VIGIL: Northern Network for Refugees and Ballina Region for Refugees members  outside Matthew Fraser's office on River St.
VIGIL: Northern Network for Refugees and Ballina Region for Refugees members outside Matthew Fraser's office on River St. Melissa Gulbin

Asylum camps a ‘beeping’ election issue

THERE was plenty of support for local refugee advocates who placarded Ballina's busy River St - if the beeps and fist-pumps from motorists were any indication.

Marilyn Leeks, a representative of the Northern Network for Refugees and Ballina Region for Refugees, said the high-visibility roadside had attracted a lot of local support.

She said the group would also attend pre-polling booths in Ballina and Tweed Heads leading up to the Federal Election.

The Northern Network for Refugees is bringing attention to the human rights abuses on Nauru, Manus Island and in mainland detention centres.

"We want to raise the issue of asylum seekers and look at the Labor government's policy, which breach our United Nations human rights obligations," she said.

"The human rights abuses of asylum seekers include detention without any individualised assessment of the need for detention, no definite date for their release, no clear means to seek review of the lawfulness of their detention, and inhumane treatment and punishment," said MsLeeks.

The group held vigil at Matthew Fraser's office in Ballina on Friday and Justine Elliot's Tweed office on Thursday.

After this week, the group will hold vigils at noon on Fridays at the pre-polling booth in Ballina until the election on July 2.

Ms Leeks said anyone who wanted to take a stand for human rights and compassion and against the current government's and Labor party's punitive policies were welcome to join the vigils.