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Thursday, 16 May 2013
Page: 2721


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (11:15): The government is of the view that it is inappropriate to make any amendments to the bill that impose upon the independence and authority of sovereign nations in the way Senator Hanson-Young has proposed. As sovereign nations, it is the exclusive decision of the governments of Nauru and PNG to determine to whom they grant lawful entry into their respective countries. As a corollary to that, access to regional processing centres is at the discretion of the governments of Nauru and PNG and it is not appropriate that that be legislated by the Australian government.

The Australian government is working with both of the regional processing countries on what the arrangements will be for suitable visitor and media access. That work is continuing. However, we do not see any merit in legislating in the way proposed in the Greens amendments.