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Calls for rethink on Refugee Detention Centres

The fires at Refugee Detention Centre's over the Christmas-New Year period have brought further calls for the Federal Government to modify its policies. Various spokespeople for the Catholic Church have been vocal in the news including Fr Frank Brennan SJ and Bishop Eugene Hurley of the Port Pirie Diocese. The Policy Director for Jesuit Social Services, Fr Peter Norden SJ, put out a media statement yesterday saying "While no Australian citizen will respond positively to the extensive damage to five immigration detention centres in different parts of the country in the last four days, a more reasoned response will attempt to interpret this behaviour as the actions of frustrated and desperate people. It is now time to consider a more effective management approach than mandatory detention" he concluded. Meanwhile the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists claims the series of fires and riots demonstrate there is a mental heath crisis among detainees.

ABC News "Call for rethink on detention centres"
ABC News "Melbourne detention centre worse than Pentridge: chaplain"

3 Jan 2003