Thursday, 16 August 2012
Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee
There is an absolutely fundamental flaw in the minister's logic, and that is that the government is now moving to set up a big detention centre in Nauru and a detention centre in PNG on the basis that people will come on boats and, therefore, be moved into those detention centres. If you thought this regime was such a deterrent, why are you preparing for many more places than the 220 that are on Christmas Island at the moment? If this was going to be such an effective deterrent, then the boats would stop and you would have these empty detention centres. That is not the case.
You are preparing for maximum size detention centres in PNG and Nauru because you know as well as I do that no deterrent that you provide is going to stop people getting on boats for all the reasons we have been through before and the fact that there are no other safe pathways. They cannot get visas. There is a flow of refugees and whatever deterrent you put in place can never be as bad as the persecution people suffer in so many countries. Let's get real about this. You are expecting the boats to continue. By punishing people, all you are going to do is make life worse for them. For those children you are making an example of, their lives will be worse. For the refugees you are making an example of, their lives will be worse. But it will not stop the boats. If you really believe it is going to stop the boats, why are you expanding the detention centres?