Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012


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

7:06 pm

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

Further to the question being raised by my colleague Senator Milne, as the minister well knows, yes, you can fly to Australia and apply for protection once you arrive, but we are speaking about the people who cannot fly to Australia because of carrier sanctions. There are a whole group of people who the government believes are at high risk of seeking asylum, so they will not be given temporary visas. You cannot get on the plane.

This government's policy forces people—the most disadvantaged people—onto boats. The most ridiculous notion of this disadvantage test is that those very same people are the ones who are not allowed to fly here anyway. That is the whole point. The government wants to talk about an indefinite period of detention for people because they are amongst the world's most disadvantaged. They are not lucky enough to fly to Australia. They are forced onto boats. And now we are going to lock them up indefinitely to rot in Nauru.

This is precisely why the Greens have moved an amendment to limit the length of time that these poor people have to spend in that hideous place. Can the minister answer this question: how long will a child be detained in an offshore facility under this legislation? Is there a limit on the length of time that a child will be detained in an offshore facility?


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