The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, says the creation of the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV), is a win for asylum seekers, the Palmer United Party team, regional Australia and the country as a whole.
Mr Palmer said Immigration Minister Scott Morrison’s proposed amendments to the Migration Act will get asylum seekers out of detention centres and into regional communities with labour shortages.
Earlier negotiations between the Palmer United Party and the Government resulted in keeping 1,550 people in Australia who would have otherwise been from Christmas Island to mainland Australia, these people included 436 children and their families and 32 unaccompanied minors.
In a bid to secure Senate support for the revamped Migration Act, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to increase the annual humanitarian intake of refugees from 13,750 to 18,750 over the next four years.
He also announced that while the asylum seekers are processed, he would offer work rights.
“The Palmer United Party also wants all children and their families to be released from the Christmas Island detention centre by Christmas,” Mr Palmer said.
“The Senate passing the amended Migration Act will ensure this happens and the Palmer United Party is pleased to have played a key role in securing the children’s release. Mr Morrison is to be congratulated for his willingness to negotiate and make important concessions.
“SHEV asylum-seekers will be required to confine themselves to designated regional areas in Australia where there are currently severe labour shortages.”
Mr Palmer said he had always believed it was wrong to keep children behind bars.
“Whether they took this dangerous voyage with their parents, or were born in detention, every child deserves a safe and loving upbringing with a range of experiences, not just the inside of a cell or an exercise yard,” he said.