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Monday, 2 December 2002
Page: 6978


Senator Nettle asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 24 October 2002:

(1) How many detainees previously held in immigration detention centres are currently held in state prisons.

(2) Who are these detainees.

(3) Where are they being held.

(4) How long will they be held in prison.

(5) Why have they been transferred.

(6) What is the legal basis for this imprisonment


Senator Ellison (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) As at 13 November 2002, there was one detainee, who previously was held in an immigration detention centre, in a state prison.

(2) It would not be appropriate, for privacy reasons, to identify this detainee. However, my Department is prepared to provide this information in a private briefing.

(3) The detainee was being held in the Adelaide Remand Centre, South Australia.

(4) The detainee has been detained in the Adelaide Remand Centre since 11 September 2002. Travel documentation has been received and it is likely that this detainee will be removed from Australia shortly.

(5) The detainee was not transferred from an immigration detention centre to a state correctional facility. The person was detained in a state facility following a visa cancellation in accordance with section 109 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). The detainee had been held on a previous separate occasion in an immigration detention facility.

(6) The person was held in a correctional facility under section 189 of the Act. The definition of immigration detention in the Act includes being held by, or on behalf of, an officer in a prison or remand centre of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory. Employees of correctional services departments and employees of corporations engaged by State or Territory correctional services employed at correctional service facilities in all States and Territories are authorised by Ministerial instrument to be “officers” for the purposes of the Act. These provisions allow for the lawful detention of unlawful non-citizens in state or territory correctional facilities.