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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5667

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (20:11): The scrutiny of parliament is not going to provide anyone any guarantee of anything, as we are hearing tonight. I want to go specifically to appropriate physical and mental health services. Patrick McGorry said recently that anyone held in detention for six to 12 months is likely to have serious mental health issues. The government has refused already, voted down, our amendment which says 'no longer than 12 months'. So you are actually putting children and all refugees into a zone of physical and/or mental difficulties and problems. How can I be confident that there will be physical and mental health services? Why would the government knowingly put people in detention longer than the mental health experts say is the point beyond which they will suffer mental illness? Why would you do that?