Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to Senator Fifield, representing the Acting Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. Former immigration minister Peter Dutton yesterday said he was very proud of the fact that he 'got children out of detention'. Refugee advocates state that there are still 119 children on Nauru, one of whom is on a hunger strike.
Government senators interjecting—
Thanks, Senator Griff, for the question. The first point I should make is that the regional processing centres in Nauru are open accommodation sites, and residents are able to move about freely. The government of Nauru manages and administers the Nauru Regional Processing Centre under its laws. The department does provide capacity-building and funding to Nauru to operate the RPCs and coordinate the contract administration process. The temporary settlement of refugees in Nauru is the responsibility of the government of Nauru, and Nauru determined refugees are eligible for a limited time visa. All refugees in Nauru receive settlement support services, including needs-based case management, income support, cultural orientation, employment and vocational support, and language training. The department is working closely with the government of Nauru and service providers to strengthen programs for children, providing funding for youth-specific sports services such as out-of-school-hour activities.
There are extensive medical services that are provided for those who are on Nauru. The health and welfare of individuals who are on Nauru is very important. It's a matter that the Australian government obviously assists the government of Nauru on. But I do emphasise again that the regional processing centres in Nauru are open accommodation sites and residents can move about the community freely.
Thanks, Senator Griff. Mental health services are provided by IHMS and include a team of professionals, including mental health nurses, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists. Programs run by IHMS include the day program, which includes self-esteem and stress management groups, social and emotional development, and social and educational programs. Services provided on Nauru deliver a range of educational and recreational activities as well, to support transferee children on Nauru, including early childhood activities for nought- to five-year-olds, homework groups and sporting competitions, and also kids and teen clubs.