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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8587

Senator RICE (Victoria) (13:09): I wish to draw the attention of the Senate to the level of community support for these amendments to be removing children from detention. Just this morning, I had a meeting with five members of the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children telling me about the work they are doing in their communities, listening to their communities and expressing the concerns of the community about the fact that we have ongoing detention of children here in Australia and on Nauru because the harm being done to these children is unnecessary. There is no place for children to be in detention.

This afternoon I will be presenting a petition from the Wills branch of the Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children which has 2,550 signatures on it. The women I met with today told me that Grandmothers Against Detention of Refugee Children is growing. They have 1,200 members in Victoria. They are spreading across Australia and they are hearing a level of concern in the community about children being jailed, being harmed and being damaged. Passing these amendments today will mean, if enacted, that children will be removed from detention. There would be a great level of support across the community because people know it is unacceptable to have this ongoing harm being done to innocent children.