Guided by Justice and Compassion

  • Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017

    Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017

    Summary and recommendation
    The purpose of the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 (the Bill) is to amend the Migration Act to:
    1. allow the Minister to determine that an item is a ‘prohibited thing’ in relation to immigration detention facilities,
    2 allow existing screening, search and seizure powers to be used in relation to prohibited things,
    3 provide a power to search all areas of immigration detention facilities without a warrant, and
    4 enable the use of detector dogs to search facilities and to screen detainees and other persons entering the facilities.

    This post goes into the details of the Bill, the responses of the main parties and the Government’s respond to these comments.
    Read more

  • Is it time to compromise on Australia’s cruel asylum seeker policy?

    Is it time to compromise on Australia’s cruel asylum seeker policy?

    A few weeks ago two of Australia’s leading critics of successive governments’ asylum seeker policies have republished their contentious views on how to change the seemingly intractable position held by both the Government and the Opposition. Robert Manne, Emeritus Professor of Politics, La Trobe University and John Medadue, Former Secretary, Department of Immigration together with Frank Brennan SJ, Professor of Law, Australian Catholic University and Tim Costello, CEO World Vision Australia put forward their position in 2016.

    BMRSG is posting these articles for discussion and does not endorse any position.

    Read more

  • Top UN official slams Australia’s offshore detention

    Top UN official slams Australia’s offshore detention

    New Human Rights chief’s, Michelle Bachelet, first speech to the Human Rights Council, says Australia’s offshore processing immigration regime is “an affront to the protection of human rights”, #KidsOffNauru Read The Guardian article: ‘Affront to human rights’: top UN official slams Australia’s offshore detention Listen to Michelle Bachelet https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=TjgnpU5AuwQRead more

  • Blue Mountains Refugee Support group holds vigil outside Macquarie MP’s office

    Blue Mountains Refugee Support group holds vigil outside Macquarie MP’s office

    Members of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group (BMRSG) took their campaign to the Windsor office of Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, on Thursday, July 19.
    The gathering was part of a national day of vigils held around Australia to mark the deaths of 12 male asylum seekers in permanent offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru.
    Twelve empty chairs and 12 pairs of shoes were placed outside Ms Templeman’s office to represent the death of each of the young men. Many of the men, aged between 23 and 34 years old, died from suicide, including overdose and self-immolation.
    The vigils, named ‘Five Years Too Many’, also marked the fifth consecutive year of refugees and asylum seekers being incarcerated in these centres, established on July 19, 2013.Read more

  • ‘Five years too many’: a day of vigils for asylum seekers held across Australia

    ‘Five years too many’: a day of vigils for asylum seekers held across Australia

    Members of the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group combined with the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children to hold a vigil outside the Federal Member for Lindsay Emma Hussar’s offices in Penrith on Thursday.
    The gathering was part of a national day of vigils held around Australia to mark the deaths of 12 young male asylum seekers in permanent offshore detention centres created by the Australian government on Manus Island and Nauru. The vigils, named ‘Five Years Too Many’ also marked the fifth consecutive year of refugees and asylum seekers being incarcerated in these centres, established on July 19, 2013.
    Twelve empty chairs and 12 pairs of shoes were placed outside Ms Hussar’s offices to represent the death of each of the young men.Read more

  • Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    Ged Kearney’s maiden speech to the House of Representatives 21 May 2018

    “That brings me to the issue of asylum seekers, a passionate and emotional issue for the voters in Batman’s community. I think proudly of the great achievements of both sides of this House, of Malcolm Fraser and Bob Hawke, who with bipartisan support provided sanctuary to those fleeing the consequences of war in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and later from the events of Tiananmen Square. …

    I cannot comprehend how a nation that provided a safe home to so many in the wake of World War II, including our large Jewish community of Holocaust survivors, allowed the Tampa and the children overboard scandal to evolve into the shameful policy of indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru. Racist dog whistling has demonised and vilified a community that has everything to give Australia. And the sacrifice of this human potential has been made solely for political gain.Read more