Asylum seekers arriving on our mainland to be sent offshore
REFUGEES who arrive on the Australian mainland can now be sent to offshore detention centre, with the Senate voting down three Greens amendments to new asylum-seeker laws on Thursday.
A recommendation of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, the bill seeks to treat those arriving on the mainland the same as those intercepted at sea and taken directly to offshore centres at Nauru and Manus Island.
It also allows for the detention of Papua-New Guinea citizens who are unlawful non-citizens and are in a protected area.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the bill excised the Australian mainland from the nation's international obligations under the Refugee Convention.
She moved three amendments in the Senate on Thursday, to allow the Human Rights Commissioner and media more access to offshore detention centres and to remove all children from Nauru and Manus Island.
All three amendments were voted down in the Senate, while a government amendment to provide more reporting from offshore centres was passed.
Senator Hanson-Young said the continued detention of children in the offshore centres would lead to a "damaged generation", labelling the bill "child abuse by policy".
The Greens have come under criticism for their uncompromising position in political negotiations on asylum seekers and offshore detention.
But Senator Hanson-Young said it was the government who was not negotiating, with the minor party simply trying to protect those being detained.
The changes to the migration act were passed in the Senate by the government on Thursday morning.