Thursday, 9 February 2017
Migration Amendment (Character Cancellation Consequential Provisions) Bill 2016; Second Reading
I am tempted to now, given Senator O'Sullivan's comment. But I want to move to the bill before us today. This bill makes amendments to the substantive amendments made to the character act, which I have been speaking about. It further embeds the lack of fairness and increases the broad discretionary ministerial powers to refuse a person's visa. It extends the minister's power to cancel visas on character grounds, allowing him even to overrule decisions made by officials in his department. He can even overturn a decision of a review tribunal, which basically completely exempts the minister from the rules of natural justice—not that I think Minister Dutton has any concept of natural justice. Clearly he does not.
These amendments are unnecessary given the broad powers which already exist in the Migration Act, which allow for the minister to cancel a person's visa if he forms a reasonable view that it is in the national interest. These amendments also mean that those subject to the minister's cancellation power could be detained if there is a mere reasonable suspicion—