These amendments seek to impose a lifetime ban on obtaining a visa (for people who arrived by boat after July 2013) to travel to or remain in Australia, subject to a personal non-compellable non-delegable exemption power of the Minister.
We recommend the Bill not be passed.
Our principal concerns with the Bill can be summarised as follows:
a. No compelling case has been put forward by the Government to justify the proposed amendments, and they are entirely unnecessary and disproportionate;
b. The proposed amendments would entrench the separation of families;
c. The amendments are inconsistent with Australia’s international obligations;
d. The amendments would have a significantly harsh and discriminatorily impact on highly vulnerable individuals, including victims of torture and trauma; and
e. A personal non-delegable non-compellable discretion of the Minister is an insufficient safeguard and a troubling further expansion of Ministerial power.