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Friday, 25 November 2011
Page: 9698

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (15:40): I have some questions for the minister in relation to the issues that I raised in my speech in the second reading about the mandatory minimum sentences. We know that this is the primary reason that the Victorian court case has been brought forward; because of the complications that that is creating—not catching the kingpins and the big fish but, instead, using the small fry, the Indonesian fishermen who have been tricked onto these boats, as the scapegoats for the government's 'smashing the people smugglers' business model' approach.

What is the government going to do in relation to these genuine concerns raised around the mandatory minimum sentences? It was acknowledged in the Senate inquiry that this was a problem. This bill is being put through the parliament today, with the support of the opposition—this is one issue where 'Dr No' says yes and lines up shoulder to shoulder with the government. What is the government going to do in relation to the mandatory sentencing issues raised sincerely by legal experts as to why they have even brought this case forward in the first place?