Here’s some good news – just received from GetUp. The bill to abolish debt incurred for accommodation in Australian detention centres has been passed by the Senate.
GetUp thanks the caring people who have supported their running on this issue and cite Masoud’s experience:
“After four years in immigration detention, Masoud was granted a temporary visa. Then he was hit with a $264,000 bill for his ‘accommodation’ in Baxter Detention Centre. There are hundreds more like him – experiencing unimaginable trauma only to then be slugged with an enormous bill for the privilege..
In an historic move, Liberal Senator Troeth, who met with a GetUp delegation of those affected by this policy, abandoned her party’s position and crossed the floor to support the bill. She was joined, at the last minute, by Senator Fielding – whose support we will need on other refugee reform bills in the coming months.
So often we criticise politicians for not standing up and speaking out. Now it is our responsibility to thank them for doing the right thing. With other key refugee and asylum seeker reform bills up for debate shortly, it’s important that we take a moment to thank Senator Troeth and Senator Fielding who took the courageous move of voting on moral rather than party lines.
Having seen the faces, heard the stories and seen the emotions of those affected by this bill, our politicians found it in their hearts to end this injustice.
In no small part, the efforts of GetUp members, along with the support of so many refugee and asylum seeker campaigners across the nation, made a huge difference to the passing of this amendment. This change will see improvements in the lives of hundreds of Australians who simply want to get on with their lives. No longer will asylum seekers begin a new life in Australia under the heavy burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars of detention debt.”
You can send these Senators a message of thanks here.