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Words in the News
Wednesday 26 September 2001
Vocabulary from the news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Boat people continue to head for Australia
Australia set for new refugee laws
Summary: The Australian government is about to introduce new laws to limit significantly the opportunity for boat people and other illegal immigrants to seek political asylum. This report from Red Harrison:
The News Listen  
  The laws will reinforce Australia's authority to turn boats away from Australia and impose mandatory prison sentences on the crews of boats which do cross the border. Boat people coming through Indonesia will be denied permanent residence, even if they prove to be genuine refugees. Similar restrictions will apply to people coming through Christmas Island and other popular landing places off the north-west coast.

The laws will confirm Australia's right to send these people to another country, such as the pacific island of Nauru, to be dealt with by the United Nations, and an overriding law will deny all these people access to the courts to challenge government actions or decisions.

Australia's hard line against boat people has strong popular support, though some minor political parties are describing the new laws as repressive and abominable.

The new laws are being debated in the Senate, the upper house of parliament, though debate is probably too strong a word because the labour party opposition is supporting the government at every step.


The Words Listen
if you reinforce something, you make it stronger, you provide support for it

if a punishment is described as mandatory, it is fixed by law for all cases (in contrast to crimes for which the judge or magistrate has to decide the punishment for each particular case)

  denied permanent residence
refused the right to settle down and remain indefinitely

people and things are described as genuine, if they are exactly what they appear to be, and not fake or an imitation

  popular landing places
places where boat people come ashore most often

  an overriding law
the most important law, the one that cancels other legal provisions

  to challenge
here - to question and appeal against

  strong popular support
here - the phrase 'strong popular support' suggests that a significant number of Australians support the country's hard line against refugees

very bad and unpleasant

  at every step
in whatever they do or propose to do

  Read more about this story  

Other Words in the News archives


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