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Monday, 26 February 2007
Page: 18


Senator IAN CAMPBELL (Minister for Human Services) (1:47 PM) —I thank Senator Ludwig for picking up the fact that the government has indeed amended the bill in a way we believe makes this new amendment unnecessary. It is an example of the government engaging in a constructive legislative process. The government amendment does not differentiate between Australian and foreign law and is consistent with our obligations under the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. The mandatory provision to refuse an application need not apply ‘if taking into account the circumstances that result in the person’s conviction the minister is satisfied that it would be unreasonable for that provision to apply in relation to that person’—the reasonableness test to which the senator was referring. That is an amendment which the government has made. We believe it addresses the concerns of Senator Ludwig and the opposition, therefore rendering this amendment unnecessary. It is also important to note that there is a right of review of any of the decisions to refuse to exercise the discretion included in the government’s amendment. It instils an amount of fairness, which the opposition is seeking. We believe the amendment moved is no longer necessary.