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Labor supports detention bill giving government unfettered power to run offshore detention with no oversight

Labor supports detention bill giving government unfettered power to run offshore detention with no oversight.

The Abbott Government and Labor Party have voted together to ram through laws that will keep asylum seekers and refugees indefinitely detained in centres on Nauru and Manus Island despite serious concerns about the inhumane conditions inside the camps.

"The Abbott Government has rammed through laws in order to scuttle a high court case assessing the legality of these detention centres. It's not refugees who are illegal, it's the Government detention of them that's been unlawful," Greens Immigration Spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.

"Today the Parliament had an opportunity to fix some of the worst and most harmful aspects of offshore detention but since Labor sided with Tony Abbott, children will continue to be sent to detention camps on Nauru.

"It is extremely disappointing that the Labor Party did not have the courage to stand up for decency today. As a result children and women remain indefinitely detained in the unsafe and squalid Nauru camp.

"It is shocking that neither the Government nor the Labor Party could support the Greens amendments that would require mandatory reporting of child abuse and assault to police and child protection agencies.

"The four Greens amendments were simple and straightforward:
1 // A 3 month time-limit on the length of detention
2 //  No further children being sent to detention in Nauru
3 //  Mandatory reporting requirements of child abuse and assault.
4 //  Access to offshore detention camps for the Human Rights Commission, the Commonwealth Ombudsman, and journalists.

"If Australian taxpayers are going to spend billions of dollars funding these camps they should be run properly, humanely and without secrecy. These amendments would have helped clean up the conditions inside these camps and provide much needed transparency.

"Many Australians will be ashamed that rather than doing something to restore decency in how we treat refugees, particularly children, both the Labor and Liberal parties voted together to continue the cruelty on Nauru and Manus Island.”

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