After consistently ignoring independent reports of the unacceptable conditions in the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres, the government today voted against a motion calling for full media access to the island facilities.
“I think the Australian public deserve to know what the government is so desperate to keep hidden and I will continue to fight for media access to the detention centres in the future,” the Greens immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said.
“Shocking reports of appalling conditions, mental distress and self-harm in the government’s offshore detention facilities point to the fact that we are at a crisis point.
“It is not good enough to simply disregard the reports of independent bodies after they see how disgusting the conditions are and it is clear that the media needs to be allowed to do its job.
“The media plays an essential role in our democracy and denying them access to the offshore detention centres, which Australian tax payers are shelling out billions of dollars for, is a blatant attempt to hide the situation from the public.
“I moved the motion today because I have seen with my own eyes just how bad conditions are on Manus Island and I’m concerned that there is more for the media to uncover.
“There have now been highly critical reports from the UNHCR and serious first hand allegations from a Nauru based nurse and the media needs to be able to shed some light on what is actually happening there.
“Despite journalists agreeing not to identify people within the camps, access still hasn’t been granted and it is obvious the government wants to avoid any close scrutiny of what they are doing.”
Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760