I must say that waking up to the news that the government has finally manged to secure the passage of a bill to reintroduce TPVs has really brightened my day.
“The crossbench shouldn’t have been put in this position, but we have,” the Motoring Enthusiast party senator said.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon also wrestled with the decision, but like Muir believed the amendments would give hope to thousands of refugees stuck in detention.
In return for their support – and that of the Palmer United party – the government agreed to quickly process the claims of 30,000 asylum seekers languishing in detention centres across Australia.
PUP leader Clive Palmer said that backing the legislation meant 1,500 asylum seekers – including 468 children – would soon be leaving Christmas Island.
But Labor and the Greens accused the government of using those children as a bargaining chip, arguing that the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, could release them at any time, if he wished.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie – who opposed the legislation – attacked the government for keeping children detained for so long.
“These kids have been sitting there for 15 months, and you want a pat on the back? You’ve got to be kidding yourselves,” she said.
Particular concerns were raised about the return of TPVs, a Howard-era policy condemned by refugee advocates and repealed by the previous Labor government.
The government also agreed to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake of refugees and to give those on bridging visas the right to work.
Now the government can virtually clear the legacy backlog of mendicants that we can thank the Labor party for creating way back at the beginning of the Rudd regime. Long time readers may remember when I correctly predicted the subsequent flood of boats Further despite voting against the bill in the Senate I very much doubt that any future Labor government will be rushing to repeal the legislation because they will not want to endure being thrashed for their stupid position of the issue for another seven years. Any one who looks back on the this part of our political history must surely recognize that the whole problem is a consequence of the Labor party making a bad call and then being political cowards unwilling to undo their mistake or even admit that it was a mistake. All because the Labor party have been trying to court the very loopy left who support the Greens position on the Asylum seeker issues. That sort of thinking from the ALP is of course rather mad because there is no way that a sensible ALP person can possibly sink deep enough into the slime of Green political idea without alienating their center.
The thing that we should always remember is that the measure of the ALP’s position on any issue where it is at odds with the current government is not the posturings of Electricity Bill Shorten and his motley crew but their answer to being asked “will you repeal it if you win office?” and my guess is that The ALP answer will almost without exception fudge it and make excuses and prevaricate because the last thing that they want to do is commit themselves to giving the public a very spiky stick to beat them with for the next seven years.