KIMBERLEY CAINES: All hell will break loose if Albanese Government loses next immigration detention case

Kimberley Caines
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Anthony Albanese and his frontbench will be under unimaginable pressure if the Government loses a High Court challenge over immigration detention.
Anthony Albanese and his frontbench will be under unimaginable pressure if the Government loses a High Court challenge over immigration detention. Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

In 15 days, expect all hell to break loose if the Albanese Government loses a High Court challenge that could see the release of about 170 non-citizens from immigration detention.

Labor will blame Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for putting the community at risk by refusing to pass a Bill through Federal Parliament last week.

That legislation was to give Australia powers to jail people if they refused to co-operate with efforts to deport them.

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But, the Government could not explain why it needed the new laws voted on so urgently.

Shadow immigration minister Dan Tehan said the Coalition was told by Labor during a private briefing it was to get ahead of the April 17 court case but officials have not been willing to put it on the record.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese argued it was to fix a loophole in the migration system and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said it was common sense.

Perhaps the Government can’t say for legal reasons. If that’s the case, then say that.

Labor needs to stop with the secrecy.

This Bill is more than likely to be supported when it next comes up in Parliament after being scrutinised by an inquiry.

The Coalition has been very vocal about wanting the Government to have the toughest of laws when it comes to immigration detention and community safety.

But how could Albanese and his party expect the law to pass on Wednesday after the Opposition only saw the Bill for the first time on Tuesday?

The legislation started being drafted three weeks before this. Why not mention it then?

The media was given a rare briefing 10 days later on March 15. Why not mention it then?

Labor was trying to give the impression it was this time getting ahead of the immigration detention debacle that started in November when the court ruled it unlawful to keep non-citizens locked up indefinitely.

Once again, the Government is on the back foot and the issue remains a debacle.

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