Media Release: Friday, October 30, 2009

The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) today voiced its severe reservations about the ‘Indonesian solution’ being implemented by the Federal Government.

“The Government must ensure that the ‘Indonesian solution’ is humane, temporary and facilitates the quick processing of refugee claims,” ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.

“It seems almost impossible to believe that detention centres run in Indonesia, even if funded by Australia, would meet the standards required by us in health, general care and environment.

“ACL was not a critic of the concept behind the Pacific solution, due to its role in strongly deterring the illegal boat trade and the tragic deaths and crime associated with it. However we have always been strong advocates of the need to speedily process and take genuine refugees into Australia – a Christian duty,” he said.

“Of course the Government has an equal duty to ensure that criminals do not abuse our refugee policies and to ensure the security of the country, but this solution badly risks sacrificing compassion in the process.”

Media Contact: Glynis Quinlan