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ALP should close Christmas Island detention facility and oppose mandatory detention too.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

ALP should close Christmas Island detention facility and oppose mandatory detention too

Senator Nettle, Monday, 16th October 2006

Greens Immigration spokesperson Senator Kerry Nettle today welcomed the news that the Labor Party plan to overturn their support for the Temporary Protection Visa regime and urged them to embrace this spirit of compassion and commit to closing Christmas Island Detention Facility and ending mandatory indefinite detention.

"The Greens have always opposed the Temporary Protection Visa regime because it squibs on the obligations we are committed to under international refugee conventions. It's good news that the Labor Party have caught up," Senator Nettle said.

"Unfortunately the Labor Party still supports processing boat arrivals offshore on Christmas Island and keeping asylum seekers locked up in detention centres whilst their claims are assessed.

"The Baxter Immigration Detention Facility only has 44 detainees and most of its compounds are shut down - they should all be shut down permanently.

"The Labor Party change in policy is following public opinion which has shifted to a more compassionate position as the scaremongering about refugees has worn off. Now they should join The Greens in showing some leadership and back a confident,

compassionate position of community processing and close the desert prisons for good.

"The Greens policy calls for the introduction of a "asylum application visa" which would allow asylum seekers to remain legally in the community whilst their claims for asylum are fairly assessed."

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146