How Peter Whish-Wilson voted compared to someone who believes that the Federal government should introduce temporary protection visas

Division Peter Whish-Wilson Supporters vote Division outcome

4th Dec 2014, 11:24 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Remove temporary protection visas

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The majority disagreed that temporary protection visas (TPVs) should be taken out of the bill. That is, they wanted to keep TPVs.

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) Not passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 11:12 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Permanent visas for Safe Haven Enterprise Visa holders

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The majority disagreed with the Greens amendments to the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) introduced by Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young.

What is the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa?

The bills digest explains that the detail of the SHEV will be put into the migration regulations after this bill is passed so the bill itself doesn't include much information about the visa. However, the Minister has said that:

'... the SHEV will be a temporary visa available to people from the legacy caseload [that is, asylum seekers who arrived by boat between August 2012 and December 2013 and haven't been transferred to Nauru or Manus Island] who are found to be refugees, as an alternative to a TPV [Temporary Protection Visa], and will be valid for five years. Persons granted a SHEV will be required to live in a ‘designated region’ and encouraged to fill job vacancies in regional areas. ... Visa holders will have the same access to Medicare and social security as TPV holders, but those who can show they have worked in a regional area without accessing income support for three and a half years will be permitted to apply for other onshore visas, such as family and skilled visas (but not permanent protection visas).' (Read more in the bills digest)

What do these amendments do?

Senator Hanson-Young explained that "[t]hese amendments put a genuine pathway to permanency into the SHEV—exactly what Mr Palmer wanted and just like we have heard from the crossbenchers that they want to see" (see her whole explanation). In other words, they introduce a way for SHEV holders to apply for a permanent protection visa.

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) Not passed by a small majority

4th Dec 2014, 9:53 PM – Senate Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 - in Committee - Safe Haven Enterprise Visa

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The majority agreed to create a Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) (read more about the amendments in the explanatory memorandum). The Government proposed this visa after reaching a deal with the Palmer United Party (see ABC News).

What is the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa?

The bills digest explains that the detail of the SHEV will be put into the Migration Regulations after this bill is passed so the bill itself doesn't include much information about the visa. However, the Minister has said that:

'... the SHEV will be a temporary visa available to people from the legacy caseload [that is, asylum seekers who arrived by boat between August 2012 and December 2013 and haven't been transferred to Nauru or Manus Island] who are found to be refugees, as an alternative to a TPV [Temporary Protection Visa], and will be valid for five years. Persons granted a SHEV will be required to live in a ‘designated region’ and encouraged to fill job vacancies in regional areas. ... Visa holders will have the same access to Medicare and social security as TPV holders, but those who can show they have worked in a regional area without accessing income support for three and a half years will be permitted to apply for other onshore visas, such as family and skilled visas (but not permanent protection visas).' (Read more 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.

No Yes 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.

No Yes (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.

No Yes (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

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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.

No Yes (strong) Passed by a small majority

2nd Dec 2013, 9:46 PM – Senate Regulations - Migration Amendment (Temporary Protection Visas) Regulation 2013 - Disallow

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The majority voted in favour of a motion to disallow the Migration Amendment (Temporary Protection Visas) Regulation 2013, which means this Regulation will no longer have legal force.

Among other things, this Regulation reintroduced temporary protection visas. Read more in its explanatory memorandum.

Motion text

That the Migration Amendment (Temporary Protection Visas) Regulation 2013, as contained in Select Legislative Instrument 2013 No. 234 and made under the Migration Act 1958, be disallowed.

Yes No (strong) Passed by a small majority

27th Jun 2013, 11:59 AM – Senate Migration Amendment (Reinstatement of Temporary Protection Visas) Bill 2013 [No. 2] - Second Reading - Read a second time

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The majority voted against a motion to read the bill for a second time.

The motion was put by Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash.(Read Senator Cash's second reading speech here. )

Background to the bill

The bill was introduced as a private senator's bill by Liberal Senator Cash. It amends the Migration Act 1958 to create two visa subclasses for people who arrive in Australia without a visa at an excised offshore place (such as Christmas Island) and apply for asylum. The visa subclasses are: temporary protection (offshore entry) visas and temporary protection (secondary movement offshore entry) visas.(Read more about these proposed visa subclasses in the bill's explanatory memorandum here or in the Senate discussion of the bill here.)

References

No Yes (strong) Not passed by a small majority

12th Sep 2012, 11:40 AM – Senate Motions — Republic of Nauru - Coalition policies

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The majority voted against an amendment introduced by Liberal Senator Michaelia Cash. This would have amended a previous motion(See the division on that motion here. ) with the following:

At the end of the motion, add “and in addition to the opening of offshore processing on Nauru, calls on the Government to implement the full suite of the Coalition’s successful border protection policies and:

(a) restore temporary protection visas as the only visa option available to be granted to offshore entry persons found to be refugees;

(b) issue new instructions to Northern Command to commence to turn back boats seeking to illegally enter Australia where it is safe to do so;(FactCheck on ABC discussed whether it is illegal to turn back boats in international waters to Indonesia here. )

(c) use existing law to remove the benefit of the doubt on a person’s identity where there is a reasonable belief that a person has deliberately discarded their documentation; and

(d) restore the Bali Process to once again focus on deterrence and border security”.

There was one rebel voter in this division. Labor Senator Lin Thorp crossed the floor to vote with the Coalition.(Read more about crossing the floor here.) However, Senator Thorp subsequently sought leave to make a personal statement that "I apologise that I rushed in and inadvertently sat on the wrong side of the chamber during the division". This suggests that the Senator did not intend to cross the floor.

References

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

16th Aug 2012, 5:17 PM – Senate Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2012 - Second Reading - Coalition policies (b)

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The majority voted against part (b) of a motion proposed by Liberal Senator Eric Abetz.

This motion calls on the Government to implement Coalition policies with regards to asylum seekers. This includes:

  • restoring temporary protection visas for persons found to be refugees;
  • instructions to turn back asylum seekers boats when it is safe to do so;
  • removing the benefit of the doubt on a person's identity when it is suspected that that person deliberately discarded their documentation;
  • making the Bali Process focus on deterrence and border security.

Someone who votes aye for this motion supports this view. The majority voted no to this motion so it was unsuccessful.

Background to the bill

The 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

No Yes Not passed by a small majority

How "voted very strongly 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 7 0 350
MP absent 0 0 0
Less important votes (10 points)      
MP voted with policy 0 0 0
MP voted against policy 3 0 30
Less important absentees (2 points)      
MP absent* 0 0 0
Total: 0 380

*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 = 0 / 380 = 0.0%.

And then