17 April 2019
Dear <<First Name>>
L4R will meet at 6pm next Wednesday 24 April at Unions NSW (Labor Council) Training Room 1, 377 Sussex St Sydney (near cnr Goulburn St).
PLEASE NOTE THE LOCATION OF OUR MEETING.
If you experience an access problem when you arrive, please call me on my mobile 0404 532 249.
The Minutes of our previous meeting can be viewed at https://gallery.mailchimp.com/09c48b6cba9909c3558998ce0/files/31d4584c-5bfa-425d-a86c-10862d86841d/27_3_19_L4R_Minutes.doc
Our work continues
Although L4R members have achieved much in terms of advancing the cause of refugees and gaining much needed reforms to Labor's policy, we still need to ensure that when Labor forms government, these gains are implemented as soon as possible. The issue of refugee policy, used as a weapon by the Coalition to wedge the Labor Party and divide our community, is why many of us support Labor and want to see Labor honour its commitment to changing the dialogue on refugees and ensuring a much more humane approach is urgently implemented. Our role is not only to see this through but to lobby Labor to continue moving forward to adopt a more progressive approach.
To reiterate our L4R policies on refugees and people seeking asylum, Labor for Refugees NSW will continue advocating to:
Labor for Refugees will continue to advocate limiting the use of detention to those situations involving safety such as for health and security checks. Where short periods of detention are unavoidable, Labor for Refugees will work to ensure the following:
- Ensure no children are kept in detention. Rather, they will be placed into community-run reception centres together with their families.
- Increase Australia’s humanitarian intake progressively to 50,000 per year.
- Close off-shore processing centres in Manus Island and Nauru and transfer all detainees to Australia for on-shore processing. This measure will provide savings of up to $1 billion per year to be spent on other priorities.
- End indefinite detention and implement a 30 day processing rule to be included in the Immigration Act (Cth).
- Provide legal aid for people seeking asylum.
- Increase funding for the UNHCR.
- Ensure that the provisions of the UN Refugee Convention and UN human rights instruments, to which Australia is signatory, are included in Australian asylum seeker and refugee domestic law and policy.
- Achieve the cooperation required to reach sustainable regional processing arrangements, reject policies which turn away asylum-seeker boats.
- Maintain levels of foreign aid sufficient to address the root causes, improve conditions and the rule of law in the places from which people are escaping.
2.1 advocate for asylum seeker children, with the capacity to bring legal action on their behalf;
- Have mandatory reporting of abuse in detention
- Create independent bodies to:
2.2 provide oversight of detention centres;
2.3 establish an independent commission to inform the public on the facts on refugees and people seeking
Help us to continue lobbying the ALP by attending our monthly meetings. We are currently working on a number of strategies which we plan to implement once Labor forms Government.
Palm Sunday Rally
At least 1,000 protestors gathered in Belmore Park on Sunday for the Palm Sunday Rally. Our Labor for Refugees banner was proudly displayed and carried in the march from Belmore Park, through the streets to Victoria Park. This was just one of many protests held in other capital cities and regional centres around Australia.
As one of the speakers, the Reverend John Barr said "May this gathering be a means of sending a loud message to Canberra that refugees are welcome".
Football commentator and former Socceroos Captain Craig Foster spoke eloquently to the crowd. He had successfully fought for the release of refugee footballer Hakeem Al-Araibi from a Bangkok jail earlier this year and said that Australia's national conscience was severely damaged by deaths on Manus Island and Nauru.
He said "if we can save him, we can save everyone on Manus and Nauru, we can save every refugee who serves the right to asylum, and in the end, people, we can save ourselves".
Good luck to you all in the forthcoming federal election campaign.
Secretary L4R NSW