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The usual reply from Like Hartsuyker


The usual reply from Luke Hartsuyker

Dear Mr Griffin,

Thank you for your email.

There were no children in detention when the Howard Government left office in 2007 and it was Labor’s dismantling of our successful border protection policies which led directly to the 51,000 arrivals by boat, including more than 8,400 children, as well as the loss of 1,200 lives at sea.  

The number of children in detention peaked during the last Labor government at nearly two thousand and the Coalition has been seeking to address this legacy ever since.  It is obviously desirable that no person should be in detention and, sixteen months after coming to office, we have now reduced the number of children in detention to just 126.  We will only be satisfied when that number has reached zero.

The Government is working on moving as many children as possible out of detention as quickly as possible, but many of these remaining cases involve complex security concerns around their parents.  It is often the wish of the parents that the family unit should remain together.  We are, however, encouraged that no more children are entering detention.

The Government has recently considered a report by the Human Rights Commission in relation to border protection policies.  Many of the recommendations of the report have already been implemented by the Government; however, some would mean undermining the very policies that have allowed the nation to address Labor’s legacy.  I believe that our policy has saved lives and we should not deviate from successful measures which have restored the integrity of our borders.

Since coming to office, we have successfully closed eleven detention facilities, moving many occupants into the community or releasing them on bridging visas.  We will continue these efforts.

Yours sincerely,

The Hon Luke Hartsuyker MP
The Nationals’ Federal Member for Cowper
Assistant Minister for Employment

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