Today’s story by Phillip Coorey in today’s Sydney Morning Herald reads: Gillard wins ALP backing on asylum. Details provide:
JULIA GILLARD’S hopes of reviving the Malaysia plan are hanging by a thread with the opposition agreeing to consider her plea to support legislation to overrule the High Court ruling but threatening ultimately to reject it.
Sentiment in the Coalition remains firmly against doing anything that would help the beleaguered government and it will leave it hanging for another week before responding. ”We’re likely to oppose it,” a senior Coalition source said last night.
Therefore the conclusion is that as far as the Opposition is concerned this is all about playing politics rather than helping to provide any solution.
As many here will know, I have often been called a rusted-on however on this occasion I have to admit to some severe misgivings concerning the government’s direction on the asylum seeker issue. On one hand I would have preferred that the government had accepted the decision of the High Court, supported that decision and used this decision as a reason for a more humane treatment of those seeking asylum.
On the other hand I see Julia Gillard’s reasoning to attempt a regional solution to a regional problem. Should the government not attempt anything for fear of failure?
However my greatest misgiving is:
There will also be changes to the laws governing the guardianship of children to overturn severe limitations the High Court placed on the sending back of unaccompanied minors.
To this I am vehemently opposed. The recent High Court ruling indicates that no decision may be taken by the Minister as legal guardian of unaccompanied minors which would be to the minor’s detriment. IF the law was changed, it must follow that it can only be changed to accept that actions taken by the Minister could be to the detriment of the minor – and if so, would this be on the balance of possibility or probability.
That is, there is a possibility that it would be to the child’s detriment or that there is a probability that this would be the case. Neither to me is satisfactory when you are dealing with children who have no other legal guardian except the Minister.
On this issue I am with Senator John Faulkner who stated that the amendments were breaching party rules – that the parliamentary party was entitled to make whatever decisions it wished as long as they were ”not contrary to the platform”.