Wednesday 19th of June 2024

A call from Judi Moylan

Just got a call from Hon Judi Moylan, urging me to support a massive campaign to write to, fax (followed up by a phone call), phone, make an appointment and visit, Liberal and National MP's, starting with your own MP, and she calls this "the window of opportunity we have within the next two weeks". Don't forget the three independents either - aren't they Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Peter Andren? Judi is overwhelmed with the amount of personalised and thoughtful messages of support from within and outside her electorate - more than 2500 now - and just twenty of these were expressing disapproval. I'm about to close the office for 4 days, and travel to Perth, where I'm on limited email. I will post an emailed Call to Action around by Sunday or Monday; if you're not in our database, please leave your details on our website here if you wish. I'll also post an item with similar content on this website when I'm back.

political terrorism .....

The Editor

The Australian                                                                                     June 15, 2005.


So, Sophie Panopoulos believes that Petro Georgiou, Bruce Baird, Russell Broadbent & Judi Moylan are acting as ‘political terrorists’ in seeking to have the government’s immigration policy amended (‘MPs’ revolt political terrorism’, Australian, June 15)?


If debate, diversity of opinion & dissent equate to ‘terrorism’, then surely Liberal democracy is dead.


If John Howard & his mindless mimics are so certain that their current immigration policy has the support of the Australian people, why not encourage a full Parliamentary debate & allow all MPs to vote on the private members’ bills according to their consciences, rather than trying to intimidate & oppress those advocating policy reform?


Not only would our alleged representative Parliamentary democracy function as the Constitution intended, but the Australian people could also see where their individual parliamentary representatives stood on this major public policy issue.

Stronger borders

An exchange in Victorian Parliament on June 14th (pdf download) underlined the need for disease detection in the nation's chook houses.

That is an example of the importance of being able to get onto an issue earlier and try and contain it. Speaker, Department of Primary Industries scientists, led by Dr Simone Warner, have produced a rapid test for avian influenza. That test takes only one day instead of up to three weeks at the present time to get the results. That test is for all 15 subtypes of avian influenza, including those that only affect poultry and also including those that can have human health implications. There are 40 million migratory birds —

An honourable member — Name them!

Mr CAMERON — They come to Australia every year. Some have names, but I will not go into them. It is certainly not a paltry issue.

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr CAMERON — What are you parroting on about?

The SPEAKER — Order!

Mr CAMERON — As part of routine monitoring in terms of the development of this test it means that we are now in a position to know if avian influenza possibly has entered Australia earlier, and we can then respond more quickly; if we can help contain the issue, that is extremely important. We are also expecting as a result of this that there will be a national program for the monitoring of migratory birds as well.

To steal a line from ABC Radio for June 13th - it's time to think about Mandatory Detention for Migratory Birds.

The Hon. Cameron couldn't name them, but here they are. Sharptailed Sandpiper, Rednecked Stint, Greenshank, Arctic Tern, Kirribilli Sapsucker and the Indi Twit.

Bag 'em, gag 'em, anything to protect the sanctity of the national foul pen.

immigration detention

Press Release from John Howard



The Australian Government has decided on a number of changes to both the law and the handling of matters relating to people in immigration detention.


The broad framework of the Government's approach is unaltered.  It is essential that we continue to have an orderly and well managed migration and visa system. 


There can however be significant improvements which will mean that current policy is administered with greater flexibility, fairness and, above all, in a more timely manner.


The Minister for Immigration has already announced changes in relation to the issuing of removal pending visas.


The Migration Act will be amended to provide an additional non-compellable power for the Minister to specify alternative arrangements for a person's detention and conditions to apply to that person.


The purpose of this change is to enable the detention of families with children to take place in the community where conditions would be set to meet their individual circumstances.


The Migration Act will also be amended to provide an additional non-compellable power for the Minister to grant a visa to a person in detention.


In future all primary protection visa decisions taken by the Department of Immigration will need to occur within three months of application.  Likewise, reviews by the Refugee Review Tribunal must occur within three months of application.


Cases where these time limits are not met will be the subject of periodic reports to Parliament.

Where a person has been in detention for two years or more there will automatically be a requirement that every six months a report on that person must be furnished by the Department to the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman will assess that report, providing his assessment to the Minister who must then table the assessment in Parliament.

The Ombudsman may in his assessment recommend the release of a person, the grant of a permanent visa, that the person remain in detention or indeed any other recommendation he thinks fit.


No recommendation of the Ombudsman will in any way bind the Minister.


The Department will complete all primary assessments of applications for permanent protection visas from the existing case load of temporary protection visa holders by 31st October 2005.  To expedite this process decisions will be taken on the application papers although the option of an interview will be available if there were a disposition to reject an application for a permanent visa.


Implementation of these changes to the Immigration Act and related procedures will be overseen by an Inter-departmental Committee to be chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet


The Member for Kooyong Mr Petro Georgiou MP has informed me that he will be withdrawing the two private members' bills of which he has given notice.

17 June 2005