Melbourne: Australia's opposition party said
on Monday it is willing to talk to the government about changing
the country's migration law to allow the offshore processing
of asylum seekers.
Federal Cabinet is meeting in Canberra today to come up
with a solution which the Greens could oppose in the Senate if
it does not suitably protect human rights.
The government is not ruling out amending the Migration
Act, after it received legal advice that offshore processing
would be difficult, if not impossible, to implement under
current law, ABC new reported.
Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler's advice was
commissioned after the High Court ruled the government's
Malaysia refugee swap deal to be invalid.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott said the party ready to
support changes to migration law.
Abbott, who has been against the Malaysia deal which
backs the reopening of the Nauru detention centre, said the
coalition wanted to be constructive and help the government
"put beyond legal doubt offshore third-country processing".
On the query about the offer of assistance extended to
the Malaysia deal, Abbott said the deal with Kuala Lumpur was
always a bad one.
"We don't want the government to use the High Court's
decision and the solicitor-general's opinion to drop offshore
processing, because offshore processing is an essential part
of any effective plan to stop the boats," he said.
Meanwhile, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the more
than 330 asylum seekers left in legal limbo after the High
Court decision were being processed on Christmas Island
instead of Malaysia.
First Published: Monday, September 05, 2011, 10:38