Thursday, 16 August 2012
Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee
In referencing Manus Island as Nauru, as I just did, I should make the point that no designations have been made, that the conditions by which the designations will be made will be subject to an agreement being struck and that agreement being subject to the scrutiny of the parliament. I am confident that the issues and no doubt the various degrees of detail that Senator Hanson-Young is pursuing answers for right now will be addressed through the course of those agreements. I am sure that, if she took the time to convey her issues of concern, she should be confident these issues would be addressed. I am not in a position to provide detailed advice on what responses to these known challenges would look like at this time, so I would respectfully suggest, through you Mr Chairman, that Senator Hanson-Young's pursuing the level of detail on which she is seeking assurances is beyond my capacity in this committee stage of the debate.
In saying that, it is not to avoid the issue. It is a course of the consequences as events unfold. Details of the arrangements would be negotiated with the appropriate stakeholder bodies, including the UNHCR, which I am sure, with this problem being well-known, as the Senate claims, would have strategies to address it.