2 May 2017

Parliament 'treated with contempt' over Nauru, Manus

9:17 am on 2 May 2017

Lawyers in Australia say the Immigration Department has treated parliament with contempt by not co-operating with a Senate inquiry into refugee processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Greg Barns

Greg Barns Photo: ABC - courtesy of Sensible Films

A report was issued last week from the six-month inquiry into allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers detained offshore by Australia.

In the report, the chair of the senate inquiry committee called the department's lack of accountability disturbing and for secrecy surrounding the centres to cease.

A barrister with the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Greg Barns, said the department was blocking independent scrutiny.

"The committee found that the department of immigration frustrated it in its attempts to access information. They refused to provide assistance and they were certainly not wanting any external or independent scrutiny of their policies and procedures. To treat the parliament with such contempt, I think says a lot about the culture of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection."

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