Thursday, 21 February 2019
Media release

Exclusion orders to manage returning foreign fighters

The Morrison Government today seeks to strengthen the arrangements for managing the return of Australians who pose a terrorism threat through the introduction of legislation for Temporary Exclusion Orders. 

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said that Temporary Exclusion Orders, announced with the Prime Minister on 22 November 2018, recognise the need to control the return and re-entry of foreign fighters and other Australians of counter-terrorism interest.  

"It is vital for our national security that we deal with Australians who travelled to the conflict zone in Iraq and Syria as far from our shores as possible," Mr Dutton said.

"Australians who are involved in supporting terrorism, and who may have fought with terrorists in Syria or Iraq, pose a significant threat, especially since the military collapse of ISIL.

"That's why we're introducing Temporary Exclusion Orders, which would prevent Australians involved in terrorism overseas from legally returning to Australia for up to two years.

"The Temporary Exclusion Orders allow law enforcement and national security agencies to delay, and then monitor and control the return to our community of these people."

The Orders, based on the UK regime of the same name, are able to prevent a person from obtaining an Australian passport. 

Under the legislation, the Minister can make an Order on a person if they suspect on reasonable grounds that the order would prevent a terrorist act, support for a terrorist act, training with a terrorist organisation or support for a terrorist organisation. 

A person subject to a Temporary Exclusion Order can only return legally to Australia through a return permit issued by the Minister, for example, for deportation to Australia by a foreign country. 

"The return permit can specify the conditions under which the person returns to Australia, such as date of return, specific flights and security arrangements, to further manage any potential threat," Mr Dutton said.

"This legislation will support the excellent work our law enforcement and national security agencies already do to manage the return to Australia of foreign fighters."