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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5633

Senator MILNE ( Tasmania Leader of the Australian Greens ) ( 17:34 ): I thank the minister for her comments but, looking at proposed section 198AB, all the minister has to do is get an assurance or a document from the country and there is nothing legally binding, is there? What I understand here is that there is a specific reference throughout this that assurances referred to in proposed paragraph 198AB(3)(a) need not be legally binding. Is that not precisely what the High Court said as to why the government was in breach of Australia's obligations under our Migration Act which domesticates international law? Is it not true that it says specifically that this new subsection says that any assurances the minister may get from any country or any place that they deem to be a designated country, whatever assurances they get, do not have to be legally binding and therefore are only as good as the paper they are written on?