Wednesday 14 June 2006, 7:55 WST
For Immediate Release
"The powerful grassroots refugee lobby that swung into action when the Migration Amendment Bill 2006 was announced, by urging tens of thousands of Australians to contact their local coalition members by email, by fax message or by phone, and that urged its audience to arrange visits to Liberal and National backbenchers, deserves adequate recognition and credit for the outcome of the Senate legal and Constitutional Committee's Report into the Migration Amendment (Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006," says WA Rights group Project SafeCom this morning.
"Project SafeCom congratulates the members of the Inquiry with their report, especially because there is no dissent or disagreement about the main recommendation - the recommendation that the Bill should not proceed," spokesman Jack H Smit commented.
"The thousands of ordinary Australians who learnt about contacting MP's and Senators to express their views on Australia's abysmal treatment of refugees and asylum seekers since the Tampa stand-off in 2001, are still active and prepared to be mobilized at a minute's notice, as we once again have seen in te context of this appalling Bill."
"Right from the start, Project SafeCom, A Just Australia and ChilOut were successful in convincing GetUp! within days to come on board with its online petition and television advertisements, with voice-over by veteran actor Jack Thompson reiterating in the video clip that the Bill would undermine the no-detention policy of children."
"Following this action, these and other organisations swung into action with electronic alerts to tens of thousands of their supporters and members."
"Now, following the Senate Report, the final step needs to also be taken by the Senators and MP's: this Bill should indeed not proceed, and Senators should cross the floor and vote against this Bill. There are no amendments possible that make this Bill come in line with Australia's International obligations under the UN Refugee Convention. With UN World Refugee Day looming next week Tuesday, this would be an appropriate step for MP's and Senators with sufficient heart and a living conscience," Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]