Morrison’s last chance today – Senators still undecided

Today is the last day of parliament. The Minister is stepping up the pressure, offering to release 460 children from Christmas Island by Christmas but giving no future to the 200plus children on Nauru… hoping that the senators will fold.

Can you do another round ? Ask the senators to stop this omnibus Bill from being pushed through – the concessions are too little, and the cost is too great.

Points to raise:

· Rights of refugees and asylum seekers must be upheld – Australia must maintain a clear commitment to the Refugee Convention and international law

· Small increases in the quota mean nothing unless permanent protection options are available to refugees

· The courts must maintain the power to scrutinize the Government’s actions

· Bargaining and bartering for Senators support with offers to release selected children is unscrupulous

We suggest you call or email the following people – ASK THEM TO DEFER THE DISCUSSION ON THIS BILL TO 2015:

Please ring & email Senators– ASAP if at all possible

Marie Hapke

For Refugee Advocacy Network

senator.Xenophon; Nick Xenophon IND senator.Xenophon Telephone: (02) 6277 3552
senator.muir; Ricky Muir MEP senator.muir Telephone: (02) 6277 3040
senator.leyonhjelm; David Leyonhjelm LD senator.leyonhjelm Telephone (02) 6277 3054.
senator.lambie; Jacqui Lambie PUP senator.lambie Telephone: (02) 6277 3063
senator.lazarus; Glenn Lazarus PUP senator.lazarus Telephone: (02) 6277 3204
senator.wang; Dio Wang PUP senator.wang Telephone: (02) 6277 3843
palmer.fairfax; Mr Clive Palmer PUP palmer.fairfax Telephone: (02) 6277 4372

Also ALP Senators: see emails for all Labor senators below (Victorian senators in bold) … YOU CAN COPY ALL ADDRESSES TO THE BCC LINE AND ADDRESS THE EMAIL Dear Senator

senator.Bilyk;
senator.Bishop;
senator.Brown;
senator.Cameron;
senator.Carr;
senator.Collins;
senator.Conroy;
senator.Dastyari
senator.Farrell;
senator.Faulkner;
senator.Furner;
senator.Gallacher;
senator.Hogg;
senator.Lines
senator.Ludwig;
senator.Lundy;
senator.Marshall;
senator.McEwen;
senator.McLucas;
senator.Moore;
senator.O’Neill;
senator.Peris;
senator.Polley;
senator.Pratt;
senator.Singh;
senator.Stephens;
senator.Sterle;
senator.Thorp;
senator.Tillem;
senator.Urquhart;
senator.Wong;

We understand that John Madigan will oppose the Bill – but if you have time, good to call and encourage him to do so)

senator.madigan John Madigan DLP senator.madigan Telephone: (02) 6277 3471

We understand that Bob Day will support the Bill – but if you have time, good to call and encourage him to Oppose

senator.day Bob Day FFP senator.day Telephone: (02) 6277 3373

If you’re finding it hard to keep up with what’s going on with Australia’s refugee laws this week, you’re not alone – so is everyone in Parliament!

There’s a lot going on. Tomorrow, not only will refugee groups including GetUp present this petition condemning our current offshore asylum seeker policies at Parliament House, the Senate will continue to debate the Migration and Maritime Powers Bill (aka the Worst Bill Ever).

Here’s a quick update on the status of the bill as of Wednesday evening, and what GetUp members are doing about it:

  • Debate is still on – Morrison is still bargaining with crossbenchers to try to pass the bill. The ALP put forward a motion to continue debate into this evening but it was voted down. The action is continuing tomorrow.
  • Your pressure is working. GetUp members made up more than 95% of submissions to a Senate Committee on the Worst Bill Ever and have made thousands of calls and emails to crossbench Senators. They haven’t caved to pressure yet, and that’s because they know this Bill is on the nose – it’s not going to help refugees, and it’s not going to help Australia’s human rights reputation.
  • But Scott Morrison is continuing to do everything in his power to pass his punishing bill – including using kids in detention as political pawns. He’s saying he COULD release them by Christmas should the bill pass. Using kids in detention as bargaining chips is a new low, even for this government.
  • Some concessions and potential amendments were made today from Minister Morrison, but even if the legislation ends up including some of the proposed amendments — many seemingly suggested by a surprising new champion for this outrageous Bill, Senator Xenophon — it will still be rife with inequity. Some of the amendments, in isolation from the wider bill, might not sound so bad… like increasing humanitarian intake by 7,500 places, providing working rights for refugees on bridging visas and “greater alignment” of our laws with UNHCR approved language. But don’t be fooled, from what we know so far this Bill remains unusually cruel and seeks to circumvent domestic and international law (more info on why at the bottom of this page). There will still be no compassionate and lasting solutions for those currently suffering both on and offshore, in our name; and asylum seekers could still be sent back to life-threatening situations, without a full exploration of the risks they could face there.
  • On a high note from the day, Senator Madigan made a memorable and significant point today while opposing this draconian Bill when he said that “in the end it’s about people, and we can’t commodify people. They’re not numbers, they’re people.”

The good news is not only are you already being heard, there’s more you can do right now to make an impact while we wait for the Senate to hash this out. Before our Senators finalise their opinions in the face of intense lobbying by Scott Morrison, a man who is using kids and Christmas as political blackmail, you can:

Click on the image below to share it on Facebook:

image_6853_full.png?t=egmMQHAge

If you’d like, you can leave a comment on a post on Senator Muir’s Facebook page (you might have to like his page first!):https://www.facebook.com/SenatorRickyMuir

Click here to leave a comment on a post on Senator Lazarus’ Facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/senatorlazarus

In a nutshell, Scott Morrison is feeling the pressure from all sides and his desperate concessions (contingent on bullying his Bill through) suggest that he doesn’t yet have the numbers to pass his hard-line affront to refugee policies, which aim to dramatically increase his powers and undermine domestic and international law.

If our new Senators are smart and have a heart, they’ll do the right thing by Australia. They will will block the bill so we can move into 2015 with a better way forward on asylum seekers.

There’s one last, but very important thing, you can do right now to get us off on the right foot — you can help push a petition to over 100,000 overnight!

Tomorrow in Canberra, asylum seekers advocacy groups and MPs will gather in the Senate Courtyard to stand opposed to the government’s current refugee and asylum seeker policies. As part of the event, we’ll deliver a petition to politicians that over 98,000 GetUp members have already signed. That’s an incredible number, but we know that together, we can push that number to over 100,000. Can you help? Click here to sign the petition before it’s delivered tomorrow.

Thanks for fighting the good fight,

Pamela Curr
Refugee and Detention Rights Advocate
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre

Please note our new address details:

214 – 218 Nicholson St
Footscray Vic 3011
T: 03 9326 6066
M: 0417 517 075
F: 03 9689 1063
E: pamela.c
W: http://www.asrc.org.au/
ASRC is on the land of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation

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