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Fourth recently released immigration detainee arrested

Senior Labor ministers are under pressure over the release of the detainees.

Senior Labor ministers are under pressure over the release of the detainees. Photo: AAP

A fourth man recently freed from immigration detention has been arrested as the government seeks to put some of the worst offenders back behind bars.

The 45-year-old was charged by Australian Federal Police on Wednesday after allegedly breaking the curfew of his visa conditions and stealing luggage at Melbourne airport.

A preventative detention regime usually reserved for terrorists is set to cover the freed detainees who pose an unacceptable risk of committing a serious violent or sexual offence.

The legislation is set to pass Parliament on Wednesday after former laws were struck out by the High Court as unconstitutional.

Of the nearly 150 detainees, four have allegedly reoffended. Two of these are registered sex offenders.

Emran Dad, 33, faced court on Tuesday charged with breaching his reporting obligations to police after he allegedly contacted a child and didn’t disclose social media accounts.

The heads of Australian Border Force and the Australian Federal Police on Wednesday briefed the Prime Minister and premiers on Operation Aegis, the joint operation to ensure community safety in the wake of the High Court decision.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has also been in contact with state and territory ministers to ensure necessary preparations to keep the community safe were under way.

Court applications had been drafted in anticipation of the laws passing.

“We’ve already begun working through the worst offenders,” he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

Layers of protection were being put in place to ensure Australians’ safety, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil added.

The new laws would be able to withstand a High Court challenge after previous ones were struck out, she said.

“The safety of the Australian community is paramount to us.”

Neither minister confirmed how many people would be covered by the new laws or how many applications were in the works.

The reason the timing and number of detention orders were not being released was due to the risk cases could be prejudiced, Foreign Minister Penny Wong told Parliament.

The detainees’ offences were also kept secret despite Giles previously telling Parliament there were three murderers and several sex offenders among the cohort.

The Opposition has chastised the government for not having legislation ready to implement as soon as the court’s decision was handed down so offenders weren’t released.

“They said we didn’t need a preventative detention regime or that we couldn’t have a preventative detention regime,” Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said.

“The next thing the home affairs minister said was Parliament won’t leave until we have such a regime, how could that possibly inspire confidence in people about community safety?”

But Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus slammed the Coalition for not understanding how High Court judgments work.

The government cannot out-legislate the constitution, Dreyfus said.

Any delay could expose the Commonwealth and individual public servants to legal action and damages, he said.

“The decision of the High Court sets a new limit on the power to detain anyone in the same position as the plaintiff in that case and it had to be implemented immediately,” he said.

The debate on the laws was a race to the bottom as while “some of them have committed heinous crimes, many of them haven’t”, Greens leader Adam Bandt said.

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732)

National Sexual Abuse and Redress Support Service 1800 211 028

Lifeline 13 11 14

Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 (for people aged 5 to 25)

-AAP
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