Community Safety

Media Release | Coalition Issues Dissenting Report on Labor’s Rushed Removal Powers Bill | 07 May 2024

May 7, 2024

Tuesday 07 May 2024
Joint Media Release
Coalition Issues Dissenting Report on Labor’s Rushed Removal Powers Bill

Coalition Senators have made 17 recommendations to improve the Albanese Labor Government’s Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 after the Government’s chaotic and disingenuous inquiry process examining the Bill.

The Senate Committee published 118 submissions from organisations in response to the inquiry, but the Majority Report makes just two recommendations and proposes no amendments to the Bill. This reveals Labor’s flagrant disregard for multicultural communities and legal experts who earnestly engaged with the inquiry process despite the significant time constraints, and once again it has been left to the Coalition to clean up Labor’s mess and propose a range of sensible recommendations to enhance the safeguards that apply to these powers in the bill.

The Bill proposes significantly enhanced powers for the government to facilitate the deportation of non-citizens, and empowers the government to designate countries that are not cooperating with returns of their citizens as a removal concern country, effectively barring any visa applications from that country with few exceptions.

Coalition Senators remain concerned about the potential unintended consequences created by this bill, particularly after the Department of Home Affairs acknowledged the Bill has the potential to serve as a pull factor for illegal boat arrivals. The Government has failed to articulate how it will address this risk, which comes after it repeatedly undermined Operation Sovereign Borders by abolishing temporary protection visas, planned funding cuts for border security of $436 million over the forward estimates, overseeing a decrease in aerial flying hours and maritime patrol days, and reducing funding for strategic communications. We have seen 13 ventures carrying at least 300 illegal maritime arrivals since the Albanese Government came into power, including three which reached the Australian mainland. Coalition Senators fear this legislation may exacerbate this trend if the Government fails to adequately manage these risks.

The Coalition’s recommendations in the dissenting report call on the Government to restore Australia’s border protection regime and makes a number of other recommendations to address deficiencies in the proposed legislation. This includes recommending the Minister must consider a set of factors prior to making a designation of a removal country of concern, including the impacts on diaspora groups, and that any designation automatically sunset after three years. The Coalition also recommends a statutory review should be conducted for any designation made in light of the Government's confirmation that designations will not be subject to parliamentary disallowance.

The Coalition also proposes that the removal pathway direction powers be amended to reflect the Government’s intention that these powers will only apply to non-citizens who have exhausted all avenues to stay in Australia and are required to be removed from Australia. The Coalition also recommends the Government consider additional safeguards in relation to these powers by providing non-citizens a minimum time for compliance.

The Coalition will continue to hold the Labor Government accountable for its rushed and reckless approach to this legislation, and will do everything we can to fix Labor’s mess by strengthening this Bill.

Full Report: Tabled documents | Document 5805 (


Recent News

All Posts