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This is PM Agenda. Welcome

to the program. The Gillard

government has a number of headaches at the moment. One

of the biggest is asylum

seeker, it is accused of

losing control of Australia's

borders with boats continuing

to arrive and violent protests breaking out in

immigration detention

centres. Last week's riot at

Sydney's Villawood centre saw

some nine buildings set on

fire. Three men, who have

been denied refugee visas

remain on the roof of one of

Immigration Minister the buildings. Today the

announced plans for tough new

laws which he will introduce

to Parliament when it sits in

two weeks. Under the proposed change the minister

will have far stronger powers

to reject asylum seekers on

bad character grounds.

Currently, he can only do so

if someone has been convicted

of a crime and sentenced to

more than 12 months jail.

The change he announced today

will allow him to reject an

asylum seeker convicted of a

crime regardless of the

penalty. Genuine raefks

though would not be -- raefks

will not be sent home. They

would 34069 likely be put on

a -- most likely be put on a temporary visa. I want to

make it very clear anyone who

commits an offence,

regardlessle of the penalty, regardless of the sentence, whether they are in immigration detention will fail the character test and

can be denied a permanent

visa. The Greens have condemned the move,

denouncing it as an embrace

of the Howard era regime, of

temporary protection visas

which Labor has long

denounced. The Coalition

however is likely to support this change. Tony Abbott and

his immigration spokesman

Christmas Island today in Scott Morrison were on

fact looking at the impact of

asylum seeker arrivals, this

have vowed to examine the

proposals but they say Labor

should be going further,

introducing temporary

protection visa across the

board for all asylum seekers

who arrive by boat. This is a weak response to the government's loss of control

of our borders. Nothing

that's been announced today

will stop the boats or end

the protests. It is just

wrong. Rioters should be

rewarded with punishment not

with temporary protection

visas. So will these changes

Immigration Minister Chris make a difference? The

Bowen joins me now.

Minister, thanks for your

time. We already have a

criminal justice system in

place to deal with people

involved in detention centre

protests and riots, why do

you need further powers as

minister to punish them? I

wanted to be very clear, and

I wanted a very strong

message to detainees and to

the courts about the sorts of

powers the government should

have. I have looked closely

at the character test powers

and they are there and they

are strong but I thought they

should be stronger and as you

said in your introection it

has been the case people

could deny a visa if they

receive a sentence of 12

months or month, I think it is appropriate if anybody

immigration detention they commits an offence while in

can be denied a permanent

visa and that a separate set of circumstances be put in place for them. I think

people who are seeking asylum in Australia should have

their claims consider ed and

processed in an efficient and

speedy way and people who

conduct themselves in

immigration detention in a

way which the Australian

community cannot support and

cannot spaept need to know

there are very clear and

strong consequences for that.

This threat to deny them a

visa on bad character grounds

will only ally to those who

are not genuine refugees, so

aren't you threatening people

who have already been denied

a visa. That's not right.

People who are not genuine

refugees will be rejected as

refugees and we will take

steps to return them. People

have committed an offence who are genuine refugees who

will be dealt with under a

different system. We will

abide by our obligations

under the refugee convention

that is not to return people to persecution but what we

will do is say to them that

they will not be getting a

permanent protection visa,

there are options available

under the existing Act and we

are not talking about

temporary protection

visas, What is the difference

here? You are You are still

talking about a temporary

visa? Various visas existing

under the Act and I don't need to introduce new ones,

there are bridging pending

removal visas, people in the

community on those now have

been governments of various

persuasion. People who have

character issues but can't be returned for whatever reason.

What I have done today is

announced we will make it

easier and clearer for

governments and ministers of

the day to be able to

implement that sort of

arrangement, whether it is

those sorts of visas or

broader safe hooeven visas,

in a very specific case and

between us and the this is the difference

opposition, in the very specific case somebody has

committed an offence within

immigration detention. Just

to be clear, if someone

commits an offence, if they

are a genuine raefk de

serving of protection they - refugee deserving of

protection they get a

temporary visa, how long does

it last for? The bridging

pending removal visa is

indefinite but temporary, as

opposed to a temporary

protection visa which had 3

years for example. This

could be more than 3 years? There are people in

the community now who have

been on vees these visas for

a long time. And these will

be dealt with on a case by

case basis, each case will be considered on its merits,

there will be some instances

where perhaps the offence was

more minor and after a period

of time the government of the

day may think this person has

been a good community

resident and may take an

appropriate decision. There

will be other cases where

perhaps the situation in the

home country has changed and

the government of the day

takes a decision to take

steps for removal. But the

bottom line is this - people

who engage in inappropriate

activity in detention centres

will know that they have very

much risked their chance of

permanent protection, that

the rights and

responsibilities under these

sorts of visas are very

different. The rights to

bring in family members, to

travel overseas etc, all very

different. Because they face

this deterrent but you in the

past Chris Bowen have argued

against temporary visas as

working, as been effective.

You have described them as "Inhumane, unfair and ineffective". Now you are

not squal call -- calling

these temporary protection

visas but they do sound

similar. I am happy to make

the point again today that I

don't think temporary

protection visas is a blanket policy for all asylum seekers

in Australia are

appropriate For those dour,

you think it will be a

deterrent to prevent bad

heir. You I say if someone

has not conducted themselves

in a detention centre in the

way the Australian public

would expect there needs to

be a very clear result of the

action. You are saying a

temporary visa is a deterrent

yet for years you have argued

it is not, it is ineffective.

I don't think they work as

deterrence for coming to

Australia and seeking asylum.

But they do work to deter

bad behaviour in detention

centres? I do think there is

potential if you know you

conduct yourself within the

detention centre, if you provide information to the

department to assist in the

claim, you cooperate, and

that you conduct yourself in

a way which is legal and

befitting the Australian

standards then you have a

chance of getting a permanent

visa if you don't then you

risk those chances. What's

the logic here, if a

temporary visa is a deterrent

for bad behaviour in detention why isn't it a deterrent to come here on a

boat? They are very different

things, if you are looking at people making the decision as

to whether to come to

Australia and the

circumstances they will live

on, and let's remember after temporary protection visas

were introduced the number of

asylum seekers went up and the Liberal Party today has

adopted - I have never seen

the Liberal Party adopt so

many positions in one day or

one shadow minister... Let's

stick to your policy. They say, for example that people

should not be given a temporary visa, they have very little alternative, they

have been saying that people

shouldn't be given permanent

visas, now they are saying

they shouldn't be given

temporary visas, they should

come up to the detail of the

Pollard sy. Back to the

question. Why is it a deterrent for bad behaviour

in a detention centre but not

for someone to come on a boat

and come here. You are

talking about people who are

weighing the opportunity to

seek asylum in Australia,

weighing their chances,

saying we are in fear of persecution we will take our chance, come to Australia and

see how we go. If we get a

temporary protection visa of

course under the old regime

where they were blanket

policy of the previous

government the vast majority

of people on those visas

eventually got permanent

residency. That is very

different to using the

existing regime for temporary visas, bridging pending

removal visas currently use

$to say I will make it easier for the government of the day, the minister of the day

to issue those visas and not

issue permanent visas for bad behaviour in detention centres. They are very

different things. Coming to

Australia is very different

to the dis incentive to

conduct yourself in a bad way

in a detention centre. And

will the vast majority and is

the point you have just made

and made in the past the vast

majority of those who got

temporary protection visas

under the hougd ended Howard

Government government ended

up on - will they end up on permanent visas skraen

way? You are talking about

thousands of people under

temporary protection visa s

under the previous government, you are talking about a small number of

people who will fail the

character test because the

number of people who conduct

themselves in an appropriate

way is the majority of

people, even with the recent

events, I think you are

seeing a small number, they

will be taken on a case by

case basis and they will be

dealt with accordingly but I

do think it will be a dis

incentive for bad behaviour

in detention. A couple of

quick questions, one of your

colleagues said to me the

real issue you need to tackle

is the time it takes to

process claim, the security

checks in particular seem to

drag on. What are you doing

about that? We have made very substantial progress here.

The majority of people who

have been regarded as

refugees, genuine refugees,

receive approval but awaiting

security clearance have now

been approved. This is

something we have been

working very closely with the

Attorney-General and ratio

and my department. That was

a legitimate issue. The

delays have been a legitimate

concern, ASIO has been

working very hard at that and

we have made very good progress, we are now seeing

the majority of people who

have been regarded as

refugees then be processed

and receiving their security

clearances. There will be

some that take longer and more complex cases where

there is a complex history but the vast majority of people are being processed

more quickly. And a final

question, one of the first

commitments you made as

Immigration Minister was to

have "The vast majority of un

accompanied minors in

community detention and a

sizeable proportion of

families out of detention

facilities by June ine". How

are you going with that

target? We have made

substantial progress there.

And that has been Amir bishsz

target but we have --

ambitious target. We have

substantially more children

in the community, we have

almost all the young un accompanied minors in the community. We have

accommodation and carers, you

don't just drop people on the

local railway station to say

you are on your own. We have

been working with Red Cross

to get that accommodation and we will meet that deadline of the majority of children in

the community by June and I

will be having more to say about what comes after that.

It is a very important

initiative. I think children

are much better placed in the

community and we will be

doing that and implementing

that commitment that I gave

and the Prime Minister gave

last October. Immigration

Minister Chris Bowen, thank

you. My pleasure. After the break we will be looking at

the politics with this with

our panel. Malcolm Farr and

Chris Kenny. We will be

talking to prominent human

rights advocate and high

profile lawyer Julian

Burnside QC. Stay with us.

In a moment our panel,

first let's check in on the

latest news headlines with Vannessa.

Immigration Minister Chris

Bowen has announced a plan to

toughen penalties for

criminal activities by

detainees while in immigration detention

centres. It proposes that

asylum seekers convicted over

acts of violence will fail

the government's character

test. And face probable deportation. The

announcement comes as the

stand-off at Sydney's Villawood Detention Centre

enters its 7th day. Prime

Minister Julia Gillard has

met with Chinese Premier

during her official visit to

Beijing. Both leaders agree

to proceed quickly on a free trade agreement. The Prime

Minister says she expressed Australia's concern about

human right s while

acknowledging the Chinese Communist government has lifted millions out of poverty through economic

reform. Rangers have caught

and put down two dingos that

attacked a 3-year-old girl on Queensland's Fraser Island. It believed the young girl

may have wandered over a sand

dune into the bushes when the

dogs ran towards her and bit

her on both legs. It is the

dingo's breeding season, when

they are quite territorial.

The girl is recovering in

hospital. Four men have been

taken to safety by a rescue

chopper in Tasmania's Storm

Bay south of Hobart. The men

clung to their capsized boat

for 22 hours, they were

reported missing when they

didn't return home from their

fishing trip. Police say the

lucky men are in a stable condition with mild

hypethermia. Overseas, and

the White House says its

considering targeted

sanctions against the Syrian

government regime after the

latest security crash-down

against anti-government

protesters. Syrian troops

and tanks poured into the

south-western city of Derra

yesterday seeking to crush

resistance against the

President's 7 year rule. It

has closed its land border

are Jordan and foreign

journalists are being refused

entry into the country. In

sport, Mitchell Williams has

won the 130th edition of the iconic Stawell Gift. Since

1878 the gift has become one

of the most prestigious foot

races in the world. The

Queenslander pipped Edward

Wear in a desperate lunge but also pulled his hamstring.

The weather:

Welcome back to the

program. Welcome to our panel, joining me here in

Canberra Malcolm Farr from

news.com.au and joining us from 'The Australian'

newspaper columnist and form

er Liberal staffer Chris

Kenny. Thank for your time.

What do you make of Chris Bowen announcement today on

the tougher powers that he

wants for himself to reject bad behaving asylum seekers? The root of it all

is the fact a minority of

asylum seekers in detention in Christmas Island and now in Villawood in the heart of

town as it were, carrying on

in a very public manner and

showing to - I would imagine the large number of members

of the general public

watching would think this

government has lost control

of the asylum seeker issue.

These people come here and

they are burning down our

hospitality. Literally. So

the government had to do

something. And Chris Bowen

introduced this toughened

character test, but it's not

clear that will do much. For

instance, genuine refugees

still won't get punted if

they are genuine refugees they will stay here but they

will stay under a modified

visa essentially, a

protection visa. And those

who aren't refugees will be

punted and they were going

anyway. They were going to

go anyway. Chris Kenny what

do you make of this announcement? Is it much of

a shift? Well, David, this

is a really full-blown crisis for the government now and I

think the community is

verying very frustrated and

worried about it. I think it

is a belated attempt by Chris

Bowen to try to get tough

about those as Malcolm says, the minority of asylum

seekers or detain --

detainees who have taken this

kind of action. So it is something he had to do but

the real worry is he is -

the government is let the events wash over them and

they are react ing when

clearly the problem is the

ongoing arrival of boats and

we have a situation now where dozens of people have died in

the ocean, we have had riots

in a couple of detention

centres, we have 7,000 people

in detention, hundreds of

children action well, the

public -- hundreds of

children as well and the

public around the country are extremely frustrated with

this and they need to see the

government take action which they believe is aimed at

stopping the boats which is of course Julia Gillard said she would do during the

election campaign. There is

that more substantive issue

about stopping the boats and whether East Timor or

somewhere else in the region

is still a viable option.

But Malcolm getting back to

the point you make about the

question as to what effective

changes will mean for an

asylum seeker to deter them from this sort of behaviour

that we have seen, all over

our TV screens in the last

week, for those and the guys

who are still on roof there

have already been denied a

refugee visa. So it makes,

what, no difference to them.

No. They are going to go.

Sorry fellas, you're off.

Get down from the roof and

negotiate a better seat in

economy to get home. Exactly.

If you have already been

rejected what's going to stop you from engaging in this

behaviour? I guess a term in

jail before you are punted if

you have broken a law, if you committed... But you face

that already. They are gone

already. So that's what I

mean. To a large extent it

is to give the appearances of

cracking down, but in a

practical sense it won't have

that much effect because the

Australian Government is

obliged under the various

treaties it signed to keep genuine asylum seekers here

and give them asylum, and

those who aren't genuine asylum seekers are going

anyway. The thing about this

is it is tougher than the temporary protection visas

because they are not

temporary. These are for

ever and ever. The temporary

protection visa were rolled

over every three year, this

is for all time. Chris

Bowen was clearly at pains to

say these aren't TPVs, these

aren't TPVs. Yes, there is a

difference in the time frame, do you know for a strict

three years, whereas as you

say these are indefinite.

Are they any less or more

humane than the TPVs that

Labor has railed against for

years? They do precisely the

same thing, they limit your

rights and entitlements and

that's what the temporary

protection visas did. But

Chris Kenny, the difference

in application here is that

where the Coalition under

John Howard and if sta were

to win is what he would introduce, a blanket

application, anyone who comes

on a boat gets a TPV if they

are a refugee. Here we are

talking about specifically

those who act up and commit

offences in detention. Well,

this is the point that Chris

Bowen is admitting here that

by having a temporary visa,

one that doesn't give you

permanent residency that is a

deterrence from taking some

kind of action. That's what he's saying. Of course he is

at pains not to implement a

policy that John Howard had

and look no-one argues that

temporary protection visa s

weren't tough. I don't think

any Australian took any joy

in the fact that they left

some asylum seekers in limbo,

but their stated aim of course was to deter people

from taking that treacherous

journey and even people,

raechg advocates like Robert

Mann say of course getting

rid of offshore processing

and getting rid of temporary

protection visas open the

flood gates and now we have

this horrible situation where

people are in distress and

people are in detention because these tough measures

have been lifted. It is the tough measures that in the

end are going to deter people

from making this journey and

so at some stage, at some stage in Chris Bowen is ever

going to get on top of this

problem, and he must be

feeling the pressure

desperately now, they are going to have to bring in

tough measures for all boat

arrivals in the hope that it will deter people smuggling.

On the politics of this

Malcolm, I spoke to a number

of Labor MPs and the left and

right of the party, broad

support for what Chris Bowen

has announced today, even

though as you say we have

very tolerant electorate on

asylum seekers, say people

are really concerned about

those protest at Villawood,

watching people set building

as light really got up the

nose of a lot of even people with tolerant attitudes

Politically the government towards asylum seekers.

had to do something after

this most recent riot, there

is the Christmas Island one

as well. But, is Chris Kenny

right in saying more broadly

the government will have to

perhaps drop its East Timor

idea which isn't going

anywhere and do something

more substantial to stop the

flow of boats? Two factors here, there might be MPs who

are accepting the politics of

the situation, but I think

there is a wider extra

Parliament ry constituency of

the Labor Party that will not

tolerate this. And will

essentially give up on the

Labor Party say you are just

as bad as Howard and Ruddock,

you have got your own

temporary protection visas,

except they are not

temporary, thank you I have

had enough of you. I'm

going to the Greens now. If

there is enough room there.

The second thing is what do

you do about the numbers. Under the previous

government they went to Nauru

and Scott Morrison says in

answer to everything send

them to nauue. I don't know

if it is that simple but it

is better to send them to

nauue in political terms then

have them on mainland

Villawood where they are a Australia, Tasmania or SA, or

constant reminder to people

that are -- a whole stash of

boat people are arrivaling

here and accommodation is

overflowing and they have to

be put somewhere. At least

in Nauru with the accommodation sufficient,

they will be out of mind and

out of the country. Chris Kenny I guess politically

there is still the risk that

despite today announcement we

will still see boats arrive

and h and we will we will

still see detainee s engaging

in this sort of behaviour who

have been rejected. I get up

with all the politics around

this. In the end there is a

policy problem here and the

governments have to actually

act with a policy that works

and our heart goes out to people who are in detention and people are risking their

lives in a situation, and I

just think it is reaching

such a crescendo the pressure

on this, and Australians are

a tolerant people and welcome

migrants and welcome our

generous numbers of refugees,

and they don't like to see the government losing control

of the situation like this.

And you are right mentioning

East Timor, that's the only solution the government has

put up to actually try to

we know that that policy will provide a dis incentive and

never happen, it's a farce.

So they need to swallow their

pride and look at Nauru and

possibly Manus Island in PNG

and Malcolm is right they are

not going to be the silver

bullet immediately, it is not

going to be hard to -- it is

going to be hard to put the

genie back in the bottle but

they need to send out

messages that we are not an

easy touch, that Australia is

not a soft touch. I want to

move on to the Prime

Minister's visit to China, we

have seen her in South Korea,

Japan, now China, she has met this afternoon with Premier

Wen Jiabau and speaking after

that meeting a couple of

issues were raised. I want

to start with human rights.

She did express Australia's

concerns to the Chinese Premier in these terms. Take

a look. We had the

opportunity to raise with

Premier Wen issues associated

with Australia's concern s

with human rights. I

recognise China's remarkable

progress in getting millions

of people out of poverty and

into better life. I did

express to Premier Wen my

concern and Australia's

concern about the treatment

of ethnic minorities, about

the questions of religious freedom and about recent

reports in relation to human

rights activists. And she

raised a concern she said

that China was taking a backward step or at least asked whether China was

taking a backward step on

human rights, Wen Jiabau in

response assured her "No we

are not". It is certainly a

contrast to Kevin Rudd's line

on human rights on his first

visit to China as Prime

Minister where he lectured in

Mandarin a bunch of students

at Peking University on human

rights and Tibet, Julia

Gillard taking a more

measured approach. More

pragmatic. This is her

welcome to A grade moment in

terms of foreign affairs.

She has been to Japan where

they are grathful to our

sympathy and assistance to

the natural disasters, they

are a big trading partner,

and then on to Korea, again a

very close partner. A middle

power sort of mate of ours in

world affairs. China's

entirely different. They are

not going to cop any rubbish,

they will be try ing on this

new Prime Minister, and she

seems to have done the right

thing for domestic politics

by saying "Yes I rised human

rights and thought human and

China was in retreat of this

area". And Kevin Rudd this

was it. Nobody whether it is

John Howard or Kevin Rudd or

Julia Gillard goes to China

and lectures them on human

rights and they do a palm to

forehead moment and say "They

are right you know". But she

has to mention it just to let

China know that we are still

watching. Chris? Yeah,

Malcolm I think you are

forgetting one thing is that

Kevin Rudd did go to

Chinaenend lecture them and I

agree with you this is a much

more orthodox performance by

Julia Gillard and I think it

is the right approach. Yes,

I have been at these meetings

with Foreign Ministers as

well with China and what you

do is you make those

Julia Gillard said publicly references, I guarantee what

then is pretty much all she

would have said privately and

she would have referred also

to the annual human rights

dialogue we have with China

which is a convenient tool

which those issues can be discussed in detail out of

the limelight. That's a

sensible way to approach it

because while you do play to a strong domestic

constituency back in

Australia by lecturing China,

I can assure you by

embarrassing them in that way

it is not going to do

anything to help the ethnic minorities and other groups

in China. China are going to

be far more productive, the

relationship will be far more

protective if you adopt this

sort of orthodox approach and

are they thorough about it.

The Chinese leadership have heard it all before about

western leaders coming to see

them poll idly nod their

heads -- poll idly nod their

heads. They also discuss clean energy. Now Julia

Gillard said in that news

conference a short while ago

nobody in China has raised

the carbon tax plans with her

while she is there but she did dodge the questions in

the news conference about

whether resource prices would

increase. China would have

to face a higher price in

Australia for minerals, she

didn't particularly want to

answer that in any specifics

but it didn't sound like a

whole lot came out of the talks with Wen Jiabau about

clean energy apart from a $9

million joint commitment. Do

you think Malcolm she needed

a bit more from China on

"Yes, we are doing quite a

bit on climate change?'. We

are been told by Greg Combet

it was six provinces in China

are looking at some form of

carbon pricing, on a market

basis and certainly there is

an expansion and investment

there in alternative energy,

and renewable energies. But, you can be absolutely certain

that the Chinese will be

watching the price of all

those minerals, and energy sources that Australia wants

to and is selling to them

because soon er or later those margins will be crucial to China's development, it is

not all going to be full

throttle all the way forever

and ever and they will be

trying to foreshadow what's

going to happen to prices and

fore stall any increases they

see on the horizon. We are

out of time. Malcolm Farr

and Chris Kenny thanks for joining us. After the break

we will be return ing to the

asylum seeker announcement

from Chris Bowen today and

talking to human rights advocate Julian Burnside QC. Stay with us.

reports through that despite Welcome back,

today's announcement from the

Immigration Minister of a

crack-down on violent

protests in immigration

detention centres some 10

asylum seekers have begun

staging a protest on the roof

of the facility at Christmas Island today. Three still

remain on the roof at

Villawood. Anyway, to get

some reaction to what the minister announced human

rights advocate and critic of

the government's approach in

this area, Julian Burnside QC

spoke to me earlier. Julian Burnside thank you for your

time. Can I start by asking

is there anything in what the

minister has announced today that does actually breach

Australia's international

obligation s? I don't know

that it breaches our international obligations,

but what it does is to

reintroduce the idea of a

temporary protection visa

which interestingly was first

suggested by palline Hanson

suggested it Phillip Ruddock of all people and when she

said it will be a terrible

thing to do, Chris Evans of

course abolished them in the

second year of the Rudd

government and it is raurt

curious now someone will

reintroduce them for Labor.

The minister said this isn't reintroducing them in a blanket way that the Howard Government had them in place

for all boat arrivals, this

is about a punishment for

wrongdoers in detention

centres would only apply to

them. If the government wants

to punish people who have misbehaved in detention let

them be charged with criminal

offences and let the criminal

justice system punish them.

But it is not part of a minister's role to punish

them through the mechanism of

the Migration Act. He argues

that the difference here is that where they do, they are given a conviction and a sentence of more than a

year's jail yes he can deny

them a visa on character

grounds but where there is a

penalty less than 12 months

jail he is unable to act if

is his argument. Is he right

on that point? Under the

character test as it is yes

he is right, and if he is

right on that then I don't

see any reason why the

minister should be given a

power to punish a person on

top of what a court thinks is

appropriate. Look, these

people haven't committed any

offence. They are held in detention indefinitely, and

after a while if you hold an

innocent person long enough

they will crack. Okay, so we

force them to crack and then

we punish them for that?

That's really not good. Not

all of them do crack though,

we are only talking about

some who are engaged and it

is not just cracking, they are engaged in violent

behaviour, burning down quote

property, -- Commonwealth

property. Endangering lives,

surely you are not excusing

that behaviour? I am not

excusing that for a minute

but if there a crime committed let the criminal justice system look after it.

Don't have the minister

adding to the punishment by

condemning them to temporary

prengs only, and letting them

live in limbo for years

whilst they wait to find out whether they will be sent back to the place they have

fled. What's the point of

having the minister the power

to deny someone a visa on bad

character grounds if it is

press cryptive and narrowed

down to only those convicted

and sentenced to more than a

year's jail. Shouldn't the

minister have the power more

broadly to allow someone a

visa on bad character grounds

where he sees fit? He

shouldn't have power to deny

them a visa on bad character

ground ifs they are refugees

because if they are refugees

we cannot sent them back to a

place of persecution and if

we are not going to send them

back to a place of

persecution we should treat them like refugees as they

are and give them protection. Let the criminal justice

system look after that, one

of the problems is if you

hold people long #234u6 they

will either start damaging

themselves or damaging the

prison. We have already seen

just recently people have

started self harming, they

have been six suicides I

think on Christmas Island. People are starting to sow

their lips together again.

This is absolutely

predictable if you hold

innocent people in detention

long enough. But again not

all of them are resorting to

this sort of behave. Will

this sort of deterrent as

Chris Bowen calls it to

either deny them a visa or if

they are a genuine refugee

put them on a temporary visa

do you think it would deter

detainees from engaging in

that sort of behaviour? I

doubt it very much because

the psychiatrists would tell

you that when you put a

person under enough stress

they will react badly. You

say not everyone is acting

violently, that's true, there

are others less visible who

are simply seek ing --

sinking into a profound

department relation, there are people -- depression,

there are people who are bear

the scars of detention for

the rest of their lives. What is so hard to understand

about the idea that locking

up innocent people for an indefinite time. So they

never know when they will be

released. That is going to

cause them to break eventually and how they break

is a matter of individual psychology. Some of them

will lash out, some of them

will sink into depression and

some of them will hurt

themselves. There is nothing

in what the minister has

announced today to do with

that problem you raised there

of indefinite detention, is there something the government needs to be turning more attention to

speeding up the processing

and putting some definite

markers there about how long

someone is going to be or

likely to be in detention

for? I frankly think they

need to stand back and ask

why it is necessary to lock

people up indefinitely whilst

the process continues, if a

person comes to Australia

with a tourist visa or a

student visa or business

visa, and they apply for

asylum whilst they are in

Australia they stay in the

community for months or years

after their first visa has

expired. They usual le get

accepted in about 20% of

cases, boat people who come

here and who succeed about

90% of the time, in proving

they are genuine raefs they

are the ones we lock up.

That doesn't make any sense

at all. If most of them are

genuine refugees locking them

up will increase the trauma why they have already

experienced, the trauma they fled from. I really think what the government needs to

do is to ignore what

Newspolls tem them in the

marginal electorals and say

the decent thinks to do is to

hold them in detention for a

month perhaps at the start

for security and health

checks. And then release

them into the community on conditions that are

calculated to make sure that they stay available for

processing, and available for

removal if they fail. And

that way you will not find

this same sort of psychological response to the

torment of indefinite

detention, and in addition

just for interest it would

cost vastly less to allow people to live in the community than it does to

hold them in detention.

Specially on Christmas Island

where detention is far more

expensive even than in

Villawood or in the other

detention centres on the

mainland. Julian Burnside we will have to leave it there.

Thank you for your time

today. Thanks David. And

that's it for today's show.

We will be back same time

tomorrow. Stay with us for

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