Legislative Council: Tuesday, February 06, 2024


Immigration Policy

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (15:28): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before directing a question to the Attorney-General about immigration detainees in South Australia.

Leave granted.

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: On 8 November 2023, in the Australian High Court decision for NZYQ v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, the Australian High Court ruled indefinite immigration detention to be unlawful, resulting in the release of individuals, many of whom had their visas cancelled due to character concerns and criminal offences. Last year, the Attorney told this chamber that approximately five of the released detainees are expected to come to South Australia. My questions to the minister are:

1. Can he update the chamber as to how many detainees are in South Australia?

2. Can he advise whether they are all being monitored?

3. Can he advise whether any have been arrested for crimes since their release from detention?

4. Can he advise whether the South Australian government is providing housing to any of the released detainees?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:29): I thank the honourable member for her question. I think, as I informed the chamber sometime late last year, there are joint operations between SA Police, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force to see how to best monitor released detainees after the NZYQ v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs case, as the honourable member talked about last year. In relation to the number who are currently in South Australia, I don't have those figures, but I am more than happy to take it on notice and see if I can bring back a reply for the member on those figures, and also a reply to the honourable member's question about any government housing status of any of those in South Australia.