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Australia: Immigration Inquiry reveals deep flaws

Immigration Senate Inquiry reveals deeply flawed system

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today called on the Government to implement the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the Migration Act tabled today, and seriously consider abandoning the policy of mandatory detention.

Senator Nettle sat on the Inquiry, attended all hearings and has signed onto the report with additional comments.

"The message from the Inquiry is clear. The policy of mandatory detention is deeply flawed and should be abolished," said Senator

"The Inquiry found the immigration system is inconsistent and treats people without humanity - the system is broken.

"Witness after witness talked about the culture of hostility and suspicion toward asylum seekers. Minister's Howard, Ruddock and
Vanstone are directly responsible for this culture, and cultural change must be led by the Government.

"The evidence provided to the Inquiry was extremely damning of the policy of mandatory detention. Families have been living in the community for some time now and sky has not fallen in. This policy should be adopted for all asylum seekers so they can live in the community while their claims for asylum are assessed.

"The Government should adopt the recommendation for a separate complementary protection stream for those people who require protection but do not fit the strict definition of a refugee. At the moment these people fall through the cracks.

"The Government should put party politics aside and implement the recommendations of this Inquiry. Australians do not want any more immigration scandals.

"The Government could start reform by ensuring that Cornelia Rau is properly compensated for her awful ordeal by the end of this month."

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