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senate vote 2013-05-16#5

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:21:18

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2013-05-16.23.1 amendment] proposed by Greens Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate Sarah Hanson-Young]. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities.
  • Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.
  • ''Background of the Bill''
  • This bill was introduced in response to a report by the [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/ Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers], particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/ ''Migration Act 1958''] be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report.html here]. )
  • By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair Tampa affair]. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at [http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/as-exc.php excised offshore places] are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4920 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012] is available on the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2282415/upload_binary/2282415.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940 here].)
  • This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island Papua New Guinea] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru Nauru]) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.
  • References
  • The majority voted against an [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2013-05-16.23.1) proposed by Greens Senator [Sarah Hanson-Young](http://publicwhip-rails.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate). This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities.
  • Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.
  • _Background of the Bill_
  • This bill was introduced in response to a report by the [Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers](http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/), particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the [_Migration Act 1958_](http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/) be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report [here](http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report.html). )
  • By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the [Tampa affair](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair). That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at [excised offshore places](http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/as-exc.php) are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the [Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4920) is available on the [bills digest](http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2282415/upload_binary/2282415.pdf;fileType=application/pdf) (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill [here](http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940).)
  • This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently [Papua New Guinea](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island) and [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru)) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.
  • References
senate vote 2013-05-16#5

Edited by system

on 2014-10-07 16:16:55

Title

Description

  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2013-05-16.23.1 amendment] proposed by Greens Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate Sarah Hanson-Young]. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities.
  • Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.
  • ''Background of the Bill''
  • This bill was introduced in response to a report by the [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/ Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers], particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/ ''Migration Act 1958''] be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".[1]
  • This bill was introduced in response to a report by the [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/ Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers], particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/ ''Migration Act 1958''] be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".(Read the full report [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report.html here]. )
  • By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair Tampa affair]. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at [http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/as-exc.php excised offshore places] are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.[2]
  • By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair Tampa affair]. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at [http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/as-exc.php excised offshore places] are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.(More information on the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4920 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012] is available on the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2282415/upload_binary/2282415.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940 here].)
  • This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island Papua New Guinea] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru Nauru]) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.
  • References
  • * [1] Read the full report [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report.html here].
  • * [2] More information on the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4920 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012] is available on the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2282415/upload_binary/2282415.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940 here].
senate vote 2013-05-16#5

Edited by mackay

on 2014-02-21 12:59:36

Title

  • Bills - Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee
  • Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Media access

Description

  • <p> This is a vote on the amendment proposed by <a href="http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate">Senator Hanson-Young</a>. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities. </p>
  • The majority voted against an [http://www.openaustralia.org/senate/?gid=2013-05-16.23.1 amendment] proposed by Greens Senator [http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate Sarah Hanson-Young]. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities.
  • <p> Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful. </p>
  • Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.
  • <p><b> Background of the Bill</b></p>
  • <p>This Bill was introduced in response to the report by the <a href="http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/">Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers</a>. This Bill addresses Recommendation 14 from this report, which advised that the <i> Migration Act 1958 </i> be amended so that persons that arrive by arrive by boat either in Australia or in offshore locations (such as Christmas Island) have the same lawful status. This means that asylum seekers arriving in Australia or in an offshore location are treated the same way under law.</p>
  • ''Background of the Bill''
  • <p>This Bill means that asylum seekers arriving by boat in either Australia or an offshore location are unable to apply for protection visas. Instead, these people will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved. A new term for such persons, 'unauthorised maritime arrival', has been developed to cover asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by sea and are unable to apply for a protection visa.</p>
  • This bill was introduced in response to a report by the [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/ Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers], particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the [http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/ ''Migration Act 1958''] be amended so that arrival anywhere on Australia by irregular maritime means will not provide individuals with a different lawful status than those who arrive in an excise offshore place".[1]
  • More information about the Bill can be found <a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=BillId_Phrase%3A%22r4920%22%20Dataset%3Abillsdgs;rec=0">here </a>. The text of the proposed amendment and debate surrounding it can be found<a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0027;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0000%22"> here</a>. </p>
  • By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tampa_affair Tampa affair]. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at [http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/f/as-exc.php excised offshore places] are unable to apply for protection visas (in effect, refugee status under Australian law) unless the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship decides it is in the public interest that they do so. The effect of this bill will be to extend the excision provisions to the whole country.[2]
  • This means that all asylum seekers arriving by boat in either mainland Australia or an offshore Australian territory that has been excised are unable to apply for protection visas and will be sent to regional processing countries (currently [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island Papua New Guinea] and [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru Nauru]) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved.
  • References
  • * [1] Read the full report [http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/report.html here].
  • * [2] More information on the [http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4920 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012] is available on the [http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/download/legislation/billsdgs/2282415/upload_binary/2282415.pdf;fileType=application/pdf bills digest] (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill [http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-16/parliament-excises-mainland-from-migration-zone/4693940 here].
senate vote 2013-05-16#5

Edited by Natasha Burrows

on 2013-09-15 17:14:43

Title

Description

  • <p> This is a vote on the amendment proposed by <a href="http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate">Senator Hanson-Young</a>. This amendment would require that a new category of person be defined in the legislation. This category is 'vulnerable person' and would apply to a person aged under 18 years or a person who is the parent or guardian of someone aged under 18 years. This means that children would not be taken to offshore processing facilities. </p>
  • <p> This is a vote on the amendment proposed by <a href="http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate">Senator Hanson-Young</a>. This amendment would require that media access to offshore detention facilities be of the same standard as the current access in Australian detention facilities. The Greens proposed this amendment to allow for the proper scrutiny of offshore detention facilities. </p>
  • <p> Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful. </p>
  • <p><b> Background of the Bill</b></p>
  • <p>This Bill was introduced in response to the report by the <a href="http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/">Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers</a>. This Bill addresses Recommendation 14 from this report, which advised that the <i> Migration Act 1958 </i> be amended so that persons that arrive by arrive by boat either in Australia or in offshore locations (such as Christmas Island) have the same lawful status. This means that asylum seekers arriving in Australia or in an offshore location are treated the same way under law.</p>
  • <p>This Bill means that asylum seekers arriving by boat in either Australia or an offshore location are unable to apply for protection visas. Instead, these people will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved. A new term for such persons, 'unauthorised maritime arrival', has been developed to cover asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by sea and are unable to apply for a protection visa.</p>
  • More information about the Bill can be found <a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=BillId_Phrase%3A%22r4920%22%20Dataset%3Abillsdgs;rec=0">here </a>. The text of the proposed amendment and debate surrounding it can be found<a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0032;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0000%22"> here</a>. </p>
  • More information about the Bill can be found <a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=BillId_Phrase%3A%22r4920%22%20Dataset%3Abillsdgs;rec=0">here </a>. The text of the proposed amendment and debate surrounding it can be found<a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0027;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0000%22"> here</a>. </p>
senate vote 2013-05-16#5

Edited by Natasha Burrows

on 2013-09-15 16:21:06

Title

  • Bills Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012; in Committee
  • Bills - Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012; In Committee

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>by leave&#8212;I move Greens amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7349 together:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) Schedule 1, page 6 (after line 28), after item 18, insert:</p>
  • <p class="italic">18B After subsection 198AB(6)</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;Add:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(6B) If the Minister designates a country or has previously designated a country under subsection (1), the Minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(a) subject to the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c), ensure that the country provides assurances that it will provide accredited media representatives with reasonable access to any place where a person who is an unauthorised maritime arrival for the purposes of this Act is detained, housed or otherwise held; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(b) subject to the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c), ensure that the country provides assurances that it will provide accredited media representatives with reasonable access to interview and speak with a person (being a person who consents to be interviewed) who is an unauthorised maritime arrival for the purposes of this Act; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) enter into a media access protocol with the country that allows accredited media representatives to enter a place where a person who is an unauthorised maritime arrival is detained, housed or otherwise held for the purposes of:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(i) general reporting on the facilities operation and status (including for the purpose of taking photographs, recordings and other footage); and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(ii) interviewing and speaking with a person (being a person who consents to be interviewed) who is detained or otherwise held at the place; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(d) make publicly available the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c).</p>
  • <p class="italic">(2) Schedule 1, page 12 (after line 14), after item 60, insert:</p>
  • <p class="italic">60B Application provision&#8212;subsection 198AB(6B)</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;Subsection 198AB(6B) of the Migration Act, as inserted by this Schedule, applies in relation to a designation that is made before or after commencement.</p>
  • <p>The second lot of amendments that the Australian Greens are moving this morning relate directly to the establishment of media access protocols for detention centres and camps on Manus Island and Nauru. There are two technical amendments which allow for this to occur.</p>
  • <p>The media have access to Australian based detention centres, subject of course to appropriate media access protocols, but for some reason&#8212;and there is only one conclusion to be drawn&#8212;the government has not been willing to allow media into the detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru. I will read amendment (1) so it is very clear to people what it does. If the minister designates a country, such as Manus Island or Nauru, or has previously designated a country under subsection (1), the minister must:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(a) subject to the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c), ensure that the country provides assurances that it will provide accredited media representatives with reasonable access to any place where a person who is an unauthorised maritime arrival for the purposes of this Act is detained, housed or otherwise held; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;(b) subject to the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c), ensure that the country provides assurances that it will provide accredited media representatives with reasonable access to interview and speak with a person &#8230;</p>
  • <p class="italic">(c) enter into a media access protocol with the country that allows accredited media representatives to enter a place where a person who is an unauthorised maritime arrival is detained &#8230; for the purposes of:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(i) general reporting on the facilities operation and status (including for the purpose of taking photographs, recordings and other footage); and</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;&#160;(ii) interviewing and speaking with a person (&#8230; who consents to be interviewed) who is detained or otherwise held at the place; and</p>
  • <p class="italic">(d) make publicly available the media access protocol referred to in paragraph (c).</p>
  • <p>This is fundamental to allowing not just proper scrutiny of the conditions within these camps but also proper scrutiny and assurances for the Australian taxpayer. Australian taxpayers are paying $10 billion a year, including this year, with the establishment of these awful camps. These are Australian run camps. They are Australian funded, they are managed by Australian representatives and most of the workers in these places are Australian. This is all under the auspices of Australia. The Australian people have a right to know what is going on in these camps and what their money is being spent on.</p>
  • <p>This amendment does not allow for the doors to be flung open and for anyone to come in and take photographs and footage. It requires that there be an agreement and a proper media access protocol established, with assurances from the host country that the media will be able to gain access, interview those who wished to be interviewed and take photographs of the conditions&#8212;all within an appropriate protocol. We do not even have a protocol at the moment. There are no rules against visiting these detention centres, apart from the fact that the government says you cannot. Media agencies here in Australia have for some time now been able to talk to and interview people within Australian detention centres if they follow the appropriate media access protocols. All this amendment is asking for is that the same type of access be available on Manus Island and Nauru. It is common sense&#8212;it allows for proper transparency and proper scrutiny, and it gives an assurance to the Australian people that they can find out what is going on in these places.</p>
  • <p>It should not be that difficult for the government to give assurances that media who follow the appropriate rules can have access&#8212;unless, of course, the government have something to hide; unless, of course, what is going on in these places is so atrocious, so out of step, that they do not want the Australian people to know. I have a question for the minister: will the government allow for the establishment of these media access protocols and allow for media to visit these detention centres to find out what is really going on?</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Kate Lundy</p>
  • <p>The government is of the view that it is inappropriate to make any amendments to the bill that impose upon the independence and authority of sovereign nations in the way Senator Hanson-Young has proposed. As sovereign nations, it is the exclusive decision of the governments of Nauru and PNG to determine to whom they grant lawful entry into their respective countries. As a corollary to that, access to regional processing centres is at the discretion of the governments of Nauru and PNG and it is not appropriate that that be legislated by the Australian government.</p>
  • <p>The Australian government is working with both of the regional processing countries on what the arrangements will be for suitable visitor and media access. That work is continuing. However, we do not see any merit in legislating in the way proposed in the Greens amendments.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>I have brought these amendments to the chamber today because there is no guarantee that anything that the minister has just described will happen. Back in October I asked the minister and the department during Senate estimates when we would get media protocols and access guidelines for Manus Island and Nauru. We were told they would have a look at it; they might try to draft something. That was almost nine months ago.</p>
  • <p>This government have no intention to provide proper scrutiny and transparency of what is going on in these god-awful places. No commitment could be undertaken that would convince anyone that they are serious about doing this. If they believe it is important, they can make sure it goes in the act. I am not dictating how the provisions have to look, or in what time frame they have to be put in place. They have already had nine months and nothing has eventuated. I am saying that the act must stipulate that it should be done. Otherwise, we know there is absolutely no way the Australian people can trust the government to do this.</p>
  • <p>The Australian people know there is no way we can trust this government on anything to do with asylum seekers and refugees. Every time we are promised something, the promise is broken. Every time we are told people will be treated properly, we find out they are not. Every time we hear children will not be subject to harsh treatment, we find out they are being subjected to harsh treatment. Every time we hear from the government that they are working on making the system fairer, we find out there has been nothing done. Unless it is in the act, it will not happen.</p>
  • <p>I do not believe the other side would be any more inclined to stick to their word. I do not have any hope that, if we had a coalition government, they would be allowing the media to access detention centres on Manus Island or Nauru either. If this government believe that it should happen and that it is important, they should put it in law. They either believe it is important and it needs to be in the legislation&#8212;particularly ahead of the September election&#8212;or they do not. The fundamental message from all this is that there is no commitment to proper scrutiny of what is going on in these places, and there is absolutely no way the government wants the media finding out about it.</p>
  • <p>A couple of weeks ago the <i>Four Corners</i>report on Manus Island and Nauru was aired. That footage had to be smuggled out. What does that say about our government and our laws&#8212;that the only way to find out how we are treating vulnerable refugees, under a system we are paying billions of dollars for, is to smuggle out footage of these places?</p>
  • <p>What does that say about basic democracy, about fundamental understandings of transparency, about how we spend our money, about how we treat people and about how the government is in line with the law? When it gets to a point where refugees have to smuggle out footage of the conditions they are in, or Australians have to go in to get it and sneak it out, to give us an understanding of what is really going on, that is not something Australia should be proud of. These conditions are more like those in some of the countries these people fled from in the first place.</p>
  • <p>It is clear that the only take-home message from all of this is that the government does not want the Australian people to see what is really going on inside. If there is nothing to hide then let the media in and commit to putting it in law so that it cannot be abused, so that there is no ambiguity about the right of media to speak to people in detention, to see the conditions and to report back to the Australian people about how their money is being spent and how these individuals are being treated. If there is nothing to hide, then open the doors.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sue Boyce</p>
  • <p>The question is that Greens amendments (1) and (2) on sheet 7349 be agreed to.</p>
  • <p> This is a vote on the amendment proposed by <a href="http://publicwhip-test.openaustraliafoundation.org.au/mp.php?mpn=Sarah_Hanson-Young&mpc=Senate&house=senate">Senator Hanson-Young</a>. This amendment would require that a new category of person be defined in the legislation. This category is 'vulnerable person' and would apply to a person aged under 18 years or a person who is the parent or guardian of someone aged under 18 years. This means that children would not be taken to offshore processing facilities. </p>
  • <p> Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful. </p>
  • <p><b> Background of the Bill</b></p>
  • <p>This Bill was introduced in response to the report by the <a href="http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/">Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers</a>. This Bill addresses Recommendation 14 from this report, which advised that the <i> Migration Act 1958 </i> be amended so that persons that arrive by arrive by boat either in Australia or in offshore locations (such as Christmas Island) have the same lawful status. This means that asylum seekers arriving in Australia or in an offshore location are treated the same way under law.</p>
  • <p>This Bill means that asylum seekers arriving by boat in either Australia or an offshore location are unable to apply for protection visas. Instead, these people will be sent to regional processing countries (currently Papua New Guinea and Nauru) for the processing of their refugee claims. The rationale behind this legislation is the need to discourage asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat because of the dangers involved. A new term for such persons, 'unauthorised maritime arrival', has been developed to cover asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by sea and are unable to apply for a protection visa.</p>
  • More information about the Bill can be found <a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=BillId_Phrase%3A%22r4920%22%20Dataset%3Abillsdgs;rec=0">here </a>. The text of the proposed amendment and debate surrounding it can be found<a href="http://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0032;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fhansards%2Fa344915b-9c0f-488b-bba5-64b64aa396c0%2F0000%22"> here</a>. </p>