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Tuesday, 30 May 1989
Page: 3044


Senator ROBERT RAY (Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs)(9.25) —I take it that we are not going to have a long argument over section 36a. I am on public record as having said that it will be done away with over my dead body. To accommodate the honourable senator's amendment we would have to do something that the Canadians do-something that has turned out to be a total disaster. We would have to keep everyone at the airport, and the airport would have to be extended. It is not a fiction to deem that people have not entered Australia if they have come without papers or a visa and are put in a detention centre. That affects all their other appeal rights. While people in the United States and Canada condemn section 36a, the moment they are out of earshot they say, `Stick with it. I only wish we had it'. If we were to adopt Senator Jenkins's proposal, people would have to be given entry into Australia, giving them all legal and other rights, or kept at the airport. I do not know where they would be kept, unless we were to take over the car parks. I see the motive behind the amendment, but I do not think that Senator Jenkins has thought through its consequences.

Amendment negatived.