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Thursday, 16 August 2012
Page: 5681


Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (21:30): The reason we cannot have any detail from the minister on any of these issues is that the government have rushed this legislation through the parliament. They have stripped out all protection under the current Migration Act, they have done it deliberately to circumvent the High Court and they have refused to put the benchmarks of basic protections in the legislation. They have said that no protections that will be provided will be legally binding. They have said that children who are unaccompanied will no longer have a guardian; therefore they can be deported to wherever the government wishes without it having to think of the best interests of the child. They are refusing a review. They are refusing to give us any information as to who will have access to these offshore dumping facilities and who will not. They cannot tell us what things they have fixed of what did not work when we last locked people up in Nauru. The issue of fresh water was raised by members of the government for years. For years members of this government raised such very practical issues and yet now we see no ability for the minister to even answer these basic questions about whether these facilities are appropriate or not. It comes back to the very first question I asked: how can the minister say that locking children in army tents on Nauru can be acceptable accommodation for those children? The amendment that has been circulated does indeed put a sunset clause in this legislation.

The CHAIRMAN: Senator Hanson-Young, I will clarify this as I have had a question. This is on revised sheet 7269, which you have not actually moved?

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: That is right.

The CHAIRMAN: You might want to move that now.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG: I move the Greens amendment on revised sheet 7269:

Page 2 (after line 2), after clause 3, insert:

4 Application of amendments

However:

(a) the amendments (including any repeals) made by this Act have effect only for a period of 24 months from the commencement of this Act; and

(b) any Act amended by this Act has effect after that period of 24 months as if the amendments had not been made.

This amendment puts a sunset clause in this inhumane, unlawful, illogical, cruel piece of legislation. I would like to know what the minister's response is.