Friday, July 15, 2005

Another "Please Explain" for Vanstone

The Palmer Report initiated by the unlawful detention of Australian resident Cornelia Rau was released yesterday. Howard fronted a press conference with Vanstone in a show of strength. He even apologised, I heard him use the 'apology' word, but I don't think he actually used the more loaded term "sorry". However while the media and analysts plow through the report there is a very similar case brewing.

It was clear in even the draft report that Palmer was very down on immigration detainees being held in prison. This is meant to be as a very last resort and for no longer than 28 days. Currently it is day 24 for a kiwi woman being held in the Brisbane Correctional Centre. What was that, a New Zealander being held prior to deportation, but don't all kiwis have automatic Australian residency? Well it appears, not if the government doesn't like your character. The woman in question, 28 and 5 months pregnant is familiar with our penitentiary system having spent a 5 and a half years behind bars on criminal matters. The woman was released on parole, which she completed. Last month, as a free resident of this country, the federal government got her picked up, put in the only detention available in Queensland to await deportation. A fair few New Zealanders have served time here, just how common is it for them to be deported on release is unclear.

To have another woman being held in jail for immigration reasons, in Queensland, at the time of the Palmer inquirey will take some tangoing by the government to cover clear up. In the meantime Senator Vanstone has her hands rather full.

(thanks to the Flute for this one)

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