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Ombudsman's report shows Immigration laws need changing.



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Media Statement Monday 2nd July 2007

SENATOR ANDREW BARTLETT Queensland Democrat Senator QUEENSLAND’S ONLY INDEPENDENT VOICE IN THE SENATE

Ombudsman’s report shows Immigration laws need changing

Democrats’ Immigration spokesperson, Senator Andrew Bartlett said that the release of the Immigration Ombudsman’s final report into the long-term detention of 247 people shows the government has failed to adequately reform our immigration system and laws.

“The Immigration Department may have had a name change and some restructuring, but the laws and policies which lie at the heart of the problems in the place are the same,” Senator Bartlett said.

“This latest Ombudsman’s report isn’t just a litany of past stuff-ups; it’s a testament to continuing cruelty towards asylum seekers.

“The only way to prevent ongoing mistreatment and prevent unnecessary suffering is to reform the law.

“I have put forward a series of Private Senator’s Bills to make the necessary changes to prevent this suffering, ongoing abuse and absurd expense to the taxpayer but these Bills need government support.

“The fact that the Ombudsman is bringing such a comprehensive report on the poor treatment of people in detention is the strongest evidence you will need to show that change to the law is a matter of priority.

“Cultural deficiencies within the Department can’t be combated without the appropriate changes to the government’s policy and our laws.

“I call on the government to heed the Ombudsman’s latest report and undertake the necessary reforms rather than tinkering around the edges,” Senator Bartlett concluded.

Media contact - Tracee McPate - 0417 607 655

Electoral office: Suite 14 B1, 7/421 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, QLD 4006 t: 07 3252 7101 local call cost (Qld): 1300 301 879 f: 07 3252 8957 e: senator.bartlett@aph.gov.au web: www.andrewbartlett.com