Thursday, 25 July 2019
Consideration of Legislation
This morning I have been confronted with this amendment to the bill asking for the Minister for Home Affairs to provide the Solicitor-General's advice on the constitutionality of the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019. I have had a briefing from the government with regard to the visa TEO and I am quite happy with it. I see this as a ploy to actually derail this whole bill from going through. We debated here in this chamber for quite some time yesterday. I am of the understanding that Senator Rex Patrick has been briefed by the government and could have asked these questions with regard to this. I have been assured that I could be given another briefing with regard to this. Decisions have to be made in this place with regard to this bill. We're talking about people coming into this country who have gone to fight against our values and our principles in other countries and have actually destroyed those countries, killed people, raped women and left children homeless. Those people wish to come back to Australia. I know the general feeling of the majority of the Australian people: they don't want them back in this country.
The bill is about stopping these people from virtually getting on a plane and coming to Australia. They have to apply for a visa. Two years then have to pass before they can get into the country so that things can be put into place in the country to make sure that they are being watched. If you listen to the comments of the Greens, you'll hear that they're more worried about their human rights and their freedom to be able to do whatever they want to do. There was no freedom given to the people whom they murdered and whose countries they destroyed but they believe that they have the right to come here to Australia. It's in the interest of the Greens to allow this to derail it and to stop it. Constitutionally I have to rely upon the government and the Solicitor-General to actually have put in place the procedures that we need to ensure that this bill is correct.
You, the Labor Party, put amendments forward that are just prepared to water the whole lot down. You, the Labor Party, have been so weak on border protection in this country. You are not prepared—through you, Chair. You have not done your job in protecting this country and the Australian people. I don't trust the Labor Party on border protection. You would open up the gates to allow these people in. Your amendments would do just that. They would water it down completely so that we would not be able to stop these people getting in, plus their families, plus their spouses. The people are fed up with it. People in this country are in fear about the terrorism on our streets. I am relying on the government to get this bill passed—and that this bill does comply with the Constitution and constitutionality, and that it is right to be able to pass it. I would say we need to put this in place now, and support the government on this. You're toing and froing with this, and it's just a ploy to stop it here in the parliament. I will not be supporting this motion. I want to see these people stopped from coming into the country.