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Greens not satisfied with internal inquiry into Cornelia Rau case: reissue call for royal commission.

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Senator Kerry Nettle Senator for New South Wales

Greens not satisfied with internal inquiry into Cornelia Rau case: reissue call for royal commission

8th February 2005

Greens Senator Kerry Nettle has rejected the government's internal inquiry into the Cornelia Rau case as inadequate and foreshadowed The Greens intention to move for a royal commission.

"The Greens, Ms Rau's family, the Opposition and refugee advocates have all called for a full public inquiry but the government has refused," Senator Nettle said.

"Their needs to be a judicial inquiry with the power to subpoena witnesses, to ensure that the full facts are disclosed about Ms Rau's treatment and the treatment of other detainees in immigration detention centres. Otherwise it looks like a whitewash.

"The terms of reference Senator Vanstone has proposed are far too narrow. They should allow for the investigation of the immigration detention system as a whole.

"The serious allegations concerning the conduct of detention centre guards, are unlikely to be addressed by the internal investigation Minister Vanstone has announced.

"The public will see this move as a cover up by the government. A reporting date the day before Easter holidays reinforces this view.

"The Greens will continue to seek the Senates support for our call for a royal commission or other judicial inquiry."

Contact - Jon Edwards 0428 213 146



I give notice that on the next day of sitting I will move:

That the Senate:

A) Notes:

I. The circumstances and treatment of Cornelia Rau

are appalling and highlight systematic problems in the administration of Immigration Detention;

II. The Rau family have called for a full judicial


III. Ms Rau's case is just one example of how mental

health and physical health is being inappropriately

diagnosed and treated in detention centres;

IV. several studies have concluded that detention

itself exacerbates and creates mental illness in


V. independent monitoring of operations in

detention centres has been totally inadequate;

VI. the conditions of isolation unit at Baxter

Detention are inhumane and not appropriate for any

person, be they Australian or non-citizen;

B) Calls on the government to:

I. Apologise to Cornelia Rau and her family immediately;

II. Arrange appropriate compensation for Ms Rau for her

treatment in immigration detention;

III. Instigate a Royal Commission to investigate:

a) how a permanent resident came to be placed in

immigration detention;

b) the mistreatment of Cornelia Rau and other

detainees in immigration detention;

c) conditions in detention centres around Australia

and off-shore.