The news that Neil Para and his family have been granted permanent visas is very welcome. They have been waiting since August 2012. It was doubly welcome as it came right at the end of Neil’s 1,000 kilometre walk from Ballarat to Prime Minister Albanese’s electorate in Sydney.
But Neil Para’s permanent visa raises the same question as the permanent visas granted to the Biloela family – what is the future for the 10,000 others rejected under fast track or still waiting for a decision?
Labor recognises the flaws in the fast track system introduced under Morrison but has done nothing to rectify those flaws; despite policy, the fast-track system has not been abolished. Nor has Labor provided any systematic way to review the flawed decisions.
Neil’s walk exposed the difficulties his family faced having to survive for more than 11 years without work rights, study rights, basic income support or Medicare. Labor is forcing many other individuals and families, rejected by fast track, to survive in the same impossible circumstances.
Despite their claims of concern for vulnerable migrant workers, and their review of the migration system, Labor is doing nothing for this most vulnerable group of people who arrived in Australia seeking asylum who have been cruelly failed by the system.
“Despite many approaches to the Minister, Andrew Giles is still unwilling to fix this glaring injustice,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Yet, ministerial intervention over the Biloela family and now Neil Para’s family has shown how simply it could be fixed.”
“Ten thousand people failed by fast track are waiting for justice. Albanese’s election night promise that ‘no one would be left behind by Labor’ is a dim memory.”
Rallies are planned in three capital cities in October to take the fight to Labor and demand justice for the 10,000 people still in limbo for over ten years.
Sydney rally, “Permanent Visas For All”, Sunday 29 October, 2pm, Sydney Town Hall; Melbourne Sunday 8 October, 2pm at the State Library; Brisbane, Sunday 29 October.
For more information contact : Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713