Free this family
Priya, Nades and their two children are facing their third Christmas in detention.
This family was living happily in the community of Biloela.
The parents were employed, doing voluntary work and raising their children within the community.
The family was removed without notice from their home and placed in detention.
They are now living in limbo on Christmas Island while various legal processes continue, apparently interminably.
The Department of Home Affairs admitted that up to October 2019 the government had spent $4.5 million keeping the family in detention, including $2.5 million in detention costs, $1.1 million in travel costs and $300,000 in legal costs.
The community of Biloela continues to campaign for the family's return.
The tragic destruction of this family's lives and hopes must surely be due to some crime on their part, one might think, but no.
Their only crime was to seek safety and freedom in a democratic country (as they thought).
Looked at objectively, it is hard to see what ideological outcome the government hopes to achieve.
It seems to me to show that the government is prepared to spend a limitless amount of taxpayers' money to demonstrate how cruel and repressive they can be.
Pat Horan, Sebastian
Unless or until religions pay taxes they should stay out of politics.
They should remember religion is a personal thing and not something to force others to comply with.
Maggie O'Donald, Cooma
Support for nurses
As a person who frequently has contact with nurses in Bendigo due to monthly treatment, I am astonished that there has been no publicity about our wonderful nurses.
How this has occurred during such an horrendous year 2020 has been is beyond belief.
Certainly the focus has been on COVID but little else on promoting the wonderful vocation of nursing.
The nurses who look after myself and many others in Oncology are simply outstanding.
The warmth and care they show each of us is very reassuring in difficult circumstances and should not go unrewarded by recognising their efforts in this year, designated as the International Year of The Nurse and Midwife.
Mick English, Bendigo
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