Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018; Consideration of Senate Message
This is urgent. This can be dealt with now and it must be dealt with now, because people are sick and people are dying. One thing has become crystal clear, and it is made even clearer by the government's attempt to stop us even debating giving people the help they need, and that is you cannot trust this government to give people the help they need when they're sick.
We have heard report after report that strikes at the heart of most of us on the crossbench and most people in this country. When you have 11- or 12-year-old girls threatening to kill themselves and setting themselves alight because they have been stuck in conditions to the point where they break, where you have people who have committed no crime—no crime whatsoever—being put into prisons and have them deteriorate on our watch, under our care, and get denied the medical treatment they so desperately need, it is clear that something needs to change and that something needs to change quickly.
It will come as no surprise that I do not support the system of offshore detention. I do not support it. I have not supported it for some time, but I know that others do and I accept that others do. There are potentially others on the crossbench who do and there are others in this parliament who do, but whether you do or you don't, and whether you are a voter who supports or doesn't support offshore detention, no-one can argue with the very simple proposition that when there is someone who is sick, who is under our care, then they need to get the medical treatment they need, and we can make that happen by passing this amendment and dealing with this now.