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GetUp!

Help end the secrecy



When in opposition, Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison would cry "boats" as loud and as often as he could. But now he's in Government, he's shed the "shadow" from his title and cast it over the Government's asylum seeker policies.

What started with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison simply refusing to answer reporters' questions about asylum seekers, under the guise of being unable to comment on "operational matters", has since evolved into a full scale media blackout.

We won't be told if asylum seekers arrive by boat or if they're turned back. Nor will we be told what goes on inside government-run detention centres, which are funded at taxpayers' expense.

Minister Morrison is failing to provide the very answers he repeatedly demanded when in opposition. This leaves us with only one option – to go after the answers ourselves.

If enough of us chip in, we can fund investigations by journalists, dedicated to finding out what happens inside our detention centres and the stories of the people confined within them. Can you chip in to help put an end to the secrecy?

We've already spoken to journalists keen to be involved, however funding their work won't come easy, nor cheap. The Nauru Government has had a hand in this, by increasing the cost of a journalist visa by 3900% — from $200 to $8000.

By controlling what can and can't be reported, the Government is hoping stories about asylum seekers will disappear from the public eye. We have a right, and indeed a responsibility, to scrutinise the decisions our Government makes on our behalf.

Can you chip in for citizen-funded journalism that will help lift the lid on the Government's policies?


FAQs

We're currently in confidential talks with experienced journalists who are eager to be involved in the campaign. The aim is to uncover the stories that aren't being reported and answer the questions going unanswered. With citizen funded journalism, we're hoping to dig deeper beyond the surface of the issue – who are asylum seekers and what is pushing them to take desperate measures to reach our shores? Why does it take so long to process refugee claims in Indonesia? What is being done on a regional level to address the issue?

However, what questions we're able to answer and how much we're able to do is largely dependent on how much support we receive. We'll be sure to keep you posted as the campaign continues developing.
First things first, there's no such thing as a non-genuine refugee – you're either a refugee or you're not. Everyone is entitled to seek asylum in another country. Upon arriving in the country where you wish to seek asylum, you apply for refugee status and once approved, you are a refugee.

Those whose refugee status is yet to be determined are known as asylum seekers. Historically, more than 90 per cent of asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat, are eventually found to have an official claim for refugee status and given a visa.

However, since the Immigration Department stopped publishing information regarding refugee applications, there is no public record of how many asylum seekers are found to be refugees beyond 2011. This is just another example of how the Government is restricting media and the public's access to information.