Thursday, 16 August 2012
Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee
I think it is important at this juncture to remind the Senate that the desirable effect, and the effect that we are all hoping for, is that this legislation will work as an effective disincentive to people getting on boats. I want to premise my answer to your question with that point because I think that, in discussing many of these amendments, listening to the debate, one could be forgiven for thinking that we have lost sight of the main point. In discussing the detail it is worth reminding people listening to this debate or perhaps reading it later that we are constructing a genuine disincentive for people to step on a boat and put their lives at risk.
The issue of welfare in detention under these arrangements is something that will be subject to the agreement. Those issues have been specified in the Houston report and I have answered the question a number of times now on what checks and balances will be on those assurances that welfare issues will be addressed through the agreement with the designated country. That will need to withstand the scrutiny of the parliament.