Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 12 November 2013
Page: 44


Senator FIFIELD (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Assistant Minister for Social Services) (17:13): I table reports and a statement of the Australian Human Rights Commission and seek leave to incorporate the statement in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The statement read as follows—

Statement by the Attorney-General for Australia, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC

Tabling of the Australian Human Rights Commission Reports

Behme v Commonwealth of Australia [2013] AusHRC 60

Ince v Commonwealth of Australia [2013] AusHRC 62

Paul family v Commonwealth of Australia [2013] AusHRC 63

12 November 2013

I hereby table the enclosed reports, Behme v Commonwealth of Australia, Paul family v Commonwealth of Australia and Ince v Commonwealth of Australia from the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, pursuant to my obligation under section 46 of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (the Act). In discharging my obligations under the Act, I make the following statement on behalf of the Commonwealth with respect to the contents of the reports.

The Behme report concerns a complaint against the Commonwealth regarding the provision of free primary education in a public school in New South Wales. While the Commonwealth acknowledges the statutory functions and responsibilities of the Commission, the Commonwealth maintains the view that the Commonwealth has not engaged in an act or practice that would give rise to the Commission's jurisdiction to inquire into this matter under paragraph 11(1)(f) of the Act. In this particular case it was the Parliament of New South Wales that enacted the Education Act 1990 (NSW) and the Government of New South Wales that required a child of a temporary visa holder to be charged school fees to enrol in a State government school within New South Wales.

The Ince report concerns a complaint against the Commonwealth alleging arbitrary detention. Following on from this the Commission formed the view that the Commonwealth had breached articles 7, 9, 10, 17 and 23 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this particular case Mr Ince's substantive visa was cancelled due to a conviction for murder. Mr Ince's case to be granted permission to reside in the community was personally considered in 2009 and 2010 by the Minister holding office at the time. On both occasions the Minister declined to intervene after careful consideration of the relevant issues.

The Paul family report concerns a complaint against the Commonwealth regarding the prospective removal of the parents of a minor Australian citizen. In this particular matter the Commission has made a recommendation for ministerial intervention. These ministerial powers are personal and non-compellable. Decisions to intervene are made on a case by case basis by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection when the Minister believes it is in the public interest to do so.