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The demand for a Royal Commission into the treatment of refugees, asylum seekers and immigration detainees as formulated in the terms of reference outlined in our petition is steadily gaining momentum: since the launch of the project signatures have been returning to the office at a rate of between 200 and 400 signatures at every mailbox check: thank you!
Two weeks ago Dr Carmen Lawrence, ALP Member for Fremantle, tabled the first 4100 Royal Commission petition signatures in Federal Parliament. She announced the tabling of the petition with an adjournment speech on 15 June. Dr Lawrence's speech is reprinted on our website.
As the first mailbacks from the World Refugee Day weekend arrive in our mailbox, with dozens of sheets from Refugee Action Collective and ChilOut events in Sydney, the regular returns from churches, schools and universities keep arriving in our PO Box on a daily basis - the initiative is carried well right around the country. We receive sheets from Catholic, Anglican and Uniting Church parishes, from students as well as university staff from Monash University to Adelaide University, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, from a bookshop in Melbourne, a Deli in Queensland and hospital wards in Adelaide. In the context of the Cornelia Rau revelations the prisoners support group Sisters Inside, known to the public through the ABC interviews with Debbie Kilroy, sprung into action, returning a considerable number of signatures, while the Vivian Solon-Alvarez deportation debacle resulted in a sustained effort of the Filipino Community, who explicitly included their wish to investigate the deportation bungle of Ms Solon in any Royal Commission.
Dr Carmen Lawrence was the first Parliamentarian to table petition sheets, announcing the demand for a Royal Commission with an Adjournment speech. With the regularity of a dripping tap, the tabling of petitions will keep taking place throughout the term of this government. We plan to have a second tabling when Parliament returns from its current recess in the first week of August.
This is one of the simplest initiatives you can help to carry right around the country simply by printing and copying sheets and distributing them. Please download the petition sheet from our website, please print out multiple copies, distribute them throughout your office, the staffroom at your school or hospital or your workplace, leave the petition in coffeeshops, café's, community centres and other places as you find suitable; and if you hold a stall, don't forget to print copies, because the time has now come to start collecting signatures for the future.
The National Week of Action in protest of the proposed Federal Industrial Regulations legislation is an excellent vehicle for the petition sheets. Please consider a presence for your group or organisation's stall at the rallies in Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth and take petition sheets for signing; and, the Royal Commission petition was tabled at the 19 March Unions NSW meeting, and supported!
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin WA 6312
phone: 041 70 90 130