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Wednesday, 16 November 1983
Page: 2796


Mr HODGMAN(4.05) —Today, shamefully, the Hawke socialist Government has abdicated its solemn responsibility to protect the Australian community against gangsters, murderers, drug runners and other criminals and predators who threaten the Australian way of life. I do not know why the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West) has not gone the whole hog and abolished criminal deportation altogether. I suggest that the Minister has now created a situation in which he will not deport one single criminal from Australia during his term as Minister.

I go further and say that I doubt very much whether he will have a single deportation on security grounds. The Minister made before the suspension of the sitting for lunch what would have to be the admission of the century. It related to the matters raised in August by me and the honourable member for North Sydney (Mr Spender), an eminent Queen's Counsel, in relation to section 78 of the Crimes Act, which deals with espionage-that is, spying-and section 81 of the Crimes Act, which deals with the harbouring of spies. The penny has finally dropped and the Minister realises that what we said was correct. I give him full marks for saying in this Parliament today: 'Yes, the matters raised about section 78 and section 81 were correct but unfortunately it is now too late for us to do anything about them'.

The Minister should not have disregarded the views expressed in relation to section 78 and section 81 of the Crimes Act. I felt sufficiently strongly about this matter on 25 August to give the following notice of motion:

That this House reprimands the Prime Minister for his failure to maintain national security in not demanding that Section 78 of the Crimes Act, Espionage . . . and Section 81 of the Crimes Act, Harbouring Spies, be included in the new section 14(2) of the Migration Act, thereby preventing the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs from acting under section 14(2) to deport a non- citizen who spies for the Soviet Union or a non-citizen who harbours a Soviet spy . . .

It is a great pity that these proceedings are not being broadcast. I wonder what the people of Australia would think if they knew that, with the law as it will stand as a result of these amendments, the Government does not have the power to deport a Soviet spy if that Soviet spy is a non-citizen who has been in Australia for 10 years. Is this not marvellous! The Government does not have the power under the new legislation brought in by this Hawke socialist Government to deport a Soviet spy if that person is a non-citizen who has been in Australia for 10 years. Secondly, the Government does not have the power to deport a non- citizen who has been in this country for 10 years and who harbours a Soviet spy. Let us just put this scenario to the people of Australia. I wish we were on air.


Mr Keogh —There would not be anyone listening anyway.


Mr HODGMAN —The honourable member should not worry about that. Let us just say that Mr Ivanov got a tip-off that he was about to be expelled from Australia, that he shot through to Sydney and that he was harboured in Sydney by a non- citizen who had been in this country for 10 years.


Mr Porter —He did get a tip-off.


Mr HODGMAN —He did indeed get a tip-off, but he did not get to Sydney. Let us say that he got to Sydney, was harboured for six months by a non-citizen who had been in Australia for 10 years and that the authorities then caught Mr Ivanov. Under this law, the Government could not deport the person who harboured Mr Ivanov for six months. Is this the way in which the Government looks after the national security of Australia? Is this the way in which it protects the people of Australia?


Mr West —Why didn't you do it in your amendment?


Mr HODGMAN —The honourable member for North Sydney, one of the top Queen's Counsel in Australia, drew this to the Minister's attention. I drew it to the Minister's attention. He chose to ignore it. Let us see exactly what else the Minister has done. It is unbelievable that this should happen despite all the warnings that we gave the Minister. The Minister has said: 'We will take action to deport under sections 24, 24AA, 24AB, 24C, 24D and 25 of the Crimes Act'; but he will not take action under section 28. Section 28 of the Crimes Act deals with interfering with political liberty. It states:

Any person who, by violence or by threats or intimidation-

we know what that word means-

of any kind, hinders or interferes with the free exercise or performance, by any other person, of any political right or duty, shall be guilty of an offence.

Yes, he will be guilty of an offence but the Government will not be able to deport him. So if people who remain in this country for 10 years as non-citizens interfere with political liberty, breaching section 28 of the Crimes Act, the Government cannot bullet them out of the country. But it gets worse. The Crimes Act refers to a person who destroys or damages Commonwealth property. A person who blew up the Anglesea barracks in Hobart could not be deported. As the honourable member for North Sydney correctly said, this is the mafia protection Act. I just do not know why the Minister has not gone the whole hog and abolished deportation completely. I repeat: The Minister will not get too many deportation cases under the law as it is now. He raised the case of somebody who came to Australia when he was three years old and then at the age of 30 was convicted in relation to drugs. He said that these terrible people in the Opposition were saying that that person had to be deported. That is not so. We are saying that the Minister can deport if he thinks it appropriate but that he does not have to do so. That is the tragedy of this legislation. It is a great pity that you, Madam Deputy Chairman, are not participating in this debate because you would pick up these points. They have limited the Minister's discretion to such an extent that it will be virtually impossible for him to deport anybody. I will leave it to my colleague the honourable member for North Sydney to develop this further.

I congratulate Senator Kathy Martin and those fine Australian Democrats for supporting our amendment in the Senate. I hope that the amendment will be maintained, but I must say that all on our side of politics and indeed the Democrats covered themselves with some degree of credit and honour in the way in which they dealt with the amendment in the Senate. Let us look at other offences for which people cannot be deported. This is unbelievable. Section 30 of the Crimes Act refers to seizing goods in Commonwealth custody. I could be a non- citizen of 10 years standing, get into the Mint in Canberra and seize Commonwealth property, but the Government could not get rid of me. The Government could not bullet me out of Australia.


Mr Keogh —We can't get rid of you now.


Mr HODGMAN —It will take a long time to do that. I am grateful to my very good friend who interjected. I want to give him the latest public opinion poll figures in Tasmania. He will be pleased to know that in Denison the Labor Party' s vote was 34.9 per cent and the Liberal Party vote 51.3 per cent. It will be a long time before Tasmanians get rid of me.


Mr Scott —Madam Deputy Chairman, I take a point of order. This is clearly an abuse of Standing Orders. The debate is on the Bill, not on figures in Tasmania.


The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN (Mrs Darling) —There is no point of order.


Mr HODGMAN —Thank you, Madam Deputy Chairman. Now we come to espionage. I like the present honourable member for Hindmarsh (Mr Scott), but I wish the former member for Hindmarsh was here. What would the Hon. Clyde Cameron say about this? Somebody who is convicted of espionage cannot be deported. This is unbelievable. Section 78 of the Crimes Act refers to a person convicted of espionage. Section 78 has four sub-sections. It gives power to imprison for seven years. It gives power, under the conspiracy provisions, to imprison for life. But the Government will not be able to deport such people. What a magnificent bonanza for the spies ! The Government does this in the middle of the Ivanov-Combe affair. Honestly, I just cannot believe this. I wish we were on television. I wish the people of Australia could see my friend the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. He has given a bonanza to spies, to drug runners, to murderers and to drug traffickers.

Let me get to the basic point. The Opposition supports the Government's legislation to eliminate the distinction between British and non-British or alien non-citizens, as they are now to be called. We agree with that. We commend the Government for that. So far, so good. But the Government has been delinquent , has abdicated its responsibilities and has refused to listen to sheer logic and reason from me, from the honourable member for North Sydney and from the honourable member for Mitchell (Mr Cadman). We warned the Minister that this would happen. Please, even at this late hour, do not be so stupid and pigheaded to reject the intelligent, wise and, if I might say so, sagacious amendments accepted by the Senate. The Minister's reasons are frankly not worth the paper they are written on. It is absolute gobbledegook. To tell this Parliament that there is no definition of trafficking in dangerous drugs is an absolute nonsense . There are men and women all over Australia in prison at the moment who have been convicted--


The DEPUTY CHAIRMAN —Order! The honourable member's time has expired.