Thursday, 16 May 2013
Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012; Third Reading
We have been debating this legislation for two hours and 20 minutes. We are about to excise Australia's entire mainland. We have dealt with amendments that relate to the detention of children on Manus Island. We have dealt with amendments that relate to giving appropriate media access to these detention centres. We have dealt with an amendment in relation to ensuring that Australia's Human Rights Commission has access. There is no evidence that this bill, if passed, will save any lives. In fact, all the evidence is to the contrary. It is going to cost people's lives and damage people who are already suffering from such harm.
This is a bad piece of legislation, an immoral piece of legislation, and all we see is the government and the opposition ramming it through in just over two hours, despite the fact that it was not meant to be on the agenda this morning. We think it is very important for people to understand that this is how desperate both the Labor Party and the Liberal Party are in the race to the bottom on refugees. They have discarded all proper process and are simply ramming this through. The result will mean more suffering, more harm and more damage to refugees who have fled war. It is a pretty low point in this parliament. It is a pretty low point for our country. John Howard could not succeed in getting this done, but Julia Gillard has.