Friday May 23, 2008 8:30am WST
For Immediate Release
"From now onwards the hugely expensive, super-secure and Orwellian detention centre, suitable for mass rapist, child abusers, child killers and serial murderers - but purposely built to jail refugees and asylum seekers, on Christmas Island, is open for business, but before it becomes a "normal" thing to have people jailed there its purpose should be radically changed, WA human rights group Project SafeCom said this morning.
"The Christmas Island detention centre would be doomed to become a costly white elephant if no boat arrivals would be forthcoming, but it's more likely that it will be filled to bursting capacity some time soon with Climate Refugees," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"During the last month, the earthquake in China and the disaster in Burma has created ten million refugees and displaced people, agencies have estimated, and it's likely that the world sees many more cataclysmic disasters like this in the next few decades."
"It is now not only the UK based Aid Agency Christian Aid Service that mentioned an estimated figure of One Billion people to become displaced and becoming Climate Refugees between now and 2050. The same estimate was mentioned at a conference in London also attended by the UN Refugee Agency Chief António Guterres."
"Before the flood of world movement of displaced people starts, Kevin Rudd and Chris Evans urgently need to legislate, explain and clarify Labor commitments to its own policies of
Processing 90% of all refugee cases within 90 days;
John Howard's Orwellian excision of 4,600 islands from Australian Refugee Law and from the United Nations Convention's reach - including Christmas Island - as opposed by Labor in the Senate, August 2005, see debate speeches here:
Cancelling the hugely expensive detention services contract with the American company Global Solutions Limited, and bring this contract back to Australia and Australian workers and Australian direct duty of care accountability (As committed to by ALP Policy since 2005, see Foreign Minister Stephen Smith's speech here:
("When it comes to asylum seekers Labor ... wants mandatory detention maintained in a humane way, not in a punitive way, and managed by Commonwealth officers on Commonwealth territory")
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]