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Last Updated: Thursday 26 September 2019

Coalition blocking release of major review into refugee resettlement

25 September 2019

Final report delivered in February but minister does not intend to release it until year end

The Morrison government is sitting on a major review it commissioned last year to explore better ways of resettling humanitarian migrants in Australia.

The review into integration, employment, and settlement outcomes for refugees and humanitarian entrants, was led by Prof Peter Shergold, the former secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, now coordinator general of refugee resettlement in NSW.

Guardian Australia understands the final report was delivered to government in February but the immigration minister, David Coleman, does not intend to release it until the end of this year, when it’s expected to be published along with the government’s response.

Read the full article here.

Biloela Tamil family deportation case: asylum seekers can stay until final hearing

19 September 2019

Federal court rules the family has a prima facie case to stay, and government cannot deport them to Sri Lanka until a final hearing

Two Tamil asylum seekers and their Australian-born daughters will remain in Australia for the foreseeable future after a federal court decided to hear their case.

Priya, Nadesalingam and their children, Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, were sent to Christmas Island last month after the federal court granted an injunction preventing the government deporting Tharunicaa until the court application had been heard.

In federal court on Thursday, Justice Mordecai Bromberg found that the family had established a prima facie case to keep them in Australia until the case goes to a final hearing at a date still yet to be determined.

Read the full article here.

Paladin forced to pay back $5.7m for failures in offshore detention services

18 September 2019

The company, which holds a $423m contract for services on Manus Island, has blamed breaches on an ‘inability to deploy expat personnel’

The offshore detention security contractor Paladin has had to pay back $5.7m to the Australian government for thousands of breaches of its key performance indicators.

Documents produced to the Senate on Monday reveal that from May 2018 to April 2019 the contractor was forced to credit back $3.1m of its $423m contract value and faced an adverse assessment for a further $8.1m for the month of July 2018.

Asked about the final outcome for that month, the home affairs department referred Guardian Australia to a document showing Paladin was charged just $2.6m because the contract caps fines at 15% of monthly fees.

Read the full article here.

The hypocrisy, double standards and micro-cruelties at heart of Biloela case

18 September 2019

The Coalition says there can be no exceptions but is happy to help au pairs, while Labor has chosen to fight on this case but ignore hundreds of others

The circumstances of the Tamil family at the centre of the battle playing out between the federal court in Melbourne and Christmas Island are heartbreaking and traumatic. Few who watched footage of the deportation attempt could argue against that, but the circumstances of the case are not particularly unique save for the outcry and support it has garnered.

It’s a fact that the family have been denied protection as refugees. Their cases were not found to be strong enough, but the family has said those assessing their case looked at the wrong things. While it went through several levels of the court system, their actual claims for protection were never reassessed.

It is also a fact that the manner in which Priya and her daughter Kopika were assessed has been heavily criticised for a number of years, and not just for how they were assessed but how everyone was assessed.

Read the full article here.

Not a 'Headline' as such, but a good article from Shaminda Kanapathi

14 September 2019

As the government of Papua New Guinea has vowed to remove all refugees from Manus Island, most of us who have been detained there for almost seven years are being transported to Port Moresby

It is a big change for us: disturbing and disruptive in many ways. Some 55 men have now been transferred.

In Port Moresby, we have been herded into various hotels, depending on our status in relation to resettlement in the United States.


Those who have already been accepted by the US, and are waiting to be resettled there, are being held at Lodge 10.

Read the full article here.

Peter Dutton’s Tyranny

12 September 2019

On the minister’s treatment of the Tamil asylum-seeker family and his pursuit of power

The Greens reckon that Peter Dutton is a sadist – that he positively enjoys inflicting cruelty on his defenceless victims.

But this is probably unfair to the potato-headed potentate. Dutton is certainly heartless, but his cruelty, while undoubtedly real, is more of an inevitable consequence of his demeanour than a deliberate agenda.

What the Home Affairs minister really enjoys is power – what George Orwell once described as the image of a boot stamping down on a human face. He exults in trampling his opponents, leaving them defeated and demoralised. He gets his kicks not so much from tormenting them, but from crushing them into impotent misery.

Read the full article here.

Peter Dutton says Biloela Tamil children are ‘anchor babies’ used to help case

12 September 2019

Minister says activists are trying to bully government in asylum seeker fight that has cost taxpayers ‘millions of dollars’

Peter Dutton has referred to the two children of the Biloela Tamil family as “anchor babies” and blamed them for costing taxpayers millions of dollars in incendiary comments defending the government’s decision to deport the family.

In an interview on Thursday the home affairs minister echoed anti-immigrant rhetoric from the United States, borrowing a term used by Donald Trump to justify a plan to end birth-right citizenship, to claim Labor, the Greens and refugee activists are attempting to “bully” the Morrison government into allowing the family to stay.

Labor has already emphatically rejected the label, arguing that it wants Dutton to allow Priya, Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children Kopika, 4, and Tharunicaa, 2, to remain in Australia because they have been accepted by the community of Biloela in regional Queensland.

Read the full article here.

Home affairs data 'gives lie' to Coalition's refusal to let Biloela Tamil family stay

7 September 2019

Fifty-two refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention have received temporary protection visas or safe haven enterprise visas

Some 52 refugees and asylum seekers in offshore detention have received temporary protection visas or safe haven enterprise visas, according to new statistics that fly in the face of the Morrison government’s refusal to allow the Biloela Tamil family to stay.

Ihe home affairs department has revealed to a Senate inquiry that of the 3,127 people classified as “illegal maritime arrivals” who have been taken to a regional processing country since 2011, some 52 have received visas and now face legal limbo if banned from permanent settlement in Australia.

Fourteen families are set to be broken up by a government bill to prevent asylum seekers who were sent to regional processing coming to Australia, it said. The statistics also reveal that of a total of 5,191 asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat 2,074 people were never transferred to a regional processing country.

Read the full article here.

Not a 'Headline' as such, but a good article from Behrouz Boochani

7 September 2019

Peter Dutton’s claims that medevac laws have resulted in a dramatic increase in self-harm on Manus and Nauru only highlight the government’s insensitivity and ignorance when dealing with asylum seekers

In recent weeks, political debate over the medevac legislation has re-emerged in the Australian media. The Liberal Party pushes its view that the legislation needs to change. In order to achieve its objectives, the party has continued its chaotic program of propaganda and hate – a tactic Peter Dutton and his fellow ministers have used for years to maintain the policy of exiling refugees to Manus and Nauru.

Dutton made scathing accusations against refugees, saying they self-harm only so they can come to Australia using the medevac laws. He claims advocates push them to engage in these acts.

Read the full article here.

Not a 'Headline' as such, but a good article from Rod Bower

7 September 2019

Biloela showing community spirit

As I write, I am struggling to comprehend that Sri Lankan couple Priya and Nadesalingam and their Australian-born daughters, Kopika and Tharunicaa, continue to face an uncertain future. Meanwhile, back in Biloela, a traumatised town will be attempting to come to terms with how “un-Australian” the community really is.


The Tamil family spent four years residing in this small Queensland community, 120 kilometres south-west of Gladstone. Nades had taken up a not-very-sought-after job at the local meatworks, and both he and Priya contributed to Biloela society in myriad ways, forging deep and abiding bonds. According to our prime minister, “If you have a go, you get a go.” As it turns out, this maxim doesn’t apply to everyone.


Read the full article here.

Tamil family to stay on Christmas Island after deportation case delayed

6 September 2019

Federal court hearing to determine if Biloela asylum seeker family will be deported to Sri Lanka has been delayed until 18 September

Two Tamil asylum seekers and their Australian-born daughters will remain on Christmas Island for at least 12 days after a federal court hearing to determine whether they would be deported to Sri Lanka was delayed until 18 September.

Priya, Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born children Kopika, four, and Tharunicaa, two, were sent to Christmas Island almost a week ago after the court granted an injunction preventing the government deporting Tharunicaa until the court application had been heard.

The case centred around the fact that until this week the government had not considered whether Tharunicaa was owed protection under Australia’s international obligations

Read the full article here.

Scott Morrison refuses to intervene for Tamil family facing deportation to Sri Lanka

2 September 2019

Prime minister backs Peter Dutton, saying he cannot ‘in good conscience’ allow family that had settled in Biloela to stay

The prime minister says he cannot “in good conscience” allow a Tamil couple and their Australian-born children facing deportation to stay in Australia, saying any softening of the government’s hardline boats policy would be exploited by people smugglers.

Despite public rallies over the weekend in support of the family and calls from Labor to show “compassion” in the case, Scott Morrison said he would not be granting an exception.

“That’s not how you run strong borders,” he said..

Read the full article here.

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Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


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