How Tony Smith voted compared to someone who believes that the federal government should ban people who arrive in Australia by boat and claim asylum from ever being able to apply for an Australian visa

Division Tony Smith Supporters vote Division outcome

10th Nov 2016, 12:59 PM – Representatives Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority voted in favour of passing the bill in the House of Representatives, which means it will now be sent to the Senate for their consideration. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a third time.

What does this bill do?

The bill will stop adult asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat and were taken to the Nauru or Manus Island detention centres after 19 July 2013 from ever applying for an Australian visa. This means they will never be able to come to Australia, unless the Immigration Minister decides to grant them a special exception.

Is the bill against international law?

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says that the bill is not breaking Australia's international obligations.

Article 31 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees says:

1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, *coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened** in the sense of article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.*

It seems that Mr Dutton may be holding tight to the sentence in bold in order to justify this bill in a strictly legal sense, and it's not the job of this summary to argue one way or the other about whether this bill does or doesn't break Australia's international obligations.

However, it seems clear that at the very least this bill does go against the vibe of the Refugee Convention (as The Castle's Dennis Denuto would say).

Also, Australia is arguably already violating our international law obligations by transferring asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island in the first place.

View of the Opposition

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said:

"It seems ridiculous to me that a genuine refugee who settles in the US or Canada and becomes a US or Canadian citizen is banned from visiting Australia as a tourist, businessman or businesswoman 40 years down track ..."

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

10th Nov 2016, 12:53 PM – Representatives Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016 - Second Reading - Agree with the bill's main idea

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The majority voted in favour of the bill's main idea, which means they can discuss it in more detail. In parliamentary jargon, they voted to read the bill for a second time.

What is the bill's main idea?

The bill will stop adult asylum seekers who arrived in Australia by boat and were taken to the Nauru or Manus Island detention centres after 19 July 2013 from ever applying for an Australian visa. This means they will never be able to come to Australia, unless the Immigration Minister decides to grant them a special exception.

Is the bill against international law?

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton says that the bill is not breaking Australia's international obligations.

Article 31 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees says:

1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, *coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened** in the sense of article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.*

It seems that Mr Dutton may be holding tight to the sentence in bold in order to justify this bill in a strictly legal sense, and it's not the job of this summary to argue one way or the other about whether this bill does or doesn't break Australia's international obligations.

However, it seems clear that at the very least this bill does go against the vibe of the Refugee Convention (as The Castle's Dennis Denuto would say).

Also, Australia is arguably already violating our international law obligations by transferring asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island in the first place.

View of the Opposition

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has said:

"It seems ridiculous to me that a genuine refugee who settles in the US or Canada and becomes a US or Canadian citizen is banned from visiting Australia as a tourist, businessman or businesswoman 40 years down track ..."

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

How "never voted" is worked out

Normally a person's votes count towards a score which is used to work out a simple phrase to summarise their position on a policy. However in this case Tony Smith was absent during all divisions for this policy. So, it's impossible to say anything concrete other than that they have "never voted" on this policy.