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Australia’s Maribyrnong Detention Center Gets Closed

The ruling Liberal-led coalition has faced fierce public opposition to its harsh immigration policies, including the use of unpopular offshore detention camps.

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The Melbourne, Australia, skyline is seen June 2, 2010. VOA

Australia announced the closure of Melbourne’s controversial Maribyrnong detention center Wednesday, one of several facilities used to lock up immigrants who arrived without papers.

The government said the decision to close the much-criticized facility was “another milestone in the ramping-down of Australia’s onshore immigration detention network.”

Maribyrnong opened in the middle of the last century, but has recently been the site of hunger strikes and other protests over harsh treatment.

In 2017, the Australian Human Rights Commission — a government body — reported guards at the facility used “more restrictive measures than necessary,” including the excessive use of restraints during escort.

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FILE – Protestors against asylum seekers being deported, gather for a rally in Sydney, Australia, Feb. 4, 2016. VOA

The few remaining inmates have now been transferred to other facilities.

Immigration Minister David Coleman said successful policies had reduced the number of people held at Australia’s immigration detention centers from a peak of 10,000 in 2013 to just over a thousand today.

Also Read: An ‘Underwater Garden’ Gets Revealed In Australia

Around 19 facilities have been shuttered since September 2013 — as the government looks to elections that will take place by the end of May and intense debate over immigration policies.

The ruling Liberal-led coalition has faced fierce public opposition to its harsh immigration policies, including the use of unpopular offshore detention camps. (VOA)

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Melbourne to Launch Uber Airs Aerial Ride-sharing Pilot Program

Uber reported that traffic congestion costs Australia AU$16.5 billion (US$11.47 billion) each year and it is anticipated that in 2030 the figure will go up to AU$30 billion

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Uber app.

Australias Melbourne city will be the first in the world outside of the US to launch Uber Airs aerial ride-sharing pilot program, the company said on Wednesday.

“Test flights (are) due to start from 2020 and plans for commercial operations (will) commence from 2023,” Uber announced in a statement, reported Efe news.

Dallas and Los Angeles in the US are the other two pilot cities.

More than 3.8 million Australians use the ride-sharing service, which entered the market in 2012, Regional General Manager for Uber in Australia, New Zealand and North Asia, Susan Anderson, said on Tuesday at a company meeting in Washington.

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Photo shows an exterior view of the headquarters of Uber in San Francisco. (VOA)

“Australian governments have adopted a forward-looking approach to ride-sharing and future transport technology,” said Anderson.

“This, coupled with Melbourne’s unique demographic and geospatial factors, and culture of innovation and technology, makes Melbourne the perfect third launch city for Uber Air,” she added.

Also Read- Hackers Could be Using DM Route to Hijack Twitter Accounts, Warn Security Researchers

Uber reported that traffic congestion costs Australia AU$16.5 billion (US$11.47 billion) each year and it is anticipated that in 2030 the figure will go up to AU$30 billion.

“In the long term, the vision is for safe, quiet electric vehicles transporting tens of thousands of people across cities for the same price as an UberX trip over the same distance,” Uber’s statement said. (IANS)