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Coalition support for Labor's kids out of detention policy.



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M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Immigration Member for Perth

36/04 30 June 2004

COALITION SUPPORT FOR LABOR’S KIDS OUT OF DETENTION POLICY

Labor welcomes support for its children out of immigration detention policy from Judy Moylan, Member for Pearce and former Coalition Government Minister.

Late last month Ms Moylan wrote to a constituent expressing her concern over the Howard Government’s policy and administration of keeping children in long-term immigration detention. In the letter Ms Moylan states,

..I have made and continue to make numerous representations to the Prime Minister seeking the immediate release of women and children from detention.

When the Human Rights Equal Opportunity Commission’s (HREOC) Report into Children in immigration detention was released on 15 May, the Minister for Immigration refused to accept the findings and recommendations of the report.

The HREOC Report ‘A last resort?’ is an indictment of the Howard Government’s children in immigration detention policy and an indictment of its administration of that policy.

It appears Ms Moylan has a greater appreciation of the Report’s findings than her Minister and has accepted the recommendation that children should be released from immigration detention immediately.

The HREOC Report shows that the Government has presided over a bad period here and the Howard Government’s immigration detention policy and administration has been a mistake. Labor is committed to set the system up for the future so that this cannot happen again.

The Member for Pearce has joined a number of Coalition backbenchers publicly opposing the Howard Government’s policy approach to asylum seekers.

Throughout this year Ms Moylan’s Coalition colleagues, John Forrest, Member for Mallee, Petro Georgio, Member for Kooyong, Patrick Secker, Member for Barker, and Kay Hull, Member for Riverina, have urged for a new approach to the Howard Government’s policy for Temporary Protection Visa holders.

Under John Howard’s asylum seeker system, over 9,000 TPV holders who have been assessed as refugees by the Government have no certainty in their lives and could potentially live in the Australian community on a temporary basis for the rest of their lives. Labor’s policy change to a two year one-off TPV will end that uncertainty.

Contact: Courtney Hoogen on (02) 6277 4108 or 0414 364 651