Parliamentary speeches

Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2020 - Consideration in Detail

September 02, 2020

It wasn't my intention to make a contribution at this stage of the debate, but the summing-up by the minister, and, in fact, the attitude of all members opposite, requires a response. This legislation has been before the parliament for three years—three years. And in those three years—and members opposite should understand this—we have consistently sought to be constructive in addressing the issues that government members say are at risk. They have not responded for three years. Two Senate inquiries, hundreds of submissions, and this bill is friendless. There's a good reason why the bill is friendless—because it's pointless, absolutely pointless.

All the rhetoric—and I see the member for Dickson down there. I don't know if he's pleased or disappointed by the audition that we are seeing from the member for Aston, but I can say this, I think, on behalf of all members on this side and most members on that side: Minister Dutton, you are the man for that job, not the member for Aston, because you believe what you are saying.

Dutton: Put your lance away.

Giles: You are wrong—

Government members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Scullin—

Giles: You are wrong, but you believe—

The SPEAKER: The member for Scullin will pause for a second. Let me emphasise that we're in consideration in detail. He really needs to confine himself to the bill.

Giles: Thank you for reminding me. I shouldn't have been provoked by members opposite, Mr Speaker. But let me just say this. The minister, in summing up the bill, misrepresented both its provisions and the position of members on this side of the House, and that is unworthy. What it shows is that there is nothing 'liberal 'about this Liberal government. Despite what the minister said—and he should seek to correct the record here—the powers that he seeks for himself and his officers are not proportionate. He has had every opportunity to make them proportionate to the case that he makes in this place. Instead, he consistently chooses to use rhetoric that's inflammatory and to reflect on the motives of other lawmakers. This is of course a very difficult area of public policymaking, but, actually, the politics need not be difficult. He can state the case he wants to make. He can state the problem that he wants this legislation to solve. He has chosen not to do so. The members opposite in this government have chosen not to do so. They should be condemned for it.