Ask Alan Tudge MP to release people seeking asylum from detention

Call Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge MP now.

(02) 6277 7770

Australians right now are doing all they can to keep themselves and their loved ones safe and cared for during the COVID-19 health crisis. The government is encouraging us all to practice physical distancing and safe hygiene.

Many refugees and people seeking asylum don't have that option, because the government is keeping them locked up in overcrowded detention facilities. The Health Department agrees that people in detention are at risk of serious infection from COVID-19.

Background information:

Two staff members working in Department of Home Affairs managed Alternative Places of Detention (APODs) have so far tested positive for COVID-19, one at Kangaroo Point in Brisbane in March and another on July 8 at the Mantra in Melbourne.

The response from Australian Border Force is still limited to once-off deep cleaning despite record second wave cases in Victoria.

When people test positive for COVID-19 in schools, public housing buildings or businesses, State Governments are able to enforce containment standards such as wide testing, quarantines and hard lockdowns.

Yet detention facilities are excluded from these critical public health measures, presumably because they are under the federal jurisdiction of Home Affairs.

The Federal Government continues to detain approximately 1400 people in 9 detention centres and various APODs in crowded, unventilated spaces where they cannot observe physical distancing from each other or the 60-70 guards and service staff they are exposed to on daily rotation.

A number of people in immigration detention are also at higher risk because of chronic medical conditions.

Call Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge today to ask him to release people seeking asylum from detention so they can be safe.

Here's how to call:

1. Prepare what you want to say

Send a clear message that you would like Minister Tudge to release all people seeking asylum from detention because of the current pandemic health crisis.

Let him know that the only safe option is to release people from detention so they can safely isolate at home with their families. They can be released into either community detention using vacant accommodation facilities around Australia, or onto Bridging Visas with financial support and access to Medicare.

You can include a short personal message about why this is important to you - whether it's your concern for the safety of people seeking asylum, or your own experience of fear or isolation during this health crisis.

2. Dial the number - (02) 6277 7770

  • When staff answer, say you want to leave an important message for Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.
  • State your message.
  • Be polite.
  • Leave your full name and post code.
  • If you can't get through, try calling again. If you get the answering machine, leave a message.

NB: Every call you attempt is important, even if you don't get through.

3. Add your call to the tally

Please tell us you've called Minister Tudge by filling out and submitting the form on this page, so we can demonstrate the flood of support for releasing people seeking asylum from these unsafe conditions.

4. Spread the word

Post the Minister's office response on social media, tag Alan Tudge, and include the hashtags #SupportForAll and #COVID19au

Share a link to this page and ask more people to call: https://action.asrc.org.au/call_alan_tudge

Thank you for taking action to prevent more lives being lost to COVID-19.

Together we will win a permanent, safe home for men, women and children seeking asylum.

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This helps us demonstrate to the government the flood of support for releasing people seeking asylum from these unsafe conditions.