Minister tell the nation that we would accept just 3,000 refugees from Afghanistan, and that these places would come out of our already much-reduced humanitarian intake. This is an utterly inadequate response.

Afghanistan is now in turmoil, and Kabul is not a safe place, particularly for girls and women nor for the thousands of Afghans who, for the past two decades, have assisted the coalition forces in a range of activities. There should be no question of ever sending any of the several thousand Afghans currently living in Australia on TPVs back to Afghanistan against their will.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishop Conference, is urging the government to provide at least 20,000 humanitarian places for Afghan refugees. The Jesuit Refugee Service is urging the government to grant permanent protection to the 5,100 Afghan refugees living in Australia on TPVs. In the current emergency, these seem to me to be utterly reasonable proposals, which I do hope that the Labor opposition will support.

I therefore urge you and the Labor party to urgently to press the government to:

  • ensure the safety of refugees from Afghanistan in Australia by providing them with permanent protection visas so that they can remain here safely.
  • increase the humanitarian visa quota with a generous one-off intake for the people in Afghanistan in the most danger.
  • provide a pathway for refugees from Afghanistan to apply to reunite with their families in Australia.

This is NOT the time to be warning darkly about people smugglers or people drowning at sea. The government solved that problem seven years ago, and it’s time to move on.

I  would very much like your assurance that the Labor party will press the government to do much more than it is currently undertaking to do.

Yours sincerely,


Valla Beach


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