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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5651


Senator LUNDY (Australian Capital TerritoryMinister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Minister for Sport) (18:53): It is the government's intention to oppose this amendment. This amendment would undermine the expert panel's recommendation that there be an application of a no advantage principle to ensure that no benefit is gained through circumventing regular migration arrangements. To be specific, a 12-month limit would give an advantage to a person who has circumvented regular migration arrangements as they would be transferred to Australia after 12 months. The underlying principle of the recommendations from the expert panel is that people who arrive by boat should receive no advantage 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 someone 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.

Just to reinforce this point, because I understand the motivation of this amendment, the expert panel has clearly said in paragraph 2.21:

… a strengthened regional approach will not be effective, or its benefits will be reduced, if those who choose to seek asylum through irregular means gain advantage from doing so over those who claim asylum through established mechanisms.