Asylum-seekers and refugee advocates are demanding the Albanese Government establish a royal commission into immigration detention. Source: Canberra Times.
A campaign backed by independent politicians is calling for a comprehensive investigation of the long-standing bipartisan policy.
Independent MP Kylea Tink is helping spearhead the effort in Parliament, telling an event in Canberra yesterday that only a royal commission would tell the whole story.
“It’s past time we held ourselves to account,” she said.
“Only in telling the whole story will we be able to move forward. Australia’s immigration regime is unique … it’s uniquely cruel and it’s a unique denial of basic human rights.”
Julie Macken, from Sydney Archdiocese’s Justice and Peace Office, is helping co-ordinate the royal commission campaign.
“Almost no policy has changed Australia as much as the immigration policy settings have over the last 25 years,” Dr Macken said.
“Australians have actually got a right to know what is being done in our name.”
For years, the Liberal and Labor parties have presented offshore immigration detention as a key plank of border protection.
Dr Macken said a royal commission was needed in order to compel private security firms tasked with running offshore detention centres to produce documents outlining their lucrative government contracts.
She said the commission would also allow former detainees and centre staff to give evidence without fear.
The royal commission calls are set against an intense focus on immigration detention.
The High Court recently ruled indefinite detention unlawful, with federal parliament passing emergency laws to keep track of people released as a result.
Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan said he didn’t support the push for a royal commission and the Government needed to be focused on keeping Australians safe.
Calls for royal commission into immigration detention (By Farid Farid, AAP via Canberra Times)