Monday, 22 September 2014
Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014; Consideration in Detail
Once again the Labor Party is opposing the government on border protection. There is no great surprise about that. The opposition has always opposed this government when it comes to border protection. They have always opposed the Liberal Party and National Party when it comes to having successful border protection policies. So it is no shock that the deputy shadow minister for immigration—with the real shadow minister for immigration being Senator Hanson-Young—is going to come in here and yet again oppose another set of legislation from the government that will ensure that we have a more effective border protection regime and system for processing claims in this country. They opposed turnback. They opposed temporary protection visas. They had to be dragged kicking and screaming when it came to offshore processing. If they were ever given the opportunity to occupy the government benches again, they would roll it all back again as they always would. That is what you can expect.
But here we have a very interesting situation. They are opposing the bill that would seek to ensure people do not use the system for unfair gain when it comes to their claims. They are opposing a bill—and they have already voted against a bill—that is seeking to have people be up-front and say who they are and what their claim is. They think that is not something we should be doing. With these amendments, they are trying to add more cost and more delay into the system where we have a common-sense solution which says oral statements can be provided, particularly in MRT cases, of which there are thousands. The member for McMahon will know how many MRT cases there are. There are thousands. The bill retains the right to have a written statement if one is requested within seven days. You are not getting rid of a written statement. You are just making the system work more efficiently, and you are reducing costs and reducing delay.
On the last point, with these amendments the opposition are actually opposing a practice and policy that they followed in government. When they were in government, it was their policy and practice to use the 'more likely than not' provision to assess complementary protection claims. That is simply what this bill seeks to do, and they are seeking to remove it. We are seeing an opposition that learnt nothing while in government about border protection. They have continued that in opposition. The government will be opposing these amendments.