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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5632

Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (17:32): I challenge the senator's assertions directly. In fact, I point the senator to proposed section 198AB and I reference directly the explanatory memorandum of the bill, in which paragraph 118 states:

New subsection 198AB(3) provides that in considering the national interest for the purposes of

the previous subsection—

the Minister:

must have regard to whether or not the country has given Australia any assurances to the effect that:

the country will not expel or return a person taken to the country under new section 198AD to another country where his or her life or freedom would be threatened on account of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion; and

the country will make an assessment, or permit an assessment to be made, of whether or not a person taken to the country under that section is covered by the definition of refugee in Article 1A of the Refugees Convention as amended by the Refugees Protocol; and

may have regard to any other matter which, in the opinion of the Minister, relates to the national interest.

So, in this way, we are able to provide the assurances that those conventions are able to be upheld and, as I said, we disagree with the interpretation that the senator is taking of our bill.