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MIGRATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (TRANSITIONAL MOVEMENT) BILL 2002

The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—

Debate resumed by Mr Crean (Leader of the Opposition) who moved, as an amendment—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "the bill be withdrawn and redrafted to condemn the Howard Government:

(1) for the haste with which this legislation has been introduced without the Government providing any policy justification for such haste, and for the apparent intention of the Government to prevent appropriate debate;

(2) for deceiving the Australian people during the last election campaign by claiming that asylum seekers threw children overboard and that asylum seekers on the Tampa would not set foot on Australian soil;

(3) for continuing the deceit by its failure to admit that its announcement of a 1,200 person detention centre on Australian soil at Christmas Island means the so-called Pacific Solution is a complete failure;

(4) for pretending during the election campaign and since that its so-called Pacific Solution is a solution for Australia in relation to asylum seekers;

(5) for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of Australian taxpayers money on its so-called Pacific Solution and for failing to ever publicly disclose the amount so wasted; and

(6) for enacting legislation to support the so-called Pacific Solution which is so flawed the Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has had to manipulate visa arrangements to avoid Departmental officers being liable for people smuggling charges;

 and calls on the Government to disclose

(7) to Australians the cost of the so-called Pacific Solution;

(8) how many asylum seekers have been brought to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru already;

(9) how many of the asylum seekers the Government plans to bring to Australia;

(10) what is the maximum period any of the asylum seekers who are found not to be genuine refugees will be in Australia;

(11) how many countries have volunteered to resettle those found to be genuine refugees;

(12) how many of those found to be genuine refugees will be resettled in Australia and how many genuine refugees will be left without a resettlement place; and

(13) how many asylum seekers whose claims have not been upheld can realistically be returned to their home countries or third countries and, in particular, how many Afghans the Government will not be able to return until the situation in Afghanistan further stabilises;

 and, having disclosed the full facts, calls on the Government to work in a bipartisan way with the Opposition to achieve a comprehensive long-term solution to the issue of asylum seekers; and

 to provide:

 (a) for a proper time limited safe haven arrangement for Afghans, like the arrangement used for the Kosovars, and

(b) that those asylum-seekers from Manus Island and Nauru who the Government returns to Australia, holds in detention and fails to return to their home or third countries for a period
exceeding six months have the right of appeal to the Refugee Review Tribunal consistent with the process introduced by the Government last year, provided that during the six month period the asylum seeker has cooperated with the return process".

Debate continued.

It being 2 p.m., the debate was interrupted in accordance with standing order 101A, and the resumption of the debate made an order of the day for a later hour this day.