- A Superior Court ruling led to the release of 149 people
- Seven murderers and 37 sex offenders released
Two dozen people have been charged with crimes after being released from an immigration detention center, but none have been jailed under emergency laws.
Among those released were seven murderers and 37 sex offenders, it was revealed on Monday.
Powers quickly passed by parliament in December 2023 allowed the responsible minister to apply for supervision or community safety orders.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese introduced emergency laws (file photo) but no one has been charged
According to the orders, released detainees could be locked up or placed under strict surveillance.
But as of January 31, no applications had been made to enforce the powers.
A High Court ruling on the indefinite detention of immigrants led to the release of 149 people.
Seven had committed murder and attempted murder, 37 sexual offences, including sexual offenses against children; 72 assaults and violent crimes, including kidnappings and armed robberies; 16 domestic violence and stalking and 13 serious drug-related crimes.
Fewer than five were involved in human trafficking and fewer than five were involved in minor crimes or no crimes.
The legislation also imposed broader oversight measures that carried prison sentences for violations.
As of January 31, 113 released detainees had control bracelets on their ankles.
None have been held again in immigration detention centers because there is no prospect of them being resettled in another country.
Australia has been knocked down by Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Canada.
Talks with the United States are ongoing.
Six people have been rearrested and charged with breaching visa conditions under the new laws, while a further 18 have been charged by state and territory police forces with other offenses from February 1.
Opposition spokesman James Paterson questioned whether remand could have stopped some of the alleged recidivism.
“This is a shocking failure in community and national security,” he told reporters in Canberra.
When asked why there was a difference between this cohort and the thousands of people routinely released across the country for serious crimes, Senator Paterson said the released detainees were not citizens.
“They do not have a valid visa to be in Australia, except for a High Court decision, which determines that they cannot be deported,” he said.
A dozen people have been charged with crimes after being released from an immigration detention center (file photo)
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles was bombarded with questions after the figures were published.
Giles defended his record, saying community safety was paramount and that the government had brought together highly respected law enforcement officers to provide advice on how to combat the threat.
“We also now have four levels of protection including strict visa conditions, electronic monitoring and curfew, as well as preventive measures,” he told parliament.
“We have been working around the clock to ensure the community remains safe.”
He noted Senator Paterson’s comments saying there was a high legal threshold for a court to accept a detention order and that applications needed to be cautious and purposeful.
A parliamentary committee chaired by Labor MP Josh Burns criticized preventive detention laws as a possible overreach in violating human rights.
More than $13 million had been spent managing the caseload following the Superior Court decision as of December 31.