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senate vote 2014-12-04#18

Edited by mackay

on 2014-12-11 17:20:11


  • Bills — Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014; Third Reading
  • Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill


  • <p class="speaker">Michaelia Cash</p>
  • <p>I move:</p>
  • <p class="italic">That the bill be read a third time.</p>
  • The majority agreed to pass the bill in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a [third reading]( The bill will now be sent back to the House of Representatives for the [Members of Parliament]( to decide whether they agree with the [Senators](' amendments. If so, the bill will become law.
  • ### Bill's main idea
  • The bill's main idea is to speed up the management of [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]( "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](
  • ### Human rights issues
  • Some of the changes made by the bill may go against Australia's [international law]( obligations. Particularly Australia's [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](, the [International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]( and the [United Nations Convention against Torture](
  • For example, the bill will insert a provision into the *[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]( 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](
  • ### 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 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]( or [Manus Island]( 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](
  • <p class="speaker">Stephen Parry</p>
  • <p>The question is that the bill be now read a third time.</p>
  • <p></p>