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Monday, 30 November 2015
Page: 14116


Mr DUTTON (DicksonMinister for Immigration and Border Protection) (17:26): The fundamental point made by the member for Melbourne relates to the applicability or success of this bill. The government was guided by what has happened in the United Kingdom, where for some time a bill introduced as I recall by the Blair government allowed for dual citizens to be stripped of their British citizenship, and in fact it went further than that, and that has resulted in a number of people, having lost their citizenship, not returning to the UK. Our judgement, and certainly the judgement of others, is that that does go to protect our national interest, by providing a situation where we do not render somebody stateless but we disallow the return of that person to Australia if they have engaged in a terrorist act. That is in our national interest. I think the contribution from the member for Melbourne earlier would only reinforce in the minds of good thinking Australians, the vast majority of Australian's, that thank goodness the Greens are not in control of national security in this country.

The Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, which is made up of members of the government and the opposition, properly contemplated the provisions the government put forward in this bill. It does provide checks and balances, it does provide the appropriate responses and it does allow people to review in certain circumstances decisions that have been taken or ways in which this bill acts. On that basis we do believe we have a balanced approach to what is a very serious issue and, as we have seen in Paris, in Lebanon and elsewhere in recent weeks, this is a significant issue that will only get worse and governments in Western democracies like ours need to respect the rule of law, we need to respect people's individual liberties, but at the same time we need to protect the public. The balance has been struck here. It is a refined bill, a bill improved with the assistance of the committee and with the input of the opposition, and the final proposal does meet the fine balances required in such a response. I can only, again, reject the suggestions made by the honourable member and point to the fact that the Greens have never really supported any national security bill. That is why this government is determined to make sure that we have the appropriate balance in place ultimately to protect the Australian people.

Question agreed to.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Mitchell ): The question now is that the bill, as amended, be agreed to.

A division having been called and the bells having been rung—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: As there are fewer than five members on the side for the noes in this division, I declare the question resolved in the affirmative in accordance with standing order 127. The names of those members who are in the minority will be recorded in the Votes and Proceedings.

Question agreed to, Mr Bandt, Ms McGowan and Mr Wilkie voting no.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.