Monday, 16 June 2014
Migration Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014; Second Reading
I thank the members for their contributions to this important debate. The debate really does deal with quite technical matters in relation to migration legislation as well as citizenship legislation. The Migration Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 amends the Migration Act 1958 and the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 to ensure that sections 48, 48A and 501E of the Migration Act can be correctly applied according to policy intention; to ensure that a bridging visa application is not an impediment to the exercise of the removal of a person under subsection 198, section 5 of the Migration Act; to apply the debt penalty liability provisions of the act to all convicted people smugglers and illegal foreign fishers; to clarify the obligation of the Migration Review Tribunal and the Refugee Review Tribunal to give documents to an authorised recipient; to clarify the role of the authorised recipient and the extent of the obligation to notify an authorised recipient of direct communications made with the person who appointed them; to provide access to and use of material and information obtained under a search warrant issued under the Crimes Act 1914 for certain purposes of the Migration Act and the Australian Citizenship Act; to ensure that the procedural fairness requirements prescribed in the Migration Act will apply universally to all visa applications and to provide for greater consistency and decision making; and to repeal redundant provisions in the act—that is, the Migration Act—which contain references to section 14 of the Electronic Transactions Act 1999.
This bill deals with administrative matters, but as other speakers have ranged widely in this debate, touching on so many other matters, I think it is important to note that at least on these questions there is an agreement between the major parties represented in this House to these amendments, which will improve the efficiency of the administration of the matters that are regularly within my portfolio under both of these acts. I thank those of the House who have indicated their support for these measures. The other measures and the other matters that have been the subject of this debate will remain contentious. The comments on the government's position on border protection that have been injected into this debate by some clearly indicate that there is still great difference between the major parties on the issue of border protection. Those opposite continue not to support the government in its measures, which have so far proven so successful. That is a matter for those opposite to explain to the Australian people at the appropriate time. On the matters in this bill at least, however, there is agreement. I commend the bill to the House.
The question is that this bill be now read a second time.
A division having been called and the bells having been rung
As there are fewer than five members on the side of the noes, I declare the question resolved in the affirmative in accordance with standing order 127. The names of those members who are in the minority will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.
Question agreed to, Ms McGowan, Mr Bandt and Mr Wilkie voting no.
Bill read a second time.