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An unsatisfactory response from the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, the Hon Clare O’Neil MP

4 National Circuit Barton ACT 2600
PO Box 25 Belconnen ACT 2616 • Telephone: 02 6264 1111 •
Ref No: MC22-037001

Dear Mr Griffin

Thank you for your correspondence of 31 July 2022 to the Minister for Immigration,

Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, the Hon Andrew Giles MP, concerning Australia’s regional processing arrangements on Nauru and resettlement outcomes for people under those arrangements. Your correspondence has been referred to the Minister for Home
Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, the Hon Clare O’Neil MP, as matters relating to regional processing fall within her portfolio responsibilities. The Minister appreciates the time you have taken to bring this matter to her attention and has asked that I reply on her behalf.

The Australian Government is committed to delivering an orderly migration programthrough legal pathways to Australia, under robust migration and humanitarian programs. The Government is also taking a strong stance against people smugglers who exploit vulnerable migrants in trying to sell irregular passage to Australia.

The Government is concerned that people smugglers remain poised to prey on and exploitvulnerable potential irregular immigrants for their own personal gain. As such, we have
committed to maintaining Operation Sovereign Borders, including regional processing
arrangements in Nauru, which has successfully stemmed the flow of irregular maritime
ventures to Australia, disrupted people smuggling operations in the region, and prevented
unnecessary deaths at sea. Under this approach, people who attempt to travel to Australia
irregularly by boat will not be settled in Australia.

Regional processing arrangements provide people with the opportunity to have their
protection claims assessed by the Government of Nauru, and for those found to be in need
of international protection, resettlement in a third country. People under regional
processing arrangements are not detained and are accommodated in the Nauruan
community with access to health and welfare services. Those brought to Australia for a
temporary purpose will remain in Australia until the purpose for which they were brought
has concluded. During their temporary stay they receive accommodation and access to
health and welfare support. People residing temporarily in the community on bridging visas
have work rights and access to Medicare.

The Government is committed to finding durable migration outcomes for people under
regional processing arrangements. The Government will continue to support the
implementation of third country resettlement arrangements with the United States, with
over one thousand people having already been resettled, and New Zealand, which has
commenced processing, with first resettlements expected by the end of this year.
Assistance is also available for people to return home voluntarily.

The Government of Nauru has a coordinated response in place to deal with the COVID-19
pandemic and the recent community outbreak. All transitory persons in Nauru reside in the
local community and the Nauruan government has implemented measures to mitigate the
spread of COVID-19 in the community, similar to those implemented in many countries,
including Australia.

Australia supports the Government of Nauru to provide transitory persons with access to a
variety of health and welfare services, which have been supplemented during the
COVID19 pandemic to mitigate risks of health, personal safety and access to food during
periods of imposed restrictions.

Freight flights and vessels continue to deliver supplies to Nauru. Where a transitory person
is required to self-isolate or quarantine, Department of Home Affairs service providers, in
liaison with the Government of Nauru, provide additional health and welfare supports as
required, including contactless delivery of medication, any household supplies and food.
The Government strongly encourages people in the regional processing cohort to engage
with third country migration options available to them as these options provide the best
available opportunity to start the next phase of their lives.

Thank you for raising these matters with the Minister.
Yours sincerely
A/g Director
Regional Processing and Resettlement
Department of Home Affairs
23 August 2022


Letter to PM Albanese, " Take the necessary steps to bring offshore processing to an end.."

                                                                                                                                                                                        Valla Beach

                                                                                                 NSW 2448

                                                                                                 16th August 2022


Dear Mr. Albanese.

Please find enclosed an open letter, addressed to you, and signed by 706 people who have visited our Rural Australians for Refugees market stalls in recent weeks.

The letter reads:

Dear Mr. Albanese,

We, the undersigned, are encouraged by the prospect of a more humane and compassionate treatment 

of asylum seekers and refugees under your government. Your commitment to grant permanent protection to the 19,000 refugees currently in Australia on temporary visas (TPVs and SHEVs) is most welcome. We urge you to go further:

·      Bring the 200+ refugees remaining on Nauru and in PNG to Australia to live in the community whilst their resettlement arrangements are finalised.

·      Terminate the contract with Canstruct without delay.

·      Reassure the 1000+ medevac refugees in Australia that they can remain here, living in the community, with work rights and other benefits until arrangements for their resettlement are finalised.

·      Take the necessary steps to bring offshore processing to an end.

It is now almost three months since the people of Australia voted for a more humane and compassionate approach to refugees and asylum seekers. It would be encouraging to us all to see some concrete evidence that your government is making good on its election promises. We also urge you do more, much more, to end the suffering inflicted by almost a decade of punishment and mistreatment of the people who have sought our protection. It is surely time to bring this shameful chapter in our history to an end.


Yours sincerely,

Mike Griffin

Bellingen and Nambucca District RAR.