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Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Page: 8283


Mr MORRISON (Cook) (19:07): We have just seen in this place, with the vote on the previous amendment and the one that has now been put before us by the member for Denison, some very serious matters. The coalition reached out to this parliament and put forward some very serious proposals to the crossbench. We put forward an amendment to this bill, the Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012, in good faith. It would have seen this bill passed not only in this place but in the other place as well. It would have seen us leave this parliament this week with legislation that the government said was needed and that the Australian people expect is needed as well.

That is not going to happen now because the government have rejected the amendment that was put forward and the offer that was made by the coalition to secure that amendment and break this deadlock. The amendment put forward by the member for Denison will not be supported by those on this side of the House. The offer that was made by the coalition has been rejected by the crossbenchers. It has been rejected by the government. They have decided to stand there and lock this parliament up over a potential way forward rather than dealing with it as I believe the people of Australia would have expected and as the coalition was hoping for. The member for Pearce stood here in this chamber and was given two opportunities to make that plea to the members of the government and the crossbench. That plea—from the member for Pearce, from the Leader of the Opposition and from me as the mover of the amendment—was categorically thrown out of this chamber by a government looking to score a cheap victory on this issue tonight rather than introduce legislation that will pass this parliament.

The amendment put forward by the member for Denison will not be supported by this coalition. This carbon-copy bill—the government's plea for their abominable Malaysian people swap—will not be supported by this coalition. This government's attempt, supported by the member for Lyne, to strip the human rights protections of clause 198A out of the Migration Act and replace them with nothing legally binding will not be supported by members on this side of the House—but it will be supported by many members on the other side of the House.

I am not sure how many members of the government, as they examine their consciences on this, will walk into this place and support the abolition of these measures. I am not sure how many of them will examine their consciences, when this bill is finally debated and voted on, and vote for their abominable Malaysian people swap. I ask them to examine their consciences tonight because this side of the House is going to stand against the Malaysian people swap. I will tell you why: unlike most on that side of the House I have been to Nauru and Malaysia and seen where people will be. I have seen the schools they would attend—and the schools they will not attend in Malaysia. I have seen the clinics they will not be able to go to in Malaysia. I have seen the conditions that they are going to live in. I have seen the abuse that they are going to be exposed to. I have seen it and I will not let it happen in this place. I returned from Malaysia and shared with my colleagues—the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow cabinet—that we could not allow this abominable bill and proposal to be supported by this parliament.

Members on that side may well support this abominable bill, but one thing we know is that the coalition will stand tough on this in the Senate. We will prevent this parliament from backing such an abominable arrangement. I am sorry to say to the member for Denison we will not support this amendment. He understood that we wanted to get legislation through this parliament. That has been rejected by those opposite. It has been rejected by the majority of the member for Denison's crossbench colleagues. The Australian people were looking for talks; we had them today. A compromise was put by the coalition—a significant compromise which required us to move. We did move, and that move has been categorically rejected by a government hell-bent on introducing— (Time expired)