How George Brandis voted compared to someone who believes that there should be more independent access to detention centres and more information provided about the management of asylum seekers under Australian government policy, including the interception of boats at sea

Division George Brandis Supporters vote Division outcome

5th Dec 2017, 5:56 PM – Senate Regulations and Determinations - Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017 - Disallow

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to disallow Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017, which means they'll no longer have any legal force.

What did the Regulations do?

Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas) explained that:

This regulation which we are seeking to disallow would provide the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection with sweeping new powers on top of what the Australian Greens already consider to be a far too broad range of powers, which have been exercised continually in an unreasonable way by the minister.

The changes that the minister is proposing to make, in broad terms, would allow the immigration department to detain people, potentially indefinitely, on the basis of criminal conduct that has not been proven or even tried, on the basis of behaviour that's considered by the department to have endangered or threatened another person extending, potentially, to bullying and online vilification, and because of inconsistencies in people's names on identity documents issued by any Commonwealth, state or territory government authority or official, or failures to update any name changes in those documents.

See the explanatory memorandum for more information about what these Regulations did.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

8th Feb 2017, 4:03 PM – Senate Documents - Resettlement of Refugees - Order for the Production of Documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim (Tas), which means it was successful.

This motion asked for the documents to be produced that relate to the agreement between Australia and the USA for the potential resettlement of refugees currently on Manus Island and Nauru, which President Donald Trump has described as a "dumb deal".

Motion

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, on 15 February 2017, the agreement between Australia and the United States of America announced on 13 November 2016 regarding the potential resettlement to the United States of refugees on Manus Island and Nauru.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

12th Sep 2016, 4:48 PM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee - Nauru & Manus Island centres

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The majority voted in favour of a motion, which means it was successful. Motions like this don't have legal force but demonstrate the opinion of the Senate.

Motion text

(1) That the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by the last sitting day in March 2017:

The serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre, with particular reference to:

(a) the factors that have contributed to the abuse and self-harm alleged to have occurred;

(b) how notifications of abuse and self-harm are investigated;

(c) the obligations of the Commonwealth Government and contractors relating to the treatment of asylum seekers, including the provision of support, capability and capacity building to local authorities;

(d) the provision of support services for asylum seekers who have been alleged or been found to have been subject to abuse, neglect or self-harm in the centres or within the community;

(e) the role an independent children’s advocate could play in ensuring the rights and interests of unaccompanied minors are protected,

(f) the effect of Part 6 of the Australian Border Force Act 2015;

(g) attempts by the Commonwealth Government to negotiate third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees;

(h) additional measures that could be implemented to expedite third country resettlement of asylum seekers and refugees within the centres; and

(i) any other related matters.

(2) That the committee be granted access to all inquiry submissions and documents of the preceding committee relating to its inquiry into the conditions and treatment of asylum seekers and refugees at the regional processing centres in the Republic of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

1st Sep 2016, 12:45 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention - Nauru documents

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The majority voted in favour of a motion introduced by Labor Senator Lisa Singh, which means it was successful.

These motions have no legal force, but do show the opinion of the Senate.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) a large cache of documents has been made public regarding the treatment of asylum seekers including children on Nauru, and

(ii) these documents contain concerning reports of alleged abuse; and

(b) call upon the Australian Government:

(i) to reveal whether these serious and disturbing allegations of abuse have been investigated and the outcomes of those investigations, and

(ii) to appoint an Independent Children's Advocate backed by adequate resources and statutory powers to ensure the rights and interests of children are protected.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

31st Aug 2016, 4:23 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention - Royal Commission

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Nick McKim, which means it was unsuccessful.

The motion called for a Royal Commission into Australia’s immigration detention facilities to be established.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges the damage done to men, women and children by offshore detention on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea and Nauru as revealed to the Parliament through Senate inquiries, independent government reports and a recent leak of more than 2,000 incident reports from Nauru; and

(b) calls on the Government to establish a Royal Commission into Australia’s immigration detention facilities, including those on Manus Island, Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

19th Apr 2016, 7:36 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Present documents to the Senate

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The majority voted for a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means it was successful. The motion asked for documents relating to asylum seeker contracts to be "laid on the table" (that is, presented to the Senate).

Motion text

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, no later than 9.30 am on Thursday, 21 April 2016:

(a) any, and all, documents in the Australian Government's possession, including, and in relation to:

(i) any contracts between Broadspectrum (formerly known as Transfield Services) and its subcontractor Wilson Security in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea,

(ii) any sub-contracts engaged in by Wilson Security and other entities in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, and

(iii) any contracts between the Australian Government and Wilson Security in relation to the Government and its agencies;

(b) any, and all, documents in the Australian Government's possession pertaining to the procurement and due diligence process undertaken prior to the awarding of any contracts between:

(i) the Australian Government and Broadspectrum, and its subcontractor Wilson Security, in relation to operations on Nauru and Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, including Wilson Security's directorship and or the Kwok family, and

(ii) the Australian Government and Wilson Security in relation to the Government and its agencies, including Wilson Security's directorship and or the Kwok family; and

(c) any, and all, documents in relation to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's internal investigation, and or review, into Wilson Security's role in relation on Nauru and Manus Island as reported in the Australian on 7 April 2016.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

25th Jun 2015, 5:38 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 - in Committee - Access to regional detention centres

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The majority voted against two Greens amendments that were introduced by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means they were unsuccessful.

What did the amendments do?

Senator Hanson-Young explained what the two amendments do like this:

These amendments allow for media access to these facilities, access for the Human Rights Commission and access by the Commonwealth Ombudsman. Both the Human Rights Commission and the Commonwealth Ombudsman have access to Australian based detention centres, and those on Christmas Island. This set of amendments gives those two bodies access to any other facility in relation to the offshore network. That, of course, means those on Manus Island and Nauru.

The element of allowing journalists to access these facilities is absolutely important. ... [W]e have the Abbott government saying they are all big supporters of free speech and that they have nothing to hide. Well, if you have nothing to hide, open the gates and let the media in.

Amendment text

Greens amendment (3):

(3) Schedule 1, page 3 (before line 4), before item 1, insert:

1A Subsection 198AB(2)

Repeal the subsection, substitute:

(2) The only conditions for the exercise of the power under subsection (1) are:

(a) that the Minister thinks that it is in the national interest to designate the country to be a regional processing country; and

(b) that subsection (4A) has been complied with.

1B After subsection 198AB(4)

Insert:

(4A) The Minister must not designate a country to be a regional processing country unless the country has given Australia assurances, in writing, to the effect that the country will allow the following persons or bodies reasonable access to unauthorised maritime arrivals who have been taken to the regional processing country under section 198AD:

(a) the Australian Human Rights Commission;

(b) the Commonwealth Ombudsman;

(c) journalists (within the meaning of the Evidence Act 1995).

(4B) The assurances referred to in subsection (4A) need not be legally binding.

Note: However, the Minister must revoke a designation if the country does not comply with those assurances, see subsection (5A).

1C After subsection 198AB(5)

Insert:

(5A) If:

(a) the Minister designates a country under subsection (1); and

(b) the country has given written assurances under subsection (4A); and

(c) the Minister becomes aware that the country has not complied, or is not complying, with those assurances;

the Minister must revoke the designation.

Greens amendment (5):

(5) Schedule 1, page 4 (after line 5), at the end of the Schedule, add:

2 Application—written assurances relating to access

The amendments made to the Migration Act 1958 by items 1A, 1B and 1C apply in relation to the designation of a country as a regional processing centre on or after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

3 Application and transitional—regional processing countries designated before Royal Assent

(1) This item applies if the Minister designated a country to be a regional processing country under subsection 198AB(1) of the Migration Act 1958 before the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent.

(2) As soon as practicable, but no later than 3 months after the day on which this Act receives the Royal Assent, the Minister must revoke the designation unless the country has given assurances, in writing, to the effect that the country will allow the following persons or bodies reasonable access to unauthorised maritime arrivals who have been taken to the regional processing country under section 198AD of that Act:

(a) the Australian Human Rights Commission;

(b) the Commonwealth Ombudsman;

(c) journalists (within the meaning of the Evidence Act 1995).

(3) If the assurances under subitem (2) are given, subsection 198AB(5A) of the Migration Act 1958, as amended by this Schedule, applies in relation to the designation on and after the day the assurances are received, as if the designation were made under section 198AB of that Act as amended by this Act.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

25th Jun 2015, 5:24 PM – Senate Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015 - in Committee - Mandatory reporting of abuse

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The majority voted against two amendments introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it was unsuccessful.

What did the amendments do?

Senator Hanson-Young explained the amendments like this:

These amendments provide that child abuse and assault inside detention facilities, when it occurs, would have to be reported to the police—both the Federal Police and the local police at the location of the facility—and, of course, to the department. They are basic mandatory reporting requirements. They mean that, for any staff member engaged in these facilities or any person who is contracted by the Commonwealth or subcontracted by another contractor, if you work inside the facility and you see child abuse, you must report it.

Amendment text

Amendment (8):

(8) Page 4 (after line 5), at the end of the Bill (after proposed Schedule 2), add:

Schedule 3—Mandatory reporting of abuse

Migration Act 1958

1 After section 197BA

Insert:

197BAA Mandatory reporting of reportable assaults

(1) If a designated person believes on reasonable grounds that a person has experienced, or is experiencing, a reportable assault, the designated person must, as soon as practicable, notify the relevant authorities of:

(a) the alleged assault; and

(b) the grounds on which the person has formed the belief that the alleged assault occurred.

Offence

(2) A person commits an offence if:

(a) the person is required to make a notification under subsection (1); and

(b) the person fails to comply with the requirement.

Penalty: 60 penalty units.

Geographical jurisdiction

(3) Section 15.3 of the Criminal Code (extended geographical jurisdiction—category C) applies to an offence against subsection (2).

Interpretation

(4) In this section:

designated person means:

(a) an authorised officer; and

(b) a person appointed or employed by, or for the performance of services for:

(i) the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; or

(ii) an authority of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory; and

(c) a person employed by another person or body that is contracted by the Commonwealth, or an authority of the Commonwealth, to perform services in relation to an immigration detention facility.

relevant authority means:

(a) in any case—the Department and the Australian Federal Police; and

(b) if:

(i) the victim of an alleged reportable assault is a child; and

(ii) the alleged assault occurs in a State or Territory;

a relevant authority of the State or Territory that has functions relating to child safety; and

(c) if:

(i) the victim of an alleged reportable assault is a child; and

(ii) the alleged assault occurs in a foreign country;

a police force of the foreign country.

reportable assault means any of the following, to the extent that they occur, or allegedly occur, in an immigration detention facility:

(a) unlawful sexual contact;

(b) sexual harassment;

(c) unreasonable use of force;

(d) any other assault.

Amendment (2):

(2) Clause 2, page 2, at the end of the table, after proposed table item 3, add:

4. Schedule 3 Immediately after the commencement of Schedule 1 to the Migration Amendment (Maintaining the Good Order of Immigration Detention Facilities) Act 2015.

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

16th Jun 2015, 4:14 PM – Senate Documents — Australian Customs Service; Order for the Production of Documents — Paying people smugglers

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The majority of Senators voted in favour of the following motion by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young:

That—

(a) there be laid on the table by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by 3 pm on 17 June 2015, all documents containing information pertaining to:

  • (i) any money paid to anyone on board a vessel en route to Australia or New Zealand by any Customs, Immigration or other Commonwealth officer from September 2013 to date, and

  • (ii) the facilitation or authorisation of the payment of any money to anyone on board a vessel en route to Australia or New Zealand by any Customs, Immigration or other Commonwealth officer from September 2013 to date, and

in relation to any such payment, a document containing information pertaining to the details of the interception of the vessel, the amount of money paid, to whom and for what purpose; and

(b) there be laid on the table by the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, by 3 pm on 17 June 2015, any documents produced by the Office of the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service regarding:

  • (i) the interception of a vessel en route to Australia or New Zealand in May 2015,

  • (ii) any orders to turn back or take back that vessel, its passengers or crew,

  • (iii) any payments made to the vessel’s captain, crew or passengers, and

  • (iv) any payments made in relation to the passage of the vessel, its passengers or crew.

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

14th May 2015, 3:43 PM – Senate Australian Border Force Bill 2015 and related bill - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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The majority agreed to pass the bills in the Senate (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bills a third reading). The bills 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 bills will become law.

You can follow the bills progress through Parliament on the bills' websites (see under 'External links').

How to find out more about the bills

Go to the bills digest to learn more about what the bills do and what issues they raise.

Controversy

Clause 42 of the Australian Border Force Bill 2015 makes it an offence for an "entrusted person" (which includes Immigration and Border Protection workers) to make a record of confidential information or to disclose confidential information. See the bills digest for more information about the exceptions to this offence.

Comments in the media have suggested that this clause could lead to doctors being charged under this offence for revealing conditions in detention centres.

absent No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

14th May 2015, 1:58 PM – Senate Australian Border Force Bill 2015 and related bill - in Committee - Public interest amendment

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young (SA), which means it was unsuccessful.

What did the amendment do?

This amendment relates to Clause 42 of the Australian Border Force Bill 2015, which makes it an offence for an "entrusted person" (which includes Immigration and Border Protection workers) to make a record of confidential information or to disclose confidential information.

Senator Hanson-Young explained her amendment:

The amendment I have circulated deals very specifically with that. It is very simple. It is not saying that everyone can go and blow their whistles as much as they want; it is saying that if there is any type of offence then it needs to be tested against the public interest. That is a decision that the courts should make. It is not a decision for the minister. ... This amendment is important to ensure that there is an independent arbiter, and it must be the courts that stand up for the right of the public service and the right of the Australian people to know what is in the public interest and what information their government is trying to hide from them.

Background to the amendment

Senator Hanson-Young's amendment reflects previous recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) in 2010 in respect to a similar provision int he Crimes Act that applies generally to Commonwealth public servants. Just like Senator Hanson-Young's amendment, the ALRC had recommended that criminal sanctions in law should only apply where disclosure of information would or would likely harm an identifiable public interest. However, those recommendations have yet to be acted on.

Amendment text

(1) Clause 42, page 35 (after line 13), after paragraph (1)(b), insert:

(ba) the making of the record, or the disclosure, causes, is likely to cause, or is intended to cause, harm to a public interest.

How to find out more about the bills

Go to the bills digest to learn more about what the bills do and what issues they raise.

No Yes Not passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2014, 11:55 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Keep schedule 5 as it is

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The majority agreed that schedule 5 should remain as it is (in parliamentary jargon, they voted that "schedule 5 stand as printed"). This question was put to the Senate after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a motion to oppose the schedule.

What is Schedule 5?

This schedule makes changes that may go against some of Australia's international law obligations, particularly in respect to non-refoulement and the definition of a refugee.

Non-refoulement

The non-refoulement obligation stops Australia from sending people to places where their lives or freedoms are threatened. Australia has this obligation 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.

Schedule 5 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.

Refugee definition

Under the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, a refugee is any person who:

'owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.'

Schedule 5 inserts new definitions for some of these requirements, including new definitions of ‘well-founded fear’ and ‘membership of a particular social group other than family’. It also removes several references to the Refugee Convention from the Migration Act.

The bills digest suggests that these changes have been made "at the very least to limit Australia’s obligations under the [Refugee] Convention and curtail the way in which such obligations are interpreted by the judiciary".

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)

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 11:45 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Keep schedule 4 as it is

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The majority agreed that schedule 4 should remain as it is (in parliamentary jargon, they voted that "schedule 4 stand as printed"). This question was put to the Senate after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a motion to oppose the schedule.

What is Schedule 4?

The schedule creates a new fast track form of merits review for certain decisions to refuse to give a protection visa. 'Merits review' is a review of a decision by another body that is based on the merits of the applicant's claim. Effectively, the other body decides whether the decision was good or bad in the circumstances and whether they want to confirm or re-make the decision. This new review process only applies to particular visa applicants, including people who arrived in Australia by boat on or after 13 August 2012 (see 'fast track applicant' in item 1), and will be conducted by the newly created Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA).

The schedule also excludes certain asylum seekers from having access to merits review altogether (see 'excluded fast track review applicant' in item 1).

Senator Hanson-Young said that the schedule "was the most fundamental concern of refugee advocates and lawyers who submitted to the Senate's inquiry into this piece of legislation ... [because] [i]t is stripping away people's ability to ensure that they get a fair hearing".

Read more about the issues raised by the changes in schedule 4 in the bills digest.

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 11:01 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Keep schedule 3 as it is

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The majority agreed that schedule 3 should remain as it is (in parliamentary jargon, they voted that "schedule 3 stand as printed"). This question was put to the Senate after Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young introduced a motion to oppose the schedule.

What is Schedule 3?

The bills digest highlights aspects of the schedule that are particularly significant. On the one hand, the schedule states that regulations can (but don't have to) set out criteria for certain visa types (including permanent and temporary protection visas). On the other, it makes an application for one of those visa types invalid if there aren't any regulations setting out relevant criteria.

So, it's not necessary to set out criteria for these visas in regulations. But, if the Immigration Minister doesn't, then it's not possible for people to make a valid application for those visas.

Senator Hanson-Young was particularly concerned with how this schedule may threaten Parliamentary scrutiny of regulations. If the Minister introduces a regulation that Parliament disagrees with, normally Parliament will vote to disallow that regulation. But under this schedule, disallowing a regulation would make any visa applications relying on it invalid. This puts pressure on Parliament to leave regulations as they are even if it disagrees with them.

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.

absent No (strong) Passed by a modest majority

4th Dec 2014, 10:17 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Include Minister's promise to increase intake in bill

Show detail

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 had suggested the amendment, which would have set that number at not less than 18,750.

Background to the motion

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison made a commitment to several coss-benchers 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' 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.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 9:57 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Government amendments

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The majority agreed with Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash's amendments to "contribute to the overall integrity of the bill and demonstrate the government's willingness to work with stakeholders to pass this critical legislation" (see Senator Cash's full contribution).

What are the amendments?

The amendments cover several aspects of the bill, including allowing temporary protection visa holders to travel outside Australia in compassionate and compelling circumstances, as determined by the Minister (see the explanatory memorandum).

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.

Yes No Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 8:58 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - Second Reading - Agree with bill's main idea

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The majority agreed with the bill's main idea (in parliamentary jargon, they voted in favour of giving the bill a second reading). This means that the Senate can now discuss the bill in more detail.

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 12:15 AM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - Third Reading - Pass the bill

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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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 12:11 AM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Agree with the amended bill

Show detail

The majority agreed with the bill as it has been amended during the Committee stage. This means that the majority want to stop discussing the detail of the bill and now want to vote on whether to pass it in the Senate.

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.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

24th Nov 2014, 4:33 PM – Senate Documents — Asylum Seekers; Order for the Production of Documents

Show detail

The senate voted in favour of Senator Kim Carr's motion:

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, no later than 3.30 pm on Thursday, 27 November 2014, the report of the investigation by Transfield Services of allegations regarding the treatment of asylum seekers in the Manus Island regional processing centre, as referred to in a statement released by the Minister's office on 3 November 2014.

absent Yes Passed by a small majority

14th Jul 2014, 3:55 PM – Senate Motions — Asylum Seekers — Disclose information

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The majority voted in favour of part (a) of a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) requests that the Government:

(i) update the chamber on operations undertaken on the high seas which relate to the two asylum seeker boats intercepted by Australian authorities in the past 2 weeks, and

(ii) disclose the whereabouts of the 153 people, including 37 children, who are believed to have left India over 3 weeks ago by boat; ...

The second half of this motion, part (b), was voted on immediately after this division.(See the division on part (b) here. )

Background to the motion

The first of the two asylum seeker boats referred to in Senator Hanson-Young's motion carried 41 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka, including four Tamils. The boat was intercepted by Australian Customs and their claims for asylum were assessed via teleconference at sea. Only one was found to have a case for seeking asylum, but the Government says they chose to return to Sri Lanka with the others after being told they would be sent to Manus Island or Nauru. All 41 people were transferred to the Sri Lankan navy and are now facing charges in a Sri Lankan Court.(Read more about the 41 people returned to Sri Lanka by Australian Customs here. )

The second vessel referred to in the motion contained 153 asylum seekers, including young children. The boat was also intercepted by Australian Customs but a High Court interim injunction blocked them from transferring the asylum seekers to Sri Lanka.(Read more about the High Court interim injunction here. ) The Government has undertaken to give three days' notice before returning the asylum seekers. Currently, the 153 asylum seekers are aboard a Customs vessel in an unknown location and it is unclear whether they will stay there until their case can proceed through the High Court.(Read more about the standoff in the High Court here.)

absent Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

19th Jun 2014, 12:30 PM – Senate Committees - World Refugee Day - Transparency

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which means the motion failed. The motion called for more transparency over the Australian asylum seeker processing system.

Motion text

That the Senate—

(a) acknowledges that 20 June 2014 is World Refugee Day, when all nations recognise the resilience and humanity of forcibly displaced people around the world;

(b) notes the vast and positive contribution that refugees have made and continue to make to Australian society;

(c) reaffirms Australia's strong commitment to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol in recognition of the need to restore hope to those seeking protection in our region; and

(d) calls on the Government to:

(ii) be more transparent and open about the conditions and circumstances experienced by asylum seekers in immigration detention centres controlled by the Australian Government,

(ii) establish independent and systematic monitoring of sites of immigration detention, and

(iii) take steps to prevent further incidents and improve safety and conditions for asylum seekers in immigration detention centres.

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

9th Dec 2013, 4:21 PM – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - UNHCR reports into Nauru and Manus Island

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which is:

That the Senate calls on the Minister assisting the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (Senator Cash) to:

(a) provide a statement to the Senate on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees report into the conditions in the Nauru and Manus Island detention centres by Wednesday, 11 December 2013; and(Read the report on Nauru here and the report on Manus Island here. You can also read about the reports in the media here.)

(b) explain to the Senate how the Government intends to respond and action the recommendations made by the reports respectively.

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

5th Dec 2013, 12:47 PM – Senate Documents - Asylum Seekers; Order for the Production of Documents

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This is a vote on a motion put by Labor Senator McEwen requesting that

all incident reports, logs, briefings, ministerial notes, internal communications and other reports (excluding any publicly available documents), in relation to the reported incident that took place on Friday, 15 November 2013, involving the towing of an Indonesian vessel near Christmas Island by an Australian Customs, Navy or other government asset or vessel be released.

The majority of MPs voted aye in support of this motion.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

16th May 2013, 11:28 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Media access

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator 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 Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the 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 here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at 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 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill 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 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.

References

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

16th May 2013, 11:06 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - AHRC access

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This amendment would require that the Australian Human Rights Commission ('AHRC') be able to visit, inspect and report on the conditions in offshore processing countries. This access would have to be equivalent to access the AHRC would have in Australia.

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, particularly Recommendation 14 which states that: "the 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 here. )

By implementing this recommendation, the bill extends the excision regime that was introduced in 2001 following the Tampa affair. That regime provides that asylum seekers who arrive in Australia at 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 Migration Amendment (Unauthorised Maritime Arrivals and Other Measures) Bill 2012 is available on the bills digest (680 KB). Also see an ABC news report explaining the effect of this bill 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 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.

References

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

7th Feb 2013, 12:18 PM – Senate Motions - Immigration Detention Facilities - Media access

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion moved by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which was:

''That the Senate calls on the government to:

(a) facilitate media access to the detention camps in Nauru and Manus Island to provide for transparency and public accountability about the conditions inside the camps;(Read more about the Australian mandatory detention policy here.)

(b) lift the current ban on photographs and footage of the detention facilities; and

(c) allow consenting asylum seekers and refugees within the facilities to speak freely to media agencies and journalists.

References

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th Sep 2012, 11:45 AM – Senate Motions - Republic of Nauru - 12 month limit on detention

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This would have amended a previous motion(See the division on that motion here.) with the following:

At the end of the motion, add “with the inclusion of a 12 month time limit on detention of an individual in Nauru, and calls on the Government to immediately establish an independent Health Care Panel to monitor and evaluate the medical, psychological and psychiatric welfare of refugees sent offshore”.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

16th Aug 2012, 9:09 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - In Committee - Independent annual review

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The majority voted against an amendment proposed by Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

This amendment would require the Immigration Minister to conduct an independent annual review of offshore regional processing facilities. This review would also include a review of the protection and welfare arrangements in each regional processing country. Such a report would have to be released to the public within 14 days of the Minister for Immigration receiving it.

Someone who votes aye for this amendment supports these measures. The majority voted no to this amendment, so it was unsuccessful.

Background to the bill

This bill was originally introduced in the House of Representatives as the Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011. It was drafted in response to the High Court's judgement in Plaintiff M70/2011 v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship () HCA 32, which put an end to the Labor Government's Malaysia Solution policy.(Read more about the decision on Wikipedia here and on ABC News here. Read more about the effect of this decision on the Malaysia Solution here.)

To this end, the bill amends the Migration Act 1958 to replace the existing framework for taking offshore entry persons to another country for assessment of their claims to be refugees. The bill also replaces discretionary detention with mandatory detention for all asylum seekers at an offshore place, such as Christmas Island, and alters the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 in relation to making and implementing any decision to remove, deport or take a non-citizen child from Australia by overriding the guardianship obligations under that Act.

References

absent Yes (strong) Not passed by a modest majority

12th Oct 2011 – Senate Motions - Asylum Seekers - Siev X

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The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Christine Milne. This means that the motion was unsuccessful.

The motion was:

That the Senate-    (a)   recalls, with regret, that on 19 October 2001, the SIEV X carrying approximately 400 asylum seekers sank on its way to Australia, resulting in the drowning of 146 children, 142 women and 65 men and only 41 people survived; and (b)   notes that:       (i)   in interviews with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, survivors told of the involvement of the Indonesian military in the boarding and organising of the voyage,       (ii)   survivors reported that they saw two military vessels appear, shine lights on the water and sail away,       (iii)    HMAS Arunta stood 4 hours away,       (iv)   Australia maintained a People Smuggling Disruption Program in the region at the time,(Read about the People Smuggling Disruption Program here. For more, read Senator John Faulkner's additional comments.)       (v)   the Australian listening station at Shoal Bay was operational at the time, and       (vi)   many outstanding serious questions remain about the failure to rescue desperate people in the water and must be answered in the interest of justice and humanity; and    (c)   calls on the Government to establish a judicial inquiry into the SIEV X, subsequent investigations in the SIEV X tragedy and all circumstances pertaining to its voyage, loss and rescue of survivors.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a modest majority

24th Nov 2009, 3:41 PM – Senate Border Protection Committee of Cabinet Meeting - Order - Produce documents

Show detail

The same number of senators voted for and against the motion, which means it failed.

Motion text

That there be laid on the table by the Minister representing the Prime Minister, no later than 2 pm on Wednesday, 25 November 2009, documents outlining or including, the following:

(a) the date, time and duration of the meetings of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet since it was established in about April 2009;

(b) in relation to each of the meetings referred to above, details of all the attendees at each meeting, including the name and position of each attendee and the capacity in which they attended the meeting;

(c) in relation to any ministerial staff attending any meeting, the level of security clearance of all ministerial staff who attended each meeting;

(d) all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including any drafts) of the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009, including by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(e) all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including any drafts) of the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009, including by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(f) in relation to the formulation, discussion or approval referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e), which was undertaken by any other committee, taskforce or entity other than the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet, documents outlining or including:

(i) the name of the other committee, taskforce or entity,

(ii) the date, time and duration of the meeting/s of the other committee, taskforce or entity, and

(iii) details of all the attendees at each meeting of the other committee, taskforce or entity, including the name and position of each attendee and the capacity in which they attended the meeting;

(g) in relation to any ministerial staff attending any meeting, the level of security clearance of all ministerial staff who attended each meeting of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(h) in relation to approval referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) above, details of the date, time, duration and attendees at the meeting or meetings that resulted in such approval by the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity;

(i) details of when the Prime Minister became aware of the decision of the Border Protection Committee of Cabinet or any other committee, taskforce or entity to make the offer referred to in paragraphs (d) and (e) above and how he became aware of this decision;

(j) in relation to the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009, all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including drafts) of any arrangements, undertakings or special circumstances with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees regarding processing and resettlement of the asylum seekers;

(k) in relation to the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009 and the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009, all documents relating to the formulation, discussion and approval (including drafts) of any arrangements, undertakings or special circumstances with Indonesia regarding the detention, processing and resettlement of the asylum seekers; and

(l) in relation to any approval covered by paragraphs (h) and (i), a statement of whether the Prime Minister or any member of the Prime Minister’s staff approved any part, aspect, detail or condition contained in the letter from Mr Jim O’Callaghan, Minister-Counsellor Immigration, Australian Embassy, Jakarta, Indonesia, entitled Message to the 78 passengers on the Oceanic Viking, dated November 2009 and in the letter from Mr Andrew Metcalfe, Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Senator Evans, Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, dated 16 November 2009.

absent Yes Not passed

27th Aug 2008, 4:21 PM – Senate Motions - MV Tampa: Seventh Anniversary - Inquiry into immigration detention

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. This means that the motion was rejected.

The motion was:

That the Senate-

(a) notes that:

(i) 26 August marked the 7th anniversary of the rescue of 433 asylum seekers by the MV Tampa,(Read more about this incident on Wikipedia.)

(ii) this rescue was followed by the refusal of the Coalition Government to allow the ship to enter Australian shores in direct violation of both maritime conventions and human rights obligations, and

(iii) the majority of the refugees, including children, were detained indefinitely on Nauru, as part of the Coalition’s ‘ Pacific Solution’; and

(b) calls on the Government, as part of the inquiry into immigration detention in Australia, to look into the psychological harm mandatory detention has caused children and their families as a matter of urgency.

References

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

10th May 2007, 10:17 AM – Senate Motions - Iraq - Information requested

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion for information in regards to the civilians displaced by the war in Iraq, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

That the Senate calls on the Government to inform the Senate by 13 June 2007 on the following matters:

(a) the number of civilians displaced by the war in Iraq, both internally and externally;

(b) the circumstances of these Iraqi refugees;

(c) what aid or assistance is going to the refugees and what component of that aid comes from the Australian Government;

(d) how many such refugees have been accommodated in Australia and what plans there are to give refuge to more; and

(e) what calls from the United Nations, the Red Cross or any other international agencies have been made to nations, including Australia, to meet the refugees’ needs.

absent Yes Not passed by a large majority

2nd Mar 2006, 11:37 AM – Senate Committees - Legal and Constitutional References Committee - Refer

Show detail

The majority voted against a motion to refer certain matters to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report, which means the motion failed.

Motion text

I move:

That the following matters be referred to the Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report:

(a) all actions carried out by the Government for assisting refugee and special humanitarian visa holders in their country of departure and managing the transition of refugees and humanitarian entrants from their country of departure to their settlement in Australia;

(b) the processes used by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to handle the migration of the family of Mr Richard Niyonsaba to Australia and the circumstances surrounding the death of Mr Niyonsaba after his arrival in Australia; and

(c) recommendations for improvement in the processes for assisting refugees and humanitarian entrants in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of all future new arrivals to Australia.

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted moderately against" is worked out

The MP's votes count towards a weighted average where the most important votes get 50 points, less important votes get 10 points, and less important votes for which the MP was absent get 2 points. In important votes the MP gets awarded the full 50 points for voting the same as the policy, 0 points for voting against the policy, and 25 points for not voting. In less important votes, the MP gets 10 points for voting with the policy, 0 points for voting against, and 1 (out of 2) if absent.

Then, the number gets converted to a simple english language phrase based on the range of values it's within.

No of votes Points Out of
Most important votes (50 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 8 0 400
MP absent 13 325 650
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 4 0 40
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 9 9 18
Total: 334 1108

*Pressure of other work means MPs or Senators are not always available to vote – it does not always indicate they have abstained. Therefore, being absent on a less important vote makes a disproportionatly small difference.

Agreement score = MP's points / total points = 334 / 1108 = 30%.

And then