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National protests call for an end to offshore detention

Refugee Action Coalition Media Release


July 19 marked the 10th anniversary of then Labor Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, signing the PNG deal and his announcement that no refugee sent offshore would ever be resettled in Australia. After 19 July 2013, out of the 7832 people seeking asylum who arrived in Australia by boat, 3127 were forcibly sent from Christmas Island to Manus Island or Nauru.

Following rallies today (Saturday 22 July) in Perth and Melbourne, there will be rallies in Brisbane, Canberra, and Sydney, on Sunday 23 July, to demand an end to offshore processing, and permanent visas for all offshore refugees and the victims of fast-track processing. Attached are photos of a protest held outside ALP Treasurer Jim Chalmers electoral office on 19 July and a protest at Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil’s electoral office on 21 July.)

“Labor has a particular responsibility to end offshore detention and bring those still held offshore to Australia,” said Ian Rintoul from the Refugee Action Coalition, “It was a Labor government in 2013 that implemented the PNG deal. And it is the current Albanese Labor government that is keeping 75 refugees in PNG.”

“A determined campaign finally got the last refugee off Nauru this month. Labor is on notice, we will keep fighting to get all the refugees from PNG evacuated from PNG and brought to Australia. And for all those from PNG and Nauru in Australia to get permanent visas.”

Shannen Potter, a delegate to Labor’s August national conference will speak at the Sydney rally in support of the Labor for Refugee’s motion to the national conference calling for an end to offshore detention.

Labor’s claim that they are not responsible for the refugees in PNG has been blown out of the water after by today’s revelation that there is a secret deal between Australia and PNG to fund the refugees they dumped there ten years ago. Yet, the Albanese government has refused to transfer any of the refugees to Australia.

Around 1100 refugees brought from PNG and Nauru are in the Australian community on bridging visas; they need permanent visas. Twelve thousand asylum seekers denied refugee status under Morrison’s fast track process also need permanent visas.

Albanese claims that Labor can be “tough on border protection without being weak on humanity,” but after a year in office Labor is showing it really is weak on humanity.


Photo credit: Refugee Action Coalition


Sydney rally: Labor’s Refugee Shame: Ten Years Too Bloody Long, 1pm, Sunday 23 July, Town Hall. Speakers include, Speakers include: Ramsi (Former Manus refugee); Zahra Hashembadi (Former Nauru refugee), Kajan Palan (Tamil refugee on bridging visa), Shannen Potter (ALP National Conference Delegate), Dave Towson (Independent Education Union NSW/ACT), Tilly (Refugee Action Coalition).

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  1. Baby Jewels

    I hope Albanese can find the backbone to bring the remaining refugees to Australia and give them permanent visas so they can finally resume their lives. But I seriously doubt he will, considering he’s spending a fortune renovating Nauru for future prisoners… Come on Australia, surely we are better than this, and can do better. Our refugee policies go against the United Nations Refugee Convention, of which we are a signatory. Meantime, held captive far from their families and unable to return to their home countries, men are languishing in Port Moresby, barely able to stave off hunger, needing glasses as they age, their shoes worn out, and requiring dental work. Unable to work, loathed by the locals and regularly beaten up, their phones, their only link to their families, stolen. For ten long years.

  2. Caz

    No point Albo showing compassion for the Biloela family, or bringing home the odd detained Aussie in Asia. Time to extend a welcome to all the remaining refugees and get Julian home. Be consistent, be compassionate and be brave. History will remember you kindly if you do.

  3. Andrew Smith

    Enough of this bipartisan bigotry of both LNP & ALP lacking moral ‘leadership’ with media and influencers prolonging proxy white Australia policies, that make all Australians look like nasty losers lacking compassion and empathy for ‘other’ humanity; too easy.

  4. JulianP

    @Andrew Smith. Well said Sir, and thank you.

  5. New England Cocky

    Like Andrew said above.

  6. Clakka

    Thanks for the article. I admire and respect pointed, specific and informed activism.

    Well said Andrew Smith.

    After an article in The Conversation, I am about purchasing a copy of “The Racial Politics of Australian Multiculturalism” by Ghassan Hage. Can hardly wait to get my heart and mind into it.

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