Monday December 10, 2007 8:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"Project SafeCom applauds Immigration Minister Chris Evans' swift and decisive action in relation to the refugees held on Nauru, which started just three days after our 10,000 supporters were encouraged to write to him, to congratulate him with his job, and to ask him to 'bring the Nauruans home by Christmas'," spokesman Jack H Smit said this morning.
"For the first time since our organisation started its work on human rights policies, and in particular the work we've done on demanding a sense of decency and social justice, something has happened that expresses just that, and it's coming from an Immigration Minister without much prodding, and it's almost like rain after a decade-long drought," Mr Smit said.
"Minister Evans has not bored or bothered the Australian public with lengthy distinctions between those who are already confirmed as refugees and those whose assessment is not yet complete, he has simply responded within days to the estimated 300-400 emails he had started receiving within days of our call to action," Mr Smit said.
"We very much welcome this change of climate in Immigration, and we now look forward to the implementation of many more of Labor's policies - that is, the conversion of Temporary Protection Visas into Permanent Protection Visas; we look forward to the granting of Work Rights for those on the Bridging Visa-E, and we look forward to the implementation of other United Nations Refugee Convention demands, such as the Family Reunion clauses. It is hoped that these aspects are also being implemented swiftly for the hundreds of separated men and women who now will receive permanency status, and the right for their spouses and families to come and join them in our country."
"Let there be some rain of social justice, so that the parched landscape of our conscience can start to live a little again. It is needed, sorely needed, and let it eventually become a downpour of decency," Mr Smit concluded.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]