# ADAM TODD
# From: The Advertiser

HUSSAIN Razaiat spent eight long months behind razor wire at the Woomera Detention Centre, watching fellow detainees gradually lose their minds in the desert.

Afghani refugee Hussain Razait at the Inverbrackie detention centre site yesterday. Picture: TAIT SCHMAAL

Afghani refugee Hussain Razait at the Inverbrackie detention centre site yesterday. Picture: TAIT SCHMAAL

Yesterday, The Advertiser took the Afghan refugee on a tour of Inverbrackie and nearby Woodside – where 400 asylum seekers will be living from December – and he could barely describe the difference.

“It’s just not comparable to Woomera – the trees, the environment and, of course, the privacy,” he said.

“It’s a lovely place. There’s no razor wire at all.”

Mr Razaiat also issued an impassioned plea to opponents of the plan and said they had nothing to fear by having asylum seekers on their doorstep.

“In my time in Australia, I have never heard of one asylum seeker being a burden or a risk to the Australian community.”

Mr Razaiat said the conditions at Woomera led to serious problems for detainees once they were released.

“I found a lot of people there became mentally, even physically, sick.

“Now they’re here in the community and they’re reliant on the health system; a lot of them are consulting psychologists.”

Mr Razaiat arrived in Australia by boat in 2002 and, after eight months in detention, was granted a temporary protection visa. He became an Australian citizen and now helps Afghan refugees settle into the community.

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