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Vanstone Announces Details Of Cornelia Rau Inquiry

Senator Amanda Vanstone, Minister for ImmigrationThe Minister for Immigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone, has announced details of an inquiry into the detention of Cornelia Rau.

The inquiry will be conducted by the former Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Palmer.

Cornelia Rau spent six months in the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre and another four months in the Baxter detention centre in South Australia. An Australian citizen, Rau suffers from mental illness. The failure of assessment and treatment of her mental condition by police and immigration authorities is at the heart of the controversy surrounding her detention. The issue of mandatory detention of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants has also been highlighted again by Rau’s experience.

Vanstone announced the inquiry at a press conference in Canberra. Facing persistent questioning from journalists, she repeatedly used the expression “with respect” when responding during the 40-minute encounter.

  • Listen to Vanstone’s press conference.
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This is the text of a media release from the Minister for Immigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone.

Cornelia Rau Inquiry

Minister for Immigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today announced details of the inquiry into the Cornelia Rau case.

The Minister said former Australian Federal Police Commissioner, Mick Palmer AO APM, would conduct the inquiry.

‘Mr Palmer is a distinguished former Australian Federal Police Commissioner who has served over 30 years in both the State /Territory and Federal areas of policing within Australia,’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Mr Palmer has also been Australia’s representative for Asia on Interpol’s Executive Committee.

‘I am sure all those with an interest in the Cornelia Rau case will recognise Mr Palmer’s breadth of experience within policing and the public sector and welcome him as an appropriate, independent person to conduct the inquiry.’

The Minister also released the terms of reference for the inquiry.

‘The terms of reference ensure that the inquiry will be as broad as possible, while ensuring the central issues relating to the detention of Ms Rau and interaction between Commonwealth and State agencies, particularly police and mental health providers, are considered promptly,’ the Minister said.

‘We will discuss with Mr Palmer the provision of appropriate mental health expertise to assist him in his inquiry.

‘While I understand that some in the community are suggesting the inquiry should be conducted in public, I have requested that Mr Palmer conduct his investigation privately, with his findings to be released publicly.

‘As well as protecting the privacy of Ms Rau, the nature of the inquiry will ensure the report can be completed as quickly as possible and that it is not used by those with agendas outside of the scope of this inquiry. I want to ensure that Ms Rau’s personal circumstances are not misused. Public inquiries always present that opportunity.

‘I have asked Mr Palmer to report to me by March 24, 2005.’

Terms of Reference

The Inquiry will investigate, examine and report on matters relating to the case of Cornelia Rau, including in particular the actions of DIMIA and relevant state agencies, during the period March 2004 to February 2005.

In particular the Inquiry will:

  • examine and make findings on the sequence of events that gave rise to her being held in immigration detention;
  • examine and make findings on the circumstances, actions and procedures which resulted in her remaining unidentified during the period in question;
  • examine and make findings on measures taken to deal with her medical condition and other care needs during that period;
  • examine and make findings on the systems and processes of, and co-operation between, relevant state and commonwealth agencies in relation to identification/location of missing persons and provision of mental health services; and
  • recommend any necessary systems/process improvements.

The Inquiry will need to request the support and co-operation of relevant state agencies.

The Inquiry will report by 24 March 2005.


Vanstone Holds Press Conference On Cornelia Rau Detention

The Minister for Immmigration, Senator Amanda Vanstone, has held a press conference to discuss the detention of Cornelia Rau.

Rau, a German citizen and permanent resident of Australia was detained during 2004 and 2005 under the government’s mandatory detention program. She was held at the Brisbane Women’s Correctional Centre and the Baxter Detention Centre.

Rau suffered mental illness. She refused to reveal her identity and was classified as a suspected illegal immigrant by the Immigration Department. [Read more…]


Australian Citizenship – Immigration Department Leaflet

This is a leaflet on citizenship issued by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs in 2004. [Read more…]


Hanson Makes Front Page Of Washington Post

Pauline Hanson has appeared on the front page of the Washington Post in a report on Australia’s immigration policies.

The newspaper says: “Hanson’s ‘us first’ message, with its emotional racial overtones, caught much of Australia by surprise two years ago, and again last month. Few had imagined the depth and rawness of the feelings Hanson brings to the surface.”

“Australia is a changed place because of Hanson,” the newspaper says. “Even those who despire what she says acknowledge that she has pushed the country to talk openly about a taboo subject.” [Read more…]


One Nation Immigration, Population And Social Cohesion Policy

Pauline Hanson has released One Nation’s immigration policy.

ONE NATION

Immigration, Population and Social Cohesion Policy 1998

Introduction

Since British colonial settlement in 1788 the Australian continent has had continuous population growth initially fuelled by immigration. Migration began through the desperate need of the British Government to find a dumping ground for convicts who, together with the military and a few free settlers, faced the problems of carving out a life in the harsh environment of the Colony of New South Wales.

No immigration philosophy existed in these early days of European settlement, migration mainly being influenced by events such as the gold rushes. [Read more…]


Downer: Australia’s Place In The World

This is the text of an Address by Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign Affairs, to the NSW Division of the Liberal Party, in Sydney.

Downer outlined the government’s approach to foreign policy in its first nine months in office. He talked about Malaysia, multilateral and bilateral relations, trade and immigration.

Text of speech by Foreign Minister Alexander Downer to the NSW Liberal Party.

Alexander Downer, Minister for Foreign AffairsINTRODUCTION

Many thanks for the invitation to address you today.

I am delighted for the opportunity to speak about Australia’s “place in the world” and our foreign policy priorities.

This Government has a vision for Australia in the 21st century as a cooperative, economically competitive and secure nation, fully engaged with the East Asian region, while maintaining and developing links with countries beyond the region.

When we came into office almost nine months ago, we had a detailed policy, appropriately entitled A Confident Australia, which embodied this vision. [Read more…]


Pauline Hanson’s Maiden Speech In The House Of Representatives

Pauline Hanson was elected to the House of Representatives electorate of Oxley at the March 1996 election.

Hanson was disendorsed by the Liberal Party during the election campaign because of comments she made about Australian Aborigines. Because of the timing of the dis-endorsement, she appeared on the ballot paper as a Liberal candidate.

Oxley was a traditionally safe Labor electorate in Queensland, centred on Ipswich. Labor’s Les Scott held Oxley with a two-party-preferred margin of 14.65%. Hanson secured a swing of 19.31% and won the seat with a majority of 4.66%.

Hanson’s maiden speech to the House on September 10 caused a storm of controversy because of its criticisms of Aboriginals, multiculturalism and immigration. [Read more…]