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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5644

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (18:25): I thank the minister for the clarification. She has confirmed what I have said: that the designation does not have to have all of these documents—some or all of the documents do not exist. That means the statement from the UNHCR or the statement of any arrangements that are in place—all or some—need not exist. We just stick it down and say: 'That's the designation. You can get those documents either before or after; it doesn't matter. You just agree; you disallow or allow.' That is essentially what that particular section is saying.

I will go back to when I asked the minister about natural justice applying to a refugee under the convention. The minister said that these people who are coming on boats have not been designated as refugees. In fact, some of them have, Minister. There are people who have been assessed in Indonesia and have been found to be refugees, who have waited and been frustrated for so long that they get on boats. I come back to the question: let us assume that some of these people who already have refugee status arrive on a boat in Australia. They will be denied natural justice, because you are saying explicitly that we are not giving them natural justice. Are you in contravention of the convention by taking away their access to the courts et cetera, which is, as my colleague read out, a key component of the convention?