Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012


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

8:08 pm

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

The agreement will be subject to the scrutiny of parliament if that document is one of the ones that happens to be put on the table, otherwise it could be one of the ones that does not exist. It is in the legislation and you know full well, as I read out before:

Similarly, the fact that some or all of those documents do not exist … does not affect the validity of the designation.

There is no guarantee that any such thing will exist, so we cannot have a statement that says that children's rights will be protected, that children will be looked after because that will be part of the agreement and parliament can scrutinise it. There is no guarantee that that document will actually be part of it. It does not even have to exist for the purposes of designating a place. So we have already established that the minister is giving up the liabilities of guardianship of the child and those children can now be sent away without a guardian for an indefinite length of time.

I want to come to the specifics of the amendment that my colleague has moved in relation to what will be provided for asylum seekers. What we have done is put in as an amendment what the Houston panel has recommended—it is in their recommendations—and that includes appropriate accommodation, appropriate physical and mental health services, access to educational and vocational training programs, everything through to the appeal mechanisms, care and protection arrangements, case management assistance and so on in Nauru. Will the minister guarantee that all of these things will be in place before any refugee is sent to Nauru?


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