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28    Border control

Senator Ciccone amended general business notice of motion no. 163 by leave and, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that:

                                     (i)       after six years under this Liberal-National Government’s watch, from 1 July 2014 to 31 August 2019:

                                                       (A)       95,943 people have come through Australia’s airports and sought asylum, as is their right to do, and

                                                        (B)       in nearly the same period, bridging visas have blown out from 94,000 to almost 230,000 - an increase of over 140%,

                                    (ii)       of the protection visa applications decided by the Department of Home Affairs in that period, 62,732 - 84.2% - were rejected,

                                  (iii)       those waiting in Australia on a bridging visa as their claims for asylum are assessed are often being exploited and trafficked by labour hire companies and criminal syndicates,

                                  (iv)       stakeholders have expressed concern as racketeering around visas and asylum applications have been allowed to flourish,

                                   (v)       the Assistant Minister for Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs, Mr Wood, remarked on the blowout of airplane arrivals and stated ‘Organised crime and illegitimate labour hire companies are using this loophole...’, and

                                  (vi)       the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Dutton, stated that: ‘...If you cannot control your borders, you cannot govern the country’; and

               (b)       condemns the Morrison Government and the Minister for Home Affairs, Mr Dutton, for losing control of Australia’s borders and allowing exploitation, slavery and trafficking to go unchecked, having a devastating impact on workers and their families, and the ability to do basic mathematics and provide accurate data to the Senate on the number of people who have been trafficked to Australia under their watch.

Statements by leave : The Assistant Minister for Forestry and Fisheries (Senator Duniam) and Senator McKim, by leave, made statements relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 31

Senators—

Ayres

Gallacher

McAllister

Smith, Marielle

Bilyk

Gallagher

McCarthy

Steele-John

Brown

Green

McKim

Sterle

Chisholm

Griff

Patrick

Walsh

Ciccone*

Hanson-Young

Polley

Waters

Di Natale

Kitching

Pratt

Watt

Dodson

Lambie

Sheldon

Whish-Wilson

Faruqi

Lines

Siewert

 

 

 

NOES, 29

Senators—

Abetz

Chandler

Hume

Ruston

Antic

Colbeck

McDonald

Ryan

Askew

Davey

McGrath

Scarr

Bernardi

Duniam

McMahon

Sinodinos

Bragg

Fierravanti-Wells

Paterson

Smith, Dean*

Brockman

Henderson

Payne

Stoker

Canavan

Hughes

Rennick

Van

Cash

 

* Tellers

Question agreed to.