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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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

  • ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    ‘Refugees are not illegal’ says Julian Burnside at Springwood luncheon

    Prominent human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside AO QC, spoke to members of the local Blue Mountains community about his refugee advocacy work at the Royal Hotel in Springwood on Sunday 26 August 2018.
    Introducing Mr. Burnside, Ms. Doyle congratulated the BMRSG for organising the function and welcomed the ‘great honour of introducing a great man.’
    In his address, Mr. Burnside praised the Blue Mountains community for supporting refugees and also acknowledged the local families that have welcomed refugees into their homes.
    Julian Burnside said it was wrong for the Australian government to send legitimate refugees back to harm.
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  • Report on BMRSG visit to the federal politicians 18 and 19 June 2018

    Report on BMRSG visit to the federal politicians 18 and 19 June 2018

    Joy Connor, Deputy Chair BMRSG visited politicians in Canberra with Marie Sellstrom President of Rural Australians for Refugees. First they met with Peter Dutton’s main advisor and an advisor then they met with Shayne Neumann, Ged Kearney, Sue Templeman and the Advisor to Kristina Keneally.
    At these meetings they discussed Immigration Detention, the use of handcuffs on people seeking asylum when they went to medical and counselling appointments, SRSS, resettlement, The Amendments to the Migration Act, the RAR Statement on People Seeking Refuge and Asylum and the Andrew Wilkie Bill.
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  • 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