David Risstrom - Greens Melbourne City Councillor 1999-2004
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REFUGEE JUSTICE
 
 

ACHIEVEMENT: The City of Melbourne acknowledges people seeking protection and assistance as a refugee have moral and legal entitlements to fair treatment.

TARGET DATE: Ongoing PROGRESS: Ongoing, as the major parties continued pragmatism seems unlikely to abate.

DESCRIPTION: Refugee justice involves treating people properly. Fairly. Lawfully. Offering a presumption under law that we will do unto others as we would have done to us. It involves stating principles we believe in as a Council, providing platforms for others to do likewise and using our resources and enthusiasm to make welcome people who in many cases have faced a hardship and uncertainty most of us will be lucky enough never to understand.

This comment, attributed to Ken Livingstone, is a good litmus for our views and actions: "You can judge politicians by how they treat refugees; they do to them what they would do to everyone else if they could get away with it".

I wrote and successful moved a motion in 2000 affirming that the City of Melbourne opposes mandatory detention pending determination for individuals seeking refugee status. I will find the original motion I moved and post it on this site.

I wrote and moved the following motion on day 2 of the Tampa crisis, where the Australian Government refused to allow asylum seekers rescued from their sinking ship, to land on Christmas Island, Australia.

Melbourne City Council, as a multicultural City of rich ethnic diversity calls on our Federal Government to:

Allow for the orderly and lawful processing of those individuals on the Norwegian vessel Tampa who wish to apply for refugee status in Australia.

Commends the action of the Master of the Norwegian vessel Tampa and the Norwegian Government who support him, in coming to the aid of those individuals in distress.

Moved: Cr. David Risstrom

Seconded: Cr. Kate Redwood.

The vote was lost 2:7

FURTHER INFORMATION: Australian Lawyers for Human Rights host an excellent online Refugee Kit available from their website by clicking on the underlined title. This is a description of the Refugee Kit take from the ALHR website:

This community education kit is a plain language guide to the international and domestic laws and processes for dealing with asylum seekers and refugees. The kit is both an accessible information resource, and an educational tool.

The kit was written in May 2003 for Australian Lawyers for Human Rights by lawyers Emma Bailey, Mia Garlick, Steven Glass, Michelle Hannon, Gregor Macfie, Siobhan McCann, Sera Mirzabegian, Damian Spruce, and Jane Stratton, with the pro bono assistance of Gilbert & Tobin Lawyers. It was first published as a printed text in collaboration with the Centre for Refugee Research, University of New South Wales.

This online version of the kit has been produced with the financial assistance of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. The Foundation seeks to advance the fairness and equity of the justice system, and to improve access to justice, especially for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

 

Cool Green Tip Of The Week -

23 April 2017: Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918 -1956.

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