Thursday, 16 August 2012
Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee
The government will be opposing these amendments. The proposed amendments being put forward add greater protections than those required by the High Court in relation to existing provisions and the standards imposed by the Greens' amendments are so high and broad that they essentially render a regional processing arrangement unworkable. I reiterate that the arrangements must be agreed between Australia and the proposed designated country and therefore must be appropriate. Those agreements are negotiated in conjunction with and with the participation of the UNHCR and other stakeholders. Parts of the proposed amendment as well are very unclear. For example, it is not clear whether or not the appeal mechanism that affords natural justice as described is a judicial review mechanism or a merits review mechanism. Regardless, the earlier substantive points I made about these amendments rendering a regional processing arrangement unworkable have led us to the conclusion that it would be folly to consider supporting them. Hence we will not.