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Democrats renew calls for an end to the "Pacific Solution"



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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Dated: 21 November 2007 Portfolio: Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Democrats renew calls for an end to the "Pacific Solution"

Democrats' Deputy Leader Andrew Bartlett renewed calls for the scrapping of the government's mandatory detention policy and the 'Pacific Solution' following the rescue of a boat load of people off the West Australian Coast yesterday.

"While we are still waiting to hear about the status of these people, this is a timely reminder of the government's pernicious policies in relation to asylum seekers," Senator Bartlett said.

"We must have an end to the uncertainty and inhumane treatment of people who are already traumatised.

"The vast majority of asylum seekers have been found to have genuine claims. They should be assessed under a community detention regime where they have access to medical care and legal representation, and are able to interact with social and community networks.

"Locking people up for years with no end in sight is outrageously expensive for the Australian public and results in greater social costs when claims are found to be successful.

"This Saturday, I urge people to think about the government's draconian policy as they cast their vote for the Senate. Irrespective of who forms government, Australian's need a strong independent Senate to keep the government of the day honest on immigration issues," Senator Bartlett said.