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Tuesday, 30 May 1989
Page: 3049


Senator JENKINS(9.56) —The Australian Democrats have one amendment to the Migration Amendment Bill 1989 and a contingent amendment if that amendment is not passed. The ostensible purpose of the slim Bill we have before us is to rescue the 1988 legislation from the specific flaw which has deterred the proclamation of that legislation and to enable the implementation of elements of the Government's master plan for passenger processing. It is a lightweight package. It rescues the tourist pre-clearance plan from postponement, pending full implementation of the database system on which it is supposed to be dependent. The Democrats agreed to accept the 1988 Bill when it was introduced. We accepted the Government's assurances that all was well. We said we would monitor the results of it over the first year or two of its operation. Now we have the Government admitting that its legislation was flawed and it cannot be proclaimed. In the circumstances we could be forgiven for thinking that a very tight amendment would be drafted or that there would be a very thorough explanation of the precise nature of the problem in order to persuade the Committee that the Department was quite genuine about its sponsorship of the present legislation.

The Democrats have moved amendments to the legislation because we believe the current Migration Amendment Bill 1989 is too wide in scope and it would provide unnecessary discretionary power to be exercised in a potentially non-accountable manner by instrument in writing. There is no limitation of the new power to the temporary circumstances for which it is claimed they are required. Our amendments would have two advantages. Firstly, they will cease to have effect when all the overseas posts are equipped with database access. Secondly, they will have fewer unforeseen consequences because they are more exactly tailored to the Government's manifest purposes. They do not create any new discretionary power that may be capable of abuse or lingering effects unforeseen by the Senate. I move:

(1) Pages 1 and 2, clause 3, line 9 (page 1) to line 11 (page 2), leave out the clause, insert the following clauses:

Entry permitted by visa

``3. Section 6aa of the Principal Act is amended by omitting from subsection (1), ``The holder of a visa'', and substituting, ``Except as otherwise provided by section 11, the holder of a visa''.

Visa etc not to entitle persons to enter Australia

``4. Section 11 of the Principal Act is amended by adding the following paragraph after paragraph 2 (b):

'; or (c) a visa or similar notation, or a form of provisional authority to enter Australia, issued, after the commencement of section 6aa, on behalf of the Commonwealth, to a person in respect of whom movement records and other information required for the purposes of this Act are not recorded in a notified data base under section 65ab.'.''.