Proposed extraordinary immigration powers and religious protections face uncertain future

proposed extraordinary immigration powers and religious protections face uncertain future

Anthony Albanese vowed to deliver religious protections ahead of the last election. (ABC News: Adam Kennedy)

The federal government has effectively shelved its push to introduce both extraordinary immigration powers and religious discrimination laws, with Labor offering few signs it will seek to deliver on its promised policies before the election.

Ahead of the final parliamentary sitting fortnight before the winter break, Labor has left its migration removal proposal off the first week's draft Senate program.

That bill, which the government in March insisted was so urgent that the parliament pass through the House of Representatives and Senate within days of its unveiling, seeks to make it easier for the immigration minister to deport non-citizens. It would also give the government the power to effectively ban travel from countries that do not accept involuntary returns of their citizens.

It's the second time in two months that Labor has refused to list its bill for debate in the Senate.

Having failed in its bid to rush the laws through parliament, the proposal was sent to a Senate committee for review.

At the time, Labor said the Coalition was putting national security at risk in refusing to support its proposal.

Labor and the Coalition effectively agree on the substance of what the bill seeks to achieve but the opposition is refusing to offer its support unless the government agrees to its amendments.

"The Senate committee recommended the parliament pass the bill, and the government calls on the Coalition to commit to supporting the legislation," a government spokesman said.

That comment was ridiculed by the opposition.

“It’s hard to pass a bill that’s not even listed for debate," Shadow Home Affairs spokesman James Paterson told the ABC.

"Labor should have the courage of their convictions and bring forward the bill they told us in March was so urgent it had to pass in 72 hours.”

Religious protections face uncertain future

The stand-off over migration also extends to Labor's promise to deliver religious discrimination laws, with few signs either side is seeking to initiate negotiations on either matter.

Ahead of the last election, then opposition leader Anthony Albanese promised to introduce measures to protect LGBT staff and students from discrimination in religious schools. At the same time, he also vowed to deliver protections for people of faith.

Now the prime minister, Mr Albanese has offered varying accounts of his plans in recent months.

In March, he told his colleagues the government would only proceed if his proposal also had the support of the opposition. A week later, he said he was willing to pass laws with just the support of the Greens, prompting a rebuke from religious groups.

That same month, Mr Albanese told reporters his cabinet had signed off on the government's draft laws but that was at odds with what other senior members of the government told the ABC.

The prime minister has repeatedly said he wanted bipartisanship because he didn't want a divisive debate amid heightened Islamophobia and anti-Semitism.

Labor has a majority in the House of Representatives but either needs the Coalition or the Greens and crossbench support to pass legislation through the Senate.

The government gave the opposition a confidential briefing on its draft legislation but has not released it publicly.

The ABC sought an update on the proposals from the prime minister and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus's offices.

"The government is seeking an enduring solution that strengthen protections for students, teachers and people of faith. And that's why we've consistently said bipartisan support is essential," a spokesperson for Mr Dreyfus said.

"The opposition has still not told the government its position on our proposed religious discrimination bills which they have had since March 2024."

Shadow Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said the Coalition agreed with faith groups that had described Labor's proposals as "inadequate".

"As I have made clear to Mr Dreyfus, both he and the government should take heed of that feedback and produce a revised draft of his legislation. He has had this feedback for many weeks now," she said.

"I have also told Mr Dreyfus that he should release a revised draft of the legislation publicly so it can be openly debated."

The Greens have repeatedly criticised Labor for not delivering protections for LGBT staff and students.

After this sitting fortnight, the parliament will break until August 12. The next federal election is also due to be held within the next year.

OTHER NEWS

55 minutes ago

Bengals don't sound like a team about to add a CB in free agency

55 minutes ago

Eddie Howe on Anthony Gordon’s future: I would welcome him back with three arms if I had them

55 minutes ago

Jaguar wins 2024 Formula E World Championship in London

55 minutes ago

Steelers stay middle of the pack in ESPN future rankings

55 minutes ago

3 things I've just learned from this billionaire investor

1 hour ago

Ore-some: New Date for Earth's Largest Iron Deposits Offers Clues for Future Exploration

1 hour ago

Swans searching for answers to cover injured Papley’s goal kicking

1 hour ago

Why Trump shouldn't be president, according to Elon Musk's old tweets

1 hour ago

Children among 146 killed in Ethiopia mudslide

1 hour ago

Joey Barton charged over tweets about football pundit Eni Aluko

1 hour ago

Over 10,000 dengue cases so far in 2024, exceeding total number of cases in 2023

1 hour ago

Women set to grab the spotlight for Team USA in Paris

1 hour ago

Blackpink’s Lisa announced as Louis Vuitton ambassador

1 hour ago

12 pieces of apparel to modernize your style for summer golf in 2024

1 hour ago

Presidential historian feels 'sucker punched' by unprecedented U.S. political upheaval

1 hour ago

Qatar Airways Sees Major Widebody Order by Early 2025

1 hour ago

Roy Keane named his five ‘world-class’ team-mates at Man Utd – & didn’t include Ronaldo

1 hour ago

Toronto newcomers forced to pay thousands in rent up front

1 hour ago

Work and Pensions Secretary: DWP needs to focus on work rather than welfare

1 hour ago

Major Sky TV rival finally offers popular free content boost to UK homes

1 hour ago

Leeds could land dream signing for Rutter in swoop for 33-goal star

1 hour ago

Forecasting the future: Who will get the call to the Baseball Hall?

1 hour ago

Kamala Harris’ Canada connection: Why her US presidential run makes ‘perfect sense’ for some

1 hour ago

Stock market today: Asian shares are mixed after Wall Street breaks losing streak

1 hour ago

Andy Murray to retire after Olympics – 10 standout matches from his career

1 hour ago

Andy Murray’s career in numbers

1 hour ago

Slash shares news of stepdaughter’s death, aged 25

1 hour ago

Tennis-Murray says Paris Olympics will be final tournament

1 hour ago

Can Roglic make it to the Vuelta? "He's still only training on the home trainer"

1 hour ago

16 and Pregnant star Autumn Crittendon dead at 27: Mom-of-three dies suddenly at home after battling recent health issues

1 hour ago

U.S. drops planned regulations for dogs crossing border from rabies-free countries

1 hour ago

Russell 2000 will see a 40% rally by the end of the summer, says Fundstrat's Tom Lee

1 hour ago

Shift in India's Vulture Population Linked to Half a Million Human Deaths

1 hour ago

Lions lose another key defender ahead of QClash

1 hour ago

Charles Payne: What happened to the notion that customers are kings and queens?

1 hour ago

Dead by Daylight Spin-Off Game Gets Release Date

1 hour ago

Family stranded in Bali after IT outage

1 hour ago

House of the Dragon star says unexpected same-sex kiss scene happened ‘organically’

1 hour ago

Jets Training Camp: Defensive Preview, Biggest Questions, and More

1 hour ago

Blair government told Israel it was not acting like a ‘civilised nation’, archives reveal

ALONGWALKER VIETNAM: Kênh khám phá trải nghiệm của giới trẻ, thế giới du lịch ALONGWALKER INDONESIA: Saluran untuk mengeksplorasi pengalaman para pemuda global