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Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Page: 7771

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (09:33): I just want to respond to the arguments put forward by the representing minister in relation to this motion. I find it astonishing that the government think they can come in here and say, 'Oh well; because we hadn't got our act together earlier, we now need to rush this through the parliament today, because otherwise we won't have the designation done until 29 October.' We know what happened last time we saw this government rush through the designation for Nauru. It was rushed through and we started sending people to Nauru before the contracts were even signed with the service providers.

This chamber has called on the government to deliver those signed contracts—to lay them on the table. They have only managed to lay two. The main contracts for the service provider, Transfield Services, who will run these facilities, have not been put on the table.

We were told they could not be put on the table because they were not completed and were not signed, yet here we have the government today saying we must rush this through the parliament, we must tick off on it despite the fact that the details given in the designation do not cover all of the things that the Houston report says must be included in order to allow parliament to make an informed decision around these issues. What we see happening here is another attempt to botch the process. We have done with Nauru and we are about to do it again with Manus Island.

We can debate the merits of the designation itself when we come to that but the fact that the government want to hijack the rest of the parliamentary chamber time to deal with something they do not even have the details on—they have not even bothered to do their homework and get everything together—well, frankly, that is their problem. There is enough evidence out there to suggest that unless we fix the problems that happened in how we ran detention centres on Manus Island last time, the horrors that existed then and the pain and suffering that was inflicted on genuine refugees then these problems will happen all over again. And all we hear from the government this morning is: regardless, putting all that aside; we just want it rushed through. Frankly, it is just not good enough.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Minister Collins be agreed to.