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Govt should stay course with community release of asylum seekers

Despite concerns from some quarters, the Gillard government is right to be moving more asylum seekers into the community when they have been assessed as safe to do so, the Australian Greens said today.

"It is cheaper and is decent of the federal government to be moving more fragile people into the community, rather than having them languishing indefinitely in detention centres," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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ACT and Australia want marriage equality, not merely civil unions

The ACT government's decision to reintroduce legislation on civil union laws is another positive development, but falls short of marriage equality reforms Australians want at the federal level, the Australian Greens said today.

"Real reform will be made when the federal parliament passes marriage equality legislation, which will send a signal that same-sex couples are not considered under federal law as second-class citizens," Greens' marriage equality spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said.

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Protect Indonesian children by banning x-ray use

The Home Affairs Minister should have told the Indonesian government that Australian authorities were immediately scrapping wrist x-rays to determine the ages of asylum seeker boat crew, the Greens said today.

"The Greens have a bill before parliament to change the laws so children are not detained and wrist x-rays cannot be used," Greens' immigration and children spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Labor sinks on humane refugee policy

The Labor Party's decision to endorse offshore processing is a return to the bad old days of asylum seeker policy, the Australian Greens said today.

"Labor has voted for a policy that undermines our international refugee obligations. Minister Bowen's proposal offers nothing more than the trading of people, and the trading of souls," Australian Greens' spokesperson on immigration, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, said in Sydney.

"Increasing the humanitarian intake should not be linked to the punishment of vulnerable asylum seekers who arrive on our shore seeking our protection.

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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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Increase humanitarian intake but not by expelling people off-shore

The Australian Greens say the Immigration Minister's proposal to raise Australia's overall humanitarian intake is long-overdue, but it should not be at the expense of sending asylum seekers off-shore.

"Increasing the humanitarian intake is the right thing to do, it is practical and humane, but making it contingent on punishing others who are desperate and helpless is unprincipled, nasty and will cost taxpayers more," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

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Community release for most fragile detainees a positive step

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.

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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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