Dear Mr Morrison,
I am a member/friend of the Community Church of St Mark, which meets every week in the electorate of Melbourne. During the Melbourne lockdown we gather virtually. As you know, we have committed to writing a letter to your government every week until all people are removed from Australia’s on- and off-shore detention centres, and appropriately re-settled, and these centres are closed. We are copying this letter to the Ministers for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.
We are particularly concerned to hear about Mr Dutton’s attempts to give Border Force powers to remove detainees’ mobile phones. We wish to object in the strongest terms to this attempt to further deny rights and amenity to people who have already been locked up for more than seven years. Mobile phones provide a life-line for detainees, giving them some contact with the outside world – with friends, lawyers, advocates. While this may be inconvenient for your government, it can only be so if you have something to hide about the conditions in the detention centres, or if you are deliberately trying to demoralise them.
Prime Minister, the people you are holding in immigration detention may be largely out of sight for the Australian people, but they are not out of mind. We urge you to resolve this stalemate by accepting the New Zealand offer of resettlement, and allowing the remainder to settle in the Australian community.
We also send this letter as an email to our local members, and other relevant ministers with a covering sentence such as:
Dear Mr Dutton, Mr Tudge, Ms Kearney and Mr Bandt,
Please find attached the text of a letter just sent to the Prime Minister, Mr Morrison.
Here are some relevant email addresses:
Peter.Dutton.MP@aph.gov.au (Minister for Home Affairs)
Alan.Tudge.MP@aph.gov.au (Acting Immigration Minister)
Ged.Kearney.MP@aph.gov.au (Member for Cooper)
Adam.Bandt.MP@aph.gov.au (Member for Melbourne)