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Tuesday, 24 November 2015
Page: 8837


Senator NASH (New South WalesDeputy Leader of The Nationals in the Senate and Minister for Rural Health) (19:07): I think the government have been very clear in how this is going to operate. I appreciate your asking again, Senator Carr, and I understand that you have concerns around this, but it really does seem that we are traversing ground that has already been traversed. I make the point, firstly, that without this bill the government has no powers to stop this behaviour. I think there is a significant concern out in the community that requires the government to act, and that is what we are doing.

Within the discretionary power we need powers for both the visa holder and the sponsor. I indicated to the chamber in my earlier comments how that discretionary power will be used, and I indicated that reasonably clearly, I hope, to Senator Xenophon in answer to questions from him earlier. I can also indicate to the chamber that, if there were an error, there are already safeguards through review mechanisms, including the courts, to deal with that. I appreciate the senator's questions in this regard, but certainly the government is of the view that this bill gives us the appropriate mechanisms, in responding to significant concerns in the community, to deal with this issue.