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Thursday, 24 March 1994
Page: 2157


Senator BOLKUS (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Multicultural Affairs) (11.26 a.m.) —For a while it was a question out of left field. We are concerned about not reducing people's rights and not denying them access to information. We also wanted to have a process with legislative backing in place. Say a person was to come to Australia, and that person was not seeking protection: this section ensures that we have a capacity for fast return in cases where people, having had the situation and their rights explained to them, do not seek avenues of refugee or asylum status. Such a person would not use the words `refugee status' nor claim protection and express fears of persecution or prosecution. Nothing in this section would detract from any right to information that those people or other people would have in similar circumstances.