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Senator casts doubt on visa ban bill

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016 Paul Osborne, AAP Senior Political Writer

A key crossbencher has predicted the government won't push ahead with its bill to impose a lifetime visa ban for refugees who arrived by boat.

Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm said the government would struggle to get crossbench support for the "symbolic" bill, and in any case there was more pressing legislation to deal with in this final fortnight of parliament for the year.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if they don't even try," Senator Leyonhjelm told Sky News on Monday.

Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese said the government had not yet put forward any evidence why the visa ban is needed and the opposition would not tick off "every absurd proposal".

"What Peter Dutton should have been doing as a minister is finding ways to get people off Manus Island and Nauru," Mr Albanese told Sky News.

"These are real people who deserve to be treated in a humane way - you can be tough on people smugglers without being weak on humanity."

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