Monday January 31 2005 9:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"WA Refugee lobby group Project SafeCom comments today that the resumption of construction of the Christmas Island detention amounts to the most ludicrous squandering of taxpayers money, and it calls on the Howard government to stop its further plans to build the centre."
"It is clear to everyone in Australia, also to people on Christmas Island, that no refugees will approach Australia or Christmas Island ever again, thanks to the harsh Howard government policies. At the moment there are about 50 Vietnamese on the island, and to spend a third of a billion dollars on a detention centre is a laughable waste of money, but also a callous disregard to all Australians. It is not the Howard government that owns this money, and it should realise that this is money owned by Australians."
"Refugees around the world will not include Australia any longer in their considerations to seek for decent convention countries, which is their international right under the Convention - of that the Howard government can be sure: Australia is now a pariah state in the eyes of refugees."
"Knowing the past record of hiding information from Australians, we can only conclude one thing, especially on an Island that has a runway you can land a Russian Tupolev cargo plane on, and that would be the plan to establish a US Army base on the island. It is time the Howard government reveals its real intention for the detention centre to the Australian taxpayer, and especially to the people on Christmas Island."
For more information:
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]