The Australian Greens today called on the Government to clarify the terms agreed with PNG on the duration of offshore detention of refugees and confirm whether multinational engineering company Transfield Services is contracted to operate the offshore facilities.
"The Prime Minister must clarify how long vulnerable refugees will be dumped offshore - indefinitely is not an option' said Greens' immigration spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young today.
"It is concerning that Prime Ministers Gillard and O'Neill still seem to be odds on the duration of detention despite signing a new Memorandum of Understanding.
"The Prime Minister should table a time limit for detention on both Nauru and Manus Island when Parliament resumes next week.
"The Greens strongly agree with the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea Peter O'Neill that these desperate people's asylum applications must be processed as quickly as possible to mitigate the severe mental ill-health and trauma that indefinite detention will cause.
"12 months is surely long enough to carry out all refugee assessments and any longer is simply cruel and inhumane.
"Given the IOM and the UNHCR will not participate in Australia's offshore processing of refugees it is more clear than ever that we need guaranteed time limits and welfare protections.
"The Government needs to come clean on the details of their Pacific Solution Mark 2 by responding to reports that engineering company Transfield Services is contracted to operate the offshore detention camps.
"The Prime Minister needs to say whether these rumours are true, and if they are, what experience does an engineering company have running a detention camp?
"Amongst the group of refugees who have been told they will be going to Nauru as early as next week are young children and pregnant women. One pregnant women is due to have her baby next week - what will happen to her and her new baby?
"The cruel reality of Labor and Tony Abbott's punitive offshore dumping policy is that it is inhumane, costly and does nothing to care for refugees.
Media contact: Ali Neyle 0427 604 760