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Statement from Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young regarding Nauru visa fees

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Australian Greens

Statement from Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young regarding Nauru visa fees

26 October 2012

“This shows the Nauruan Government’s concerns about the fact that we will be leaving people dumped on their island indefinitely,” Greens’ spokesperson for immigration, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

“Putting down consequences for the length of time refugees spend on Nauru sends a clear message that they shouldn’t be left there for unnecessary lengths of time.

“The Immigration Minister must clarify whether the money for these visa fees was already factored into the cost or Labor’s inhumane offshore processing regime, which is figured to be over $1 billion per year.

“We already knew that the longer these vulnerable people spend on Nauru, the more it will cost in many ways, but this is just another bill that the Australian taxpayer will have to pick up.

“Charging people for the length of time they are held should act as an incentive for the Australian Government to process refugee claims more quickly.

“There are many reasons why indefinite offshore detention is not the answer, but of most concern is the terrible effect it has on the mental health of vulnerable people.

“A limit should be placed on the length of time people will spend in detention, because we know it is more than realistic to expect refugee status to be determined in less than 12 months.”