Wednesday September 6 2006, 9:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"In the context of the horrors created by the government's cruel Bridging Visa E restrictions, where, for years on end, holders of the "Living Under the Bridges Visa" are not allowed to have any money, are not allowed access to Medicare, are not allowed to work, the ALP opposition as well as all Coalition Senators "with a conscience" should support, without any hesitation, the motion put today by Senator Kerry Nettle for the Greens, proposing that BVE holders are granted work rights after a month," WA human rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"Nearly 8,000 holders of the BVE Visa are in effect living in a community-based permanent state of cruel and ongoing jailing, often for years on end, and apart from the inherent cruelty and mean-spiritedness of the visa condition, these thousands of desperate people are costing Australians a fortune. The Howard government is employing a tactic of sleaze by counting on the endless mercies of charities, church organisations and civil groups, that foot the bills for its merciless cruelties," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"The BVE Visa, if it lasts longer than a month, should indeed give full permission for holders to be employed and trained, so they can contribute to the building of Australia, while they at the same time can provide a casual labor force, thereby also saving us millions of dollars we now spend on importing guest workers on temporary working visas.
"Today, as Church representatives have been invited to Parliament, they should exert all pressure they can bring to bear to bring to an end the horrendous hatred imposed on BVE holders by the Howard government," Mr Smit concluded.
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]