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I’ve just been listening to politicians conscientiously “questioning” the rationale for flying bereaved asylum seeker detainees the long distance from Christmas Island to relatives’ funerals in Sydney. These are the victims of the shipwreck off Christmas Island late last year. “Why not lay them to rest on Christmas Island?” they opine. Forget the fact that there is already extended family in Sydney where the traumatised refugees hope to relocate and would surmisably gain some degree of comfort that their loved ones were laid to rest nearby. What’s the cost of a plane fare compared to the extraordinarily extravagant cost of off-shore detention?
I want to know why both Government and Opposition persist in singing the praises of off-shore detention when mainland community based assessment and resettlement was healthier, more integrative and humane for so many years.