18 December 2021

Dear Mr Hawke,

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 Home Affairs, the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs and Immigration, and to our local members of parliament.

We welcomed your announcement this week of improvements to the Community Support Program in the form of an expanded cap and reduced costs to community groups. We were also pleased to hear that you will consider making these places additional to the regular intake, and we urge you to follow through on this. We note that Australia’s allocated humanitarian intake of 13,500 was less than half filled last financial year, and so there is room for us to increase the intake of refugees from Afghanistan this year. We beg you to take this opportunity to bring to safety more people who have been friends to Australian forces and diplomats. 

We wish you and your family a safe and restful Christmas. As you prepare for Christmas festivities, please spare a thought for those refugees who languish in detention in places like the Park Hotel in Melbourne, unable to gather with loved ones. There is room at our Christmas tables, and in our hearts, for these people, and we grieve the wasting away of their spirits as they wait for your government’s mercy. Here is a Christmas message for you from inside the Park Hotel.

Eight+ years in arbitrary detention

Yours sincerely,

*

Send your letter to Ms Karen Andrews: karen.andrews.mp@aph.gov.au (Minister for Home Affairs).
You could cc it to Ms Kristina Keneally: senator.keneally@aph.gov.au (Shadow minister for Immigration and Home affairs), and to your local Federal MP.

Send the text to the Prime Minister via their website HERE, and to the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, HERE.

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