Asylum seekers released from detention following a controversial High Court decision have had their welfare payments fast-tracked, while Australians spend months waiting for Services Australia to process their claims.
The 149 refugees, including convicted murderers and rapists, began receiving services to support their status resolution within 14 days of being released from detention following the federal government’s intervention.
The payments offer temporary support to asylum seekers while they wait for a decision on their immigration status.
Services Australia could not confirm the dollar amount each detainee receives every fortnight because it depends on the level of support they qualify for.
But he did confirm that the Department of Home Affairs, led by Minister Claire O’Neil, intervened to ensure a smooth transition for detainees affected by the High Court ‘NZYQ’ ruling.
They confirmed that the Department of Home Affairs, led by Minister Claire O’Neil, intervened to ensure a smooth transition for detainees affected by the decision.
Meanwhile, everyday Australians are waiting much longer for help when navigating Services Australia’s often frustrating and complicated system.
Australians wait an average of 91 days to access the aged pension, 82 days to access disability support and 80 days to receive the dad and partner payment.
There are still a million applications waiting to be processed under different schemes including paid parental leave, jobseeker and disability support.
Tens of thousands of those customers have been waiting for a response for more than 30 days.
Senator Linda Reynolds, who recently announced she would not run again for her Senate seat, questioned the Department of the Interior about services available to released detainees during parliamentary hearings on Tuesday.
A High Court decision allowed 149 detainees, including criminal murderers and rapists, to walk free on the streets of Australia.
The government opposed this, but his detention was ultimately determined to be unconstitutional.
After several representatives insisted they were not aware of or involved in high-level discussions about the detainees, Services Australia’s general manager of customized programs, Tony Piazza, appeared before the inquiry to answer questions.
He said: “The entire cohort [receiving payments] It is of the order of approximately 149.
“Of them, 103 have started to receive special benefits.”
Piazza did not define what “special benefits” the detainees were entitled to, nor did he respond to Reynolds’ questions about how much money the 149 people receive.
Sen. Linda Reynolds, who recently announced she would not run again for her Senate seat, questioned the department about detainees and the services available to them.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has been under constant pressure over the mistake.
He confirmed that they received money biweekly.
“The rate is set by Internal Affairs,” he said at the Senate estimates hearing.
‘There are a variety of groups that apply to and determine the individual’s eligibility.
“Home Affairs hired a third-party vendor to help these people navigate the system.”
Dozens of Senator Reynolds’ questions were taken into account, prompting a rebuke during the hearing.
“This is not a difficult question and it is something completely predictable that was going to be asked,” he said.
Following the estimates hearing, he said: ‘The Albanese Labor government is treating more than 100 former detainees, including convicted murderers and rapists, better than Australians in need of social assistance.
‘It takes an average of 91 days for a pensioner receiving care to receive their benefits, but these offenders receive social assistance in 14 days; this is a shame.
“Not only is the Albanian Labor government giving special treatment to these criminals, they are also trying to hide it from Australians.”
Opposition spokesman for Immigration and Citizenship Dan Tehan said Australians would question the government’s motives.
“If public safety was Labour’s top priority, its response to the release of 149 hardened criminals into the community would not have been a disaster,” he said.
‘If supporting Australians were Labor’s top priority, there wouldn’t be long queues to access welfare payments or see a doctor.
‘It appears the only ambition of the Albanese Labor government was the divisive Voice which wasted $400 million and ended in failure.
‘Australians will be wondering: who does the Labor Party govern for? Because to them it doesn’t feel like I’m ruling.”
Daily Mail Australia has approached the Minister responsible for Services Australia, Bill Shorten, for comment.