Friday February 25 2005 13:25pm WST
For Immediate Release
"Immigration Minister Senator Amanda Vanstone should do a work experience stint with refugee support and advocacy groups so she can learn some things about her role and duty", WA based refugee advocacy group Project SafeCom commented today when deportation of a promising youth was imminent.
"Minister Vanstone's job is not about kicking people out of Australia, but to attract them to our country and keep them here so they can contribute to building Australia, especially - and perhaps above all - when it concerns people who have so much to offer to Australia as the fifteen year-old Thai man Nak Assavatheptavee, who will be deported this afternoon together with his father."
"Also, if she gets some work experience, she may also learn that breach of client case file confidentiality would get her sacked without mercy. He statements to the media today about Nak's father and supposed "character grounds" borders on using file details to appear to have grounds for the deportation.
The Minister also told the media less than a week ago that long-held Baxter detainee Mr Peter Qasim "was uncooperative" with the department, but never have the plethora of refugee advocacy groups seen any grounds for this so-called 'un-cooperativeness'. On that occasion also, the Minister's statements bordered on a breach of confidentiality - just because its suits her purpose and gives her a justification."
"Refugee advocates are good at what they do, they do it with passion, and mostly without a salary - and we find people back who are lost in the system for the Minister, without getting so much as a thank-you from her, as the case of Cornelia Rau showed. The Minister may consider she has a lot to learn about her portfolio and her duties by working for organisations that support refugees."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]