Tuesday, June 14, 2005

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Conscience vote required

Sent: Monday, 13 June 2005 4:58 PM

I think Petro Georgiou is doing a fine job as my local member representing me on the issue of Australia's treatment of asylum seekers. I have conveyed to him that I find the locking up of children and asylum seekers for an indefinite period behind razor wire to be barbaric and inhumane.

The Howard government uses mandatory detention as a deterrent to would-be boat people. This puts us in breach of basic human rights and the United Nations convention on the treatment of refugees.

Georgiou and the other "renegade Liberals" are to be commended for seeking change to this inappropriate policy via his private members bill.

Our democracy is in a sorry state with John Howard desperately seeking to prevent the bill being tabled. In addition, both John Howard and Kim Beazley have flagged a likely block of a conscience vote on the private members bill.

This would be an abrogation of our democracy. Let's have true representation, conscience, and see how our parliamentarians vote outside the shelter of indefensible and morally bankrupt "party lines" of both the Coalition and the ALP.

Peter Campbell
Former Greens Candidate for Kooyong, 2004 Federal Election

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