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16    Immigration— Asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru—Resettlement to New Zealand

Senator Carr, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 552—That the Senate—

               (a)       acknowledges the failure of the Abbott-Turnbull Government to manage offshore processing arrangements and secure other third country resettlement arrangements for eligible refugees;

               (b)       notes that the United States of America refugee resettlement agreement will resettle up to 1250 eligible refugees from Manus Island and Nauru but that some eligible refugees will miss out on the opportunity to resettle in America;

                (c)       acknowledges that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced an agreement with Prime Minister John Key on 9 February 2013 at the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ meeting that:

                                     (i)       New Zealand would resettle 150 refugees annually from Australia, including refugees from Manus Island and Nauru, and

                                    (ii)       the first refugees would be resettled in 2014;

               (d)       notes that, if former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had not withdrawn from the agreement, as many as 600 refugees would have been resettled in New Zealand by now;

                (e)       acknowledges the inquiry and report of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, Serious allegations of abuse, self-harm and neglect of asylum seekers in relation to the Nauru Regional Processing Centre, and any like allegations in relation to the Manus Regional Processing Centre , and in particular, recommendation 7: ‘The committee recommends that the Australian Government give serious consideration to all resettlement offers it receives, including the Government of New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees from Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Nauru. Further, if particular resettlement offers are considered unsuitable, the Government should clearly outline the reasons’;

                (f)       notes that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has renewed the offer to Australia to resettle 150 refugees from Manus Island and Nauru;

                (g)       notes that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has failed to explain why he will not accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle eligible refugees from Manus and Nauru; and

               (h)       calls on the Turnbull Government to immediately accept New Zealand’s offer to resettle refugees from Manus Island and Nauru and begin negotiating appropriate conditions, similar to the United States refugee resettlement agreement, to ensure people smugglers do not exploit vulnerable people.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 31

Senators—

Bartlett

Farrell

McAllister

Siewert

Brown

Gallacher

McKim

Singh

Cameron

Gallagher

Moore

Steele-John

Carr

Griff

O’Neill

Sterle

Chisholm

Hanson-Young

Polley

Urquhart*

Dastyari

Kakoschke-Moore

Pratt

Watt

Di Natale

Ketter

Rhiannon

Whish-Wilson

Dodson

Kitching

Rice

 

 

 

NOES, 28

Senators—

Abetz

Cash

Hume

Reynolds

Bernardi

Duniam

Leyonhjelm

Ruston

Birmingham

Fierravanti-Wells

Macdonald

Ryan

Brockman

Fifield

McGrath

Scullion

Burston

Georgiou

O’Sullivan

Seselja

Bushby*

Hanson

Paterson

Smith

Canavan

Hinch

Payne

Williams

* Tellers

Question agreed to.