Wednesday, 8 February 2017
At the request of Senator Wong, I move:
That the Senate—
(a) reaffirms its support for Australia's non-discriminatory immigration policy that strengthens and enriches our country through the contribution of migrants of all races, faiths and cultures;
(b) concurs with the statement of the Prime Minister in October 2016 that "An inclusive nation is a safer nation. It enables our security agencies to better protect us.";
(c) acknowledges that maintaining strong borders and protecting our citizens is not achieved through divisive or discriminatory practices; and
(d) recognises it is a core responsibility of being a good global citizen to:
(i) speak out against injustice and discrimination based on race, religion or background wherever it occurs, and
(ii) use appropriate diplomatic channels to encourage other countries to take the same approach.
I am very surprised that Labor have denied leave for me to move to amend this motion and I want to place on the record that our amendment would have made clear that in fact Australia does discriminate in our migration policy based on the mode of arrival, which has the effect of discriminating against people from certain cultures and nationalities. We do support much of Senator Wong's motion, so will not be opposing it, but we want to make it very clear that Australia does have a discriminatory migration policy. If we were serious about having a fair and non-discriminatory migration system, we would end offshore detention, close the camps and bring the people on Manus Island and Nauru here to Australia so that we could try to help them repair some of the harm that we have caused them.
Question agreed to.