The Refugee Action Coalition has dismissed the government announcement that Maribynong and Blaxland at Villawood will close, as an empty gesture.

“The fact is that the government has increased detention capacity with new compounds being opened at Yongah Hill, and a high detention facility opening in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation, to replace Maribynong,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition.

“There has been no significant decrease in the numbers of people detained on the mainland. In November 2018, there were 544 people who had been in detention more than one year – up from 505 in September, 2018.

Worse, it is inexcusable that the numbers of people being held in detention longer than a year keeps growing.  In November 2018, 281 people had been in detention over two years.

‘Some people have been kept there for six, seven and eight years. The government is systematically destroying lives of those they hold in the ‘factories of mental illness’.

“It is deliberate government policies that are keeping people in detention. If they were serious about closing detention centres, they could close them all, and release all those being held. Instead, they are increasing their detention capacity, while they try to hide their detention abuses behind meaningless announcements.”

For more information contact Ian Rintoul , mob 0417 275 713.