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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5642

Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (18:13): Because this is speculative, what I am able to advise the Senate is that this would be done in accordance with and in time frames in accordance with the no-advantage principle expressed by the Houston panel. The principle itself is about the no-advantage test. In applying that principle it is critically important that there is no advantage to people who arrive by boat in their processing. To argue otherwise is to argue that people should receive an advantage if they arrive by boat. To argue otherwise is to suggest that somebody who can afford to come here by boat or who is inclined to come here by boat should receive advantageous treatment over those who are waiting elsewhere for resettlement in Australia.

Again, I reiterate that the principle informing this legislation is very clearly that there is no advantage. That principle is an incredibly important one as far as breaking the people smugglers' model goes and with creating the appropriate disincentive to stop that trade. In this way, we aim to put the primary humanitarian consideration of saving the lives of people otherwise tempted to travel to Australia by boat.