Never a better time to dump GSL and close Villawood

Project SafeCom Inc.
P.O. Box 364
Narrogin
Western Australia 6312
Phone: 0417 090 130
Web: http://www.safecom.org.au/

Never a better time to dump GSL and close Villawood

Media Release
Monday March 13, 2007 8:45am WST
For Immediate Release
No Embargoes

"The tabling in Federal Parliament yesterday of a damning report by John von Doussa QC on behalf of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) into a complaint by two detainees over a transport from Maribyrnong IDC to Baxter IDC in 2005 should represent another nail into the coffin of any transport or other detention or prison contracts by the lethal company Global Solutions Limited (GSL), and there's never been a more opportune time to push through Labor's previous commitments to dump companies such as GSL and replace these contracts with Australian companies directly allied to the Australian Public Service," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.

"It should once more become crystal clear, that if you're in the hands of GSL, a company more interested in the welfare of their shareholders than to uphold the Duty of Care standards spelled out to them, you're in danger of death, and this is not an overstatement on my part at all," spokesman Jack H Smit said.

"One of the HREOC complainants had to resort twice to drinking his own urine to survive during the hellish road trip from Maribyrning to Baxter. In 2006 a diabetic man, incarcerated in Port Phillip prison, died because GSL staff didn't bother responding to the man's personal and prison-provided distress and alarm bell, when he alerted them from his cell and declared a serious medical emergency. In January this year an Indigenous Elder from Warburton in Western Australia presumably "cooked to death" in the back of an AIMS van operated by GSL."

"If the Immigration Minister is indeed a man of compassion who wants to return justice to the Immigration portfolio after the agonising and shocking period of the Howard, Ruddock, Vanstone and Kevin Andrews years, it is now that he should commit himself to the promises made by Labor whilst in opposition and rip the contract out of GSL's hands and return it to the Australian public service."

"And Sydney advocate for the Refugee Action Collective, Mr Ian Rintoul stated, that while it should be applauded that Senator Evans seeks to urgently review the 60 or so cases of long-term detention - many of whom are residing under terrible conditions in the Villawood detention centre in Sydney, the Minister also just gave others a 48-hour deportation notice, who should never receive such an order."

"Get all your courage together, Minister Evans, and announce the closure of Villawood at the end of your April review, and keep returning all the decency we should afford, also to those we need to, but not more than briefly, detain."

Ian Rintoul
Refugee Action Collective
[phone number posted]

Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]

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