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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 77


Mr RAMSEY (Grey) (16:40): As I was saying, who would have believed that Denmark, of all places, would be removing valuables from asylum seekers to force them to contribute to the cost of supporting themselves, and that Germany would be promoting a people swap deal—a people swap deal not so different to the Gillard government's proposed, and eventually illegal, deal with Malaysia?

I do not pretend to have the answers for Europe. I do not know what I would do if I was in their position, but clearly what they are doing now is causing great concern within their society. We should not kid ourselves about the consequences. The consequences, if Europe ignores those factors, will be that their politics will lurch to the extremes. The extremes are an extremely dangerous place to be for any good democracy. We must have faith in our ability to manage our individual nations. Our people must have faith in the governments that manage our nations. If populations are concerned about their safety then our institutions are under threat and our democratic stability is under threat.

The bills today are but a small part. They reinforce our secure borders policies and our ability to be one of the three most generous nations in the world when it comes to the resettlement of refugees. This allows us, for instance, to accept 12,000 extra Syrian refugees over the next period of time. It allows us to run what is probably one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world. As I said, these bills are but a small part of that, but they do mesh into that much bigger concern that is enveloping the world at the moment. Here in Australia we should be aware of those overseas experiences that I have listed throughout my speech, and of their possible ramifications for a country like Australia.