20 June 2015, The Saturday Paper, by Mike Seccombe
The only success in curbing mistreatment of refugees has been in the High Court. Now the government is targeting the lawyers who bring the cases. As Tanya Jackson-Vaughan, executive director of the Sydney-based Refugee Advice and Casework Service, explains: “before the last election all agencies got money to provide legal assistance to asylum seekers…this was cut in September 2013 when the Coalition came in, and from that point on we weren’t referred any more clients who came by boat,” she says. “This funding had been bipartisan [for about 20 years] before this government. It was quite limited, but it at least realised people need assistance when they come off a boat and are vulnerable and can’t speak English.”
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