Refugee Action Collective (Vic)

Free the refugees! Let them land, let them stay!

Archives November 2016

MEDIA RELEASE | UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS US REFUGEE DEAL: AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO BRING THEM HERE’ LIFETIME BAN EXPOSED AS A STUNT

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

UNCERTAINTY SURROUNDS US REFUGEE DEAL: AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO BRING THEM HERE’

LIFETIME BAN EXPOSED AS A STUNT

 

The announcement by US Secretary of State, John Kerry and now by Malcolm Turnbull, that the US will consider refugees from Nauru referred to it by the UNHCR has done little to settle the issue of offshore detention.

“It is an admission that Nauru and Manus Island are offshore dead-ends, but the deal still eaves the future of asylum seekers and refugees up in the air. The deal means there is no certainty for the asylum seekers and refugees marooned on Nauru and Manus Island. And there is a serious question over the future of the thousands of single men, given the announced priority that will be given to women, children and families.

“The UNHCR has not been involved in the refugee determination process so far on either Nauru or Manus Island. The need for UNHCR determinations and referrals will at the very least mean more delay for people who have been waiting almost three and half years on Manus and Nauru,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“We are very concerned that the deal is not all-encompassing. It is not acceptable that Nauru or Manus stay open for another day, let alone any more months or years. The deal seems to do nothing to resolve the fate of those yet to have refugee determinations or deal with the question of separated families.”

Rintoul also confirmed that despite any deal, the PNG Supreme Court will consider an application on behalf of Manus detainees that all Manus detainees who wish to, be returned to Australia.  That hearing is expected in December.

“Given the government has admitted that neither Manus nor Nauru have a future, we would expect the Australian government will abide by the orders of the PNG Supreme Court,” said Rintoul.

“Turnbull’s third country announcement is too shallow and too uncertain. It is shocking that Australia has avoided its responsibility for so long and left asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru. All asylum seekers and refugees should be brought to Australia, so families can be re-united and where they can find the protection they need in the community.”

The deal however, has exposed Turnbull’s lifetime ban on asylum seekers sent offshore from ever entering Australia, as an unscrupulous and desperate political stunt.

“The government is still using refugees as political footballs. It is urgent that Labor, The Greens and Senate cross-benchers maintain a stand against Turnbull’s lifetime ban and decisively defeat it when it comes before the Senate in November.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 7813

MEDIA RELEASE | LABOR’S OPPOSITION TO LIFETIME BAN EXPOSES THIRD COUNTRY MYTH – NOW BRING THEM HERE

Refugee Action Coalition

MEDIA RELEASE

LABOR’S OPPOSITION TO LIFETIME BAN EXPOSES THIRD COUNTRY MYTH – NOW BRING THEM HERE

The Refugee Action Coalition has welcomed Labor’s stand against Turnbull’s attempt to impose a lifetime ban on asylum seekers and refugees sent to Nauru or Manus Island, ever entering Australia.

Turnbull’s lifetime ban proposal was always a political stunt from a government that is sinking further in the opinion polls.

Labor’s stance makes it almost certain that Turnbull’s bill will be defeated. It is a welcome first sign that the days of bipartisan support for offshore detention are ending.

Turnbull’s latest political stunt may fail but there is still no solution for the 1500 people imprisoned on Nauru and Manus.

Labor’s opposition to the lifetime ban has now exposed the gaping hole at the end of offshore detention – that after three years and four months, there are no ‘third countries’ willing to resettle refugees from Manus or Nauru.

Peter Dutton has repeated claimed that the government is in negotiations with “third countries” – but no country is ever specified.

Dutton’s big lie was starkly revealed when both the President of Nauru and the Foreign Minister of Papua New Guinea appealed for international help to resettle refugees at the recent UN summit on refugees.

He said in September that the government’s first priority was resettling ‘women and children’ from Nauru – but discussion are always indeterminate and no country is ever specified.

Labor leader Bill Shorten called Turnbull’s lifetime ban “ludicrous”. It is just as ludicrous to insist on third country resettlement when there is none.

Rather than continue to call for third country resettlement, Labor must join the call for all asylum seekers and refugees to be brought to Australia.

Former Labor Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, who declared in 2013 that no asylum seeker sent to Nauru and Manus Island would ever be resettled in Australia says that Labor only envisaged asylum seekers being held on Nauru for a year. It is now over three years.

“How much longer can Labor call for the Turnbull government to find a third country, when a third country does not exist,” asked Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition.

“There are over 320 people from Manus and Nauru already in the Australian community. It’s time to end the uncertainty that hangs over their lives and allow them to resettle in Australia.

“It’s time to end the offshore detention that has separated partners, brothers and sisters, parents and children and allow all asylum seekers and refugees to have a future free of persecution.

“The pretence that there are third countries is allowing the government to prolong the detention and uncertainty of all those being held Nauru and Manus Island. It is time to bring all asylum seekers to the Australia and resettle them in the Australian community.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713

1pm 5 Nov | Rally: Close Manus, Close Nauru #BringThemHere

Flyer: its-time

Facebook event
https://www.facebook.com/events/1125145264219257/

When: 1-4pm 5th November 2016

Where: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston Street, Melbourne

state library

Prime Minister Turnbull wants the world to follow Australia’s race to the bottom on refugee policy, but Manus was declared illegal in April, Nauru is in crisis, and the Coalition’s refugee policy is coming apart at the seams. This rally will be part of week of national rallies, and on the same day as a Doctors For Refugees march in Sydney.

It’s time: Bring Them Here!
• Close the camps
• Permanent protection now
• Boat rescues not turnbacks
• No to Islamophobia

Endorsed by:
Australian Greens Victoria
Labor For Refugees
Tamil Refugee Council
Electrical Trades Union
National Tertiary Education Union
Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia
GetUp!
Melbourne Catholic Mirgant & Refugee Office
Brigidine Asylum Seeker Project
Queenscliff Rural Australians For Refugees
Combined Refugee Action Group Geelong
Pax Christi
Australian Unions for Western Sahara
ChilOut
Rural Australians For Refugees
Riff Raff Radical Marching Band Melbourne
Grandmothers for Refugees

email refugeeactioncollective@gmail.com to endorse