Senate debates

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee

12:05 pm

Photo of Sarah Hanson-YoungSarah Hanson-Young (SA, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

Despite the Greens' support for more information to be given to parliament in relation to how many cases the department is managing, there is a big get-out clause in this amendment which renders this entire amendment useless, and it is item (2). Despite the list of things that the minister is required to include in a report at the end of each financial year, under schedule (1), the amendment states:

(2) However, a report under this section need deal with a particular regional processing country in accordance with subsection (1) only so far as information provided by the country makes it reasonably practicable for the report to do so.

Time and time again, the government say they will do these things and then give themselves a get-out clause so that none of it has to happen. That is why, when we saw the allowance for Manus Island to be used for offshore processing, we did not have the information about what conditions people would be living in, how people would be treated or what services would be provided—because the act gives the minister total discretion as to what information he gives the parliament. For the minister to not give information, he just has to say he does not think it is reasonable. So this whole amendment is basically useless and it will not be getting the Greens' support.

The CHAIRMAN: The question is that government amendments (1) to (3) on sheet BV293 be agreed to.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.

Bill reported with amendments; report adopted.


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