Jenni of ‘Unload and Unwind’ says in a comment from today that they are ‘trying a number of avenues to force a double dissolution of parliament which mean an immediate election. The government has managed to dodge it so far and parliament has risen for the year. There won’t be another opening until 2015 when it sits again so for the next month we’re going around Australia door knocking for signatures in every state. It’s a combined effort of a number of aid agencies and community groups as well as backing by the different churches and business leaders – it’s all we have at the moment. I just hope it will be enough.
So I understand that Jenni thinks door knocking for signatures in every state is all they have at the moment. I have a few questions to this. How many signatures would you need to get the PM to call for a double dissolution? Is it not essential to first of all get the elected representatives on your side? Instead of aiming for an immediate election would it not be preferable to get more people in the coalition government on your side, meaning that the coalition government could possibly come to the conclusion that it would be better to elect new leaders who consider a bit more the human aspect in their legislations?
Personally I do imagine that a lot of the coalition members hate the new legislation!
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Refugee advocates and lawyers expressed alarm at the passage of the laws, which restore temporary protection visas for the “legacy” caseload of 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived before July 19 last year and will allow those detained on Christmas Island to be transferred to the mainland.
The legislation also dramatically strengthens the government’s powers to detain asylum seekers at sea and take them “anywhere in the world”, introduces a new safe-haven enterprise visa and includes fast-track processing that Amnesty International says will see “some refugees returned to the hands of their torturers”.
Senator Muir and other crossbenchers said they had supported the legislation because the government had said that, if it did not pass, the 30,000 would be “left in limbo” and 1550 who arrived between July 19 and the election would be sent to Nauru.
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young launched a scathing attack on Mr Morrison saying he had “successfully blackmailed” the Senate cross bench by holding refugee children hostage.
“Tonight we saw children on Christmas Island being handed the phone number of Senator Muir, and they were asked to call that number and beg that senator to let them out. If that is not treating children as hostages, what is it?” she told the Senate.
A spokesman for Senator Muir said he had not spoken to any children on the island and a defiant Mr Morrison replied that he did not take moral lectures from Senator Hanson-Young or Labor leader Bill Shorten. “They have proven themselves irrelevant and impotent when it comes to having solutions on border protection,” he said.
Refugee lawyer David Manne said the new laws were “patently unfair, undermine the rule of law and will endanger lives”.’