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Boat Arrivals

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.56 pm) - I move:

That the Senate -

(a) notes the treacherous, and sometimes fatal journey asylum seekers who arrive by boat take in reaching Australia, including the reports as early as the week beginning 9 May 2010 of the five Australia-bound asylum seekers who perished at sea in an attempt to find assistance for their stricken vessel; and

(b) calls on the Government to immediately conduct a public investigation and review into the protocols for monitoring and intercepting boat arrivals, and report back to the Senate by 30 June 2010.

Senator PARRY (Tasmania) (3.56 pm) - by leave -

The opposition will be opposing this motion. The main rationale behind our opposition to the motion is that we believe any investigation should be more global, more robust and cover the entire situation and not just be on a case-by-case or ad hoc basis.

Senator HANSON-YOUNG (South Australia) (3.57 pm) - by leave -

I would like to remind the opposition that this is not just about the incident last week. This is a motion very similar to a motion that was put last year when the government promised to review the interception protocols and to publicly declare what they are, and of course we still have not seen them.

I would have thought that the opposition would want to see this information in the public realm as well. I am surprised that they do not want to support this motion.

I suggest that the government, unless they want to have an inquiry into the broader, more global aspects of what they are doing wrong in relation to immigration and asylum seeker matters, should simply support the Greens motion because it is much more specific in asking for something that they did promise to give us.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Hanson-Young's) be agreed to.

The Senate divided. [4.00 pm]

(The Acting Deputy President - Senator RB Trood)

Ayes............ 7

Noes............ 36

Majority......... 29

Question negatived.



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