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Read our latest JustAct, the justice and campaigning newsletter from the Uniting Church Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.
Click this link for the electronic version of the: JustACT June 2019 Newsletter
Letter Writing Actions:
People seeking asylum living in suburbs and towns across Victoria are struggling with cost of living pressures including increasingly unaffordable electricity and gas bills. While other Victorians on low incomes are eligible for state concessions that subsidies their gas and electricity bills, people seeking asylum on Bridging Visa E, who survive on significantly less income, are not. As of the start of March 2019, there are just over 7,000 people on Bridging Visa E living in Victoria. You can write to the Victorian government requesting concessions for people seeking asylum.
Last year the Australian Federal Police received about 18,000 reports of child sexual abuse material being accessed by Australians. This includes a growing number of cases where Australians connect with human traffickers in the Philippines via social media to arrange for the live streaming of a child being sexually abused. Unfortunately, in some cases people engaged in child sexual abuse have been aided by the actions of technology businesses. Mostly, this is driven by greed. Assisting the police comes at a cost to the profits of these businesses, so some would rather not have to assist and only do so if compelled to do so by the law. You can write to the Federal government to introduce a criminal offence for a technology corporation to not report to police evidence of criminal offences and destroying such evidence through the use of overseas content managers.
Half of all overseas people working in Australia on a temporary basis have wages stolen from them. While people coming to work in Australia from overseas on a temporary basis make up only 6% of the workforce, they make up 20% of the cases that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) deals with and were 63% of the cases taken to court by the FWO in the 2017-2018 financial year. Wage theft is particularly prevalent by owners of food service businesses and by farmers and owners of labour hire businesses related to fruit and vegetable farms. You can write to the Federal government requesting they support the recommendations of the Migrant Worker Taskforce and voice your concern over the widespread exploitation of people coming from overseas to work in Australia on a temporary basis, including international students who come to study but who also often work.
Those most likely to be harmed by consumption of alcohol are most likely to buy the drink that gives them the greatest alcohol content for their money. For this reason, the Victorian Government has imposed restrictions on promotions by alcohol serving businesses. The Justice and International Mission Cluster has observed some business interpreting government regulations on what constitutes a ‘happy hour’ in ways not intention by the mandated guidelines. The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation is willing to hear from us regarding liquor serving outlets offering extended happy hours and bottomless brunches (the latter will include cafes and restaurants) to assist them in identifying where to send their inspectors.
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Past letter writing actions:
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