Friday, August 17, 2007

Baxter detention facility to close but Australia's human rights debacle continues

The SMH reports "The federal government is to close the Baxter Immigration Detention Centre, in South Australia's mid-north, returning the facility to the defence department.

Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the decision to close Baxter from next Monday was possible because of the government's strong border protection policies, particularly the use of the offshore processing facility on Nauru.

"Stemming the flow of illegal arrivals has been a key part of the measures to make Australia's borders secure and assure the integrity of its immigration program," Mr Andrews said.

The home for several hundred detainees at one stage, Baxter is now believed to hold just 12 people, who will be moved to other immigration facilities interstate."

The Pacific Solution has made Baxter redundant, along with many of its staff. The extraordinary wastage of public resources behind the Howard Government's asylum seeker policies is brought into sharp focus by this decision. The ongoing dysfunctional madness of the PS, the demonization of sanctuary seekers, the coercion of a small impoverished state (Nauru) and Australia's loss of credibility as a defender of human rights - the score card is miserable and will continue unabated unless Howard is tossed out of government.

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