17 May 2013
On 16 May 2013, legislation passed the Australian Senate to excise the entire Australian mainland from the migration zone. All asylum seekers who arrive anywhere in Australia by boat are now eligible to be sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea for ‘regional processing’.
With the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issuing scratching reports on the processing centers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea, there was a failed attempt by the Greens, an opposition party in the Australian Parliament, to strike down the legislation.
The Australian Government, which is dealing with an increasing number of boats arrivals, says the legislation is a deterrence measure. The idea was one of 25 recommendations that was put forward by an expert panel on asylum seekers and introduced to the Parliament by the Government last year.