top of page
  • Writer's pictureFlow Australia

Federal funding to keep checks on released detainees

The federal government will spend $255 million to better keep tabs on people released from immigration detention after a High Court ruling.

People released from immigration detention will come under greater scrutiny after the federal government allocated $255 million to enforce strict visa conditions.

More than 90 detainees were released recently after the High Court ruled indefinite detention unlawful.

The cohort of freed immigrants included some convicted criminals and though they had already served their prison sentences, growing outrage and concerns over a perceived danger to the community prompted the government to rush through emergency laws that would impose strict visa conditions on the former detainees.

The funding provides $88 million for the Australian Federal Police for regional response teams and personnel to investigate breaches of such visa conditions.

The government said the money would secure the ability of agencies to ensure individuals were abiding by the terms of their release, including curfews and wearing ankle monitors, and would increase the capacity to bring prosecutions against those who breached their conditions.

The package will also include $150 million for the Australian Border Force to provide additional staff in compliance, investigations, removal and surveillance functions.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil said the government's priority was to protect the community within the limits of the law.

"This funding will ensure that our agencies are able to dedicate the time and resources that will be required to manage this cohort into the future," she said.

"We will continue to work with law enforcement and immigration agencies to make sure they have the resources they need to do this difficult work."

Opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan said the government should be more transparent.

"We want to make sure the government knows what it's doing when it comes to these detainees," he said on Monday.

"We still do not know whether they are being monitored, whether they're wearing ankle bracelets and it seems there is legal uncertainty around this."

The reasons behind the High Court's decision are yet to be released but the crux of the argument was that the government could not punish criminal guilt, which lies within the remit of courts.

In parliament this week, independent MP Kylea Tink will move to stop the government from indefinitely detaining non-citizens and ban it from holding children in immigration detention.

Ms Tink's proposed legislation was in the works before the High Court decision.

The private member's bill will cap immigration detention at 90 days, after which the detainee can apply to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in the absence of a decision by the minister.


bottom of page