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senate vote 2019-12-04#5

Edited by mackay

on 2020-04-24 10:02:51


  • Business — Rearrangement
  • Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019 - Second Reading - Let a vote happen


  • <p class="speaker">Mathias Cormann</p>
  • <p>Let me make the most important point up front: there is no secret deal. Let me repeat that again: there is no secret deal. There is no secret. The Australian people know extremely well the work that we have done to strengthen our border protection arrangements. The Australian people understand very well what we have done in order to clean up the mess that Labor left behind on our borders when you lost government. The Australian people know perfectly well how we are ensuring that the boats don't start coming again and they understand that, under our legislation, medical transfers were possible before Labor brought back weak medevac laws. And medical transfers where appropriate will be available after the Labor-Greens weak medevac laws have been repealed.</p>
  • <p>Obviously the Labor Party doesn't believe anybody can be persuaded by a good argument. Whenever we are able to persuade anyone, the Labor Party assumes there must be some secret deal. There is no secret deal, there will be no change to our strong border protection arrangements, there will be no change to our strong national security arrangements and there will be no change in the way we deal with the legacy caseload that Labor left behind when last in government. We will continue to do what we have done steadfastly over the last six-and-a-bit years. We will continue to protect our borders and we will continue to work our way through the caseload that Labor left behind and the caseload that Labor sent offshore. You should be ashamed of yourselves. The government is continuing to clean up your mess.</p>
  • The majority voted against a motion to suspend the usual procedural rules - known as [standing orders]( - to let SA Senator [Penny Wong]( (Labor) putting another question to vote. This means that debate would continue as normal.
  • ### Motion text
  • > *That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent Senator Wong moving that the question be now put.*
  • <p>Let me tell you: the government are hopeful that we were able to satisfy a majority of senators in this place that Labor's weak medevac laws need to be repealed, that it is necessary and that we are doing all the appropriate things to deal with the legacy caseload without compromising our border security and national security arrangements. I mean, we are hopeful that not only through constructive engagement, through discussion, through extensive briefings explaining what we're doing, but also by explaining the risks of keeping medevac laws in place as they currently stand carefully and constructively and over an extended period of time, we have been able to persuade the majority of senators that Labor's weak and bad medevac laws must be repealed in order to strengthen our national security again. Labor, the Greens and various others weakened our national security arrangements in the lead-up to the last election. That is why we are bringing this on this week.</p>
  • <p>It is very obvious that the Labor Party did not want to participate in this debate. They explicitly asked for their speakers to be put towards the bottom of the speakers' list. I don't know if that was a game of tactics or an indication of the fact that they didn't actually want to engage in the debate. Look at the speakers' list that was circulated through the informal arrangements in this chamber; it's very obvious that the Labor Party asked to be put at the bottom of the list. We need to get on with this. This is just another attempt to avoid a vote by the Senate on this very important legislation, which repeals the weak Labor-Greens backed medevac laws, which are not necessary and have weakened our national security arrangements. The laws should be repealed as soon as they possible can be.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Pauline Hanson</p>
  • <p>One Nation strongly supports the repeal of the medevac legislation. If the Labor Party had any common sense about this, they would listen to how the Australian people feel about it. This legislation resulted in 179 people being brought into the country, and only 19 were hospitalised. Of that 19, only six were hospitalised immediately upon their arrival in this country. The Australian people&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Opposition Senator</p>
  • <p>An opposition senator interjecting&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Pauline Hanson</p>
  • <p>You've taken the people for a ride here. The Labor Party has allowed these people to come here to Australia. This Kerryn Phelps bill is ridiculous and does not address the problem. Medical attention was given to these people. You have allowed them to come into this country to abuse us&#8212;as soon as they get into the country they are then using it to stay here. How many of the people have been sent back? None&#8212;not one. They have all used it as a back door into the country, yet look at the people who want to come into Australia the legal way. We know that these are self-inflicted&#8212;like palm oil into their bloody penises. This is what they've done to get into the country, and it's costing us $10,000 for them to do it. There's not just one; there are multiple cases of it being done. They're actually swallowing stones to come here. For what reason? To get into the country so that they can use our laws to overturn&#8212;and we can't send them back.</p>
  • <p>This is not about what deals have been done. I will sit here and listen to the Labor Party's 'greater than thou' act, as if they have never done their deals. They are a bunch of hypocrites. When they're in government, they will deal with whomever they can to get their legislation through. I know that deals are being done in this place by both sides of parliament, so don't stand up as if you're greater than thou&#8212;you're not. We're not here to discuss any deals done with Jacqui Lambie. That's none of my concern. I'm here to vote on a bill that is going to secure our national security. That's what this bill is about, so stop making it into something that it's not. It's about people coming here to Australia illegally&#8212;illegally! Have a good look at their backgrounds, because a lot of these people have been investigated by the Federal Police and by ASIO. They are not good characters. And you want to see them in this country? You are quite happy to see them in this country&#8212;these people of not good character? They're rapists. These people are thugs. They don't belong here in Australia. They've gone through the process but you're quite happy to open up the gates and allow them in here. Are you going to take responsibility if these people turn on us&#8212;if they're going to be a threat in our society? Is that what you really want?</p>
  • <p>If Labor ever get control of this country, they will be the worst thing for border control. They haven't learnt at all. They don't understand the Australian people. The Australian people don't trust them on border protection&#8212;they don't trust you! That is a fact. The Australian people don't trust you, and especially you, Senator Keneally. The people don't support you and don't trust you. When you were premier, you couldn't even look after your own state and give people in New South Wales the medical treatment they needed. They couldn't get it under your leadership, yet you're bending over backwards to get the illegals into the country before Australian people can get medical attention. Any medical evacuation costs us about $100,000. For $100,000, do you know how much medical attention could be given to people in Australia?</p>
  • <p>So 179 have come here under the guise that they are in desperate need of medical attention and only 19 ended in hospital and six immediately. Answer that for the Australian people. Tell me how the Australian people feel about that.</p>
  • <p>We will be supporting this bill very, very strongly. It should never have happened. We have to trust our authorities that they have given them the medical attention that they need. They have never denied them that at all. I am sick of the lies that are going on. You say the people of Nauru are hostages. They are not. One woman from Nauru said: 'You people in Australia are stupid. You've made us Nauruans very wealthy people. They live the life. They mix with our people. They have babies. They get visas. They can travel the world. You people in Australia are stupid, because you've made us very wealthy people.' That's exactly what the Labor Party has done. You have put the Australian people in that situation. Shame on the Labor Party!</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Nick McKim</p>
  • <p>Let's be clear about Australia's shameful offshore detention regime&#8212;this dark, foul and bloody chapter in our country's history. It was designed with secrecy in mind. It was designed to be secret. It was designed to put people on Manus Island and Nauru, out of sight of the Australian people, out of sight of the Australian media and out of sight of the world's media. The media couldn't get visas to go and visit, people like me were deported, and people like Senator Hanson-Young were spied on when they went over there. It was designed to be a secret system. That wasn't a bug in the system; it was a feature of the system. And that secrecy has allowed for murders, rapes, sexual assault of children, untold suffering and people's lives being destroyed. That's what that secrecy was designed to deliver, and it successfully delivered all of those things.</p>
  • <p>And where are we today? We are still in the dark, with secrecy being not a bug but a feature. And just as the previous secrecy allowed for those murders, rapes, self-harm and sexual abuse of children, so will today's secrecy allow for untold human harm and misery. Again, it wasn't just the secrecy allowing for those things; it was designed to operate like that. That has been a feature of our offshore detention system for five, six or seven years now, and that is what will happen as we go forward from this day because the system will remain shrouded in secrecy and the secret deal that has been arranged between the government and Senator Lambie will remain shrouded in secrecy.</p>
  • <p>And just as all of that previous secrecy allowed for those rampant human rights abuses, so into the future will we see increased levels of human suffering&#8212;the suffering of innocent people who did nothing other than stretch out a hand to our country and ask us for help. We will see the suffering, harm and the misery continue. This is a dark day for the majority of Australians who support the medevac legislation. It's a dark day for the Senate, which is being asked to make a decision, shrouded in secrecy, without all of the information in our hands. But do you know who this is the darkest day for? It's the darkest day for those people who remain in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. That's who this is the darkest day for. Under medevac they could have confidence that if they have a medical condition so significant that it could not be adequately treated in Papua New Guinea or Nauru and the doctors believed they needed to come to Australia for treatment, that is what would happen. Senator Lambie, the government and One Nation are taking that comfort away from them.</p>
  • <p>We have seen deaths, we have seen murders, we have seen rapes and we have seen assaults on children, including sexual assaults on children, and what Senator Lambie and the government are doing today is shrouded in secrecy, as this system has been since day one. They've done a deal to repeal the medevac legislation. The people in offshore detention need our help. They desperately need our help, and Senator Lambie and the government today are going to vote to put decisions on whether people should be transferred for medical conditions back in the hands of the minister who has shown repeatedly that he will fight tooth and nail, including in our courts, to prevent people getting the treatment they need&#8212;and deaths have resulted.</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Kristina Keneally</p>
  • <p>Imagine being a cabinet minister, knowing that your government has done a deal and you don't know what it is; you're kept in the dark. You don't know, yet Senator Lambie knows. But nobody else in this parliament is allowed to know; the Australian public aren't allowed to know. Are you that powerless over there, cabinet ministers, that you're not to be trusted with knowledge of what this deal is? If you know, put it on the table! Put it on the table and let us all see it. If it's so wonderful, if it is so fantastic, why can't the whole of the parliament know and why can't all of the Australian people know?</p>
  • <p>Understand this: when we vote later on this morning, there are going to be members of the government backbench who have no idea what they're voting on or what they're voting for. There are going to be&#8212;</p>
  • <p class="speaker">Paul Scarr</p>
  • <p>To protect Australia's borders!</p>
  • <p class='motion-notice motion-notice-truncated'>Long debate text truncated.</p>