Thursday, August 10, 2006

Anti-assylum seeker law to force Lib MPs to cross the floor

In what looks to be a historic break in the Liberal Party, four Liberal MPs will either cross the floor and vote against Howard's draconian assylum seeker legislation, or abstain from the vote.

GetUp! and other refugee rights groups have been campaigning against the legislative changes , which will see all assylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat shipped off to Pacific Island detention centres (like at Nauru) for 'processing'.

GetUp! has this update on their website:
The Coalition Government says it will cut off debate on the Migration Bill at 12:30 today to force a vote in the House of Representatives.

The PM is meeting with Family First Senator Steve Fielding this morning in a bid to secure his support in the Senate, but one look at Family First's policy on asylum seekers shows spruiking this law is one tough sell.

Despite months of pressure to tow the party line, Liberal MPs and senators are still reserving their right to cross the floor.
Petro Georgiou, who led the dissenting Liberal MPs in their earlier challenge to have assylum seeking children released from mandatory detention, told Parlieament yesterday that this was the most troubling piece of legislation to come before him in his time in Parliament.

The question is whether enought Liberal Senators will be willing to cross the floor to stop the legislation being approved in the upper house.

The ABC also has the story online here.

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