Australian Opposition considers to support Greens to exempt children from detention

09:53, October 12, 2010      

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Australian Coalition on Tuesday said it will consider supporting a Greens plan to get children out of detention.

The Greens on Monday has been pushing to amend the Migration Act so that it exempts children from the mandatory detention clause. The proposal also includes plans for an expanded Community Assistance Support program and a Commonwealth Commissioner for Children and Young People.

Opposition Immigration spokesman Scott Morrison said the Coalition wanted to meet with the Greens about the plan.

Morrison, who scheduled to visit the Curtin detention center in Western Australia on Wednesday, said the Coalition would consider their proposal, "though some questions would need to be addressed".

"There needs to be a clear position about arrangements for parents - bearing in mind that at least two parents currently in detention have an adverse Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) funding against them," Morrison told The Australian newspaper on Tuesday.

"Secondly there is the issue of cost, if the entire family is removed they have to live somewhere, and if it's just the kids removed, unaccompanied minors, they would need a carer."

Morrison said it was unclear how the proposal would cost less than the current detention regime, as Greens Immigration spokeswoman Sarah Hanson-Young has suggested.

"We approach this with an open mind," he said.

"It was the Coalition that made the change to remove children from detention centers back in 2005 and it was the Coalition that introduced stronger boarder protection policies that reduced the number of children in detention down to 21."

Senator Hanson-Young on Monday said the fact that Australia has more than 700 children in immigration detention is unacceptable.

Source: Xinhua


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