22 Jun 2005

Australian senate supports Greens motion on Nauru asylum seekers

1:16 pm on 22 June 2005

The Australian Greens party leader, senator Bob Brown, has introduced a motion in the senate for a final group of asylum seekers on Nauru to be brought to Australia.

He says they're currently without rights as they're regarded as extra-territorial, and entering Australia would allow them access to the judicial system.

Mr Brown introduced the motion after the Immigration minister, Amanda Vanstone, was given new discretionary powers to release families from detention centres in Australia and allow long-term detainees to live in the community.

He says that doesn't include asylum seekers on Nauru which is why the move was made in the senate.

"That motion simply called for the remaining asylum seekers on Nauru to be brought to mainland Australia, where of course, they would have access to the judicial system and the review system. We will amend the government legislation when it comes into the senate later this week."

Mr Brown says he believes, however, that the government is likely to hold the legislation over until July when it will have the balance of power in the senate.

He says he also opposes the new powers given to Ms Vanstone because there is no independent review or appeals available once decisions are made.