Thursday, 17 July 2014
That the Senate calls on the Government to cease the current 'on water' screening and transfers of asylum seekers which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has said fall well short of Australia's international obligations and could mean that asylum seekers were returned, or refouled, to persecution.
The government will not be supporting this motion. The government forthrightly reject the suggestion that Australia is in any way in breach of our international obligations. Australia returned to Sri Lanka 37 Singhalese and four Tamils because none engaged in any of Australia's protection obligations and hence were not refugees. To suggest otherwise provides tacit approval for illegal migration. The government's focus is to do everything in its power to prevent people smuggling and loss of life at sea.