Senate debates

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Bills

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

9:42 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration) Share this | Hansard source

In relation to the Greens amendment with the sunset clause, if Senator Milne wants to stand here tonight and talk about being inhumane, perhaps she can explain to the people of Australia who are listening in why the Greens by their very actions tonight, and the obtuse comments that they have continued to make, support policies that encourage people to get on boats and risk their lives to come to Australia. In the case of what we know, nearly a thousand people, because of policies that the Greens support, have actually lost their lives on the journey to Australia.

If Senator Milne wants to talk about being cruel and inhumane, what does Senator Milne say to the millions of refugees who have not spent one year in a camp, who have not spent five, 10 or 15 years in a camp but who, in relation to the ones that come into my office, have spent 20 long years in camps in Africa? All of their children were born in camps in Africa because they did not have the means or the opportunity because of policies like yours to get on a boat, pay a people smuggler and jump the queue and come to Australia. To those people who come to my office in Perth who spent 20 years in camps in Africa doing the right thing, Senator Milne says: 'Too bad, so sad. We don't care about you because our policies will only support those people who have the means and the opportunity to come to Australia through unlawful means.'

Without a doubt, Mr Chairman, the Greens with their final amendment tonight have shown that they are not interested in stopping the people smugglers. In fact, people say to me, and I can understand why, that the Greens without a doubt are the best friends people smugglers will ever have. The Greens are not interested in offshore processing.

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