Thursday, 25 June 2015
Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015; In Committee
If I can go to the latter matter first, the whole reason for this piece of legislation is to put beyond doubt the legality of the funding arrangements for offshore processing, and, in terms of what Senator Hanson-Young said, it has been rushed through, and I understand it. I supported it being dealt with expeditiously because of the concerns of the Commonwealth. I understand that. But insofar as it now appears on the plain reading of this legislation that the challenge to the bill, in terms of the point that has been taken in the High Court decision in Williams, I would have thought that it is pretty much a lay-down misere that there will be cost consequences against those parties that have brought this action.
In terms of some intrinsic fairness, does the government acknowledge that the parameters of such a case have been shifted as a result of this piece of legislation? And will the government at least acknowledge that it will take that into account in terms of seeking, at the very least, cost orders against those parties who issued proceedings at a certain point in time when the law was as it was, but it now will be changed in a way that will make it fairly clear that such a challenge could well be futile as a result of this piece of legislation?