5.22 The committee recommends that, consistent with the terms of the
Memorandum of Understanding and related arrangements between the governments of
Australia and Nauru, Australia ensure that support and assistance is provided
to Nauru's police, judicial, prosecutorial and other law and justice entities
to the extent necessary to ensure that Nauru's justice system meets the
standards of accountability and probity required by Australian and
5.26 The committee recommends that the Government of Australia, in
consultation with the Government of Nauru, agree on and publicly commit to a
model timeframe for refugee status determinations, and that Australia provide
the Government of Nauru with the support necessary to achieve faster and more
predictable processing of claims.
5.27 The committee further recommends that asylum seekers be informed about
the steps being taken to process their claims, be regularly updated on the
progress of the claim, and that an explanation be provided to asylum seekers
when model timeframes are not met.
5.37 The committee recommends that the Immigration Ombudsman undertake
independent external review of all complaints involving the conduct of Australian-funded
staff or contractors at the Regional Processing Centre, and that the government
ensure that the office of the Ombudsman is adequately resourced to do so.
5.38 The committee further recommends that the Ombudsman report to
parliament on an annual basis on the number and nature of the complaints
received and the outcomes of the Ombudsman's assessment of them.
5.39 The committee recommends that briefing be required to be provided to
all asylum seekers on their rights to lodge complaints with independent bodies
such as the Immigration Ombudsman, the Australian Human Rights Commission and
the International Committee of the Red Cross, both generally and in specific
response to any complaints made.
5.43 The committee recommends that Australia increase the transparency of
conditions and operations at the Regional Processing Centre, including by
ensuring the provision of reasonable access, in negotiation with the Government
of Nauru as necessary, by the Australian Human Rights Commission and by the
5.45 The committee recommends that the Department of Immigration
and Border Protection require, in its contracts with service providers, that
comprehensive drug and alcohol testing be conducted on staff employed at the
Regional Processing Centre on Nauru, including daily random tests for both
alcohol and drugs.
5.49 The committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Border
Protection provide full and disaggregated accounts in its Portfolio Budget
Statements, annual reports and other relevant reports to Parliament and to the
Australian public, of the expenditure associated with the Regional Processing
Centre on Nauru. This accounting should include detailing costs specific to the
Nauru RPC, as well as related support and assistance provided by the Australian
Government to the Republic of Nauru.
5.52 The committee recommends that a full and disaggregated account of all
works conducted in association with the Regional Processing Centre to date be
reported by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to the Senate.
5.53 The committee recommends that a clarification be provided to the Senate
by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection as to why exemptions on
the grounds of assistance to foreign governments apply to expenditure
associated with the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.
5.54 The committee further recommends that all expenditure associated with
the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru, including expenditure considered to be
assistance to a foreign government, should be specifically reported to the
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee before each
5.59 The committee recommends that the Australian Government continue to
review the operation of the Regional Processing Centre with a view to expanding
open centre arrangements. The committee recommends that the Regional Processing
Centre on Nauru move toward becoming a more open, lower security living
arrangement for all asylum seekers except where there is a compelling reason
for an asylum seeker to be accommodated more securely.
5.60 The committee recommends that any savings resulting from the
implementation of an open centre model be redirected toward improving the
living conditions of asylum seekers in the Regional Processing Centre, with a
focus on humane living arrangements, services and amenities, including improved
access to communications. The committee recommends that the Department of
Immigration and Border Protection report publicly and to the Senate within 12
months on progress in this regard.
5.67 The committee recommends that the government commit to and publicly
release a medium to long term plan for the completion of permanent
infrastructure at the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru, including the
construction of solid accommodation structures, and for tangible improvements
to amenities for asylum seekers including lighting, water, toilets, air
conditioning, cooking facilities and communications.
5.68 The committee is convinced that welfare services must be provided by a
dedicated welfare service provider with the required experience and
accreditation to undertake such work. The committee recommends that a
non-government organisation be contracted directly by the Department of
Immigration and Border Protection to provide welfare services to all asylum
seekers within the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.
5.76 The committee recommends that the government extend its current policy
commitment to remove children from immigration detention to the maximum extent
possible, to include the removal of children from the Regional Processing
Centre in Nauru. The government should develop a plan for the removal of
children from the Nauru RPC as soon as possible, with their families where they
have them, to appropriate arrangements in the community.
5.79 The committee recommends that the Australian Government commit to and
publicly state a specific plan for addressing the educational needs of asylum
seeker and refugee children in Nauru.
5.85 The committee recommends that the Department of Immigration and Border
Protection, in consultation with the Australian Federal Police, undertake a
full audit of all allegations of sexual abuse, child abuse and other criminal
conduct reported to the Australian Human Rights Commission, to the Moss Review
and to this inquiry, seeking the agreement of these bodies to share
confidential information where necessary to conduct such an audit.
5.86 The committee further recommends that, taking into account the need to
protect personal privacy, the minister should report to the Senate by the end
of December 2015, and every six months thereafter, setting out all allegations
of a criminal nature made in relation to the RPC, and the action taken by the
department and other relevant authorities in response.
5.91 The committee recommends that legislation be passed by the Australian
Parliament requiring the mandatory reporting of any reasonably suspected
unlawful sexual contact, sexual harassment, unreasonable use of force or other
assault perpetrated against asylum seekers at the Regional Processing Centres, under
similar terms as the mandatory reporting provisions contained in existing
Commonwealth, state and territory laws.
5.92 Such legislation should require that the reporting is made to the
Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Federal
Police, as well as any relevant state, territory or foreign police force and,
where the matter relates to a child, child protection authorities in any
relevant jurisdictions. The legislation should utilise Category C or D
extraterritorial jurisdiction to apply in Nauru, and impose penalties for
noncompliance comparable with those which apply in existing legislation within
5.94 Given the committee's concerns about the level of accountability and
transparency that currently applies to the operation of the regional processing
centre in the Republic of Nauru, the committee recommends that the following
matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee
for inquiry and report by 31 December
- conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the Regional
Processing Centre in the Republic of Nauru;
- transparency and accountability mechanisms that apply to the Regional
Processing Centre in the Republic of Nauru;
- implementation of recommendations of the Moss Review in relation to the
regional processing centre in the Republic of Nauru;
- the extent to which the Australian funded regional processing centre in the
Republic of Nauru is operating in compliance with Australian and international
- the extent to which contracts associated with the operation of offshore
processing centres are:
- delivering value for money consistent with the
definition contained in the Commonwealth procurement rules;
- meeting the terms of their contracts;
- delivering services which meet Australian standards;
- any related matter.
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