Thursday, 29 November 2012
Private Members' Business
Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders
That so much of the standing and sessional orders be suspended as would prevent private Members' business notice No. 22 standing in the name of the Honourable Member for Cook being called on immediately and being given precedence over all other business until all stages of the bill have been concluded to enable this Parliament to take action to deny people smugglers a product to sell before the Parliament rises and the onset of the monsoon season, which is the most dangerous period for people to travel on boats to Australia, by:
(1) reversing Labor's decision in 2008 to abolish temporary protection visas, as part of their abolition of the Howard Government's border protection regime, that has led to more than 30,000 illegal arrivals of people by boat, more than 1,000 deaths at sea, more than 8,100 permanent protection visas being denied to people who applied for a humanitarian visa offshore because they did not come on a boat and a budget blowout for taxpayers of $6.6 billion; and
(2) re-establishing two forms of temporary protection visa that can be issued to people found to engage Australia's protection obligations who have arrived illegally by boat for a period of no greater than three years, subject to the following conditions, namely:
(a) family reunion is not permitted;
(b) if the holder of the visa departs Australia, he or she may not re-enter Australia;
(c) if the holder of the visa is no longer a refugee when the term of the visa expires they will return home;
(d) where the holder is unable to find work, access to welfare will be subject to strict mutual obligation requirements, such as work for the dole;
(e) the holder is legally barred from applying for a permanent protection visa; and
(f) where a person has transited in a country beyond their country of first asylum to Australia, in which they could have sought protection either from that country or the UNHCR in that country, they will be defined as a secondary mover and legally barred from being able to be granted a permanent protection visa.
Under this government's border protection failures more people have been drawn to Australia on illegal boats than the government has connected to the NBN. The monsoon season is upon us and this government must act today to support the restoration of temporary protection visas.
The motion is certainly seconded by me. I believe that it is of fundamental importance to ensure at this time that all steps are taken to minimise the potential loss of life at sea for people travelling unlawfully to Australia. This motion is about implementing the measures that we know work and that the government continues to ignore.
I rise on a point of order, Madam Speaker. The Father of the House should know that this is a motion to suspend standing orders. He has to put the case for why a bill that was notified on the front page of the Australian was going to be introduced on Monday by the opposition. It is now Thursday and it cannot possibly be urgent. He should address his remarks to the motion that is before the chair.
I hope the member for Grayndler will listen very carefully. I believe the standing orders should be suspended to enable precedence to be given to the motion that will address this urgent and very pressing issue. When you have had something of the order of 30,000 people arrive unlawfully, when the steps that the government has taken have not been able to deal with it, this matter is pressing.