Letter Writing Campaign – Focus for October
Materials for Letter Writers (Contacts, Tips, etc.)
Medevac repeal bill
Another Parliamentary sitting session begins today. The Senate inquiry into the Government’s bill to repeal the Medevac legislation is due to hand down its findings this Friday, 18 October. It is expected that the Government will put the bill to a vote as soon as the Inquiry report is in. This article from today’s Guardian summarises the current situation with the bill and some of the politics around it.
With so much else in the news at the moment, this issue is not getting the attention it needs. There are very worrying things happening in relation to the Medevac processes in both PNG and Nauru. Nauru has consistently impeded Medivac evacuations. There are unnecessary lengthy delays in actually evacuating men who have been approved for medical evacuation from PNG. Some of those men are now being held in lock-up in Pt Moresby. But it is important that the legislation remains. It is important that decisions about medical transfers remain principally in the hands of medical professionals, not in Border Force bureaucrats.
Please take the time today to send a brief email in support of the retention of the Medevac legislation. See attached list for Contact details.
Asylum seekers being held in Australian-funded Bomana Prison in PNG
More than 50 men continue to be held in a lock-up prison in PNG, without access to phones or to lawyers, after being arrested by PNG authorities 2 months ago. It is believed that all of these men have been deemed by PNG authorities not to be refugees, although not all of them have undergone a refugee assessment process. There are questions to be answered here. The lack of transparency about why these men have been imprisoned and what the plans are for them is unacceptable.
Please also raise this issue in your letters. Ask the politicians why these men are being held in lock-up.
In addition, we have to keep up the pressure for permanent settlement solutions for all the people still being held in Australia’s offshore immigration centres. Ask your MP:
- What are you doing to pressure the government to find safe resettlement options for refugees on Manus and Nauru who are not offered resettlement in the USA?
- What are you doing to persuade the Government to accept the offer from New Zealand to resettle asylum seekers from Australia’s offshore detention centres?
Thank you for your support!