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Statement from Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young on media’s visit to Inverbrackie

The Greens understand the reasons why journalists from The Advertiser and Channel Seven refused to be part of the visit to Inverbrackie today.

All journalists should be allowed to have access to detention centres and similar facilities without having to grant the Immigration Department's final approval of words, images and sounds.

It's vital that journalists be allowed to see and report freely, rather than what the department wants Australians to see.

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High Court ruling advances due process in granting family reunion rights for unaccompanied children

The Australian Greens have welcomed the High Court's decision today to let an Afghan teenager bring his family to Australia after authorities claimed his mother was no longer his immediately responsible for him.

"The court's ruling that the Immigration Department made a 'jurisdictional error' shows the department did not follow proper process," Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today.

"In cases dealing with unaccompanied minors and young people, the department's communication and processes must be improved.

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New ministers should press authorities to treat Indonesian children as minors

Australia's new attorney general and home affairs minister should press their respective departments to treat all Indonesian children as minors after the collapse of yet another prosecution, the Greens said today.

"The Commonwealth withdrew charges against another Indonesian who was crew on an asylum seeker boat after his lawyers confirmed his age," Greens' immigration and children spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young, said today from Melbourne.

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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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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 lurches to the right and loses touch

Opening the Labor Party conference, Julia Gillard told her party faithful she wanted the ALP to be the party that says "yes to the future".

Yet the Prime Minister spent the next three days advocating for the resurrection of the old, tired conservative policies of John Howard. On policies covering asylum seekers, uranium and same-sex marriage, Labor's leader backed the stance of the former ultra-conservative Liberal prime minister.

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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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