Thursday, 25 June 2015
Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015; In Committee
I point out that the opposition accepts the assurance of the government that this amendment is unnecessary. I was particularly concerned about the issue that had been raised in terms of this amendment, and that is why I asked a direct question of the government:
Does this bill provide any legal immunity for any person acting on behalf of the Commonwealth for any breach of Australian or state or territory law?
The government has advised:
The intention of the bill is to provide clear statutory authority for the Commonwealth and its officers acting within the ambit of their powers or duties …
This is the operative point here: within their powers and duties. So this measure does not in any way provide a legal immunity for breaches of the law of this country. I might also point out that, in regard to the laws of another country, we do not have jurisdiction. There have been concerns regarding the behaviour of some staff working in the offshore processing facility, and these are matters that are currently the subject of another Senate inquiry and will be reported back to this chamber for consideration. But it will not change the substance of these measures before us today, and the opposition will not be supporting this amendment.