17 Apr 2007

Australian Greens say Sri Lankan asylum seekers on Nauru need proper legal advice

6:56 pm on 17 April 2007

The Australian greens senator, Kerry Nettle, says that the Sri Lankan asylum seekers on Nauru should have been given proper legal advice before the immigration department began interviewing them.

She says the interviews being conducted without legal advice on Nauru highlight the problems with off-shore processing.

The senator says the processing system and standards on Nauru are far murkier than in Australia, and the Sri Lankans are having to navigate the system without legal assistance.

She says the greens are concerned that a fair and just outcome may not result.

Senator Nettle says the government should not do a quick and dirty job of processing these people just to meet the six month deadline imposed by Nauru.

She says if the government does not bring the Sri Lankans back to Australia it should adequately fund a legal team to fly to Nauru and advice them.