21 July 2005
Nevertheless while welcoming many of the findings and recommendations of the report, a range of groups including Polmin and the Refugee Council of Australia have called for a broader, full judicial enquiry.
Concerns were expressed from the outset at the narrow terms of reference for the enquiry and the limited powers of the investigator. The Government’s response to the findings and recommendations have done little to allay the suspicion that it is more concerned with making cosmetic changes to the system and absolving those who have directed the policy of any responsibility for the lack of fairness and respect for human dignity condemned in the Palmer report. Instead a fundamentally immoral and flawed policy remains intact.
A spokesman for the Brotherhood of St Laurence stated that it was time to end "Australia’s disgraced and abusive detention system for which no-one is being held accountable"
Speaking on behalf of Australia’s Catholic Bishops, Bishop Joe Grech urged the Government to cease ignoring "the viable and effective alternatives to detention that various people have been proposing for a number of years. These alternatives are well-developed, and can help solve the serious problems of the present mandatory detention system." Such an alternative is The Better Way