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Immigration minister reaffirms support for Australia's refugee determination process



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Media Release Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs The Hon. Gerry Hand, MP

Parliament House, Canberra, AC T2600 Telephone: (06) 277 7860

MPS 72/92

IMMIGRATION MINISTER REAFFIRMS SUPPORT FOR AUSTRALIA'S REFUGEE DETERMINATION PROCESS

The Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, Mr Gerry Hand, today reaffirmed his support for Australia's refugee determination process.

Mr Hand's comments followed the announcement today that 16 Cambodian boat people had completed the process of refugee determination and had been formally rejected as refugees.

The failed asylum-seekers were part of a group of 26 who arrived at Broome in November 1989. Two of the 26 were earlier given approval to remain in Australia, while four others withdrew their applications for refugee status and returned voluntarily to Cambodia. Decisions on the remainder of the group are pending.

"The claims of the applicants were examined individually and on a case by case basis. The decisions have come at the end of a necessarily lengthy and meticulous process designed to ensure that the decision-making process is both fair and

"It should be noted that in each case the final decision upholds the original decision by the Department not (not) to grant refugee status," said Mr Hand.

Mr Hand said the decisions were the first of a number of final decisions due to be handed down to refugee claimants over the next few weeks.

Failed asylum-seekers who have no claim to remain in Australia are required, by law, to be removed from Australia as soon as practicable.

CANBERRA 7 December, 1992

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Lynne Adams

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Minister's Office (06) 277.7860