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Tuesday, 9 October 2012
Page: 11749

Detainees Excursions

(Question No. 1191)


Mr Morrison asked the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, in writing, on 23 August 2012:

(1) What is his department's policy on outings to the homes of individuals for 'high risk' detainees?

(2) In (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10, (c) 2010-11, and (d) 2011-12, how many 'high risk' detainees were moved from detention centres for outings in the community?


Mr Bowen: The answer to the honourable member's question is:

(1) All persons in immigration detention are able to apply for, or be offered the opportunity to participate in, excursions. Principles underpinning this policy are that persons in immigration detention are treated fairly and reasonably within the law and that conditions of detention will ensure the inherent dignity of the human person.

An excursion cannot proceed without the express approval of the Regional Manager or their nominated delegate and the Department reserves the right to cancel or postpone excursions. Factors for the Regional Manager to consider include, but are not limited to, the following:

availability of Detention Services Provider staff to escort the persons in immigration detention on the excursion;

current security, site and flight risk assessments;

advice from medical professionals who may be treating the person in immigration detention; and

the individual's personal circumstances (for example, the requested visit may be to a close family member in hospital).

In determining whether a 'high risk' client will be able to attend a visit to a home, consideration is given to assessing risk in conformity with the Australian Risk Management Standard (ASNZ s4360:2004) and the Department's own risk management framework. This includes the departmental risk assessment matrix which helps departmental officers and detention service providers make decisions which are in line with the Department's obligations to protect the Australian community and staff and as part of its duty of care to the client and other detainees.

(2) The information requested is not held on the Department's electronic data management systems. Obtaining this information would be a resource intensive exercise involving manual extraction of data from hard copy files. As such the Department is not able to provide a response to this question.