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Public audit of immigration providers is vital

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Public Audit of Immigration Providers Is Vital Published on Sarah Hanson-Young (

Public Audit of Immigration Providers Is Vital

Australia's immigration detention system is failing, and this makes the need for transparency greater than ever, according to Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

Senator Hanson-Young, Greens spokesperson on Immigration, says she is concerned at reports that immigration service provider SERCO may have sub-contracted unlicensed security guards in a number of detention facilities in the Northern Territory.

"Anyone who works in the immigration detention system should have appropriate training and knowledge to work in such a sensitive area, so we are extremely concerned at any evidence that standards are slipping - but there is a wider problem here,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"From evidence at estimates hearings it is clear that there is no real public oversight of service providers like Serco. This is the critical problem with using private contractors to run a sensitive system like immigration detention.

"This also flies in the face of Labor's commitment in 2007, when it promised to return the management of detention centres to public hands.

"The Greens call for an urgent public audit of the performance of service providers, so the community can have the information it needs and deserves to have confidence in the way the system is being run.''

There has been a backlog of vulnerable asylum-seekers in detention following decisions by the Government such as the suspension of processing of asylum claims from Afghans and Sri Lankans. The Greens support a much faster processing of claims, and a move to limit the maximum time that asylum-seekers can be detained without judicial review.

"Immigration detention is a damaging environment for anyone who has fled persecution in their own country,'' Senator Hanson-Young said.

"In the absence of a move to limit detention time, the absolute minimum that's needed is to have appropriately trained staff who can deal sensitively with the pressures on asylum-seekers in an increasingly overcrowded system.''

Detention Centres Immigration Refugees

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Public Audit of Immigration Providers Is Vital Published on Sarah Hanson-Young (


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