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Open letter to the Prime Minister


                                                         6th December 2021

Dear Mr. Morrison,

Please find enclosed an open letter, addressed to you, and signed by 616 Australians who have visited our Rural Australians for Refugees stall at local markets in recent times. The letter reads:

“We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the plight of the 30,000 so-called legacy caseload of refugees who for almost a decade have been trapped in the legal limbo of temporary protection visas.

Australia is the sole signatory to the UN Refugee Council with a formal system for providing refugees with indefinite temporary, rather than permanent, protection. The UNHCR has described the policy as both “punitive” and “cruel”.

Temporary protection leaves this vulnerable group in perpetual uncertainty and fear. Requiring them to relive their trauma every three or five years is both cruel and unnecessary. Prohibiting family reunion, access to student loans and other benefits makes it well-nigh impossible for these people to rebuild their lives and to finally call Australia home.

We call on the government to end this cruel policy and to finally grant these people permanent protection. It is time to show some compassion and humanity.”

This group of people, all of them refugees who have demonstrated their right to our protection, present no threat to the Australian people. To continue to assert, as your government frequently does, that the current policy setting is designed to “keep Australia safe, and save lives at sea” is both absurd and indefensible. The Australian navy and air force have ensured that no asylum seeker boats have arrived on our shores since 2014. Let us not forget that you have a trophy in the form of a boat in your office which proudly proclaims: “I stopped these.”

It is time to end the cruel policy of temporary protection, which serves no useful purpose, and which condemns so many people to a life of uncertainty and fear.

Please show some compassion for these people, and give them the permanent protection that they so desperately need, and to which they are entitled under international law.

Yours sincerely,

M....  G.........

Bellingen and Nambucca District Rural Australians for Refugees



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