200 detention bungles referred

10/01/2019 Posted by admin

Senator Vanstone’s admission comes amid growing controversy over the wrongful detention of Australian Cornelia Rau and the deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Alvarez Solon.

The government has appointed former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer to examine the two cases.

Several members of Ms Vanstone’s own Liberal Party have mounted a rebellion against the government’s mandatory immigration detention policies, flagging a plan to introduce legislation to water down the laws.

Senator Vanstone said several changes have been made and external experts may be sought to help fix problems, speaking during a Senate estimates hearing.

She also said detainees in the 201 cases referred to Mr Palmer have been classified as “released, not unlawful”, and that not every one of them will turn out to be a case of wrongful detention.

“Every single case will be looked at separately, every one of them, because the department is determined to recognise what problems it may have and to change,” she said.

“And I am not going to, engage in that work and then have further problems arise later, it must start with a clean slate. But even more importantly than that, if there are any cases in that number that have a problem, then (they) have to be dealt with as a right for the person involved.”

She has outlined a number of ways in which her department will alter the way its deals with immigration detainees and has promised changes in departmental culture.

“In DIMIA [the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs], I envisage this cultural change would mean a greater customer focus, openness and timeliness with complaints and appropriate mechanisms to identify problem areas.”

She said a special identification unit has been established in the Canberra head office to ensure complex cases can be dealt with efficiently.

By the end of the month, detention review managers will be in place in each state and territory where people are detained, and a psychiatrist will begin fortnightly visits to the Baxter detention centre, with psychiatric nurses on call round-the-clock.

However the Liberal moderates want all children and their parents released from detention immediately, and all detainee to be released after a year.

Comments are closed.