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Act now on detention reforms and save budget bottom line: Greens

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Saturday, 31 March 2012

Media Release

Act now on detention reforms and save budget bottom line: Greens

The government should use the budget in May as an opportunity to start implementing the recommendations made in the Parliamentary report into Australia's detention network released this week, the Australian Greens said today.

“Putting time limits on detention and shutting down remote centres would help save hundreds of millions of dollars from the public purse,” Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

“At a time when the Gillard Government is looking for budget savings, cutting spending on unnecessary detention would be a sensible thing to do.

“The Immigration Minister has said he will respond to the report by September, but some of those suffering the damage of detention, including the 250 people who have been detained longer than two years, cannot afford to wait six months.

“The government should start to act on the recommendations as part of the May Budget.

“The government must stop wasting money on a system that has not just a human toll but costs the Australia tax-payer billions of dollars.

“Implementing a fairer, practical and humane system will be better for the Budget and better for the small number of asylum seekers who have fled war and persecution and arrived on our doorstep asking for help.”

Media contact: Paris Lord 0427 604 760