The Government has released 25 more refugees from detention in Brisbane, leaving over 100 behind in distress
1 March 2021
The Government has released 22 people from Kangaroo Point Hotel and 3 people from the Brisbane Immigration Transit Accommodation (BITA) who are now in the community.
The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s (ASRC) detention advocacy team have clients inside detention centres and expect more people to be released from Kangaroo Point Hotel, Villawood in Sydney and the Darwin Mercure Hotel where there are women and families being detained.
While we welcome freedom for people after eight years of harm in indefinite detention, these releases have been arbitrary, with people who are in an identical legal situation to those being released, being left behind in detention centres across Australia.
Around 130 people still remain in detention who the Government transferred from Offshore Processing for medical treatment in Australia, including under the Medevac legislation.
Caseworkers, lawyers and community advocates are greatly concerned for rapidly deteriorating mental health of people remaining in detention centres, many of whom are experiencing severe distress at being left behind, without adequate emergency mental health care.
People are being released on six month bridging visas with work rights.
People who were released from the Park Hotel and MITA received up to six weeks of Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) including motel accommodation and income support payments which are due to run out in March.
It is uncertain what support people now being released will receive. People on bridging visas are excluded from Government safety nets of Job Keeper and Job Seeker.
Individuals and families are reliant on community support, charity and service organisations to meet basic needs while they look for work in the recession.
Jana Favero, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns said: “The arbitrary, delayed nature of releases and absence of any information from the Government explaining why some people are being released and others are not, has caused severe mental health harm to those still detained and who need their freedom to recover.”
“The Government must release all people transferred from Offshore Processing urgently and stop leaving people behind in detention centres where there is no emergency medical support for mental health.”
“People need freedom to recover their health and a permanent home so they can have a future, not six-month visas and more years of stress and failing health.”
Nina Field, ASRC Detention Advocacy Caseworker, said: “We are incredibly relieved to see our clients, many of whom have been experiencing severe mental health deterioration over the past months and years, released into freedom.”
“People will need support and time to recover, but what people most need is a certain future and a permanent home.”
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