Children to be released

IT’S welcome news the Abbott government will release more than 1500 children held in mainland detention into the community.

The children, of whom 150 are locked in mainland detention centres, will be released on bridging visas while their refugee applications are processed.

Unfortunately, the release plan doesn’t extend to those children who are in offshore detention centres on Nauru and Christmas Island.

They will remain in those centres because Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says releasing them would remove a deterrent to people smugglers and potentially see a renewal of boat arrivals that endangered more children.

Mr Morrison is proposing a new model that will ensure those children released will be provided with suitable accommodation, schooling, access to English-language classes and improved casework management.

He said the children found to be refugees would get a temporary visa but would not get a permanent visa.

The government will introduce legislation into the Parliament to restore temporary protection visas, a move that will concern refugee advocates who say these visas leave asylum seekers with an uncertain future.

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