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ACRT asks Minister for Income Support for Asylum Seekers

 

26 MARCH 2020

‍The National Council of Churches in Australia (NCCA) and the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) have written to Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge MP, and the Prime Minister, calling for the Federal Government to urgently extend income support and access to Medicare to asylum seekers under the corona virus support package to vulnerable groups. 

ACRT request that:

  • the 30,000 women, men and children who are on bridging visas (which give no certainty about the future) or without a visa, be included in the income support measures announced by the Commonwealth government.
  • all asylum seekers (at any stage of their application process) be given access to Medicare
  • all asylum seekers who lose their jobs (usually these are low paid, part time or casual) have the same access to income support as others in the Australian community.

Download the letter to the Acting Minister and PM 

  

 

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ACRT Submission

 

10 June 2020

ACRT made a submission to Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee inquiry - Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 [Provisions].

ACRT’s submission sought to remove the proposed new statutory search power which would give the Australian Border Force power to confiscate mobile phones from people in detention. We argued primarily on mental health grounds and the ability to be in contact with legal assistance, family and friends. We also noted that mobile phones are one of the strongest mechanisms for transparency about conditions being faced by people in detention.

CLICK HERE FOR ACRT SUBMISSION

 

 

 

  

 

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ACRT Media Release

 

20 July 2020

 

Churches Taskforce seeks assurances to reduce detention health risks

In an urgent letter to the Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly and the Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt, the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) has sought urgent assurances from the responsible government public health authorities that the people at detention centres have safe accommodation during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The NCCA  and the ACRT released a combined Media Statement on Monday 20 July appealing for guaranteed access to COVID-19 testing when any symptoms are present in immigration detention centres and an assurance that people moving in and out of these locations in a staff role are both trained and monitored with regard to the highest standards of infection control and prevention. 

Mr Rob Floyd, Chair of the Australian Churches’ Taskforce said that “With the recent infections of staff assigned to the Mantra Hotel at Preston in Melbourne’s COVID 19 lockdown area, and Villawood Detention Centre in Sydney, we believe that the public health risks mean that those moving freely in and out of these centres pose the highest public health risk at this time.”

Read the full Media Release:  CHURCHES TASKFORCE SEEKS ASSURANCES TO REDUCE DETENTION HEALTH RISKS 

 

 

  

 

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Telephone: (02) 9299 2215

Address: Locked Bag Q199,

QVB NSW 1230

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ACRT Media Release

 

20 June 2021

Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce shares vision of new season of community support for refugees and asylum seekers

In a meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 17th June, a delegation from the Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce (ACRT) met with the office of the Hon Alex Hawke MP Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs to share the churches’ vision for a new partnership and a new season.

At the simplest level, the ACRT is calling on the Australian Government to:

  1. Conduct fair and timely assessment of claims for refugee status (putting resources into fair and timely assessment of claims and not into the exorbitant, unnecessary and harmful costs of detention).
  2. Support people seeking asylum to live in the community with adequate income and access to health care during the assessment of their claims (if they are unable to find work to support themselves.)
  3. Introduce community sponsorship of refugees as a new mechanism in Australia to provide safety and protection for those seeking refuge. 

Ms. Elizabeth Stone, General Secretary at the National Council of Churches in Australia explained that “Our churches, and other faith communities, are willing and able to be more involved in supporting refugees in our communities, and there is an existing groundswell of activity in many parts of Australia supporting people on temporary visas living and contributing to our communities. But we need government to make the changes to end detention and to support and encourage this community movement by giving permanent protection. It is good for Australia in so many ways.” 

 

Read the full Media Release:   pdf 20210620 NCCA ACRT Media Release Meeting with Minister Hawke office (176 KB)

 

 

  

 

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Telephone: (02) 9299 2215

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ACRT Media Release

 

30 June 2021

7,000 are waiting in limbo, need safety 

Currently, there are over 7,000 refugees waiting offshore. These people have already been granted permanent humanitarian visas to enter Australia but are still waiting offshore after been denied entry when the borders closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Stuck in transit, many live without the right to work, study or travel freely. Families with sick children cannot access the healthcare they desperately need. Many have been stuck in this uncertainty for years, frightened and hoping for a better future.  

Little has been done by the government to change the barriers to entry for the vast majority of these 7000 people.  The Refugee Council of Australia (RCA) and UNHCR have called on the government to apply a blanket travel exemption for humanitarian visa holders, advocating for all of them to be allowed into Australia to start a new life – as they were promised.

Since August 2020, Australia has rejected 1,251 out of 1,826 applications for travel exemptions from refugees already granted protection by the government, according to Department of Home Affairs data obtained by SBS. 

Australia’s human rights record

The latest tracker by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI) showed no improvement in Australia’s human rights record in 2020, in particular relating to those most at risk of rights abuses. A HRMI spokesperson said Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people with disabilities, people with low socioeconomic status, and refugees and asylum seekers were shown to be at risk of violations of every right measured by the tracker. 

 

  

 

Connect with us FOLLOW THE TASKFORCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA   FACEBOOK   and  TWITTER  

CONTACT US


Telephone: (02) 9299 2215

Address: Locked Bag Q199,

QVB NSW 1230

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NCCA-ACRT Letter to the Prime Minister

 

17 August 2021

The NCCA-ACRT request commitment for Afghan refugees

Like us, you must be feeling desperate about the situation in Afghanistan.  We have heard reports from many of our Afghan people who have family in Afghanistan or worrying about the related issues they see as emerging in Pakistan

Therefore we are all praying for a generous response from Australia to the situation of the Afghan people, in-country and in Australia, at this time. 

As part of ACRT, The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) is writing letters as are Taskforce members separately and severally to their supporters with the asks below.

The NCCA-ACRT letter to the Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison can be downloaded here -  pdf 210817 NCCA ACRT PM AFG (193 KB)

The NCCA-ACRT have also sent one to Minister Hawke and Trent Zimmerman MP for North Sydney, Dave Sharma MP for Wentworth.

 

We give what comfort we can to those who are so traumatised by what is happening and we extend our love and support to them. 

 

You can help too

Please consider writing to the Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration, the Labor Leader (addresses below) and your own MP. 

You may include the three asks below from The Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project (BASP) 

Dear ..., 

We ask that Australia:

  • Grant permanent protection or citizenship to all Afghan people seeking asylum and refugee status currently living in Australia or in immigration detention
  • Declare an intake of 20000 Afghan refugees (matching the Canadian commitment announced last night)
  • Assist Afghan Australians with urgent family reunion applications for relatives who are in imminent danger

Email addresses:

Prime Minister of Australia: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The Minister for Home Affairs: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Leader of the Opposition: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

Connect with us FOLLOW THE TASKFORCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA   FACEBOOK   and  TWITTER  

CONTACT US


Telephone: (02) 9299 2215

Address: Locked Bag Q199,

QVB NSW 1230

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Australian Government Budget 2021-22

 

12 May 2021 

The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce notes that refugees and people seeking asylum are no better off from the budget with the Australian Government continuing to invest in offshore and onshore detention. “It seems crazy that we are continuing to pay millions more for detention rather than providing meaningful solutions,” said Rob Floyd, Chair of the Churches Refugee Taskforce. “And there is the absence of any new reforms to the community sponsorship program where church groups have put their hands up as partners,” he added.

Read the Eternity News article: A BOTTOM UP VIEW OF THE BUDGET

See also:

Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) budget media release: Govt chooses detention over hope for world's refugees in budget

Read the full budget summary from Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) here:  The Federal Budget: What it means for refugees and people seeking humanitarian protection

 

  

 

Connect with us FOLLOW THE TASKFORCE ON SOCIAL MEDIA   FACEBOOK   and  TWITTER  

CONTACT US


Telephone: (02) 9299 2215

Address: Locked Bag Q199,

QVB NSW 1230

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 

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