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Monday, 13 February 2017
Page: 571


Senator DASTYARI (New South WalesDeputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (10:11): This is an important piece of legislation, though its consequences are somewhat limited. This is a bill that the Labor Party will be supporting. We will be supporting this bill because it is consequential to the Migration Amendment (Character and General Visa Cancellation) Act 2014, which Labor has also supported. The 2014 act was designed to strengthen the existing character and general visa cancellation provisions within the Migration Act to ensure that noncitizens who commit crimes in Australia and pose a risk to the Australian community or represent an integrity concern are appropriately considered for visa refusal or cancellation.

I want to commend the minister for this piece of legislation and for working with the Labor Party and other parties to make sure it is a reasonable and sensible bill. I want to put on the record that there are red lines when it comes to these types of legislation and the position of the Labor Party. I note this is also the position the government has had very strongly. The idea of banning people outright based on ethnicity or religion as whole groups is not something that should or can be supported. This bill strengthens the provisions that allow case-by-case assessment. There are individuals that should be banned. There are individuals who should not be here. Those people should not be here in their role as individuals. But the idea of wholescale migration bans—Muslim bans, whatever you want to call them—is not something that we support.

But I have to say there has been a lot of talk recently about a Muslim ban. There has been talk of a Muslim ban by other members of this chamber, other senators proposing they want to take this type of legislation further and go all out towards banning Muslims. All of this talk of a Muslim ban has me very worried for my friend Nazeem Hussain. Nazeem is currently stuck in Africa on the show, I'm a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here. While many of us who know him have questioned over the years whether he is or is not actually a celebrity, that is beside the point. Someone needs to get the message to Nazeem that there are people in this chamber who are not only proposing a Muslim ban but, even worse, have told me privately they will vote for Steve Price.

Last night I was devastated to see Tom Arnold get sent home and not Nazeem. Nazeem is being funny, likeable, talented and charming. He does not belong on this show. Nazeem, if we do not get you back to Australia soon, mate, they might get a Muslim ban up here and you will be stuck in Africa indefinitely. Of course, some people might say they want to vote for you to send a strong message about multiculturalism, but that is little comfort when you spend the rest of your life eating non-halal food in Africa, nursing your winning trophy. There are only so many job opportunities for a Waleed Aly impersonator in Cape Town. We need to get Nazeem out of there. So I say to Nazeem's friends, Karl Chandler, Tommy Dassalo and the Little Dum Dum Club, I am going to say something that you will never hear Senator Hanson ever say in the chamber: let's kick this ethnic out, but bring him to Australia. Thank you.