Prime Minister Julia Gillard won a major debate and support from the Labor Party on Monday to introduce new laws and bring changes to the Migration Act.
The changes will allow the Immigration Minister to send asylum seekers to a third country, which will take away legal uncertainty caused by High Court ruling. However, the proposed changes are not country specific.
Taking into account Immigration Minister Chris Bowen’s warning on high cost of on-shore processing, changes to Migration Act have been agreed upon, which will include third country processing Ministerial discretion.
Julia Gillard ignored cries from some sections of the party to abandon offshore processing of asylum seekers. Left Wing Senator Doug Cameron tried to amend Prime Minister’s motion to stop offshore processing but his motion was defeated.
MPs supporting Julia Gillard were worried that ending offshore processing would mean risking support for the orderly migration program.
If the changes are accepted by the Parliament, the Government can then revive its plan to send 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia.