Thursday, 16 November 2023

Doorstop interview

Subjects: High Court decision on immigration detention, Visa conditions, Proposed legislation.

I'll make a quick statement and then we'll have to go. This week the Australian High Court made a Full Court decision that restricts the Commonwealth Government's ability to manage people in immigration detention. I just want to make it absolutely clear the implications of the High Court's decision has required by law the Australian Government to release a cohort of people from immigration detention. The Commonwealth Government did not want to do this. If I had any legal power to do it, I would keep every one of those people in detention. Some of those people have committed deplorable, disgusting crimes. I am raising three children in this country, and I want a safe Australia. And that is why our government is managing the mandatory impact of this law and doing everything that we can to keep the community safe at the same time.

Now, we have already done this in a number of ways. We are releasing these people on the strictest possible visa conditions. We have set up a joint police operation between the Australian Border Force, the Australian Federal Police and state and federal police around this country to case manage the mandatory release of these people into the community. Now, today our government will introduce tough new laws into our parliament that will give the Commonwealth the power to put in place very strict visa conditions, new visa conditions that will help us ensure that the community is kept safe during this time. These new conditions are very significant. They include the ability of the Commonwealth to impose ankle monitoring bracelets on people who have been released from detention. They include the power for the Commonwealth to impose very strict curfews on people who have been released from detention. Those are two of a number of new conditions.

Now, one of the things that's really important about this new law is that for the first time there are criminal sanctions imposed to the breaking of visa conditions and there are jail terms attached to the end of that. So, for the people who are released from detention, we did not want to let these people out of detention, but we have a simple message for them. We will set the strictest possible conditions for you. If you do not follow them, you will end up back in jail. Now, we've got a very clear message for the Opposition today. Peter Dutton loved to talk about what a tough guy he is on our borders. But the truth is, words don't make Australia safe, tough laws do. The Opposition has a chance today to help the government make Australia a safer country. They need to come into the parliament and help us pass this law. Thanks, everyone.