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Senate Begins Inquiry into Malaysia Deal After Greens and Coalition Unite

18 August 2011 at 11:50 am
Staff Reporter
The Senate has agreed to send the Malaysia deal to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report back by September 22, 2011.

Staff Reporter | 18 August 2011 at 11:50 am


Senate Begins Inquiry into Malaysia Deal After Greens and Coalition Unite
18 August 2011 at 11:50 am

The Senate has agreed to send the Malaysia deal to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report back by September 22, 2011.

The inquiry comes after the Greens and the Coalition joined forces to push for the inquiry to examine all aspects of the deal, including its cost, legality and its social impact.

Greens' immigration spokesperson, Sen. Sarah Hanson-Young says she welcomes the Senate's decision to refer the inhumane Malaysian people swap deal to an inquiry because it will finally give the Parliament the chance to scrutinise an arrangement which the government has refused to table.

Hanson-Young says there are so many questions about the deal which need answers, such as the role of the Immigration Minister who is the legal guardian of unaccompanied children and is meant to provide a duty of care to protect their best interests.

She says numerous human rights, health and legal experts in Australia and Malaysia have expressed their opposition to the deal, and the Greens hope they and others will make public submissions to the inquiry.

The Gillard Government's deal with Malaysia is currently on hold pending a High Court challenge and a recent Nielsen opinion poll says more than half those surveyed want asylum seekers be processed in Australia.

Last week Not for Profit organisations joined the public outcry against the Government’s decision to send refugees – and in particular unaccompanied minors – to Malaysia under a refugee swap deal.

Unlike Australia, Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN International Refugee Convention and a High Court legal challenge has resulted in a temporary reprieve for the first asylum seekers to be sent to Malaysia under the deal.

Under the ‘swap’ deal signed in July, the government will send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia and in return will take 4000 processed refugees.

High Court judge Kenneth Hayne has extended an injunction delaying the deportation of aslyum seekers to Malaysia for at least two weeks.

Not for Profit welfare organisation Baptcare says it is appalled by the Government’s decision to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia when there are more humane solutions currently available and in operation.

Baptcare’s Chief Executive Jeff Davet says asylum seekers have the right to a dignified and peaceful life and there are other models in operation right now that can provide this outcome.

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One comment

  • Topender Topender says:

    What has gone with Australians ?? 70 odd years ago we responded to a world crisis by becoming a haven for many of the millions of refugees created by WWII. How many captains of industry, artists, intellectuals, and just plain wonderful common people came from that milieu ?? They brought their culture, their hunger, their hard work to this country and changed it – forever and for the better.

    Now in the 21st century they’ve somehow become “criminals”, “queue jumpers”, “illegals”. Our politicians – with some notable exceptions – should be ashamed of themselves. The spivs and spin doctors who now run the main parties have convinced them the Australian population sees hordes at the gates which we need to keep at bay at all costs. What crap, at most we are talking a few thousand people each year. I live in Darwin which is where a lot of these “dangerous criminals” end up. We have a thriving community here of people from places like East Timor, the Sudan, Zimbabwe, and others. They are universally hard working, law abiding, and focussed on buidling their new lives.

    In neither of the major parties do we seem to have any men or women prepared to act from a position of conviction. You know sometimes it’s about standing up for something good and right and not caring how it plays out among the boardshorts and thongs set. I’ve never voted for the Greens but will on this issue.

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