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Thursday, 25 June 2009
Page: 7197

Mr SCHULTZ (12:42 PM) —The salient point that I was making yesterday in my speech on the Migration Amendment (Abolishing Detention Debt) Bill 2009 is this: the government and some coalition dissenters think it appropriate to waive debt and extend outrageous privileges to people who have bypassed the orderly refugee process and have entered Australia illegally but that makes it extremely difficult for the people who do the right thing in their attempts to join family members who have become outstanding, proud Australian citizens. Interestingly, when the critics in our community complained to me about the Howard government’s treatment of illegal entrants into our country, not one of them took up my suggestion that they practise the courage of their convictions by filling out the appropriate forms and putting up their own money to sponsor these law-breakers.

The previous speaker, the member for McMillan, made a very significant contribution. Whilst I respect my parliamentary colleagues’ right to exercise their individual choice of support or dissent, which may be opposite to the majority view of our great democratic party, I do not necessarily agree with him. But I am also mindful of the right to do so, which is the strength of the Liberal Party of which we are part. I commend the previous speaker, my parliamentary colleague, for his strong stand on the basis of the principles and integrity that he has practised throughout his whole political career. Whilst, as I said, I do not necessarily agree with some of his views from time to time, I respect his right to not only stand up for what he believes in but do so in the manner in which he did. I thank the parliament for allowing me to conclude the contribution I started yesterday.