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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 292


Senator BRANDIS (QueenslandAttorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:20): Senator McKim, we support New Guinean law and we support international law, including the refugee convention. The people of whom you speak are people who have been assessed by the relevant authorities and under the international refugee convention not to be genuine refugees. Therefore, New Guinea, as the state of their current residence, has every right to secure their return to the country whence they have come.

Senator McKim: On a point of order, if I might, Mr President. I know the Attorney has resumed his seat, but with regard to relevance the question was specifically whether the Australian government supports forced deportations prior to detainees being given the chance to exhaust all legal avenues. He has sat down, but I ask that you give him an opportunity to actually respond to the question.

The PRESIDENT: I will give the Attorney-General an opportunity, if he wishes, to revisit the question in the remaining 11 seconds. But, if he has concluded his answer, then we move to the final supplementary question.

Senator McKim: No support for the rule of law from the Attorney-General of Australia.

The PRESIDENT: Senator McKim, your question?