10 Dec 2007

End of Nauru detention camps about common sense and decency - refugee advocate

7:20 pm on 10 December 2007

An Australian refugee advocate says the decision by the new Labor Government to begin the dismantling of the detention camps in Nauru is about basic common sense and basic decency.

The Australian Government has granted refugee status to seven Burmese men on Nauru in its first step to end the previous Government's so called Pacific Solution.

David Manne, a lawyer with the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, says the camps on Nauru and Manus Island in PNG caused profound suffering and were a colossal waste of taxpayers' money.

"All this was completely unnecessary. It was as a policy a spectacular failure in terms of both human and financial cost. And really the newly elected Government has come up with what is essentially a commonsense and fair decision, and we can only hope that such a damaging process is not inflicted on anyone again."