Opposition open to migration law talks: Abbott
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Last Updated: Monday, September 05, 2011, 10:38
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

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