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L4R newsletter - keeping you informed and up to date on our current issues and challenges.
Labor for Refugees New South Wales

HOW YOU CAN HELP

7 October 2015

 

Dear Cath 

 


STAND UP FOR REFUGEES - BREAK THE SILENCE 

Rally and march on Sunday 11 October at 2pm Sydney Town Hall


Labor for Refugees has endorsed the above Rally which will take place this Sunday 11 October at 2pm at the Sydney Town Hall.

Speakers:

DR DAVID ISAACS Nauru whistleblower and Professor of Paediatric Infectious Diseases Westmead Children's Hospital and Sydney Univeristy

IAN RINTOUL Refugee Action Coalition

JENNY HAINES Labor for Refugees

The poster can be found via the following link -


StandUpForRefugeesRally11Oct15Poster

PLEASE COME ALONG, LOOK FOR OUR L4R BANNER, JOIN US AND WEAR YOUR LABOR FOR REFUGEES T-SHIRT.



AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE, the AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ALLEGIANCE TO AUSTRALIA BILL 2015 and the MAINTAINING THE GOOD ORDER OF IMMIGRATION DETENTION FACILITIES BILL 2015

In our previous Newsletters last month, we asked that you consider supporting three motions which Labor for Refugees sent to the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Richard Marles and Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus.

Since then, we amended the first two motions.  The motion re The Australian Border Force, was amended to address the issue of staff who may lose their jobs if the Border Force is disbanded.

The second motion on the Citizenship Amendment, was amended to focus on the fact that the Immigration Minister has the power to decide whether or not a dual national has engaged in conduct which would involve a loss of citizenship, not the Australian Border Force.  We have also made the point that although there is still judicial oversight, it would be very difficult to have the courts overturn a decision made by the Minister.


Please raise these three motions at your next Branch meeting and if supported, send a copy to your FEC and Labor for Refugees at Labor4RefugeesNSW@gmail.com   We are also asking ALP members to send these motions to the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten, the Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Richard Marles, the Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus and also to the Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanya Plibersek.    If you are meeting this month, you can also send the three resolutions to NSW Labor requesting that they be placed on the agenda for the ALP State Conference on the 13/14 February 2016.  The deadline for agenda items is the end of October.

The motions follow:

 

AUSTRALIAN BORDER FORCE
That ........................Branch/FEC condemns the passage with Labor's support, of the creation of the Australian Border Force. We call on any future Labor Govt. to disband the Australian Border Force, return personal to their former duties in the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and Department of Immigration and distribute any law enforcement powers to the Australian Federal Police who are subject to judicial oversight and the rule of law. The Australian Border Force is a direct threat to open democracy, separation of powers and the rule of law in Australia and should not be tolerated.

 
AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ALLEGIANCE TO AUSTRALIA BILL 2015
That ..........................Branch/FEC calls on the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to oppose the proposed laws allowing for the stripping away of Australian citizenship from existing and potential dual nationals without the need for initial judicial process.  These laws in their current form are discriminatory and will allow the Immigration Minister to arbitrarily determine whether or not an existing or potential dual national has engaged in conduct which would involve loss of citizenship.  In particular, this Branch is opposed to the automatic revocation of citizenship and the deemed revocation of citizenship upon events occurring together with the additional difficulty of having a court overturn a ministerial decision to revoke.  Further, this Branch is fundamentally opposed to the wide range of offences, many of which could be quite trivial, being used as a trigger for the purported revocation of citizenship. 


 
MAINTAINING THE GOOD ORDER OF IMMIGRATION DETENTION FACILITIES BILL 2015
That ...........................Branch/FEC is opposed to the Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities Bill 2015 and calls on the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party to oppose it in all of
its forms. This Bill could only be necessary to justify the type of abuse of power and excesses, that have been seen in recent times in Manus and Nauru and could only encourage such behaviour.

This Branch is deeply concerned that legislation such as this, will inevitably lead to an exacerbation of the institutional abuse which is now being identified in the Royal Commission into Institutional Abuse of Children and the Labor Parliamentary Party should stand against the Bill. 

NAURU
Whilst the recent announcement by the Nauruan Government to process all remaining refugee claims - about 600 - within the next week and open the Detention Centre, allowing refugees to roam the island freely, appears to be a positive step, it has rung alarm bells.

The following is what we have learned about the implementation of this new policy on Nauru.

Freedom of Movement means the following.  Not everyone has been allowed out of the single men's camp under this new Open Camp rule.  Only those who were already authorised could leave.  Anyone else who wished to leave, had to seek an appointment with a case manager in order to apply.  Then after that they must do "training" on Nauru laws and following that, they must sign a document provided by the police.  They then have to wait two weeks for permission to leave the camp.  There are six minibuses with seating for 18 people made available for camp movements.  The camp is 30-45 minutes from the township by bus.  It takes approximately 75-90 minutes to walk in the hot sun depending on fitness.  Some cannot leave the camp because they are unable to walk due to injury or ill health.  Some of them feel it's too dangerous to leave if you do not have a friend's place where you can stay, so many are choosing not to leave.

Labor for Refugees is concerned for the safety of asylum seekers and join others who have expressed cynicism re why the Nauruan Government has suddenly made this decision, days before the High Court of Australia hears a challenge
to the legality of offshore detentionIt's not enough for the Australian Government to send resources to assist the Nauruan Government, not after all the violence that has occurred on Nauru.  The only solution is to quickly process these claims and then send the asylum seekers to a country that is safe, has a good human rights record and is one of the countries chosen by these asylum seekers.  What about Australia?

 

A BRIEF ACCOUNT OF AUSTRALIA'S OFFSHORE DETENTION REGIME

I recommend you read the following article by Julian Burnside's which appeared on his website on the 4 October 2015.  He starts by stating the following:
 

Set out below is a brief account of the worst aspects of Australia’s offshore detention regime: the notorious Pacific Solution.

This concentrates only on the negative aspects: cruelty, abuse, criminal acts by government and its contractors, etc. And the fact that  it got us the Australian Border Force Act which makes it a criminal offence to report what goes on in the detention system. It’s even an offence to report instances of child sex abuse if it occurs within the  detention system. Penalty: 2-years jail.  How odd.  In civil society, it is a criminal offence not to report such things.

Beside those things, a system which costs us about a million Geelong Chopper Rides a year probably looks like good value to our Federal Parliamentarians.  Because don’t forget the benefits: it helped get John Howard several more terms as PM; it gave Scott Morrison an opportunity to parade his pretended Christian values by approving cruel mistreatment of innocent children; it got Tony Abbott the chance to disfigure our nation as Prime Minister, when he was barely qualified to be an outback country mayor.  He likes 3-word slogans.  How about “Worst PM ever”? Or “Liberals Inflicting Misery”?  Or (specially for Scott Morrison) “Christians For Cruelty”?

For the full article, go to the following link -

http://www.julianburnside.com.au/a-brief-account-of-australias-offshore-detention-regime/


REGISTERING TO HELP SYRIAN REFUGEES

New South Wales residents looking for a way to help resettle Syrian refugees can register on a new website to be part of the local solution to a global crisis.

You might like to consider helping with accommodation. 
Or you might like to offer to provide English lessons or employment or professional counselling services.

Please go to the following link:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-23/syrian-refugee-crisis-nsw-government-launches-register/6798842 

 

Nizza Siano
Secretary L4R NSW

email: Labor4RefugeesNSW@gmail.com

 
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