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Shadow Minister for Immigration to visit Port Hedland

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Philip Ruddock MP Φ

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

Electorate Parliament House

Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062



Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Mr Philip Ruddock MP, will be visiting Port Hedland this week from Wednesday 15 July until Friday 17 July 1992.

This will be Mr Ruddock's first visit to Port Hedland since the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs established the facility at Port Hedland late in 1991, as a holding and processing centre for unauthorised entrants to Australia. "

Mr Ruddock will inspect the facilities and conditions at the detention centre, hold discussions with staff from Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and meet some of the detainees to hear their stories first-hand. He will also be meeting with lawyers from the Refugee

Council of Australia, and Church representatives including Catholic priest Father Larry Reitmeyer.

"It is a regrettable situation that the refugee determination process in Australia is backlogged by over 23,000 applicants and that some people are held in detention for as long as two years" Mr Ruddock said.

"The Coalition has consistently called for the immediate repatriation of those people whose claims have proven to be unfounded so that assistance can be given to genuine refugees, many of whom are languishing in squalid border camps in Asia".

13 July 1992 ‘ _

Further information contact: Philip Ruddock (02) 858 1011 or pager (02) 925 3911 number #25589