Details are on the Home page, and the Food drive flyer for you to send around to your networks. If your groups collect food or money for this drive, you can deliver to drop off points on the flyer, or we’ll pick the donations up for delivery to ASRC. Just email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you want to know more about ASRC’s Foodbank? Come to Ivanhoe Library on July 22nd, when the Foodbank Director Karen Quist receives the donations from the libraries and our drive and talks about how the Foodbank operates.
SAY NO TO REPEAL OF MEDEVAC!
Labor has committed (at last) to opposing repeal of the Medevac legislation which they finally (at last) supported through the previous parliament. Morrison has made it clear that repealing that legislation (and avenging his defeat in the last parliament) is top priority for him.
Latest facts? The legislation is working. As of 26 June 2019 at 4pm, there are 43 people (from both Nauru and PNG) who have been approved under the Medevac, 23 of whom have been transferred to Australia, and 14 applications before the Minister from PNG. Hardly an opening of the floodgates, but a lifeline for a few victims of our policy. Why repeal?
The Senate is where it matters. Do you have time to add your voice?
Go to the ARAN website for contact details for relevant parliamentarians.
Our thanks to Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children for the following summary of issues and help with letters.
Mass lobbying of Jacquie Lambie at this time may be counterproductive. So please do NOT contact her but do focus on your local MP and others such as: Liberal MP’s Russell Broadbent and Trent Zimmerman, the Indi independent Helen Haines and Greens MP Adam Bandt in the House and the Centre Alliance (formerly Xenophon Team) in the Senate,Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick, and Shadow on Home Affairs, Kristina Keneally and Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese.
Background information to guide your letters, emails and social media content:
- 12 people died offshore in the 5 years before Medevac was passed earlier this year.
- Numerous Australian doctors and whistle-blowers had gone public with their account of the bureaucracy overriding the opinion of doctors and consequent failures in treatment for people who were critically ill or needing transfer for medical care.
- The medevac law addresses this issue by allowing two Australian doctors to provide a medical opinion about whether a sick person needs transfer for the purpose of treatment.
- The Minister can dispute a medical finding.
- The law also institutes an expert panel of Australian doctors, including government appointed doctors, who can review cases if the Minister disputes a finding.
- The recent court ruling allowed that a doctor did not need to have ‘personal engagement’ with a patient for the Medevac provision to be activated. The court ruling has been described by medical professionals as bringing the process in line with standard practice and is particularly important in the case of Nauru where govt has forbidden entry to medical professionals. See the detailed media report here https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-19/federal-court-ruling-reignites-medevac-legislation-debate/11225718
- The Government’s claims about floodgates have proven false. Since the Medevac law passed only 43 applications for transfer have happened. In 41 cases, the Minister accepted that they should be transferred.
- The issue, therefore, is not the Medevac provision but the overall failure of the Government to prevent 12 deaths, and the fact that we still have around 800 people offshore after almost six years, most of whom have been accepted as refugees yet face ongoing and indefinite detention.
- The Coalition Government failure to find an alternative to indefinite detention is an enduring failure of leadership..
Linking with Council
The recently launched and published Banyule Multicultural Plan 2017-2021 sets the goals and strategies for enhancing outcomes for our CALD ( culturally and linguistically diverse) communities over the next four years.
It was adopted by Council on 4 June 2018. Council is a signatory to the Refugees Welcome Zones. The Plan has been developed through consultation with the community. Council’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, which comprises representatives from key community organisations and community members from a range of cultural backgrounds, worked with Council to guide the creation of the new plan. MASSG is pleased to be represented on the Committee. Refer to links below for further details :
Behind the public events, MASSG quietly helps and supports individual asylum seekers. Our newsletters show the variety of our projects and actions.
Our Facebook page records our participation in current public events.
Our fundraising is ongoing. MASSG holds an annual fund-raising lunch. In 2017 our speaker was David Manne, human rights lawyer, migration agent and Executive Director of Refugee Legal. We raised over $3,000. In 2018 it was lunch with Professor Gillian Triggs, and over $4,000 was raised for RACS.