6 September 2020

https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

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.
Yours faithfully,

*

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.

Yours faithfully

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)

30 August 2020

https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

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.

Prime minister, these people have now been in detention for more than seven years. Can you imagine what that is like for people who are separated from their families, and whose lives are languishing? What hopes and dreams did they bring on their courageous journey seeking safety in Australia? What a waste it is of human potential to keep them locked in prisons and hotel rooms. 

Your government’s intransigence on this issue will create a legacy of trauma and mental and physical illness, that will be entirely your responsibility. You are the one in the position to lead this debate towards more rational and compassionate outcomes. We urge you to accept the NZ offer of resettlement for some of these people, and to find solutions for the remainder that enable them settle in a safe home, and to heal and get on with their lives. 

Yours faithfully,

*

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.

Yours faithfully

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)

23 August 2020

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 read this week (https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au) about the unacceptable level of violence in immigration detention centres, as determined by the Commonwealth ombudsman. Prime Minister, it is inhumane in the extreme to keep people who come to our shores seeking safety, in facilities that further traumatise them and treat them like criminals. Most of these people have been in detention for more than seven years, and we understand that at least one Sri Lankan man has been detained for eleven years, despite having refugee status and despite his conviction for people smuggling having been overturned by the Court of Appeal in Western Australia.

This cruel practice of indefinite detention cannot continue forever. We would appreciate your speedy response, including an outline of your plan to end this deadlock. Yours faithfully …

16 August 2020

https://www.pm.gov.au/contact-your-pm

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.

Prime Minister, the people who your government continues to detain in PNG, Nauru and in hotels such as the Mantra in Preston, have committed no crime. They wish only to be allowed the freedom to re-build their lives in safety. Surely after seven years it is time to quietly end this, and to accept the New Zealand offer of resettlement, or allow them to make a home in Australia. 

We would appreciate your speedy response, including an outline of your plan to end this deadlock. 

Yours faithfully,

9 August 2020

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.

Prime Minister, how is it possible that we have detained so many people, who have committed no crime, for more than seven years? This goes against every principal of fairness and justice which Australians treasure. We ask for your answers to the following questions:

1.     What is your plan to overcome this impasse? 

2.     How long are you prepared to deny liberty and amenity to innocent people?

3.     How do you justify the amount of suffering you are causing in order to retain electoral popularity with xenophobic elements in our community?

Yours faithfully,