1. notes the effects of Commonwealth funding uncertainty on the legal assistance sector, including the possible closure of community legal centres, staff loss, a reduction in services to clients and declining staff morale;
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (16:14): I rise as the chair of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee to speak to the tabling of this report into the work undertaken by the Australian Federal Police's oil for food task force. Firstly, I would like to place on record my thanks to the legal and constitutional affairs committee secretariat, so competently led by the committee secretary, Ms Sophie Dunstone, for their support to the committee throughout this inquiry.
Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (11:37): I rise to speak on the Migration Amendment (Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2014, which seeks to amend the Migration Act 1958. If those listening to the debate today take away nothing else, I would ask them to take away the understanding that this bill, if passed, has the very real likelihood of Australia deporting people-fellow human beings-who have come to us legally-
The Australian Greens have urged the Labor Party to remain strong in opposing mandatory minimum sentences for gun trafficking, saying the Abbott Government's legislation would not make Australians safer.
The Australian Greens have condemned the funding cuts to indigenous legal aid services, which will see the peak body NATSILS close its doors in June.
Spokesperson for legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service advocacy was crucial to addressing shocking levels of indigenous incarceration.
Senator Penny Wright speaks to reporters about George Brandis's job offer to Gillian Triggs:
"It's now clear that the Attorney-General put undue pressure on an independent office holder to resign. That is completely inappropriate and if anyone is going to resign, it should be the Attorney General."