Letter Writing Campaign – Focus for December

Materials for Letter Writers (Contacts, Tips, etc.)

In view of the extreme disappointment we are all feeling with the repeal of the Medevac legislation last week, I can only repeat the message coming from refugee advocates around the country: We cannot give up. We must continue to fight against the cruelty and injustice of Australia’s treatment of refugees and people seeking asylum. (see this article by Karen Phelps, for instance)

Please don’t let the repeal of Medevac go unchallenged. If you haven’t already done so, please ring Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison’s offices. We need to demonstrate the full force of our movement and community support for Medevac to the government. When you ring, express: 1) your support for Medevac, and 2) the urgent need for the Australian government to find safe and permanent resettlement for everyone on Nauru and in PNG. 

I have noticed that in their statements of the last couple of days, the government has been describing and defending its resettlement plans for ‘the people on Nauru’, and saying nothing about the men in PNG. I don’t know what this means, but it is concerning.  Previously, Minister Dutton has said that the government was not pursing any 3rd country resettlement options apart from the US deal.  And that the men in PNG had only 2 choices: to stay in PNG or return to their country of origin. It would be useful to seek clarification about this in our phone calls. Why are they only referring to the people on Nauru? What are the resettlement plans for the men in PNG?

Call Peter Dutton –> (02) 6277 7860
Call Scott Morrison –>(02) 6277 7700

If you can’t  get through, try calling again. If you get an answering machine, leave a message. Help mobilise the movement by sharing this message widely, and by posting the response you receive from Dutton and Morrison’s offices on social media: tag Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton, include hash tags #Medevac, #Auspol, #DoctorsNotDutton.

Below are tips and talking points from a message circulated by the Refugee Council of Australia as part of its continuing campaign in support of Medevac.

Talking Points

When you call, remember to be friendly, calm and patient. Your tone can help create the sort of democracy you want to be part of.

You are calling concerning the repeal of the Medevac laws. You are disappointed the government pursued this given a majority of Australians supported it.

You are calling to urge Peter Dutton & Scott Morrison to resolve the crisis on offshore detention that has been going on for more than six years. People’s lives have been destroyed. People’s health and well-being are suffering.

As an Australian, you feel ashamed of what is happening offshore. People need to be resettled to safety. Permanently. There are many offers on the table, the government can resolve this disaster in a matter of months. They need to act.

Getting started:

  1. Write down the main points you wish to talk about before calling. Keep them close so you can refer to them. It may be a series of questions or points you want to clarify.
  2. Stay on topic and make your points as succinctly as possible.
  3. Be polite and maintain your composure.
  4. Listen to what the other party has to say. This is a two-way conversation so everyone must be given time to express their views regardless of whether you agree with them or not. Make notes about the responses they give.
  5. Leave all your details and make sure your call is registered.

Talking points to help guide the conversation:

  • The problem – the repeal of Medevac
  • Your personal beliefs and connection to the issue
  • Our solution to the problem – a resolution of the crisis of offshore detention and settling people to safety
  • Ask – Dutton & Morrison need to act

Thank you for your support for our letter writing campaign this year. Please keep writing and calling! We can’t give up!

All the best for a safe and happy holiday season.