I who may well be...

Musings from the perspective of a human being who may well be not locatable completely within the usual categories of male or female or gay or straight or transsexual or intersexed or exploiter or exploited or supplier or consumer or performer or spectator.

Monday, August 14, 2006

PM pulls migration Bill

THANK YOU to all who supported the campaign against exporting orphans to desert islands. Byt the skin of our teeth, and enough energy lobbying people like Senator Steve Fielding to temper his fear driven protect-the-family agenda with the humanity of actually meeting a refugee and hearing their story (and family values) to swing him to take a braver, more Christian stance.

(What is called Christianity it more often the mouthings of hypocrites and modern pharisees. Actual Christianity is still as popular now as it was when Jesus was nailed up. It is not an electorally or physically safe course. For believers, however, uncompromising unconditional love and absolute personal integrity is the only course of action worth taking. And the alternative is just more fear and hate and war.)

the following report is from

Prime Minister John Howard says the Government will not be proceeding with its controversial migration Bill.

The laws, under which all asylum seekers arriving by boat would have been processed offshore, passed the Lower House last week but numbers were tighter in the Senate.

It would have taken just one Coalition senator to cross the floor, or two to abstain from the vote, for the Bill to be lost.

Mr Howard says he is disappointed the Bill will not go ahead, but it could not succeed.

"What has happened is that the Labor Party and a small number of Coalition members and senators have together - not acting together, let me make that clear - but their views have virtually coincided, that combination means we would not secure passage of the legislation," he said.

"In those circumstances I recommended at a special Cabinet meeting that the Government not proceed with the legislation.

"So it will not, of course, be debated in the Senate and there will be no further process in the Senate in relation to the Bill."

Labor's migration spokesman, Tony Burke, has welcomed the scrapping of the Bill.

"You don't protect Australia's borders by surrendering them," he said.

"That's what this Bill did, it was about pretending as a nation that we had no border. It was about pretending as a nation that it is wrong to lock children up in Australia, but fine to cause them to be locked up in Nauru."

The Refugee Council of Australia says it is relieved the Bill has been dropped.

The Council's chief executive, Paul Power, says many people were worried about the impact of the Bill.

"There's been a lot of community anxiety about the legislation for the past four months," he said.

"Many organisations have been raising concerns and, in fact, the list of concerns that people had were very, very long, there were lots of factors in the legislation that were particularly poorly thought through."


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