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senate vote 2014-12-04#11

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 13:12:16

Title

Description

  • The majority did not agree to include a minimum total number of Protection (Class XA) visas and Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visas in the bill. Labor Senator [Kim Carr](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/victoria/kim_carr) had suggested the [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?gid=2014-12-04.177.1), which would have set that number at not less than 18,750.
  • ### Background to the motion
  • Immigration Minister [Scott Morrison](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/cook/scott_morrison) made a commitment to several [coss-benchers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbencher) to increase Australia's humanitarian intake from its current level of 13,750 places to 18,750 places in exchange for their support for the bill. Senator Carr wanted to include this commitment within the text of the bill to make sure that the Government followed through with it.
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers)' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces [temporary protection visas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_protection_visa) "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040))
  • ### Human rights issues
  • Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's [international law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) obligations. Particularly Australia's [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights) and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture).
  • For example, the bill will insert a provision into the *[Migration Act 1958](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Act_1958)* that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905) explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.
  • For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040).
  • ### Background to the bill
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seeks](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
senate vote 2014-12-04#11

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 11:46:58

Title

  • Bills — Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014; in Committee
  • Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Include Minister's promise to increase intake in bill

Description

  • <p class="speaker">Kim Carr</p>
  • <p>I move the opposition amendment on sheet 7646:</p>
  • <p class="italic">(1) At the end of section 39A, add:</p>
  • The majority did not agree to include a minimum total number of Protection (Class XA) visas and Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visas in the bill. Labor Senator [Kim Carr](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/senate/victoria/kim_carr) had suggested the [amendment](http://www.openaustralia.org.au/senate/?gid=2014-12-04.177.1), which would have set that number at not less than 18,750.
  • ### Background to the motion
  • Immigration Minister [Scott Morrison](https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people/representatives/cook/scott_morrison) made a commitment to several [coss-benchers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crossbencher) to increase Australia's humanitarian intake from its current level of 13,750 places to 18,750 places in exchange for their support for the bill. Senator Carr wanted to include this commitment within the text of the bill to make sure that the Government followed through with it.
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [asylum seekers](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers)' claims and support the Government's policies that stop asylum seekers from coming to Australia by boat (for example, by intercepting the boats and turning them around). It also re-introduces [temporary protection visas](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temporary_protection_visa) "because the Government is of the view that those who arrive by boat without a valid visa should not be rewarded with permanent protection" (see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040))
  • ### Human rights issues
  • Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's [international law](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_law) obligations. Particularly Australia's [non-refoulement](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement) obligations, which stop Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has these obligations because it signed up to the [Convention relating to the Status of Refugees](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convention_relating_to_the_Status_of_Refugees), the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Covenant_on_Civil_and_Political_Rights) and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Convention_against_Torture).
  • For example, the bill will insert a provision into the *[Migration Act 1958](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migration_Act_1958)* that says that Australia’s non-refoulement obligations are not relevant to removing people who are not citizens and don't have a visa. The [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905) explains that this change would mean courts won't be able to stop the Government from removing people just because it is against Australia’s non-refoulement obligations. In other words, the Government wants to decide how to apply those obligations by itself, without any potential judicial oversight.
  • For more about which changes may go against these obligations and how, see the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040).
  • ### Background to the bill
  • The title of the bill says it is about "resolving the asylum legacy caseload". This refers to the asylum claims made by [asylum seeks](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee#Asylum_seekers) who arrived by boat without a visa between August 2012 and December 2013 and who have not been sent to be processed on [Nauru](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nauru_detention_centre) or [Manus Island](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manus_Island_Regional_Processing_Centre). The Coalition Government says this caseload of asylum claims is the result of the previous Labor Government's policies.
  • During the 2013 election campaign, the Coalition said it would address this caseload and the changes made in this bill are part of their effort to do this.
  • More information on the background to the bill is in the [bills digest](http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/bd/bd1415a/15bd040#_Toc401816905).
  • <p class="italic">(4) To avoid doubt, the minimum total number of Protection (Class XA) visas and Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visas to be determined under subsection (3) for any financial year must not be less than 18,750.</p>
  • <p>I have circulated on sheet 7646 an amendment to the government's amendment (2) to give effect to the numbers&#8212;the 18,750&#8212;that the minister has outlined to the chamber is the government's commitment. The simple proposition here for senators to consider is that if the government is happy to promise this increase in numbers of the annual refugee intake to 18,750 and to do so in front of TV cameras it should have absolutely no problem in giving that commitment to the Senate and having that commitment written into this legislation. I am concerned that the government has said many things in public but failed to deliver on those things when it has actually had the chance in government. There is obviously a long track-record. To resolve this matter I would seek the support of the Senate so that we do not have a situation whereby the government says, 'No cuts to the ABC, no cuts to SBS, no cuts to education&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Doug Cameron</p>
  • <p>No change to pensions.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Kim Carr</p>
  • <p>no cuts to the pension.' There is a long, long litany of crimes here. This is a very simple proposition that will give an opportunity for the minister's commitment to be put into the legislation.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Michaelia Cash</p>
  • <p>If I could briefly respond to the amendment moved by Senator Carr on behalf of the opposition. Senator Carr, you have previously been in government. Does what you are asking mean that every time a public commitment is made it has to be legislated? I would put it to you that that is completely unrealistic. The minister has given a clear commitment publicly. He has given the commitment to the crossbenchers. I have recommitted the government and reiterated the commitment in my address tonight, which is recorded in <i>Hansard</i>, that we are by legislative instrument proposing that we will:</p>
  • <p class="italic">&#8230; add a new schedule 2A to the bill to progressively increase Australia's humanitarian program over the next four years so that by the financial year commencing 1 July 2018 Australia's annual humanitarian intake will increase from its current level of 13,750 places to 18,750 places.</p>
  • <p>This is a commitment that the minister has given to the crossbenchers. It is a commitment he has made publicly. We stand by our commitment.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Jacqui Lambie</p>
  • <p>I would like to see this done because I have seen so much lying go on in this place in the last 5&#189; months; it is disgraceful. There is no trust left between that lot over there and me. There is no trust left between the Clive Palmer party and me. I too, as a new crossbencher, would like to see this go through. I want you to stand by what you are going to do. There is no reason why you cannot all vote on this.</p>
  • <p class="italic">Senator Back interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p>You want to talk honourable? Let us be honourable, about as honourable as you were with the Defence Force the other day. Let us be honourable. Let us see it. I want you to put this bill where your mouth is. I want to see this go through the Senate. I want to see this in black and white. I want to see this mean something and I am sure every other Australian wants you to do this as well.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick Xenophon</p>
  • <p>I support this in principle. I have received an undertaking, as have other crossbench colleagues who support this measure. I would like to get a time frame as to when the legislative instrument will be introduced. I think it is reasonable to know that. If the legislative instrument is not introduced, I think the government knows that it will be a massive breach of faith and that the government cannot expect any cooperation from me on any future piece of legislation if the undertaking is broken. I think that is fairly clear.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>I rise to give the Greens support for this amendment. It seems pretty basic that if the government is going to make a promise to increase the humanitarian intake until after the next election then at the very least it should put its money where its mouth is and put that promise into legislation. We have ended the year&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Honourable Senators</p>
  • <p>Honourable senators interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p>The CHAIRMAN: In case it has escaped the attention of senators, I actually really enjoy chairing the committee. I am quite happy to stay all night, but we will have some order.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Honourable Senators</p>
  • <p>Honourable senators interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p>The CHAIRMAN: It is pointless my bringing the Senate to order if senators then simply start interjecting once again.</p>
  • <p></p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>Thank you, Chair. This amendment would put into legislation the commitment that we have been told has been undertaken by the Abbott government. I just want to point out that we are ending a year in which, during the last 12 months, we have seen broken promise after broken promise within 12 months of an election. The commitment that has been given to crossbenchers in this place is that the&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="italic">Senator Bernardi interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Gavin Marshall</p>
  • <p>Senator Bernardi, you are not in your place. You should not be interjecting in any case, but it is even more disorderly to be doing it from where you are.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Sarah Hanson-Young</p>
  • <p>Thank you, Chair. I never thought of Cory Bernardi as a gentleman, so I think he is proving himself in showing appalling behaviour tonight. I am more than happy to have a debate with Senator Bernardi any time, but perhaps he would have the courtesy to allow people to finish speaking. The point I am making here is that, if the government honestly want to show that they are committed to increasing the humanitarian intake and expect both the public and the Senate to believe that that will be honoured after the next election, put your money where your mouth is and make sure it is in the legislation tonight. I cannot see why that would be such a problem from a government who desperately want the public and the parliament to believe them.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">David Leyonhjelm</p>
  • <p> () (): While I have substantial sympathy for this amendment, I will not be supporting it. I discovered after the event that Minister Morrison has agreed to an increase in the humanitarian intake as a result of my representations, plus those of Senators Day and Xenophon. I also understand that the cost of humanitarian refugees is quite considerable, and to increase the number in this manner would be a very big burden on the budget. As senators will know, that is something of major concern to me. However, I am also pleased that the minister has agreed to allow those on bridging visas and, of course, TPVs and SHEVs to work. Therefore, those who do will pay taxes and will come off social welfare. That will contribute to the cost of an increase in humanitarian intake, which, as I said, I regard as quite important.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Bob Day</p>
  • <p>) ( ): I, too, will be opposing this. I, too, have had a personal commitment from the minister regarding this increase. I am fairly new here, but I can guarantee the minister in this place that, if I make a commitment to do something, I will do it&#8212;and I expect the minister to reciprocate. His commitment to increase the humanitarian intake is a worthy commitment, but I do not think that enshrining it in legislation is the way to go. I do take the minister at his&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Opposition Senators</p>
  • <p>Opposition senators interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Gavin Marshall</p>
  • <p>Order!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Bob Day</p>
  • <p>By regulation by legislative instrument.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Kim Carr</p>
  • <p>I draw the attention of those who have just spoken to what the words in the current bill actually say. It says the minister 'may' by legislative instrument determine a minimum total number of protection class visas and refugee and humanitarian class visas. There is a real issue here. You believe you have been given an assurance. The PUP senators were given an assurance some months ago which they believe was reneged upon. That is why there has been this considerable delay in having this matter put before the chamber. I urge you to think carefully about assurances you have been given. Therefore, you have this opportunity here to have the assurance you have stated actually put into the legislation.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Michaelia Cash</p>
  • <p>I understand that the minister was able to make the legislative instrument subject to, obviously, royal assent of the bill, and the minister has given me a commitment that that would be done by 1 January 2015 on the basis that royal assent has been given to it.</p>
  • <p>The CHAIRMAN: The question is that the amendment moved by Senator Carr to government amendment (2) on sheet HA108 be agreed to.</p>