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Abbott’s decision on conscience vote betrays Liberals’ belief in individual choice

Tony Abbott's decision to rule out a conscience vote for Coalition members on marriage equality again demonstrates he's out of touch with what most Australians want, the Australian Greens said today.

"Numerous surveys show Australians want their MPs to have a conscience vote on same-sex marriages," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"Mr Abbott should stop swimming against the tide of public opinion and let his Coalition MPs have a free vote when the legislation is presented in parliament next year.

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Scherger leg of immigration network inquiry hears more stories of damaged people

Members of the ongoing immigration detention network inquiry have seen and heard more graphic examples of damaged asylum seekers, this time at the Scherger detention centre in far north Queensland.

"This morning we've heard from a psychiatrist who, like other mental health experts before him, confirmed inadequate support services are available for detainees," inquiry deputy chair and Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Latest Darwin lip-sewing protest more evidence to stop indefinite mandatory detention

The latest act of self-harm by asylum seekers in Darwin again demonstrates why alternatives to indefinite mandatory detention are urgently needed, the Australian Greens said today.
"We are sadly seeing more long-term damage with Faili Kurds in Darwin sewing their lips together to protest being detained for up to 22 months," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Australians pay as Labor digs a hole for itself on tax

The "year of decision and delivery" is quickly coming to an end and the Prime Minister is determined to get the government's mining tax passed through the House of Representative this week before the summer break of Parliament. The Senate would then deal with the legislation when Parliament resumes in 2012.

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Australians pay as Labor digs a hole for itself on tax

The "year of decision and delivery" is quickly coming to an end and the Prime Minister is determined to get the government's mining tax passed through the House of Representative this week before the summer break of Parliament. The Senate would then deal with the legislation when Parliament resumes in 2012.

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Mental health expert confirms detention providers not following immigration department protocols

An expert advising the federal government has told an inquiry there is confusion between detention contractors and the Immigration Department about protocols for handling detainees with mental illnesses, the Australian Greens said today.

"Professor Louise Newman has confirmed what we had long suspected - that decisions and protocols made by staff in detention centres on the welfare and health of fragile detainees is not in line with best practice or well-understood medical standards," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Urgent reviews needed for immigration detention centre contracts

Persistent problems within detention centres such as detainees harming themselves, staff who lack adequate qualifications and abysmal mental health services are compelling reasons why the Immigration Minister must urgently review the operating contracts, the Australian Greens said today.

"The Greens have long argued that contracting to a private company is an inappropriate way to run the detention network in the first place," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Letter confirms DIAC’s lethargy on Greens’ fears about inadequate mental health services in detention centres

The Australian Greens' repeated warnings about inadequate mental health services for asylum seekers in indefinite detention have been proven, again, by the release of correspondence between the service provider IHMS and the Immigration Department.

"It is unacceptable the department delays taking action to improve mental health services, causing further damage to fragile people who should not be in detention," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Govt must establish 24-hr medical services for fragile detainees

Reports today that the ambulance called to Villawood to attend the suicide of a detainee on Tuesday night was phoned by a member of the public outside the facility is another reason why there must be 24-hour medical care at all detention centres, the Greens said today.

"With each day comes another sad revelation about the circumstances which led confirmed refugee ‘Shooty' to take his own life, because he was ignored by those meant to ensure his protection," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Greens welcome AMA President’s mandatory detention concerns

The Australian Greens have welcomed AMA National President Dr Steve Hambleton's comments that mandatory detention is "inherently harmful to the physical and mental health of detainees...especially....children."

Dr Hambleton's remarks join a chorus of similar concerns expressed in recent months by the AMA'S NT branch president and others such as the Australian Human Rights Commission and the UN Human Rights Commissioner.

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