Clive Palmer has done a deal with Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to allow temporary protection visas and get asylum seekers out of detention on Christmas Island.
Morrison today introduced legislation to restore temporary protection visas, a tool used by the Howard government but stopped under Labor’s Kevin Rudd, a move which until now has been blocked by the Senate.
Palmer’s PUP senators have the numbers to get the legislation through the upper house.
In a press conference in Brisbane, Palmer announced 1,500 people will be moved from Christmas Island to the mainland as part of the deal.
The federal government will also create a five-year Safe Have Enterprise Visa which could eventually lead to permanent residency.
Palmer says the new safe haven visa will give people a fresh start in regional Australia.
“The safe haven enterprise visa will allow people to come to Australia for an initial period of five years and give them the opportunity to work, provided they go to a remote location or a location that needs labour,” he says.
“There are many areas and many communities in our country that can’t get labour.”
However, Morrison says the visas are temporary and won’t be available to those at Nauru and Manus Island.
“Those found not to be refugees should go home and under our policies they will go home,” he says.
The government plans to start processing about 30,000 asylum seekers whose cases have still not been assessed.
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