Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee

6:46 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

We have just established that there is absolutely no requirement for the minister to table any of the documents and assurances that the minister may have from anybody, whether that be the UNHCR or anybody else. There is no requirement for the minister to lay on the table the details of the agreement with the designated country. It is not even that there is no requirement for them to be laid on the table. They do not actually have to exist. If this government believes that they are important, why isn't that requirement in the legislation? As of yesterday, let's not forget that the government had not even picked up the phone to speak to the UNHCR. This is just absolute utter rubbish. It is saying one thing and doing another. The whole point of this legislation is to have as little scrutiny as possible, as little regard to people's rights as possible, to write out of current legislation any legal obligation that we have under the UN convention and to put precisely in the legislation that none of these documents that the Houston report says are important and that the government and the minister here tonight continue to rabbit on about even have to exist. I apologise that the minister is in this position because I doubt that Minister Lundy even knew that this clause was in this legislation, that none of these documents even had to exist. So despite all of this fanfare about how this is going to be so different than it was under John Howard—


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