Thursday, 21 October 2021
Media release

Joint media release with Senator the Hon Anne Ruston - Migration Amendment (Strengthening The Character Test) Bill 2019

Today the Australian Labor Party blocked important laws that would remove more dangerous criminals from Australia.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said the Australian Labor Party needs to explain why it joined with the Greens in the Senate to stop stronger laws to remove serious violent and sexual offenders from Australia.

“Under the Coalition, nearly 10,000 non-citizens have had their visas cancelled or refused on character grounds. The Coalition believes an Australian visa is a privilege that must be denied to non-citizens who commit serious crimes. That’s why the Government introduced the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill to remove even more dangerous criminal non-citizens,” he said.

“But by joining with the Greens to block these laws today, Labor has voted to make Australians less safe and Labor has backed foreign criminals over Australian citizens. This action poses an ongoing threat to women and children, in particular.”

“The Government attempted to negotiate in good faith with the Opposition, however each of Labor’s amendments diluted the Bill to the point of ineffectiveness.”

“Anthony Albanese must explain to Australians why the Labor Party has blocked laws to make Australians safer.”

Minister for Women’s Safety Anne Ruston said that the Government was committed to keeping women in Australia safe from those who perpetrate family, domestic and sexual violence.

“It’s incredibly disappointing Labor and members of the crossbench decided it is more important to protect foreign nationals convicted of serious assault and abuse than it is to protect women in Australia from these violent offenders,” Minister Ruston said.