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Coffs Harbour: Picket

23 July 2015 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Rural Australians for Refugees Bellingen and Nambucca District

  • Don’t forget our Thursday Picket outside Luke Hartsuyker’s office
  • Every Thursday between 10am and Noon.
  • Bring a placard and join our dedicated team sending a message to our government. 
We seek to keep the pressure up on the government over their horrendous policy. 
Luke’s office is at 39 Little St Coffs Harbour. We hope to make this a weekly event. Coffs Growers market is on at the same time so give our MP a message and then go an support our local producers.
 Our local member of Parliament continues to uncritically support the indefinite detention of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru. He is a senior member of a government which seeks to shroud its asylum policy activities in secrecy and which now threatens doctors, nurses and other support workers with imprisonment if they speak out about the abuses which they observe in these gulags. It’s time to let Mr Hartsuyker know that we are enraged by his government’s actions and that we will continue to make our feelings known. 
If anyone can make a commitment for a couple of hours on a Thursday morning to support this action, then please email 
You might want to commit to just one session a month, or whatever you feel that you can manage. If a number of people are prepared to do a little, then it can add up to something significant. On behalf of asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus,  please email if you can support this action.
What are Luke Hartsuyker’s priorities?
Letter to newspaper
Dear Editor
Recently readers may have received a mail-out from our federal member, Luke Hartsuyker.  Among the issues he wishes you to prioritise is “securing Australia’s borders”.  Sounds scary, doesn’t it?  Are Islamic State battleships arranged on the horizon, about to attack?
No, the terrifying craft lurching toward our shores, intent on invasion, is a leaky, creaky fishing boat whose passengers are ordinary people fleeing misery.  A terrorist would come safely by plane.   These refugees are running away from terrorism. 
Among those passengers might be a young girl from a county where it is unsafe to go to school because of religious extremists.  She may be persecuted because she belongs to a particular ethnic group.  She may have seen her friend blown up by a road-side bomb or killed by machete in an attack on a village.  A relative may have been tortured and murdered by a bloody regime.
But Mr Hartsuyker wants to protect you from this nasty young girl.  If he has his way, her boat will be sent back.  He doesn’t want her to come here and apply for asylum, which she is legally entitled to do.  If she makes it here, he’ll incarcerate her behind barbed wire for an indefinite period, so there’s no danger you will come into contact with this modern-day Anne Frank.
But wait!  There’s someone else of whom you should be afraid: doctors and nurses!  Hartsuyker’s government has passed the Border Force Act, which will protect us from the disturbing communications and nefarious activities of any health professional who would be so rashly ethical as to blow the whistle on any abuse of asylum seeker patients.  A person demonstrating such concern and compassion will be gagged could be gaoled.
Meanwhile, more densely-populated European countries are dealing with the current migration crisis by each welcoming ten times our annual humanitarian intake.  The Coalition and Labor seem happy to send those who seek our help to the off-shore concentration camps.  The Greens oppose the cruelty and secrecy of such treatment.
Why does Mr Hartsuyker want you to be scared?  So that he can adopt the posture of being tough on border security and you will vote for him.  He doesn’t want to bother you with leadership that is based on higher ethical principles; he doesn’t want to trouble you with trying to make Australia a better, more compassionate society.  He just wants a safe seat.
Yours faithfully



23 July 2015
10:00 am - 12:00 pm


RAR Bellingen and Nambucca District


Luke Hartsuyker’s office
39 Little St
Coffs Harbour, NSW Australia
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