Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor

I was very pleased to see nearly 40 people come to  St Marys Town hall on 10th November for the screening of  “Mary Meets Mohammad”. It was a great opportunity for people to become more educated on the asylum seeker issue occurring in Australia at the moment.  Did you know Australia is the only western nation that has mandatory indefinite detention for asylum seekers arriving by boat?  Did you know Australia receives only 0.3% of the world’s refugees?  Did you know that it costs $450,000 a year to detain someone on Nauru or Manus Island, but only about $30,000 a year if they were  allowed to live in the  community while being processed?

Many thanks to Melanie Norton and her wonderful team from the Salvation Army (Don and Stuart) for providing the electronic equipment for the screening, and thanks to the lovely ladies (I believe it was Michelle, Brittany and Wendy) who helped set up the chairs.  Also, thanks to the Break O’Day Council for providing a fee waiver for the hire of the hall.  Several people have suggested a local group should be formed that could find ways to encourage asylum seekers to come to our area – anyone interested?

Remember, it is not illegal to seek asylum, even if arriving by boat.

Hannah Rubenach, St Marys.