Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Labor votes down excision of 4,000 islands.

Download PDFDownload PDF

Nicola Roxon MP Shadow Minister for Population and Immigration Shadow Minister for Women

Labor Votes Down Excision of 4,000 Islands

Today in the Senate Labor voted down the Government’s latest attempt to use lawyers to protect our borders, instead of real measures to stop people smuggling.

Labor opposes these Government regulations seeking to excise thousands of Australia’s islands from our migration zone. We have opposed the Government’s attempts to excise islands before and we will do so again.


The reasons Labor will vote to disallow these regulations are simple: • they are not an effective way to protect our borders; and • they don’t make sense.

Further, Labor won’t vote for regulations that are based on lies and misleading the public. In the weeks since these regulations were rushed into law, the Government has attempted to weave another web of deceit and deception.

If the Government strategy is so good, why does it have to lie to the public about the facts?

If the legislation was really about border protection and national security, why did Minister Vanstone’s first release on the issue run under a heading “Labor must decide on illegal immigrants”?

Whichever way you look at it, the Government proposal is flawed - it doesn’t protect our borders and it doesn’t treat people fairly.

The regulations were rushed into law when the Minasa Bone appeared on Melville Island’s shores.

This action was an admission by the Government that the current border controls don’t work and that our existing migration system cannot cope with processing 14 people’s claims.

On top of this, the Government’s failure to detain and prosecute the crew involved shows its lack of resolve to take any real steps to combat people smuggling.

24 November 2003

For more information call: Nicola Roxon or Chris Black on (02) 6277 2039 or 0417 386 535