Activist moves to overturn cruel Australian treatment of refugees



After 16 months in Australian immigration detention, Kasian was granted a temporary visa. Then he was hit with a $160,000 bill for his "accommodation" in Baxter Detention Centre. There are hundreds more like him - experiencing unimaginable trauma only to then be slugged with an enormous bill for the privilege.


The good news is the Senate is scheduled to vote this week on a bill to overturn this policy, but the vote is going to be very close.


We don't think anyone in good conscience could vote against this bill having heard first hand the impact this policy has on people's lives. That's why we want to send a delegation of refugees to Canberra to tell their stories. Can you chip in to get them there? If you'd like to donate go to,1113,3 .

This policy means those hit with 'detention debt' cannot get on with their lives: as long as the debt is unpaid, the Government may not grant permanent residency and their lives are left in limbo, causing untold mental anguish.


No other country has a similar policy of billing refugees for their time in detention. And considering only 3.3% of debts are finally collected, the cost of the policy often outweighs the amount received. It just doesn't make sense - financially or morally.

Some (opposition) Liberal and National Party Senators are considering ab

andoning their party's position against this bill. Unless we can change key minds in Canberra, this inhumane policy may continue to shatter families' lives. That's where you come in.


Help get people affected by this immoral policy in front of the people who have the power to change it.


Can you picture it? Real people affected by this unfair policy will have a chance to tell their stories to the politicians who will decide their fates. This is an opportunity to remove one of the key pieces of inhumane policy from the previous John Howard era - giving refugees a fair chance to get on with their lives and begin participating in Australian society.


Thanks for being a part of the solution,
The GetUp team


PS - No-one detained in Australia incurs a financial cost for the privilege, except refugees.



GetUp is an independent, not-for-profit community campaigning group. We use new technology to empower Australians to have their say on important national issues. We receive no political party or government funding, and every campaign we run is entirely supported by voluntary donations.