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Last Updated: Friday 21 February 2020
Judge tells government to give documents to Biloela family's lawyer after ‘overenthusiastic’ redactions
17 February 2020
Non-redacted documents of briefing between Peter Dutton and Sri Lankan authorities should be given to family’s lawyer, judge says
The federal government has provided heavily redacted documents to lawyers representing a Tamil family detained on Christmas Island, entirely blacking out details of discussions between Australian and Sri Lankan authorities on the matter.
In a pre-hearing before Melbourne’s federal court on Monday, lawyers representing the family, known as the Bileola family after the Queensland town where they had been living, said they had also been given a redacted document about a ministry briefing between the home affairs minister Peter Dutton and the department secretary.
The documents had been received late on Sunday night but could prove “critical” to the case when it is heard on Friday, lawyer Angel Aleksov said, who is representing Priya and Nades and their Australian-born daughters Kopika and Tharunicaa.
'Finally, a life': Canada comes to the rescue when a refugee family loses hope in Australia
8 February 2020
Dima, Hani and their son escaped the hopelessness of detention through sponsorship that led to permanent residency, in Toronto
Dima first appeared in the headlines three years ago. Back then, she was a 37-year-old anonymous refugee on Nauru with a potentially life-threatening pregnancy, being refused a critically needed transfer to Australia. When the Australian government finally agreed, Nauru’s ministry refused to let her go.
Eventually, at 38 weeks pregnant, suffering suspected pre-eclampsia and with her baby in breech, Dima was flown to Cairns. Her husband, Hani, was left behind.
It took almost two years before she and her family were reunited – across the country in Adelaide, in the limbo of community detention.
'Hysterical and ruinous': Christmas Island furious over Australia's coronavirus plans
6 February 2020
There is disquiet over the decision to quarantine Wuhan evacuees on an island that thought it had left behind its prison image
“We are a colony. That’s how we are treated.”
In 22 years on this island, Gordon Thomson, president of Christmas Island shire and head of the island’s workers’ union, has fought and lost too many battles with the commonwealth of Australia for diplomatic niceties.
“The commonwealth is all-powerful on this island, and they are exerting all of their authority to run this operation,” he says of the latest incarnation of the island’s immigration detention centre, as a quarantine station for Australians evacuated from the global centre of the coronavirus, Wuhan in China.
Government reverses decision to charge Australians fleeing China if they’re from marginal electorates
2 February 2020
Australia will pay for PM's about-face on $1000 Wuhan co-payment - Peter Dutton says mining camps could be used as coronavirus quarantine sites
The Australian government has today reversed its stance on charging certain citizens a fee for using a chartered flight to escape the Coronavirus infested region of Wuhan.
Bill Rort from the Department of Foreign Affairs spoke with reporters this afternoon, said it was simply unfair to charge Liberal voters extra to fly home, stating “after careful review of where these affected people reside we are now more than happy to financially assist some of them, as set out in this colour coded spreadsheet.”
Is ScoMo Going To Remove The Biloela Family From Christmas Island Before Turning It Into A Quarantine Zone?
30 January 2020
WHERE DID THE EMPATHY TRAINING GO @SCOMO? WHERE?!
In the latest controversial news around our unfortunate Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the government has announced that they are going to transport Aussie nationals who are currently in/near Wuhan to be quarantined on Christmas Island, in case of coronavirus spread.
Basically, what that means is they’re locking up Chinese-Australians in a refugee camp for two weeks. And, worse still, they’re actually charging them for the costs of evacuation. WTF.
Four-year-old Christmas Island detainee to be escorted to first day of school by guards
28 January 2020
The eldest daughter of the Tamil family currently detained on Christmas Island will attend her first day of school on Monday as the court case aiming to stop their deportation continues.
The four-year-old daughter of a Tamil family held in detention on Christmas Island will be escorted to her first day of school by guards.
Kopika, who has been in immigration detention with her parents, Priya and Nadesalingam, and younger sister Tharunicaa, 2, since March 2018, is very excited about seeing her friends when she starts school on Monday, a family friend and advocate Amanda Fredericks said.
The family were moved from a Melbourne detention centre to the remote island just south of Indonesia in August last year after a legal bid delayed their deportation.
Not a 'Headline' as such, but a good article, highlighting (as if we needed further proof), the duplicity of Peter Dutton.
24 January 2020
Dutton's McKenzie defence fails audit test
AAP FactCheck Investigation:
Did deputy Nationals leader Bridget McKenzie fund programs that were recommended for funding?
"Bridget McKenzie made recommendations, as I understand it, on advice from the sporting body that these programs that have been funded were recommended."
Peter Dutton, Home Affairs Minister. January 23, 2020.
False - The checkable claims are all false
Deputy National Party leader Bridget McKenzie is under heavy pressure over her handing of a sports grants scheme that was found to have given money to clubs in marginal Coalition seats and electorates targeted by the Coalition government for the 2019 election.
Last asylum seekers held in Papua New Guinea detention centre released
24 January 2020
Final 18 men moved from Manus Island to the Bomana facility are now in hotels but some are so ill they can not eat
Eighteen men who were held in isolation and poor conditions in Papua New Guinea’s Bomana immigration detention centre have been released.
In August, PNG authorities arrested 52 men who had previously been detained on Manus Island on behalf of the Australian government after seeking asylum by boat.
As of January this year, just 18 of the 52 men remained in the detention centre, after the others had been removed having agreed to return to their country of origin.
Peter Dutton's office was suspected of leaking 'classified' medevac information
23 January 2020
FOI documents show a member of Peter Dutton's office wanted to know how much it would cost to medevac refugees to Taiwan..... A day later, the information appeared in The Courier Mail........The AFP investigated the disclosure but determined no further action was required
The office of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was suspected of leaking information it was told was classified about the cost of medically evacuating refugees to Taiwan, as the Government geared up to campaign against newly passed medevac legislation last year.
The disclosure of the information concerned the secretary of the Home Affairs Department, Michael Pezzullo, so greatly that he requested the matter be referred to the Australian Federal Police for investigation.
In February 2019, parliament passed new legislation that provided greater power to medical practitioners to transfer asylum seekers and refugees with medical conditions to Australia for care.
Leaked photos of Papua New Guinea prison reveal 'torture' of 18 asylum seekers cut off from world
15 January 2020
Conditions inside Australia-funded Bomana centre prompted dozens to agree to return to country of origin
Leaked pictures from inside Papua New Guinea’s Bomana immigration detention centre have given a glimpse of where up to 20 asylum seekers still remain locked up by PNG authorities, despite widespread concerns for their health, welfare and legal rights.
Despite around 30 men being released after signing agreements to return to their country of origin, Guardian Australia understands all remain in PNG.
In August PNG authorities arrested 52 men who had previously been detained on Manus Island on behalf of the Australian government after seeking asylum by boat.