Gillard’s new refugee laws to be voted on

Australian PM Julia Gillard government’s controversial people-swap deal with Malaysia will be debated and voted on in parliament today.

The legislation was introduced into the House of Representatives on September 21, with the government pleading with the opposition to reconsider its objection to the Bill.

There were doubts about the timing of debate. However, a senior government source has confirmed the legislation would be up for discussion today.

Attempting to get around last month’s High Court ruling that struck out the Malaysian Solution, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen introduced a bill that, if passed, would amend the Migration Act and put offshore processing beyond legal doubt.

However, the Coalition is saying that it would only support amendments allowing off-shore processing in countries that are signatories to the UN refugee convention. This completely rules out Malaysia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, to act in the ‘national interest’ and not rule out Julia Gillard government’s solution ‘in an act of negative and reckless politics’.