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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5675

Senator CASH (Western Australia) (20:59): In relation to the Greens amendment on sheet 7268, the coalition will not be supporting this amendment. The government already has an independent review and that is the Houston report, which has effectively endorsed the coalition's approach to border protection. In relation to the coalition's approach to border protection, tonight the Senate will implement the first prong in that approach which is the re-establishment of offshore processing. In relation to the terms of the independent review as set out in the Greens amendment, one of the reasons that the coalition is supporting this bill is that the bill includes a provision agreed between the coalition and the government to ensure that the parliament will now be the arbiter of protections.

The bill ensures that, case by case, countries to which offshore arrivals are sent will be approved by this parliament. As I have previously stated, the coalition has made it very, very clear that we are putting the government on notice. The government should stand warned that the coalition will be taking its role in relation to an arbiter of protections very, very seriously. We will be scrutinising the instruments that the governĀ­ment brings forward in relation to the desigĀ­nation of these countries. Unlike the Greens, we do not need an independent review to tell us what our job is. We will be doing it prior to the designation of the country.