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Feb 23, 2021

Bringing you up to speed with an important but less prominent development this afternoon:
An attempt in the Senate to overturn the governments increase in migration-related court fees has failed because the vote was tied 30-all.
The Centre Alliance senator for South Australia, Stirling Griff, had attempted to gather support in the Senate to strike down the regulation that the government had used to increase the fees. But with the Coalition and One Nation voting against Griffs motion, the attempt narrowly failed (motions to disallow government regulations need a majority to succeed).
The Law Council of Australia has previously been one of the most outspoken critics of the federal governments increases in federal circuit court fees for migration cases.
In November, the councils president, Pauline Wright, said the jump from $690 to $3,330 would pose a severe threat to access to justice for migrants and was unconscionable. Wright described it as objectionable particularly when many refugee applicants and temporary visa holders receive no government support and, in some cases, have no access to work rights during the appeal process.
At the time, a spokesperson for the attorney general, Christian Porter, told Guardian Australia all revenue from the change would be directly reinvested in the federal circuit court, and that a full fee exemption would be maintained for applicants experiencing financial hardship.