Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Go Petro! Go Petro! Go Petro!

News just in:

Last Update: Tuesday, June 14, 2005. 1:40pm (AEST)
Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou will push ahead with two bills aimed at dismantling mandatory immigration detention.

Georgiou to table bills dismantling mandatory detention

A federal Liberal MP is pushing ahead with two private member's bills aimed at dismantling mandatory immigration detention after failing to reach an agreement with the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister John Howard met with Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou and his party supporters at The Lodge last night but was unable to reach a compromise.

Mr Georgiou will send his bills to a selection committee today and the bills may be introduced to Parliament as soon as next Monday.

The bills would remove women and children, and all long-term detainees from detention centres.

Thousands of those on temporary protection visas would be allowed to stay in Australia permanently.

One of Mr Georgiou's supporters, Judy Moylan, says the group is still open to discussion with Mr Howard.

But she says the changes Mr Howard has already offered to make to immigration detention do not go far enough.

"Things like allowing greater ministerial intervention and greater departmental intervention," Ms Moylan said.

"But we feel there has been substantial room for intervention in the past and currently that hasn't always been used.

"The department hasn't referred matters to the minister so that the minister could use their discretion."

Mr Georgiou's move has the support of the Labor Party.

The Opposition's immigration spokesman, Laurie Ferguson, says Mr Georgiou's bills are largely in line with Labor Party policy.

"I'm hopeful that he'll accomplish something - that's the main thing, rather than whether it's through the bill or through the Government," Mr Ferguson said.

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has told his party room that Labor will push to have Mr Georgiou's bills debated in the Parliament.

Stolen from the ABC.


Listening to: Tori Amos - To Venus and Back

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