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Senator Hanson-Young visits Inverbrackie Detention Facility



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Thursday, 20 January 2011

MEDIA RELEASE

Senator Hanson-Young visits Inverbrackie Detention Facility

A time limit must be placed on detention of asylum seekers, irrespective of where they are being detained, according to the Australian Greens’ Immigration Spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who visited the Inverbrackie facility in the Adelaide Hills today.

“These vulnerable people should have their claims processed quickly and efficiently and if the Government insists on detaining them while it does this, then that detention should be in a facility that is much more humane like Inverbrackie, rather than Christmas Island. It’s time the Government dumped its failed off-shore processing policy,” said Senator Hanson-Young.

The Senator visited Inverbrackie this morning and met with families being held in the facility.

“This facility provides asylum seekers with some level of autonomy, so they can better function like a family unit. Simple things like eating a home cooked meal together aren’t possible on Christmas Island or other mainland facilities like Darwin or Leonora, but they are at Inverbrackie. It’s telling that a 15 year old boy told me on today’s visit that the best thing about being out of Leonora was the fact that he now gets to enjoy his Mum’s cooking,” Senator Hanson-Young said.

“If we are to utilise facilities like Inverbrackie, they must be the first port of call, rather than the exception to the rule. But irrespective of where people are detained, this should be done quickly and efficiently. We know prolonged detention has a negative impact on mental health and compounds the suffering of people who have already experienced torture and trauma.”

“There must be time limits placed on detention to minimise suffering and the Government must act to properly resource ASIO to quickly conduct security clearances. There are already increasing numbers of asylum seekers in detention who have been deemed genuine refugees, yet due to ASIO’s backlog, they’re still awaiting clearance.”

“These are people who will make a positive contribution to Australian society. I was moved when I learned that some families had sought to use their credits (the currency used in the facility for shopping) to make donations to flood victims in Queensland. These are the kind of people we want as citizens and reflect the compassion of the broader community at this time,” concluded Senator Hanson-Young.

MEDIA COMMENT - Robert Simms: 0427 604 760  

Robert Simms Adviser Community Liaison & Campaigns Office of Sarah Hanson-Young Greens Senator for South Australia Ground Floor, Telstra Building 30 Pirie Street Adelaide SA 5000 Ph: (08) 8231 9911 / Fax: (08) 8211 7533