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Notice given 1 September 2003

1829  Senator Brown: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—

(1) Given that medical records from Australian Correctional Management’s staff psychologist Ramesh Nair have documented the deteriorating mental health of Iraqi detainee Hasan Sabbagh, who has been held in detention since l999: Why has the department failed to act on any of Dr Nair’s recommendations.

(2) Given that over the past three and half years, Hassan Sabbagh has applied four times to the Minister to be released from detention, with no response: How much longer will he have to wait for a response.

(3) Given that Hassan Sabbagh’s original case for protection against repatriation to Iraq has never been heard and yet the department wants to deport him back to Iraq: Is this against the International Refugee Convention.

1832  Senator Faulkner: To ask the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs—In relation to departmental officers across Australia and in overseas posts considering applications for entry and/or residency visas:

(1) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the statutory requirements for that class of visa; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying statutory requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(2) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of standard requirements for consideration of documentary evidence to substantiate the claims made by the applicant; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying documentary requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(3) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly in the order of receipt of the application; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying order of consideration requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(4) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the merits of the case before them; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying merit requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(5) Are all officers considering visa applications within a class required to consider those applications strictly on the basis of the case before them, irrespective of whether the applicant is represented by a Migration Agent, and irrespective of whether the applicant is represented by a particular Migration Agent; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying relevance requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(6) In relation to each of the application assessment process requirements outlined in parts (1) to (5), are these requirements applied equally when being considered by a departmental officer in Australia or in overseas posts; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying these assessment process requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.

(7) In relation to all of the application assessment process requirements outlined in part (6), are each of these requirements applied equally in all departmental offices across the State of New South Wales; if not: (a) what are the exceptions; (b) what is the reason for a differential approach in applying these application assessment process requirements; (c) how is this differential approach explained to departmental officers considering applications; (d) how is the application of this differential approach monitored by the department; and (e) what consistency or probity safeguards apply.