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Greens welcome E Timor decision on detention centre

"The Australian Greens welcome reports from the East Timorese president that he does not support Australia establishing a detention centre in his country," Greens Immigration Spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"We note President Jose Ramos-Horta's comments that there should be a regional agreement on asylum seekers, not a bilateral deal - a position the Greens have long advocated to answer a problem which is not merely Australia's.

"In February, after he examined the Christmas Island facility, the Commonwealth Ombudsman cautioned he was against future regional centres in isolated areas, for reasons including the damage they cause to the mental health of detainees.

"The Greens call on Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, and Acting Prime Minister, Wayne Swan, to finally face reality and tell the public that the government will not proceed with its unworkable plan to establish a facility in East Timor.

"We need a long-term, humane and practical solution, such as that proposed in my private member's bill currently before parliament which will scrap off-shore processing, end mandatory detention, ensure people's applications are assessed in a timely manner and that no children will be held in detention."

 

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