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Fed Govt makes immigration exception -

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Fed Govt makes immigration exception

Broadcast: 03/09/2009

Reporter: Rafael Epstein

The Federal Government has made a rare exception in immigration policy, allowing a group of Afghan
boys to be processed within Australia - rather than on Christmas Island. But the Prime Minister
rejects any suggestion he is softening the treatment of refugees.

Transcript

RAFAEL EPSTEIN, PRESENTER: The Federal Government has made a rare exception in immigration policy,
allowing asylum seekers to be processed in Australia. A group of 10 Afghan boys have been flown
from Christmas Island to Melbourne. It's a departure from the standard practice of offshore
processing of all asylum claims.

But the Prime Minister rejects any suggestion he's softening the treatment of refugees.

KEVIN RUDD, PRIME MINISTER: These are 10 unaccompanied minors, therefore what's happened is they've
been transferred from Christmas Island to the mainland on the 2nd of September because
unaccompanied minors are given priority in processing.

That's what's happened in the case of these minors. That's why there are treated separately.

INTERVIEWER: So there's no intention to change the policy?

KEVIN RUDD: Absolutely not.

RAFAEL EPSTEIN: The Opposition says it may mean the asylum seekers will have access to the
Australian court system.