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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5652

Senator MILNE (TasmaniaLeader of the Australian Greens) (18:59): There are many questions that need to be asked in relation to saving lives, particularly the point at which we dispatch the rescue forces to actually get people from the sea. I ask here—the minister may wish to answer this—how it is that Minister Jason Clare did not know there was a ship missing until 9 August, when the representative of the Palestinians in Australia informed the government three weeks ago that the ship was missing. I am very interested in that as a matter of detail.

But I want to come back to advantage and disadvantage. I just want to clarify: why is it that a person who flies into Australia and seeks asylum does not have this punitive system applied to them? It is only people coming by boat. Secondly, why is it that people coming by boat are not able to apply for visas? Can you clarify that? Which countries does Australia not provide visas for and therefore their people cannot fly into the country and access a safe pathway?