The government's decision to begin transferring asylum seekers out of detention and into the community is a positive one, the Australian Greens said today.
"This decision should be a matter of course for the Immigration Department, rather than detaining them indefinitely," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"There's no use waiting until a person has been damaged by their time in detention before considering they are ready for a bridging visa.
"The immigration detention inquiry heard this week that ASIO can do its security checks in a matter of days to then allow people to be living in the community safely.
"Every expert save the government told the inquiry they believe there should be time limits on detention. The Greens have bills before parliament which give 30 days for authorities to perform initial health and security checks.
"The minister's decision to release 27 long-term detainees into the community's a great first step, but with about 5,000 people remaining in detention, it's clear there needs to be legislative changes."