Thursday, 19 March 2015
Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014; In Committee
The opposition has entered into an arrangement with the government in regard to the detail of this bill. As a consequence, it may be of assistance to the committee to know that the Labor Party will not be supporting any of the Greens amendments. In terms of the specifics—and I do not need to go through this on each and every occasion, but I will on this matter—the Labor Party's view is that we have to ensure that we are able to offer protection to people in need. To do so, we have to have a robust and efficient framework for the administration of decisions and the making of decisions about who qualifies and who is established as a genuine refugee, and to have measures in place to prevent the gaming of the system. There is no doubt that there are some who will seek to game any system. This includes applicants who use primary application as a dry run and then rebuild their application for review at a review stage based on feedback from the primary decision maker. This is clearly not the intent of the review process. It is reasonable if there is new information that is provided but it is equally reasonable that the applicant provide a reasonable explanation as to why that information was not available at an earlier stage.
The Greens have moved a couple of matters within the one set of amendments and I want to note that item 3 seeks to reinstate the regime of independent legal assistance for applicants that was a feature of the former Labor government and would be a feature of a future Labor government's regime.
The CHAIRMAN: The question is that amendments (1) and (3) on sheet 7572 be agreed to.