Wednesday May 11 2005 6:00pm WST
For Immediate Release
WA Refugee advocates Project SafeCom applaud and support Greens Senator for New South Wales Kerry Nettle's motion to censure Senator Vanstone, Australia's Immigration Minister, moved in the Senate this afternoon, carried, and supported by the ALP, Democrats and Independents.
Spokesman Jack Smit commented on the motion: "Hundreds of ordinary Australians have stopped their normal lives since the scandal of the passing of John Howard's Tampa laws, and they have known for years that the Department of Immigration acts like cowboys, and are a law unto themselves."
"Untold misery and psychological damage, and massive trauma to human lives that can never be undone, has been the result of the Howard policies since Tampa, and regardless of the government spin and denial, those ordinary Australians have reams of evidence from an untold number of incidents, ready for a Royal Commission which should now become unavoidable."
"Now that senior Immigration officials are coming out, prepared to testify before a Royal Commission about the coyboys - especially in the Compliance (Deportation) Branch - but refraining from supporting the Government's Mick Palmer "mickey mouse" inquiry, it is only a decent start to censure the Minister, who has been more interested in protecting her own Department's shady operations than to do her duty and uphold government transparency and accountability before the Australian public."
"Senator Vanstone should not just be censured over her failure as a Minister, but she should resign, and with her the Department of Immigration should be "raided" by the Ombudsman, the Public Service Standards Commission, and the Commissioners who should be appointed as part of the Royal Commission that should be called for, today also supported by Federal ALP leader Mr Kim Beazley in his remarks in Parliament."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]