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Government’s dumping of refugees will cost lives

The Greens predict a mental health crisis and a return to the horrors of the Pacific Solution as the Government's designation for Nauru contains no protections or welfare standards.

"It is a sad day when we see the Labor Party moving to dump vulnerable refugees, including children, on an island prison with no time limit on their detention or proper safeguards to care for them.

"Rather than learning from the mistakes of the past Labor has simply followed the same recipe for disaster, moving to dump refugees offshore in Nauru with no legal rights and no guaranteed health and welfare protections.

"The Houston Report specifically said that better protections would need to be in place to avoid the horrors and mental health damages of long-term detention and yet the Government has failed to listen.

"It is extremely concerning to see the Government give the multi-million dollar contract to run the detention camps to Transfield Services, an engineering and construction company that has no experience in dealing with refugees or vulnerable people.

"How does the Minister explain the appropriateness of a company that digs holes in the ground and construct buildings managing a detention centre for refugees who have fled war and torture?

"A lack of appropriate services and a poor understanding of the humanitarian needs of refugees was the key reason why refugees, including women and children, suffered such high levels of depression and self-harm under the last Pacific Solution, it seems it will occur all over again.

"It is now more crucial than ever for Parliament to support the Greens' bill to establish an independent health care panel to monitor the conditions on Nauru and Manus Island.

"Given the Government's failure to put in place proper protections for the care of refugees, ensuring that these detention camps can have proper oversight from medical experts is essential."

Media contact:  Ali Neyle 0427 604 760 

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