The Greens will move in Parliament to establish a Royal Commission into the abuse taking place on Manus and Nauru in offshore detention camps.
A Royal Commission provides a full, frank and independent inquiry into the systemic abuse that is being perpetrated in the name of the Australian government.
Thousands of people have been damaged by the practice of mandatory, indefinite detention under successive Liberal and Labor governments in Australia. The government is sanctioning young children, women and families being abused, assaulted and exposed to medical neglect.
In recent days, over two thousand incident reports have come to light, exposing more of the taking place in Australia’s detention camps. We can’t claim not to know.
The camps must be closed, and a Royal Commission must be undertaken.
The importance of a Royal Commission
Royal Commissions have specific powers of investigation, including coercive powers of investigation. This means they have the ability to call and cross-examine witnesses, obtain evidence, and rights of entry, while also providing protection to witnesses and inquiry members from legal action such as defamation (this is not the case for Senate inquiries).
Further, the Royal Commissions Act creates a number of statutory offences for certain types of conduct. For example, it is an offence to fail to attend or produce documents to a Royal Commission; or to conceal, mutilate or destroy any document or thing that is likely to be required in evidence before a Royal Commission
Given the experience of the Senate recently in attempting to gather information about Nauru, where it’s now clear Wilson Security misled and withheld information. The powers of a Royal Commission are required.
A Royal Commission is independent and would remove politics from the process.