Dear Ms Andrews,
I am a friend of the Centre for a Compassionate Society, which is based in the electorate of Melbourne. I live in the electorate of ***. We have committed to writing a letter to your government every week until all refugees and asylum-seekers who remain on Nauru and in PNG under Operation Sovereign Borders are appropriately re-settled. We also seek humane treatment for refugees and asylum seekers on-shore. We are copying this letter to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.
As your government moves into election mode, we expect that your campaign will focus on asking the Australian people to trust your record on economic management. In which case, we submit that one of the facts relating to your portfolio that needs to be foregrounded is the amount of tax-payers’ money you are spending to keep innocent refugees and asylum seekers in captivity off-shore and on-shore under Operation Sovereign Borders. An analysis of your own figures provided to the Senate reveals that the Australian people are paying $4.3 million per person per annum to keep each of 107 refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru. Can you please also make public the amount that is being paid to hotels such as the Park Hotel in Melbourne to incarcerate those brought to Australia under Medevac legislation? I protest in the strongest terms that the money I pay in taxes is being used for these purposes.
Even more important than the money is the immeasurable cost in human suffering. Can you imagine the desolation of these people, rejected by Australia and yet held by the Australian government in interminable limbo? There is no justification for continuing this expenditure, when other options are available. Will you accept the New Zealand offer to resettle 150 refugees per year, and end this costly torture?
Send your letter to Ms Karen Andrews: email@example.com (Minister for Home Affairs).
You could cc it to Ms Kristina Keneally: firstname.lastname@example.org (Shadow minister for Immigration and Home affairs), and to your local Federal MP.