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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5649

Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (18:45): I think it is very clear that the process here is that by agreement with other countries we need to be satisfied that those agreements are in place and that those obligations will be honoured and the substance of those agreements then stands the scrutiny of the parliament. I am not sure what Senator Milne and other senators have with respect to confidence in the parliament, but the level of scrutiny that would need to be withstood in this place would provide the adequate assurance that they are looking for that these obligations would be met.

The other general comment I want to make is that compliance with Australia's international obligations always is broader than the content of legislation and the technical detail that we are currently discussing. It is about how Australia approaches things in toto by way of legislation but also administration and practice. Built into the approach we have taken is—as I have stated and I think has been made clear by the minister all the way through—full consultation with the UNHCR. That is a key part of how this approach will win confidence and also operate effectively in practice.