20 May 2018
Dear <<First Name>>
L4R meeting on Wednesday 30 May at 6pm
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 30 May at UNIONS NSW TRAINING ROOM 1, 377 SUSSEX ST SYDNEY (NEAR CNR GOULBURN ST) at 6PM (NOT NEXT WEEK).
Our April meeting clashed with Anzac Day so the April Annual General Meeting was held on 8 May. It was therefore decided to hold our May meeting on the 5th Wednesday of the month (instead of the 4th Wednesday).
PLEASE NOTE THAT OUR VENUE HAS CHANGED AGAIN FOR THIS MEETING
The link to our minutes for our previous meeting follows - L4RMinAGM8May18
L4R's final submission to Labor's National Policy Forum
The ALP's National Policy Forum's second consultation draft of the ALP Platform was released last month, with an invitation for ALP Members to "have their say". The deadline for input was last Friday 18 May.
Our submission, plus two short explanatory papers for Clauses 287 and 288, were sent to the ALP. We took on board all the comments and submissions we received from our members.
The following link will take you to our L4R submission with our highlighted amendments. Our November 2017 amendments appear in red font and the more recent ones are in blue font L4RNPFSubmission18/5/18
The link to the explanatory paper on Clause 287 re the practice of turning boats back at sea follows -
The link to the explanatory paper on Clause 288 the excision of offshore processing centres follows - L4RExplanatoryDocCl288
We are aware that the Opposition Leader and Shadow Immigration Minister have recently declared their position on the length of time that refugees can be held in offshore detention. Our L4R submission states that immigration detention is only to be used as a last resort; that community-based processing is preferred while claims for protection are being assessed and that detention will be no longer than 30 days.
The ALP Consultation Draft states that Labor will "strive to ensure (detention) is for no longer than 90 days". This is the current ALP policy.
However, it was recently reported that Bill Shorten stated that the ALP 90 days rule does not apply to asylum seekers detained offshore. So not only is our L4R policy of 30 days maximum in detention not reflected in Labor's Draft Consultation, but the Opposition Leader is saying that the ALP's 90 day standard, won't even apply to people seeking asylum who are currently detained offshore. This is a new development and a backward step.
Further, Labor's policy of turning boats back to sea and the existence of offshore detention centres, both which appears in the ALP's Consultation Draft, is in marked contrast to the L4R policy in our submission.
These seem to be the main points of disagreement between Labor's refugee policies and those of us who wish to see reforms to Labor's refugee policy which if adopted, would provide a marked contrast to those refugee policies being enforced by the Coalition.
It is obvious that the asylum seekers left on Manus and Nauru, will not all be accepted by the USA and hoping that another country (excepting New Zealand), will be willing to accept them, is just a fantasy. Meanwhile these poor people are languishing on Manus and Nauru, losing all hope of ever leaving.
Ultimately, it will be up to National Conference Delegates in July, to decide whether to adopt a more enlightened and humane refugee policy.
Please lobby those National Delegates whom you elected to represent your views at Conference and put the case in support of our L4R policies. Send them a copy of our submission with our two explanatory papers.
Write to the Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Immigration
urging them to consider the importance of doing the decent and humane thing for refugees, rather than worrying about whether the Coalition will use our reforms to wedge the ALP and attack Labor by arguing that Labor has gone soft on border protection. We know that this is just a ploy being used by this immoral Coalition Government and we have to stand up to them and call it out for what it is - a ploy and cynical ruse by this Government. Standing up to the Coalition on issues of principle, is the best way for Labor to gain the community's respect and win government at the next Federal election.
Fringe Event at Labor's National Conference
The ALP National Conference will take place in Adelaide over three days on the 26/27/28 July. Labor for Refugees will hold a Fringe Event and have an Exhibition Stall at the conference venue. If any of our members/supporters are planning to attend, we would really appreciate a few hours of your time over the three days, to assist us at our stall.
The details of our Fringe Event can be found in our flyer at the following link L4RFringeEventNatCon27Jul18
Our Fringe Event takes place on the Friday just before the lunch break and is meant to precede the refugee debate at conference. We are thrilled that Tim Costello, Chief Advocate of World Vision Australia, is our keynote speaker. Tim will be speaking on "A Global Perspective on the Refugee Crisis".
REFUGEES EVENTS - REFUGEE WEEK
Documentary film - "Border Politics"
Our April newsletter announced the release of a new documentary film that follows Julian Burnside as he traverses the globe talking to various leaders and human rights activists about the cruel and unfair treatment of asylum seekers. This film, which had its world premier in Melbourne earlier this month at the Human Rights and Arts Film Festival, is now coming to Sydney and will be show in the week following Refugee Week.
The season kicks off in Sydney at the Randwick Ritz cinema on Sunday 1 July at 4.30pm
There will also be other screenings on:
Friday 6th at 6.30pm
Saturday 7th @ 4.30pm and 7.30pm and
Sunday 8th at either 2.30pm or 4.30pm.
There may well be other screenings arranged, depending on demand.
For our members in the ACT, "Border Politics" will be showing at the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival on 31 May at 6pm at the Palace Electric, Canberra.
I encourage you to attend this film and spread the word to your friends and family members about this important documentary.
Asylum Seekers Centre
Members of Labor for Refugees are very supportive of the work being carried out at the Asylum Seekers Centre (ASC) on behalf of refugees. In the past L4R has made a donation to this organisation. Located in the Sydney suburb of Newtown, it provides accommodation, legal and financial support, employment assistance, education, social and material support and health services. They welcome donations at www.asylumseekerscentre.org.au
The ASC invites you to its special Refugee Week celebration - “THE NEED TO BELONG”.
Keynote speakers include:
· Edward Santow, Human Rights Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission since August 2016. Ed leads the Commission’s work on detention and implementing the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture; refugees and migration; human rights issues affecting LGBTI people; counter-terrorism and national security; modern slavery; freedom of expression; and freedom of religion.
· Maha Abdo, CEO of the Muslim Women’s Association. A passionate advocate for social justice, Maha is a government adviser on policy, services and strategies to create a harmonious community for Muslim and non-Muslim women. She was a 2015 finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Human Rights Medal and NSW Human Rights Ambassador for 2014-15.
· Mahir Momand, CEO of Thrive Refugee Enterprise. Having spent over half his life as a refugee, Mahir now helps people seeking asylum and refugees start their own businesses. His work shows that when asylum seekers and refugees become economically active, it leads not only to economic integration and financial independence but also faster social integration.
Held in partnership with the City of Sydney, the event will take place in the Lower Town Hall on Wednesday evening 20 June from 6.30pm-8pm. Book here.
Secretary L4R NSW