In the media

Statement on the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill

Media Release, 27 March 2024

The Labor Government’s Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 is highly problematic both for its content and the way it has been moved through parliament, Kylea Tink MP, Independent Federal Member for North Sydney says.

The Bill was only provided to members of the crossbench at 8.45am on Tuesday, with the advice that the Government intended to push the highly controversial legislation through parliament in less than 24 hours.

The powers given to the Immigration Minister under this legislation are exceptional, and will apply to hundreds of vulnerable people including not only the NZYQ-affected cohort but also potentially all unlawful non-citizens, bridging visa-holders, and extraordinarily any other non-citizen cohort as designated by the Minister.

With little time for consultation, both those with a commitment to human rights within parliament, and organisations outside the government, have been left reeling at the potential breaches of Australia’s international human rights obligations.

Comments on the content of the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 by Kylea Tink MP, Independent Federal Member for North Sydney:

“Australia’s visa system is broken, and this legislation kicks it while it's down. Labor’s Forced Deportation Bill is a highly problematic piece of legislation that is not compatible with fundamental human rights, and will tear communities apart in our country.

“Despite claims from the government that the legislation won’t affect refugees, it criminalises people who’ve already been through a broken system that in many cases has failed to recognise their legitimate refugee claims, including those failed by the Fast Track system.

“It also turns a blind eye to the welfare of children. Under this reformed legislation, parents and guardians could be forced, through the threat of criminal sanction, to either facilitate the removal of their children from Australia or to leave them behind until they turn 18. This risks separating children and their families, in direct violation of the fundamental human rights principle of the best interests of the child.

Comments on the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 by Kylea Tink MP, Independent Federal Member for North Sydney:

“I am beyond disappointed at the Government’s blatant attempt to move this significant legislative change through Parliament without due scrutiny and debate. This is yet another example of poor procedure — to say the least — and challenges the very fabric of our democracy.

“The very basis of our democracy is that communities send representatives to parliament to act on their behalf in scrutinising any law that any government of the day may wish to bring into being. By stifling scrutiny of this Bill, the Government has effectively chosen to ignore the views of much of the Australian population while at the worst has taken our country to a new low in terms of our international human rights reputation.  

“Australians expect better, and I will continue to fight for a more open, accountable and truly democratic parliament.”

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