For your lobbying use and pleasure: Please find the 2016 revised Parliamentary sitting dates here. REVISED – Parliamentary-sittings-spring-2016
Here are some features of the minor party Senate result (with thanks to Anglicare SQ SRC)
· Victoria: Derryn Hinch (Justice Party) gained a seat, and Ricky Muir lost his – http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08-03e.htm
· Queensland: One Nation has 2 seats confirmed and Glen Lazarus (formerly Palmer United) lost his seat – http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08-04e.htm
· New South Wales: One Nation won a new seat and David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrat) retained his- http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08a-04e.htm
· South Australia: 3 Nick Xenophon Senate seats won and Bob Day (Family First) retained his seat – http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08-02e.htm
· Western Australia: One Nation has effectively won the Palmer seat (Dio Wang) – http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08-01e.htm
· Tasmania: Jacqui Lambie retained her seat and progressive ALP Senator Lisa Singh retained her seat – http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/07a-27e.htm
· Northern Territory – one ALP and one Coalition Senator http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/07-25e.htm
· ACT: one ALP and one Coalition Sneator http://www.aec.gov.au/media/media-releases/2016/08a-01e.htm
Nick Xenaphon Team (NXT)
Refugees and Asylum Seekers
- Acknowledges boat turn backs as bipartisan approach, but should be matched by 27,000 humanitarian intake.
- Voted for the majority of the regressive changes made to the Migration Act introduce by Minister Scott Morrison.
- Priority given to timely resettlement working with UNHCR, and focus on regional solutions.
- Depending on the claim process, individuals must either be returned to their country of origin where safe and practical to do so, or settled in another country with the UNHCR.
- Government must ensure the safety and security of refugees in offshore processing centres, including timely health and mental health care.
- International agencies such as the UNHCR, Red Cross and media organisations should have access to any detention centres.
- Whistleblowers must be protected for speaking out.
- Restore the $7.6b of aid funding cut by the Australian government in the 2014 budget.
- Work towards a foreign aid budget that represents 0.7% of Gross National Income, in line with commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals.
- Continue to encourage orderly immigration to Australia, in particular amongst younger skilled families and investors.
- A special category of visa should be created to encourage investors to settle in areas of low population and economic growth.
Unauthorized arrivals and refugees
- We should provide sanctuary for people fleeing political oppression and persecution.
- All arrivals subject to temporary detention for preliminary health and security checks. Those refused admission on health or security grounds will be deported.
- After initial checks people can then apply for PR either by paying the immigration fee, being awarded an immigration scholarship or loan, or by applying for admission on humanitarian grounds as a refugee.
- The process of determining refugee status will be limited to a tribunal of first instance and a single court of appeal. Both will be open to the public unless closed for a reason.
- While awaiting a decision, unauthorized arrivals can apply for temporary release subject to payment of bail equivalent to the immigration tariff plus bail-like reporting conditions. Applicants will be permitted to work. Anyone can offer to post bail.
- Aid to foreign countries by the Australian government, other than short-term humanitarian relief following natural disasters, should cease.
- Donations by private individuals to foreign aid projects should neither be encouraged nor discouraged by the government.
- Greater transparency for organisations that accept donations for the purposes of providing aid
- Negotiate Free Immigration Agreements (FIAs) with compatible countries to allow unrestricted movement of citizens between those countries.
- Replace the current points-based quota system with a tariff system where immigrants pay for the right to become a permanent resident (PR) in Australia.
- No eligibility for welfare for PRs except where reciprocal arrangements have been established through a FIA.
- Increase barriers to citizenship so Australia can sustain a high level of immigration.
- Applicants for citizenship should have resided in Australia for at least 10 years, passed a citizenship test (in English), provide evidence of likely continued employment (or means to support themselves), links to the Australian community and no criminal record.
- Children born in Australia to Australian PRs will be Australian citizens automatically.
- Aid and relief payments from donor countries are, and will remain, important mechanisms for funding health, education, housing and development initiatives. But the primary focus must be on the sustainable relief of poverty best achieved through tariff reductions, free trade agreements and stable institutions.
- Australia should set a target of committing 1% of its Gross National Income (GNI) to foreign aid. This is almost four times our current commitment, which plummeted to 0.27% in 2014.
- Where foreign aid is provided, it is preferable it is provided to non-government organisations providing relief work on the ground, rather than foreign governments.
- Support an end to exploitation by people smugglers, an enterprise condemning asylum seekers to death by drowning at sea. Australia must support and invest in a safer migration system that ensures, in particular, that two types of migrant are accepted into Australia in increasing number.
- Economic migrants who can provide the skills Australia needs to meet its future challenges
- Persecuted people who, beyond reasonable doubt, face death or serious harm if they return to their home countries, but who are also people who will integrate into Australian society and respect & support Australia’s Christian heritage and values.
- Support calls to reasonably increase the annual refugee intake, subject to the two types above (including plan by the Liberal National Party to increase to 18,750 by 2018/19).
Jacqui Lambie Network
- No refugee specific policy.
- Halve the Foreign Aid Budget and redirect to Higher Education (from .6% to 1% of GDP)
Illegal immigration and asylum seekers
- Anyone arriving without paperwork immediately denied entry and sent back to their last known port before arrival or their homeland.
- People smuggling to carry a minimum jail term of 10 years, served in an Indonesian prison. The crew on the boats to do a 2 year jail term in Indonesia.
- Refugees to be granted a temporary protection visa to be reviewed every 2 years. Depending on circumstances, sent back to their homeland if no longer under threat.
- Family reunion will not be available to those granted refugees status until such time that they may be granted permission to apply for Australian citizenship.
- All refugees must clear a health check as required by law.
- Terminate being a signatory to the outdated 1951 UNHCR Refugee Convention
- Balanced, zero net immigration (subject to review depending on economic conditions)
- An immediate review of our immigration is necessary until the economy has recovered,
- A five-year wait for new migrants to become Australian citizens. English is a requirement for citizenship. If they commit a criminal offence that carries with it a jail term of 1 year, they would automatically be denied citizenship and deported.
- Social security would not be available for new migrants for a period of five years.
- Before arrival, migrants would be required to pass a complete and thorough health check before acceptance is granted, including checks for AIDS, Hepatitis and TB.
Other related areas:
- Call for a Royal Commission into Islam
- Abolish multiculturalism
- Ban halal
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
- No specific or related policy
- Hinch personally supports boat turn backs, but has publically defended Syrian refugees and disparaged the Cambodian arrangement.
Church Bulletin Notice
Please consider including this text in your Church bulletin this week.
As we celebrate and spoil our own mothers this Sunday, let’s also pause together to pray for the mothers of people who are in detention, particularly people on Manus Island at this time of great uncertainty. Most of us know how worried and anxious our mums can get!
Mothers and families – who may be across the other side of the world – are the forgotten victims of detention. The uncertainty of knowing when your child will we be free, or safe, or healthy is a debilitating burden to bear.
A prayer for the mothers of people in Australia’s offshore detention centres
Who was with the Mother of Moses as she suffered the loss of her missing child,
Who was with the Mother of Jesus as they fled together through the desert,
And who loves the mothers of the young men who have been treated so cruelly on Manus,
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.
Creator of Justice and Mercy,
Who inspires in the heart of every person a desire to be good,
Who weeps about the violence of our collective sins,
And who loves our politicians who are responsible for those young men.
See the fears they carry in their bodies,
See them tossing in their sleep.
Creator of Community,
Who is the embodiment of perfect community,
Who challenges everyone to love their neighbour and their enemy.
And who invites everyone to eat together at the table,
Grant us the vision to see all those mothers who are not in front of us today,
Grant us with courage to welcome the stranger.
Download the ACRT Schools and Churches Poster.
The Australian Churches Refugee Taskforce is an initiative supported by the National Council of Churches in Australia, and the Board is comprised of 22 leaders who represent nine Christian churches and three ecumenical bodies.
The Taskforce has more than 600 member entities.
A Letter to the Prime Minister
Bishop Philip Huggins, (Chair of the Anglican Church of Australia General Synod Working Group on Refugees and Asylum-seekers) has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott requesting Australia makes an additional allocation of 10,000 refugee places for people fleeing Syria. Download the letter here.
The Taskforce supports the recommendations made by the Hon. Philip Ruddock and MP Chris Hayes on Australia’s role in protecting refugees in the Middle East.
Download their report. Ruddock Hayes Report and Recommendations re Middle East
Janet Phillips from the Social Policy Section, Parliamentary Library has released the following research paper addressing the facts surrounding refugees and asylum seekers. Download the document here: Parliamentary Library Asylum Seeker Facts March 2015