Senate debates

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Questions without Notice

Asylum Seekers

2:28 pm

Photo of Kate LundyKate Lundy (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation) Share this | Hansard source

The government's attention remains fully focused on the welfare of the survivors of the tragedy that is unfolding, and we know that events are unfolding as we speak. Details are slowly coming to light, and all relevant agencies, as I am advised, are engaged in taking action to assist. We will, as we always do as a government, continue to update the parliament and the public as information becomes available.

Here in Parliament House we can observe the opposition offering nothing new in their latest stunt to introduce their old bill in the parliament, but there are of course very positive signs that there is an enormous amount of goodwill at least on the part of some MPs. Conversations have been occurring today. We heard comments last night made by Mr Christopher Pyne MP, who is Manager of Opposition Business in the House of Representatives. On Sky News last night, what he had to say was very different from what Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison have said this morning. Any indication of a willingness to enter talks is welcome, and the government does welcome it. However, in the case of Mr Pyne, the Manager of Opposition Business is not the immigration spokesperson. So the Australian people need the shadow immigration minister or the Leader of Opposition to clarify the position of the Liberal and National parties. Any indication of a willingness to negotiate with the government and return to the table, after the coalition broke off negotiations last year, would be very welcome. We really want to see a breakthrough. The Australian people want to see a breakthrough and that is why the government began negotiations seriously, with goodwill and intent. (Time expired)


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