Peter Dutton

PNG refugee resettlement failed

Dear Prime Minister,

On February 20 Papua New Guinean police raided the houses of 13 refugees who were supposedly being resettled in Port Moresby. They were arrested and forced back to Manus Island. PNG Immigration Minister, Petrus Thomas, told ABC News that 'refugee resettlement had failed.'

Yet Minister Dutton's department of Home Affairs maintains that refugees on Manus Island still have the option of settling in PNG. How is the Minister going to make that happen when PNG says no?

Do you back Peter Dutton?

Dear Prime Minister,

Foreign Minister Bishop refused to back Minister Dutton's claims that white South African farmers need special visas to flee to Australia.

You were asked at the ASEAN Australia summit in Sydney if you backed Minister Dutton's position on white South African farmers and his use of the word 'civilised.'

You did not answer.

Meanwhile the refugees imprisoned by us on Manus and Nauru for nearly five years, look on.


White South African farmers

Dear Prime Minister,

Peter Dutton, anxious about losing his seat at the next election, wants to import some voters to shore up his numbers. It seems however that the white South African farmers are not interested. How much damage to Australian-South African relations has Peter Dutton done with his comments about South Africa being 'not civilised'?

Australia has been locking up legitimate refugees on Nauru and Manus Island for the better part of two decades, trying, absurdly, to resettle them in Cambodia and Papua New Guinea, and offering them cash bribes to return to the countries they fled. Not only would that brutal treatment never be dished out to white South African farmers, but we are now proactively trying to add them to our humanitarian intake.
Australia’s disgraceful record of politicising refugee issues has rarely been more brazenly displayed.

Sack Dutton now.

ABF head sacked

Dear Prime Minister,

After 11 months suspension (on full salary) Roman Quaedvlieg is sacked for making 'wilfully or recklessly false statements.'

After Priya's visa renewal didn't arrive in the mail on time, she, her husband and their two baby daughters were imprisoned by ABF within 5 HOURS of their deadline.

Where is justice?


Dear Prime Minister.

Dutton went on to explain why it is so important to deport migrants the moment they show signs of struggling in their dealings with the bureaucracy that makes up the immigration department.
“This week, we opened up a job that was undeservedly given to someone who was unable to travel 1800 kilometres to Sydney and update his Visa in time. That’s one less working class family that doesn’t deserve to be living in Biloela, by birthright. If there are any other unorganised subcontintentals hiding in the 15,729 square kilometres that make up the Banana Shire … We will find you and we will send you back to the political unrest in which you desperately fled in search of a better life sweeping up cow guts.”
— Betoota Advocate

Young family in danger

Dear Prime Minister,

Yesterday I wrote to you about Nadesalingam, Priya and their baby daughters. 

They have lived in Biloela for four years – Nadesalingam is employed at the town’s meat works – and are well regarded in the close-knit community which has rallied to have them returned since they had been moved.
Despite having a valid court action under way, Border Force officials raided the family’s house at 5am the day after Priya’s visa expired.

Two more children locked in detention by Minister Dutton's department. Hold him to account.

Truth about Manus accommodation

Dear Prime Minister,

On Dec 7 2017 the Senate endorsed an Order for the Production of Documents related to health, safety and building construction provided by contractors at West Haus Lorengau, PNG. Senator Stirling Griff, who made the order, has been concerned by the disparity between your Government's claims that the West Haus accommodation was complete and mounting evidence to the contrary from refugees, locals and visitors such as UNHCR and Tim Costello.

But your Government responded by saying it would provide none of the documents because it could damage its relationship with PNG. Senator Griff is right. It is urgent that we know the truth about conditions and services for refugees on Manus. Secrecy damages PNG and damages the refugees and Australia.

Mould and the Minister

Dear Prime Minister,

Again I ask you to reconsider your support of Minister Dutton. Today's example of mismanagement, cover-ups and endangering the health of Australians and refugees comes from Nauru. SBS News reports that the Australian constructed buildings at RPC1 on Nauru were riddled with mould and 'rotting from the inside out.' Staff who slept there suffered health problems including cognitive and neurological symptoms, chronic pain, chest infections and persistent coughs. 'Authorities at the centre' blamed these health issues on dust from passing trucks. The floor rotted through yet in a 2015 meeting between DIBP and the construction firm Canstruct the blame was laid on the RPC1 staff's 'heavy foot traffic.' A leaked email from Canstruct said their staff who knew about the extent of the mould problem were gagged.

Who authorised the original shoddy building? Who covered up the problem and delayed repairs? How much will Minister Dutton's department spend on another out-of-court settlement with the Australian employees when they sue for damages?

Sack Minister Dutton

Dear Prime Minister,

Why have you not sacked Minister Dutton yet? He has repeatedly been shown to be a liar. His department has mis-handled contracts and not accounted for billions of dollars of spending. Senior positions, such as the ABF Chief Medical Officer, are vacant. The head of the ABF, Roman Quaedvleig, has been on paid leave for undisclosed misdemeanours for 8 months.

Judging by the media statements on the Minister of Home Affairs website, he can't even employ people to write grammatically correct, coherent press statements. In a media statement dated 31.10.2017 it says:

'The constant claims of IMAs [sic] and advocates' [sic] about their situation [whose situation? The advocates'?] in Manus are nothing more than subterfuge.'

This is another lie. Most recently Amnesty International are one of the numerous agencies and individuals to disagree:

'The PNG authorities have previously failed to protect the refugees from violent attacks or hold perpetrators accountable for violence. No one has faced charges following an incident in April 2017 when the military fired shots directly into the refugee camp, endangering people’s lives. Other complaints of violence have not been independently investigated by the authorities or resulted in accountability, fuelling a culture of impunity.'

Sack Minister Dutton. And follow the urgent recommendation by Kate Schuetze of Amnesty International that 'Australia should bring the refugees to its shores, accept a New Zealand offer to take on 150 of the men and look for additional resettlement options.'

Rohingyan refugees forced back to Myanmar

Dear Prime Minister,

Why won't you hold Minister Dutton to account? 

Yesterday, when he was asked on ABC 7:30 Report if Rohingyan refugees were being forced to go back to Myanmar he "appeared to tire of the questions". He then tried to attack the ABC for not mentioning the US resettlement news despite it having been announced on the news bulletin including a quote from you.

He lies. He evades. He misuses his power. Australia's refoulement of refugees is the most serious breach of the UN Refugee Convention. We are responsible for the well-being of every asylum seeker and refugee held offshore. Sack Dutton. Give amnesty to all women, men and children on Manus Island and Nauru.

No health care

Dear Prime Minister,

Why did Dr John Brayley, former chief medical officer of the Australian Border Force (ABF), resign last week? Who is overseeing the medical services for Australia's prisoners on Manus island and Nauru since Dr Brayley's resignation? Why has Minister Dutton not responded to Shadow Minister Neumann's concerns about medical treatment for asylum seekers on Nauru being blocked?

Why haven't you sacked Minister Dutton? Incompetence, repeated lying, $9.6 billion wasted, eight people dead are each reason enough.

Amnesty now for all detainees on Nauru and Papua New Guinea. 

Rest in Peace

Dear Prime Minister,

What are you doing? Why is Dutton still in office? Today, Hamed Shamshiripour's body was met at Iran's airport by his grieving family. And yet you will oversee the building of another centre for torture and detention on Manus Island for the refugees from Iran and other countries which won't allow refugees to be forced to return. You want to continue the suffering?

Eight people have been killed by Australia already. Isn't that enough for you? Do you want more blood on your hands?

Fifth reply from DIBP

Dear Ms Halbert

Thank you for your correspondence of 31 July 2017 to the Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, concerning the closure of the Manus Regional Processing Centre (RPC); and the Australian Government's regional processing and settlement arrangements. Your correspondence has been referred to the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection as the matters raised fall within his portfolio responsibilities. The Minister appreciates the time you have taken to bring these matters to his attention and has asked that I reply on his behalf.

Papua New Guinea (PNG), with Australia's support, will close the Manus RPC by 31 October 2017. After this date, Australia will not have an ongoing role in regional processing arrangements in PNG.

RPC residents are aware that the RPC will close by 31 October 2017 and the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Service Authority (ICSA) is providing them with information about their options.

ICSA has been clear with refugee residents that they have other accommodation options available, such as:

  • temporarily relocating to the East Lorengau Refugee Transit Centre or to accommodation in the PNG community;
  • settling permanently in PNG;
  • returning home voluntarily with reintegration assistance; or
  • moving to a third country they have the right to reside in.

Non-refugee residents should return home voluntarily with reintegration assistance or they will be involuntarily removed from PNG by the Government of PNG, without any reintegration assistance.

Closure of the Manus RPC is a significant step towards resolving the regional processing caseload. However, closure of the Manus RPC is not the end of regional processing arrangements. In cooperation with the Government of Nauru, Australia will retain an enduring regional processing capacity in Nauru. Australia will continue to intercept and turn back any people smuggling boats that attempt to reach Australia. Closure of the Manus RPC does not weaken Australia's borders and the Australian Government's border protection policies are here to stay.

The Government remains committed to regional processing and resettlement and stopping the scourge of people smugglers and deaths at sea.

Thank you for bringing your views to the Government's attention.

Yours sincerely

&& (incomprehensible signature)

Director ABF Ministerial Correspondence Section Support Group - Australian Border Force
29 August 2017

No health care

Dear Prime Minister,

Why haven't you sacked Minister Dutton yet? We have lost count of the lies, the illegal actions, the waste of money. We remember with despair every day the people on Manus Island and Nauru: the dead, the permanently injured, the raped, the mentally ill - all done by Australia.

When Minister Dutton was asked how medical care will be provided to Australia's refugees on PNG when the current contract with IHMS ends he said "ask IHMS." IHMS said "ask Dutton's department" who said "ask PNG." PNG's chief medical officer said, in an understatement, that the situation is "worrying" and that he was waiting to hear from Australia. He has not been able to brief PNG's new health minister because of lack of information from Australia.

Four years of torture, of blocking resettlement and now destruction of the detention centre leaves the detainees on Manus and the majority of Australians, who are horrified at the worsening situation, waiting in fear of Minister Dutton's next unspeakable act. Bring all detainees to safety and freedom.

Australia's responsibility

Dear Prime Minister,

Australia is responsible for what happens to the refugees on Manus Island. Why was Hamed Shamshiripour beaten up by guards at Manus RPC when he needed support for his severe mental health problems? Why was he left to die even after his friends gave warnings about his mental condition and made formal complaints to Broadsprectrum at Manus RPC about his beating? Who in DIBP failed to act? Why is the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection not taking responsibility for what happens on Manus Island?

Bring all refugees in offshore detention to Australia now. End Australia's shame.

Sack Minister Dutton

Dear Prime Minister,

Once again the legal process in Australia is disrupted by Minister Dutton. The president of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the authority which independently reviews decisions by the Australian Government, has not been replaced since the previous term expired. Worse, most of the tribunal members who oversee refugee and migration decisions and whose contracts are due for renewal have been told that they will not be renewed. Minister Dutton has told 2GB radio 'When you look at some of the judgements that are made ... it’s always interesting to go back to have a look at the appointment of the Labor government of the day'.

Since you still do nothing to control this Minister the President of the Law Council of Australia, Fiona McLeod, once again must defend the independence of the judiciary:

Any suggestion by government that Australian jurists­ are not acting with independence is dangerous and erosive to our justice­ system. It undermines the public perception of the legitimate role of the judiciary and weakens the rule of law.
— Fiona McLeod,

The Minister's powers are far too great. It was bad enough that Philip Ruddock gained power to overturn AAT decisions back in 1999 and that Scott Morrison gave himself even greater powers to overrule decisions on character grounds. But Minister Dutton now wields unchallengeable authority. I am afraid, not only for migrants and refugees directly within his reach, but for any other group of Australians that Minister Dutton wants to attack. Sack Minister Dutton and remove the special powers of the Immigration Minister.

End offshore detention #309

Dear Prime Minister,

While the men on Manus Island are subjected to disruption and torture that is deliberately worsened every day the men, women and children detained on Nauru also continue to suffer. Documents and internal emails obtained from DIBP under freedom of information laws show that Australia Border Force lied to parliament to hide that major incidents of violence, sexual assault and self harm were ignored and misclassified as 'information'.

The DIBP insists that it "rejects any assertion that it attempted to mislead or hide pertinent information from the Senate inquiry" (which was in response to the leaked Nauru files last year). Prime Minister, here is yet more evidence of DIBP acting illegally and lying. Sack Minister Dutton, close the camps and bring them here.

Senator McKim reports directly from Manus Island

Dear Prime Minister,

Why is Minister Dutton still in office? Senator Nick McKim's trip to Manus Island provides further evidence that Minister Dutton has lied about the Good Friday shooting on Manus Island. How can you have any confidence in Minister Dutton?

Close the camps and bring them here.