PM: Asylum seekers arriving by boat will not get PR

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott will move to ensure asylum seekers who arrive by boat will not get permanent residency, in new measures to be "announced shortly" he said on Tuesday.

But just hours after the Senate blocked the government's original moves to reintroduce temporary protection visas, Mr Abbott would not provide details on what the new initiatives would be.

He said he wanted to make it "crystal clear" that the government would not allow people who came by boat to get permanent residency in Australia.

"We'll have more to say shortly about measures to that will ensure Labor's attempt to sabotage temporary protection visas is not effective," he said.

Mr Abbott said his message to "the people smugglers" was "you should not come because you will not stay".

The visas were promised as part of the Coalition's election policy, and were originally part of the Howard Government's approach to asylum seekers.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said the Senate disallowance motion on Tuesday was an attempt to "complete the contract" promised by people smugglers to asylum seekers.

But the Australian Human Rights Commission endorsed the motion, saying refugees should be granted permanent visas.

Commission president Gillian Triggs said the Commission was concerned the reintroduction "may lead to breaches of Australia's international human rights obligations".

"Specifically, we are concerned that the use of TPVs may breach Australia's obligation not to discriminate against asylum seekers who arrive without a visa, as well as the obligation not to penalise asylum seekers on account of their unauthorised arrival when they are coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened," she said.

Professor Triggs said the temporary visas also denied refugees the ability to sponsor family members to come to Australia, or to travel outside the country, separating asylum seekers from their families for "an indefinite period".

"The bottom line is that we should be establishing humane or effective ways to integrate people who are in need of protection into the Australian community," she said.

"Temporary Protection Visas in no way assists this purpose."


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