Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee
02/03/2021
Migration and Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020

CALDWELL, Ms Caitlin, Member, Visa Cancellations Working Group [via video link]

KEENE-McCANN, Ms Jennifer, Member, Visa Cancellations Working Group [via video link]

Committee met at 10:03

CHAIR ( Senator Henderson ): I declare open this public hearing of the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee's inquiry into the provisions of the Migration and Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening Information Provisions) Bill 2020. The committee's proceedings today will follow the program as circulated. These are public proceedings being broadcast live via the web and in Parliament House.

I remind witnesses that, in giving evidence to the committee, they are protected by parliamentary privilege. It is unlawful for anyone to threaten or disadvantage a witness on account of evidence given to a committee and such action may be treated by the Senate as a contempt. It is also a contempt to give false or misleading evidence to the committee. The committee prefers evidence to be given in public, but under the Senate's resolutions witnesses have the right to request to be heard in confidence, described as being in camera. If you are a witness today and intend to request to give evidence in camera, please bring this to the attention of the secretariat as soon as possible.

If a witness objects to answering a question, the witness should state the ground upon which the objection is taken and the committee will determine whether it will insist on an answer, having regard to the ground which is claimed. If the committee determines to insist on an answer, a witness may request that the answer be given in camera. Such a request may of course also be made at any other time.

With the formalities over, I welcome everyone here today. We now move to our first witnesses appearing before us. Do you have any comments to make on the capacity in which you appear?

Ms Caldwell : I'm a migration agent.

CHAIR: Do you have an opening statement?

Ms Keene-McCann : We do. We would like to thank the committee for inviting the Visa Cancellations Working Group both to provide a submission and to be here today. We acknowledge we are speaking from Aboriginal land—I am calling in from Wurundjeri land—and we pay our respects to elders past, present and emerging, and to any First Nations people who may be joining in today.

For reference, the Visa Cancellations Working Group is a national group with significant expertise in the area of visa cancellation and migration more generally. The working group is comprised of individuals from private law firms, not-for-profit organisations, community legal centres and tertiary institutions. Some of our members will be providing evidence later today. We have previously been invited to give evidence to Senate committee inquiries, and we're grateful for this opportunity.

The Visa Cancellations Working Group strongly recommends that this bill be rejected. In sum, this is because of four primary points. Firstly, the bill's definition of what constitutes protected information lacks sufficient clarity and provides undue and excessive discretion to the Minister for Home Affairs and the executive. Secondly, the bill precludes applicants and, indeed, Australian citizens, as well as their legal representatives, from reviewing adverse information, thereby denying natural justice in their matter. Thirdly, the potential impact of the bill is disproportionate to its aims, including depriving individuals of their rights under Australia's international obligations, while lacking adequate evidence to indicate the bill's necessity. Finally, the bill adds to the complexity of a system that is already rife with delay and opacity. This is particularly detrimental to those who are unrepresented. In short, this bill raises concerns for rule-of-law principles such as procedural fairness, access to justice and adherence to international law.

While we would be happy to discuss each of these points, it is important to also impress upon the committee the devastating effects of visa cancellations. The consequences of visa cancellation and citizenship revocation, which this bill makes more likely by denying an individual the ability to be aware of and challenge adverse information, are grave. Those who are owed protection may be returned to countries in which they face death or serious harm, in direct contravention of Australia's obligations under the refugee convention. Those who cannot be returned but are not given a visa on the basis of information they may not know exists face indefinite detention. Moreover, such decisions irreparably affect not only the life of the individual in question but also the lives of their friends, colleagues, partners or spouses, and children, who themselves are all a part of the Australian community.

Regarding character cancellations, which this bill's explanatory memorandum appears to address, practitioners have already seen unfounded and highly prejudicial communications between law enforcement authorities, media and the department—even about people who are still teenagers. This bill permits the minister to label, control and use adverse information against an individual while removing their ability to know and respond to the case against them unless and until the minister provides that information to a court. Our current system regarding cancellations is inefficient, cost prohibitive and difficult to navigate. Because of this, as one member of the working group eloquently said: 'Our clients are already facing department decisions with both hands tied behind their back. With this bill it's as if we're amputating their hands.' For these reasons, the working group strongly recommends this bill be rejected. We welcome the opportunity for the committee's questions.

CHAIR: Thank you for your opening statement. I have a few questions before I—

Senator KIM CARR: Excuse me. I seek to table the documents from the Commonwealth of Australia government gazette, which is notices under section 503A of the Migration Act 1958, which is the list of organisations and agencies that the Commonwealth's relying upon to provide advice on these matters, these characters matters, which are referred to in this bill. And, further, the list of countries under schedule 2, list of foreign law enforcement countries or parts of foreign law enforcement countries that the department relies upon to provide advice on these matters. I'll be seeking to ask witnesses about those matters. I've asked the secretariat if they could provide copies of that to the witnesses.

CHAIR: I thank you very much, Senator Carr.

Senator KIM CARR: Is that tabled?

CHAIR: Yes, thank you very much, Senator Carr. We will arrange to have a copy of that document distributed to witnesses. I will start by asking you a number of questions, and then I will hand over to other senators. Has your organisation ever advocated for a measure which would expand or facilitate visa cancellation powers?

Ms Keene-McCann : Not to my knowledge. I'd be happy to—

CHAIR: Thank you. Does your organisation include any representatives from victims-of-crime groups at all?

Ms Keene-McCann : Not to my knowledge.

CHAIR: Did your organisation consult with any victims-of-crime groups before making your submission to this inquiry?

Ms Keene-McCann : No.

CHAIR: Have you ever met with victims of crime or victims-of-crime groups?

Ms Keene-McCann : I have met with victims of crime, understanding that some of the clients that we have previously represented are themselves victims of crime. I'm happy to defer to my colleague as well.

CHAIR: When you say you've met with victims of crime, was that in relation to these matters?

Ms Keene-McCann : Not in relation to these matters. I defer to my colleague, however.

Ms Caldwell : I have not met with victims of crime in relation to these matters either. We'd be happy to take that question on notice and put it out to the rest of our colleagues to see whether or not any of our colleagues have. But me personally? I have not.

CHAIR: Are you aware that your submission to this inquiry does not mention victims of crime at all—not even once?

Ms Keene-McCann : Yes, that's correct. Particularly in our capacity where we represent people who have had or are facing character cancellation, many of our clients themselves have also been in situations where they are victims of crime or they have been victims of inequity and inequality. I appreciate the line of questioning, and I understand it, but I would say that doesn't—sorry, I don't know if my connection is poor.

CHAIR: No, I can hear you.

Ms Keene-McCann : The rights of victims of crime and the experiences of victims of crime of course should be taken into consideration. What we are arguing is not that the crimes committed against—

CHAIR: Could I just clarify though: if that's the case, that the rights of the victims of crime should be taken into consideration, including in relation to the bill before us today, why hasn't that been referenced at all in your submission?

Ms Keene-McCann : That's an excellent question. To be honest, our submission was put together very quickly, given that we had 11 working days to provide it. To be clear about our concerns about the character regime, there are instances where an individual's visa can be cancelled on suspicion of association with groups, on suspicion of poor character. We're not only talking, in the character regime, about individuals who have been sentenced for serious crimes. So while I completely respect that, that's where our submission is coming from.

CHAIR: Thank you both very much. I don't have any further questions at this time, and I will hand over to Senator Carr.

Senator KIM CARR: How important are the principles of a fair trial to our judicial system, in your view?

Ms Caldwell : We believe strongly that the principles of natural justice and the right to a fair trial underpin our judicial system. They're principles that are foundational to our legal system and they have been upheld as one of the cornerstones of the Australian legal system, so any bill that seeks to deny that to applicants should be subject to a very, very, very high level of scrutiny.

Senator KIM CARR: Are the principles of a fair trial in a country like Australia dependent upon the capacity of a person accused knowing what they're accused of?

Ms Keene-McCann : Yes, the principles of a fair trial, in any country and under international law, includes being able to respond to adverse information.

Senator KIM CARR: Is that sometimes referred to as natural justice and procedural fairness?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, it is.

Senator KIM CARR: Do you think that's fundamental to the principles of a fair trial?

Ms Caldwell : We do, yes.

Ms Keene-McCann : Absolutely.

Senator KIM CARR: Sorry?

Ms Keene-McCann : I was going to say absolutely—and given circumstances, where the consequences of a hearing or decision are as grave as to deprive someone of their liberty or to return them to harm, they're fundamental.

Senator KIM CARR: Is it normal, in terms of descriptions of a fair trial in a country like Australia, that a person is accused of an offence or whose liberty is in question may not be accused of an offence at all—they may have their liberty put in question—is able to have proper legal representation? The Hansard record doesn't record nods, I'm afraid.

Ms Keene-McCann : Apologies. We were reaching for the unmute button!

Senator KIM CARR: Does this bill offend those principles, in your mind?

Ms Caldwell : Absolutely. This bill, as it's currently framed, will deprive applicants and their legal representatives, should they have legal representation, from knowing that adverse information against them has been found and taken into account. It will prevent applicants and their legal representatives from being able to respond to that information. Therefore—without the right of reply, without the right to even know what has been taken into account in terms of making this decision—it will deny the right of a fair trial and it fails to observe the principles of natural justice.

Senator KIM CARR: The Law Council's made some submission to us, amongst others. They, like all the submissions we have before us today, are highly critical of this bill, because those fundamental principles of our legal system are being undermined by this legislation. I can also turn to the Human Rights Commission submission. It says:

At the heart of the common law tradition is 'a method of administering justice'. That method requires judges who are independent of government to preside over courts held in public in which each party has a full opportunity to present its own case and to meet the case against it. Antithetical to that tradition is the idea of a court, closed to the public, in which only one party, a government party, is present, and in which the judge is required by law to hear evidence and argument which neither the other party nor its legal representatives is allowed to hear.

Do you believe that this bill would set in train a measure such as been outlined by the Human Rights Commission in the quote that I have just read to you?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, we do. We believe that this would set a very dangerous precedent and, fundamentally, has the ability to result in practical injustices.

Senator KIM CARR: Can you explain why?

Ms Caldwell : The provisions of the bill, first of all, are unnecessarily broad. There is no definition either in the Migration Act or the Citizenship Act of what actually constitutes confidential information. This bill relies on information from a gazetted agency. Again, there is no scrutiny. The act of gazetting an agency is purely discretionary. It is not subject to scrutiny and, therefore, this bill has the potential to encapsulate a wide variety of agencies, possibly providing adverse information and, again, that information would not be disclosed to the other party.

Senator KIM CARR: So we have secret information, provided in secret to one side in the proceedings, is that the proposition you're putting to this committee?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, that is.

Senator KIM CARR: I've sent you some documents. Do you have those documents—those gazetted lists? So that information could be provided by the North Korean government, the Chinese government, the Iranian government about persons who are currently residents in Australia who might be citizens of Australia, and that information couldn't be challenged by the person that is being subject to action by the Commonwealth: Is that the evidence that you present to this committee?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, that is as we understand it. The bill would allow secretive information from those agencies to be provided to the government without the other party to the matter being aware of that information being provided or—

Senator KIM CARR: I just want to be clear. Those countries are all on the list, aren't they: North Korea, Iran, various Middle Eastern countries, China?

These are countries that don't abide by the rule of law as we understand it. Is that the case?

Ms Keene-McCann : Importantly, these are also countries from which clients that we may represent may be claiming protection or may have claimed protection. It is particularly anathema to imagine, but that information could be shared or flowed between governments and used against an individual.

Senator KIM CARR: If I look at the agencies that are listed on this list of so-called intelligence bodies, it includes the department of social security and the department of The Treasury. That's correct, isn't it?

Ms Keene-McCann : That's our understanding.

Senator KIM CARR: There are various state departments.

Ms Keene-McCann : That's our understanding.

Senator KIM CARR: And these are organisations that have never, ever made a mistake, aren't they!

Ms Keene-McCann : I agree. Already in the character cancellation regime there is the opportunity to use information or have information included in an individual's file, to which their representative may not know what had been taken into account in the decision-making process that could be erroneous. That already exists in the E regime, and this only increases that possibility.

Senator KIM CARR: The normal principles that we have in our judicial system are that you are—and particularly if your liberty is at stake, and the Refugee Council and other bodies deal with these issues on a daily basis. We have a situation where persons may lose their citizenship but can't be actually sent to another country and may well end up in detention indefinitely. Is that a prospect that you are aware of?

Ms Keene-McCann : That's a very real prospect.

Senator KIM CARR: And they may well be faced with a situation based on information provided by a whole series of countries with very, very dubious judicial systems or by agencies which have a long track record of making errors, and that advice can't be challenged through this legislative instrument. Is that the submission you're making?

Ms Keene-McCann : That is.

CHAIR: Senator Carr, I'm sorry, but I do want to clarify one thing here, because I think it needs to be made clear and you've referenced foreign governments. The information provided by foreign governments would only be withheld if it was the judge which exercised his or her discretion in accordance with—

Senator KIM CARR: Well, you can ask your questions, Madam Chair. I'm asking mine.

CHAIR: I understand that, but I just need to clarify that this information—

Senator KIM CARR: Madam Chair, you can question all you like, but the point is—

CHAIR: It's very important—

Senator KIM CARR: Well, it's not very important—it goes to the principles of the bill.

CHAIR: I would just ask the witnesses to clarify that it is a discretion of the judge as to whether the information is withheld. Is that correct?

Ms Keene-McCann : I'm happy to clarify that, Senator, and thank you for that. That is our understanding of the bill. However, it requires giving up to a court. Decisions made in these circumstances are often made initially by the department. It then needs to be challenged. It may go to the AAT. The AAT may not have the information unless the minister decides to issue that information to a tribunal. It is only when it potentially gets challenged in a court that there is a question about whether the minister may use this information and decide whether it can be withheld. And our point of view—one of our primary issues—is that many people in this space go unrepresented, and the more vulnerable they are the less likely they are to be able to get to a position where a court is hearing this.

CHAIR: Thanks. Senator Carr?

Senator KIM CARR: So how would your client, for instance—their legal representatives—know about this secret information?

Ms Caldwell : We are very concerned because we don't believe that our clients will know about this secretive information. To our knowledge, the bill does provide for the other party to put forward to a court that this information should be disclosed. As my colleague has said, however, this relies on the matter being before a court. It also relies on the applicant or their legal representatives knowing that there is information that has been found against them, and the content of that information. We can't argue or put forward that information should be disclosed when we don't know whether there is information or what the substance of that is, except on the basis of natural justice. This bill would mean that all we would be to say, to the best of my knowledge, is that in the interests of natural justice and a fair trial—which form the cornerstone of our legal system—our clients have a right to know this adverse information.

Senator KIM CARR: Would not a judge benefit from seeking submissions from the defence counsel? Is that normal practice in the courts in Australia?

Ms Caldwell : I will defer this to Jennifer. Jennifer, are you happy to speak to this one?

Ms Keene-McCann : Sure, I'm happy to. It is normal practice under the rule of law to be able to answer a case against you.

Senator KIM CARR: In the normal course of events in a court proceeding—I'm not a lawyer; I've just observed this—judges normally seek submissions from defence counsel and ask them to make submissions about evidence that's presented. Would it not normally be the case that a court would seek advice from the defence as to matters before the court—factual matters, for instance, or their view on the matter? We have a submission here that says:

Nor does it appear that the court is able to disclose part of the secret information (such as the gist of the information or a discrete element of the information) even in circumstances where a partial disclosure could assist the court without creating a real risk of damage to the public interest.

How does a judge call upon the defence to actually make comment upon secret information?

Ms Keene-McCann : Presently, the bill does not provide for that.

Senator KIM CARR: Furthermore, is it not the provision of this bill that the AAT can be obliged not to consider matters if the minister issues instructions, under this measure, in regard to the powers of the AAT, in regard to the schedule of this bill? Is that the case? Is the AAT actually limited as to what information it has as well?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, we believe that that is the case.

Senator KIM CARR: Is it not the provision of this bill to limit the FOI Act to prevent public disclosures under the FOI Act?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, we believe that this bill would also limit public disclosures under the FOI Act.

Senator KIM CARR: Is it not the proposal of this bill to override any other law of the Commonwealth—I repeat: any other law of the Commonwealth—to prevent people providing access to the Commonwealth Ombudsman, the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the Information Commissioner and the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security? Is that not the provision of this legislation?

Ms Caldwell : Yes, we believe the bill would enable that.

Senator KIM CARR: So how is this not fascist legislation? It's an extraordinary proposition!

CHAIR: We probably don't need the dramatics, Senator Carr.

Senator KIM CARR: Let's be clear about this. You've had 11 days to make a comment on this bill. You've been questioned as to who you've consulted. Did the department consult you before this bill was put in?

CHAIR: Senator Carr, I would just ask you to lower the temperature of your questioning.

Senator KIM CARR: Madam Chair, this is a shocking piece of legislation. You want to criticise these witnesses because they haven't referred to victims of crime. I say that the crime here is the government wanting to pursue legislation like this. Really, it is improper for you to challenge their validity and integrity when they have, in good faith, put a submission in to this committee.

CHAIR: Senator Carr, do you have a question, please?

Senator KIM CARR: I have asked them: what consultation was there with your organisation before this legislation was presented to the Senate, given that it appeared in the last week of the House of Representatives sittings? There has only been one speaker; that's the minister. There's been no consultation with anyone else, as far as I know, but it may be that you can correct me. Has there been any consultation with you?

Ms Caldwell : There has not. These were submissions that we did indeed have to scramble to get together. We were obviously prioritising them, because we were so concerned by the content.

Senator KIM CARR: I thank you for your submission; I thank you for the efforts you've made. But it is an extraordinary proposition, where a bill's before us, to override all Commonwealth legislation and attempt to slip it through in the way in which this is being done—and you're being criticised, because you didn't mention some other groups. Thank you very much.

CHAIR: I have a couple of further questions that I want to raise with you. In the bill, there is a framework that will provide that, during judicial review, the Federal Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court may order the minister to disclose confidential information to it that was used in a visa decision. Are you aware of that?

Ms Keene-McCann : Yes.

CHAIR: Are you aware that the bill provides that the minister can provide submissions to the courts and tender evidence about the use of the information and the impact that further disclosure would have on the public interest?

Ms Keene-McCann : Yes. I would just add again that it requires that they get to the court, and many of these would not; and, if they do get to the court, the time that an individual would be in immigration detention is extraordinary.

CHAIR: Are you aware that the provisions of this bill provide, as part of the judicial review framework, that the court must determine, after considering the information and any submissions made, whether further disclosure would create a real risk of damage to the public interest; and, if the court determines there is a risk, then the information must not be disclosed, but, ultimately, it is a matter for the court to make that independent determination? Are you aware of the provisions in the bill to that effect?

Ms Keene-McCann : We're aware of those provisions, and our argument is that it would be extremely difficult for it to eventually get to a court. I note that the department, in their submissions, which seem to be the only submissions for the bill that we were able to read, indicates that the public interest immunity, which weighs up the interest of the administration of justice, was considered not protective enough.

CHAIR: Thank you very much. Senator Scarr has a question or two for you.

Senator SCARR: Thank you to the witnesses for appearing before us, for your submissions and for all the work you do in this area. I want to take a bit of a step back and ask what your thoughts are in terms of a general proposition. You have a situation where someone is in this country, and they're on a visa, potentially. I'm not referring to any specific case; I'm just trying to work, in my own mind, through a particular scenario and how the law should respond in that scenario. You've got someone who's on a visa in this country, and the intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies are doing some sort of covert operation into organised crime. They might have someone embedded in an organised crime entity who's providing important intelligence information. The intelligence authorities have that information. To disclose the full particulars of how they got the information and who provided the information, and all of the circumstances around information gathering could prejudice not only a general investigation but also the safety of perhaps an informant. But that information is still relevant in terms of a determination made in relation to someone's visa.

From a policy perspective, it seems to me that there has to be some sort of balance struck with the rights of the individual who has the visa. This is what I'm interested in your thoughts on: from a public policy perspective, there also needs to be an appreciation of the need for confidentiality and the realisation that the disclosure of information in particular circumstances—and I would have thought the circumstances are quite limited—could prejudice not only an investigation but also the welfare of informants and the welfare of sources of information in circumstances where it's important that that information flow continues. What's your perspective in terms of balancing those two competing considerations, because from my perspective we're not looking at one in isolation from the other? There can be two genuine competing public policy considerations in this space, so I'm interested in the witnesses' views with respect to how you get the balance right.

Ms Caldwell : That is a great question. What I will say, from my perspective and something that the Visa Cancellation Working Group has discussed, is that there are already measures in place that balance that. We already have specific guidelines about how we deal with confidential information. We already know as practitioners that there is protected information that is not disclosed to us. What we are saying is—and we agree with the Law Council's recommendation—an independent inquiry be conducted into existing legislation in this area and its adequacy. We are submitting that we already do have legislation that deals with this that is adequate, and this bill is so broad in what it may encapsulate and so broad in the ways that it may be exploited that we do not believe it's necessary. We believe that the existing framework is more than enough to deal with that competing public policy.

Senator SCARR: So, from your perspective, you think the existing protections are sufficient? We'll have a number of witnesses over the course of the day, so the questions to put to those witnesses who have a different view are: Why are the existing protections not sufficient? From a public policy point of view, why do we need to go the extra step? Is that an appropriate framing of the discussion we're having today?

Ms Keene-McCann : I agree. Rather than that the current regime is sufficient, I think we also would say that the current regime includes information that hasn't been tested by a court already, that prudential information on presumed associations information where people are never charged, police reports and those sorts of things can already be included. There is no evidence before us and no submissions beyond the Department of Home affairs to indicate there is a concern for the free flow of information. In our experience that information flows already to the detriment of our clients. I don't know that anyone would dispute that there is, as my colleague said, confidential information regarding sources. However, this is not the information that you necessarily need to answer a case against you. So there is that necessity point to raise, and I again refer to the Law Council's recommendations of an inquiry into the regime in general.

Senator SCARR: I take those points. From your perspective, you think the current protections are sufficient. It has been raised with me that some of the information which is currently protected under the National Security Information (Criminal and Civil Proceedings) Act only protects national security related information, which could be a much higher bar than information that just relates to, say, a matter concerning character for—coming back to my hypothetical situation—someone who is involved in an outlawed motorcycle gang. Are you aware of that potential problem—that the bar is too high at the moment to capture the sorts of information, the sort of scenario I'm talking about, where someone's involved in an organised criminal activity that doesn't necessarily jeopardise national security but is of great concern to the public authorities?

Ms Keene-McCann : I would be happy to take on notice the opportunity to provide further information regarding working group members' experience in representing clients where prejudicial information is already available to the department and it's not necessarily clear in the decision that that is what was taken into account. I am aware of a concern that there would be information that is not national security related but may relate, for example, to criminal associations. However, there's also still a question that we put in our submissions that if this information is credible and relevant and relates to a crime then it should be prosecuted. If it's not, and if it's not relevant to a crime and it's not sufficient enough for prosecution, it may not be credible or relevant for character.

Senator SCARR: Just taking that point—and I understand the concept, and I'm a fervent believer in the rule of law, I can assure you—at one end of the spectrum you've got entirely flimsy information that shouldn't be relied upon, presumptions et cetera. I don't think any reasonable person would expect that to be taken into account in terms of a visa decision—which, as you've rightly stated, can have a huge impact on someone's life and also the life of their family. At the other extreme you've got a case where the Director of Public Prosecutions can bring a case and bring criminal proceedings. But there is a big area in between, isn't there, including, from a civil law perspective, determinations being made around all sorts of matters on the balance of probability? So, it's not at a criminal level of burden of proof but a civil burden of proof. I guess one of the questions I have is: how do you accommodate that area, which is somewhere less than the criminal burden of proof but where, on the balance of probability, there are concerns about the character grounds of someone and the public authority, in good faith, believes that action needs to be taken? Isn't there an area where it is legitimate for a public authority to take action that is somewhat less than the criminal burden of proof?

Ms Keene-McCann : I take that argument and understand that—civil versus criminal. I think something to take into consideration in visa cancellations is that the effect of a visa cancellation is not just on the individual—it potentially deprives someone of their liberty and potentially puts them in indefinite detention or places them in harm—but also affects every other person who is in that person's life: children, spouses, colleagues. So, I would argue that that burden of proof should be higher, because of the detrimental effect of the ultimate decision.

Senator SCARR: Okay. I understand your comments. I have no further questions and thank the witnesses for their submission and for their helpful answers to my questions.

CHAIR: Thank you very much, Senator Scarr. We've really reached our time limit, so I would like to thank members of the Visa Cancellations Working Group for giving evidence this morning.

Senator KIM CARR: If there are other issues that you wish to pursue, could you advise the committee? We've got a very short reporting time line, but if you think there are questions that you don't think have been adequately answered today, there's always the opportunity to provide additional information on any of those matters. I just draw that to your attention.

Ms Keene-McCann : Thank you.

Ms Caldwell : Thank you, Senator Carr. We will have a discussion with [inaudible] to make sure that everything has been covered or provide that additional information.

CHAIR: Thank you very much for your time today.