Monday, 22 June 2015
Production of Documents
That the Senate—
(a) does not accept the claim of public interest immunity made by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in failing to provide the documents that were ordered by the Senate on 16 June 2015, namely, all documents relating to the payment of money to turn back or take back vessels bound for Australia or New Zealand, and
(b) resolves that consideration of any message from the House of Representatives transmitting legislation relating to immigration or citizenship, and any government business notice for the introduction of a bill relating to immigration or citizenship be listed for consideration on the next sitting day after the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has tabled the documents.
Mr President, I want to make it clear that the Australian Greens are very disappointed that the chamber has not been able to send a clearer and stronger signal to the government. This is a situation where the government has absolutely refused to come clean on bribing people smugglers and it is behaving in an incredibly arrogant manner. I am glad to see the motion was passed, but, honestly, it would have been good if the Labor Party had been able to be a bit stronger on this. The Labor Party, of course, got themselves into a situation late last week where they did not know whether they were Arthur or Martha on this issue. Here we are, the Greens and the crossbenchers, putting the pressure on the government once again and being the true opposition.