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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5647


Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (18:35): I did not get an answer to the question about whether we can expect a designation within the next week and whether this item is here because some of these documents will not exist because the Prime Minister will not have gotten them and the minister will not have been able to get them in the time frame.

I go back to the other issue that the minister raised in relation to natural justice, and I thank her for acknowledging that refugees will not have their legal right to natural justice and that it will be up to the discretion of the minister as to whether or not he decides to afford a person natural justice as they are not legally entitled to it. So I thank the minister for that clarification. I want to go back to the actual designation and what the documents are that the minister has to lay on the table to assure us all that people will be covered by the provisions of the refugee and human rights convention. As I read it, the only thing that the minister has to consider is that the country has given Australia assurances that the country will not expel or return a person taken to that country and that the country will assess whether or not they are refugees and may have regard to anything else which the minister relates to the national interest. What are the rights, apart from not being sent back to another country where life or freedom would be threatened? What are the rights? Why are they not specified here? You apparently only have to get an assurance that the person is not going to be sent back and that their refugee status will be assessed, and the minister can then determine at his own discretion what else is in the national interest.