A DELIBERATELY preposterous suggestion from Australia's leading human rights lawyer could make its way into the Tasmanian Parliament.
Julian Burnside, QC, revived the idea to turn Tasmania into a detention centre at a public lecture at the University of Tasmania in Hobart on Thursday night.
The ``Tasmanian solution'', first reported in The Examiner last year, would see asylum seekers transferred to Tasmania to live in the community after a short time in detention for health and security checks.
But Greens leader Nick McKim said it was an ``outstanding idea'' and he would take it to the Greens' party room on Monday.
Mr Burnside raised the idea in response to Australia's asylum policies, which he said were not only inhumane but uneconomic.
He said Australia spent about $4 billion a year detaining asylum seekers. Allowing them to live and work in population-stricken areas like Tasmania or regional Australia would boost struggling economies.
The plan involves the federal government providing $1 billion in welfare support and funding for infrastructure and services, which would also be spent locally.
``So even if none of those people get jobs, we save a cool $3 billion. Never mind our souls,'' Mr Burnside said.
The idea is not intended as public-policy ready, but that hasn't stopped Mr McKim saying he would strongly consider it.
``Tasmania is a compassionate place - we really want in our community to support asylum seekers,'' he said.
Premier Lara Giddings was more equivocal, saying while she did not support detention centres she would need to run the idea past the Tasmanian community.
Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said he did not support the idea because it did not have merit.
``I think we have got to deal with this issue sensitively and particularly in a way that delivers good outcomes for the people involved,'' Mr Hodgman said.