Australia should host asylum processing center: Greens

14:40, July 08, 2010      

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The government's proposed regional processing center for asylum seekers should be located on the Australian mainland, the Greens said on Thursday.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard proposed a center be built in East Timor, a plan that has been criticized for its similarity to the former government's Pacific Solution.

However, Gillard has admitted she's yet to speak to East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao about her proposal, and Gusmao's deputy Jose Luis Guterres has said East Timor is "very unlikely" to agree to Gillard's plan.

Greens immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young believes any regional processing center should be based in Australia.

"It seems that the most practical, humane and cost effective place to house the center would be right here on the Australian mainland," Senator Hanson-Young told reporters.

"She has suggested that if East Timor doesn't agree, then she ( Gillard) will be scouring the region for the next poorest nation to carry Australia's human rights obligations.

"I suggest that if she wants to take a leadership approach on the issue ... then it is Australia that should host them," she said.

Source: Xinhua


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