Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bills

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

7:02 pm

Photo of Christine MilneChristine Milne (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I just find this extraordinary. As if I was talking about anyone coming to Australia seeking asylum and deliberately choosing to fly into Christmas Island! I ask you! That is the most ridiculous thing I have heard you say here this evening, Minister. People who are seeking asylum and come here by air fly into mainstream airports. They fly into Tullamarine; they fly into the mainstream airports. If you are seeking asylum, as if you would choose to land in a place where you are going to be put into detention immediately! That is just a ridiculous contention.

Let us get back to the facts. As to the issue of whether they would get a visa or not, they are flying in because they have got a visa. They have gone to an Australian embassy or somewhere and got a tourist visa, a student visa—some kind of visa. They come here and then seek asylum on the back of their student visa, their tourist visa or whatever. We have got hundreds if not thousands of people in Australia at the moment who flew in on a valid visa. They have outstayed their visas and they are out there in the community.

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