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Information kit on excision legislation too little too late.



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JULIA GILLARD M.P. Shadow Minister for Population & Immigration

MEDIA RELEASE

INFORMATION KIT ON EXCISION LEGISLATION TOO LITTLE TOO LATE

The Minister’s announcement that Northern Territory CLP Senator Nigel Scullion will today be launching an information kit on the Government’s proposed law to excise 3000 islands from Australia’s migration zone is a textbook demonstration of ‘far too little, far too late’.

Apparently the kit will “help top-end Australians understand the impact of the proposed Migration Legislation Amendment (Further Border Protection Measures) Bill 2002.”

The Minister announced the excisions by Regulation on Friday 7 June and Top End Australians are now expected to believe that the issue was so important it took him more than three months to cobble together an information kit to assist those affected in understanding the rationale behind his ill-conceived and counter-productive initiative?

This is tokenism at its worst. No affected Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities were consulted before the Government made the decision to excise them from Australia at the stroke of a pen. To then launch an information kit thirteen weeks after a decision is made compounds the insult.

It is also worth noting that the Minister asks island residents to look out for suspicious vessels in the region. The Government seems to have decided that these residents will be Australia’s frontline of defence by acting as a buffer that is not quite part of the country.

10 September 2002

For further information contact: Julia Gillard on 0417 361 637 Jamie Snashall, Adviser, on (02) 6277 4349 or 0408 419 699