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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 2717

Senator THISTLETHWAITE (New South WalesParliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs and Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs) (10:51): The government rejects both amendments moved by Senator Hanson-Young. The government believes that requiring another country to provide assurances that it will provide access to the Australian Human Rights Commissioner is something that this government cannot guarantee; therefore, it is not appropriate to put it in this legislation.

The department has received advice from the Solicitor-General on the extent to which the Australian Human Rights Commission may inquire into complaints about alleged human rights breaches in regional processing centres. The advice was sort after the president of the Human Rights Commission wrote to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, inquiring into a complaint that the AHRC had received from persons transferred to Nauru under the regional processing provisions of the Migration Act. The department accepts that the president of the commission can inquire into such complaints. As to the full implications of the advice, the department is further considering this.