MP Stops Malaysia Swap Deal
13 October 2011 at 10:26 am
The Gillard Government faces the embarrassing prospect of being the first government since 1929 to lose legislation in the lower house after National MP Tony Crook announced he would oppose the Government’s Malaysia swap deal.
Crook’s vote is needed if the Gillard Government is to push its changes to the Migration Act through the House of Representatives.
Crook says he will support Tony Abbott’s amendment to exclude countries – including Malaysia – which are not signatories to the United Nations refugee convention, The Age has reported.
The legislation – brought before the house after the High Court ruled the Malaysia swap deal invalid – is due to be debated in Federal Parliament today.
According to The Australian, a special meeting of federal cabinet was held this morning to consider whether to pull the bill, or go ahead and risk the risk being the first government to lose legislation in the lower House since 1929
The Australian reports that Crook – a cross bencher who normally votes with the coalition but has voted with the Government on important issues – said:
“The United Nations factor was a strong one for me; we are talking about a serious humanitarian issue here,”
“Obviously (opposition immigration spokesman) Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott were pleased with my decision but I think where we go from here will be down to the government and opposition.”