Senate debates

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


Asylum Seekers

4:02 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

The government will not be supporting this motion. Australia runs one of the most generous resettlement programs in the world. The sad truth is that, in any one year, less than one per cent of the world's 10.5 million refugees will be resettled. Under the former government more than 14,500 people were denied a place under our offshore humanitarian program because those places had already been taken by those who arrived illegally by boat. Under the coalition people-smugglers and potential illegal immigrants face efforts by both the Australian and Indonesian governments to prevent people from transiting through Indonesia to get to Australia illegally by boat. Recent UNHCR figures show that the number of persons newly presenting for registration in Jakarta fell from 1,608 in September 2013 to 296 in December 2013. The government stands resolute in its commitment to offshore processing. People who arrive illegally by boat will continue to be transferred to Manus Island and Nauru and be processed offshore. There are no exceptions. (Time expired)


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