Tuesday, May 22, 2012


An unpublished letter to the SMH, 21.5.12

The Victorian State Conference of the ALP over last weekend unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Federal Government to implement  the policy of the National Conference of the ALP, and the Recommendations of the Joint Select Committee into Australia’s Detention Network re those refugees who are locked up indefinitely because they have received an adverse assessment by ASIO. These people are declared refugees. They cannot be returned to their own country.  There is no right of review or appeal. If they were an Australian citizen there would be a right of appeal. But these people are refugees. We leave them in detention. Some of them suicide. Last week Rajini and her children were, without notice, flown from Melbourne to Sydney and placed in indefinite detention because there is an adverse ASIO finding against them. This is indeed a profound injustice.

The ALP National Conference called for an Independent Security Monitor to advise on establishing a mechanism for independent review of the adverse security assessments that ensures procedural fairness while recognising that processes may be required to protect intelligence sources and methodology, (Chapter 9, Paragraph 161, ALP National Platform.)”

Recomendation 27 and 28 of the Joint Select Committee Report calling for review and appeal mechanisms needs to be implemented. Lives depend on it. The mental health of refugees detained indefinitely depend on it.

Jenny Haines