‘Toughest possible regime’ for immigration detainees

Clare O'Neil is pursuing new laws to lock up offenders recently released from immigration detention.

Clare O'Neil is pursuing new laws to lock up offenders recently released from immigration detention. Photo: AAP

Australia will move to set up the “toughest possible preventative detention regime” after a released asylum seeker went missing.

The former detainee, who refused to wear an electronic tracker, cannot be contacted and has been referred to Australian Federal Police.

More than 140 people have been released into the community after the High Court ruled indefinite detention was unlawful.

The Albanese government is now working to rush through legislation to allow it to re-detain the criminals released after the court on Tuesday afternoon published the reasons behind its decision.

Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil urged the opposition not to stand in the way of laws to protect the public.

“Our government is now going to move quickly to establish the toughest possible preventative detention regime,” she told ABC News.

“Now to do that, we are going to need the Liberals to work with us.

“Peter Dutton is very good at saying ‘no’ and they’ve played a lot of politics with this issue.

“Let’s see now if they come into the parliament and help us keep the Australian community safe.”

Ms O’Neil defended her government’s response to the overturning of a 20-year precedent.

“I just point out to you that within a week and one day of the original High Court decision, we had set up a police operation, we had case managed the people that were required to release in the community,” she said.

“I have never seen an Australian government move so quickly to adapt to a major constitutional decision.”

Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley labelled the home affairs minister “incompetent, hopeless” and “hapless”.

“I’m just tired of Clare O’Neil every single day pointing the finger at the opposition who have led the response to this debacle under her watch from the beginning,” she told Sky News.

Ms Ley said the coalition will work with the government.

“We will look at it carefully, we want detailed briefings, we want to be able to be confident in legislation that we pass will actually keep the community safe,” she said.

“We need it to be done, if the parliament has to sit longer, the parliament has to sit longer.”


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