Home Secretary Clare O’Neil has vowed to come down hard on criminals freed by a controversial High Court ruling that found the indefinite detention of some non-citizens unlawful.
But with the High Court yet to release written reasons for its decision, the federal government is unable to introduce legislation to re-incarcerate offenders.
This means 80 inmates – including a paedophile, an elderly sex offender and a hitman – will continue to remain in the community.
The mass release of asylum seekers follows the success of an appeal launched by NZYQ – who raped a 10-year-old boy – on November 8.
During Question Time on Tuesday, Ms O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles pledged to take “immediate action” to keep the community safe.
Ms O’Neil said she wanted to make it clear that the Commonwealth had objected to the release of some non-citizens.
“Some of these people have committed disgusting crimes,” she said.
“Some of them hurt people who are still here in our country. And it is these victims who are close to our hearts.
“I can tell Parliament that we are using one goal and one priority to manage the implications of the High Court’s decision: the community safety of the Australian citizens who elect us to this Parliament.”
Home Secretary Clare O’Neil (pictured) pledged to take “immediate action” to keep the community safe after 80 asylum seekers – including a convicted killer and a pedophile – have been released from indefinite detention following a High Court ruling last week.
Shadow Immigration Minister Dan Tehan asked how the Albanian government would financially support the 80 “hardcore criminals” released into the community.
“This includes a pedophile who raped a 10-year-old boy,” he said.
“What housing and other financial support is the government currently providing to this convicted pedophile and other hard-core criminals so they can live in the community?
Mr Giles responded by saying he had personally opposed the request for reasons which he said united everyone in Parliament.
“We believe that non-citizens, non-citizens who have committed very serious criminal offences, including sexual offenses like the offenses that the shadow minister has just referred to, should not continue to remain in Australia.” did he declare.
“Of course, circumstances meant that we could not remove them.
“When I say we, I repeat that these are people, none of whom have arrived in Australia since the election of the Albanian government.
“Members opposite should perhaps keep that in mind.”
In a joint statement, Ms O’Neil and Mr Giles said law enforcement was working around the clock to impose strict restrictions on these criminals.
“We are releasing them only because the law requires us to do so,” the statement said.
Ms O’Neil (pictured) said the Commonwealth had opposed the release of some non-citizens, some of whom she said had committed “disgusting crimes”.
Local and state police were briefed by senior Australian Border Force officials, and the Australian Federal Police Commissioner has since held high-level meetings with his counterparts from each state and territory.
Offenders released as a result of this decision will be transferred to state and territory-based “post-offender programmes” and each offender will “be subject to case management”.
The strict and mandatory visa conditions imposed on these offenders include: “restriction of employment types, the requirement to report regularly to authorities, and the requirement for released detainees to disclose their personal information, including their employment profiles.” social networks.
“In addition, the government has imposed daily reporting requirements for those with the most serious criminal histories. »
These requirements are in addition to any state sanctions.
The government is also exploring other steps it could take, including legislating to close any loopholes.
“This was a decision by the full High Court declaring the detention unconstitutional. It cannot be overturned by Parliament,” the ministers said in their joint statement.
The decision overturned a 20-year precedent that had allowed the Commonwealth to detain non-citizens who committed crimes.
The court ruled in favor of a Rohingya pedophile – known in proceedings as NZYQ – who has been in custody since serving a prison sentence for child sexual abuse.
The Albanian government was accused of releasing 80 “hardcore criminals” into the community during Question Time on Tuesday (pictured, Anthony Albanese in parliament)
The Rohingya are a stateless Islamic people who reside in western Myanmar near the border with Bangladesh, where they face persecution.
Because the Rohingya are not citizens of Myanmar – which considers them Bengalis and not a distinct ethnic group – the NZYQ cannot be deported there.
NZYQ arrived in Australia by boat in 2012 and had his bridging visa canceled in 2015 when he pleaded guilty to having sex with a 10-year-old child.
He was transferred to an immigration detention center in May 2018 after serving a minimum sentence of three years and four months and being denied a “safe haven” visa.
Until the High Court’s ruling, NZYQ faced being detained for the rest of his life. He has now been released into the community and the Commonwealth will pay his legal costs.
Following this decision, the government admitted that 92 other people were detained in similar circumstances, and that up to 300 in total could be affected.
Among those now freed is Sirul Azahr Umar, 51, who was sentenced to death for the 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the pregnant girlfriend of a political operative, whose body he killed and then blew up.
Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek and Jobs Minister Tony Burke are pictured chatting before Question Time on Tuesday.
Umar, who was a bodyguard to the Malaysian prime minister, was released from Sydney’s Villawood detention center on Saturday and is now believed to be staying with a relative in Canberra.
The woman he murdered was the partner of Razak Baginda, a close associate of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
On Monday, Immigration Minister Andrew Giles said 80 of those arrested, including a Malaysian hitman, had already been released and granted visas.
All those released by the High Court ruling have now been issued a transitional visa and are required to report regularly to the police or relevant authorities.
Mr Giles insisted the Australian Federal Police and Border Force were involved in the release of those detained and their future monitoring to protect public safety.
The Australian government had opposed the court’s decision, but the minister said he was prepared to face the consequences.