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Tuesday, 14 October 2008
Page: 13

Senator CHRIS EVANS (Minister for Immigration and Citizenship) (1:58 PM) —I wish to sum up the debate on the Migration Amendment (Notification Review) Bill 2008 and I might seek to continue my remarks later, given the short period available now. I firstly want to respond to Senator Xenophon. I think there has been some misunderstanding. I do not accept all the criticisms he made at all. My office certainly tells me they have made every endeavour. There might have been a communications problem. But to suggest that we have not bent over backwards to try and brief people, including the opposition, on this and other bills is not right.

I know, Senator Xenophon, that you have been seeking a lot of briefings and we have been seeking to brief you on a lot of things, but you certainly have not raised with me any criticism of the fact that we have actually made the effort to try and facilitate that for you. So we will continue to do that. There may have been a problem in relation to this matter, but we always seeks to brief all senators who are interested on bills, and this is particularly complex.

I note the support, generally, for the bill and appreciate that support. Senator Xenophon, I will come back to you again on the individual case you raise, but I think we advised you that my powers under the act cannot be used until such time as those review processes have occurred. It is a question of the law.