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Back to basics, and principles



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MEDIA RELEASE

22 September 2011

BACK TO BASICS, AND PRINCIPLES

INDEPENDENT MP for Lyne Rob Oakeshott says the answer to Australia’s asylum seeker question lies in an existing regional framework supported by more than 40 countries, including Nauru and Malaysia, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The Bali Process, which is co-chaired by the governments of Indonesia and Australia, was established nine years ago during the Howard Government era and has been supported by successive federal governments, including the Gillard Government.

“The Bali process is an established, regional approach to border control, law enforcement and people smuggling, that provides for a sustainable approach to current migration issues facing our country,” Mr Oakeshott said.

“At the same time, it allows Australia to maintain a flexible approach to domestic policy.

“By supporting this regional process, the focus on short-term political opportunism that is framing the current debate is removed, without limiting Australia’s opportunity to coordinate an approach that current or future governments consider necessary.

“It would allow for consideration of a range of measures including, but not limited to, offshore processing, onshore processing or community detention.

“To insist that the solution to this complicated problem lies with only Malaysia or Nauru, substantially limits the controls available to deal with foreign and domestic migration.

“Both Malaysia & Nauru are signatories to the Bali Process, and Labor and Liberal Parties need to understand this reality.

“The solution lies in the strength of our relationship with all of our regional neighbours, and with an agreement already on the table which already has the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration,” Mr Oakeshott said.

ENDS

Media Contacts:

Peter Besseling - 0429 787320

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2010-2011

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Migration Legislation Amendment (Offshore Processing and Other Measures) Bill 2011

(Mr Oakeshott)

(1) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 7), after item 1, insert:

1A Subsection 5(1) Insert:

Bali Process means the process, known as the Bali Process, established at the Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime held in Bali in February 2002. [Regional Cooperation Framework]

(2) Schedule 1, page 3 (after line 20), after item 4, insert:

4A Subsection 5(1) Insert:

Regional Cooperation Framework means the framework agreed to in the co-chairs’ statement issued at the 4th Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime held in Bali on 30 March 2011. [Regional Cooperation Framework]

(3) Schedule 1, item 25, page 6 (after line 6), after paragraph 198AA(a), insert: (aa) Australia’s commitment to engagement through the Bali Process, including the implementation of the Regional Cooperation Framework, informs Australia’s response to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational

crime; and

[Regional Cooperation Framework]

(4) Schedule 1, item 25, page 12 (after line 9), at the end of Subdivision B, add:

198AI Ministerial report

The Minister must, as soon as practicable after 30 June in each year, cause to be laid before each House of the Parliament a report setting out:

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(a) the activities conducted under the Bali process during the year ending on 30 June; and (b) the steps taken in relation to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime to support the Regional Cooperation Framework during the year

ending on 30 June; and

(c) the progress made in relation to people smuggling, trafficking in persons and related transnational crime under the Regional Cooperation Framework during the year ending on 30 June. [Regional Cooperation Framework]