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Tuesday, 4 June 2013
Page: 5255

Mr MORRISON (Cook) (19:33): On matters of national security which the minister will be familiar with, I will deal with those first and then we can move on to some of the other matters in relation to the portfolio and the expenditure under the appropriation. When was the department first advised that an individual, an IMA, was being held at the Inverbrackie facility who had an Interpol red notice and was a convicted terrorist from Egypt? When was this minister first advised that a convicted terrorist was being held at the Inverbrackie centre? Thirdly, when was the previous minister advised by this minister's department that a convicted terrorist was being held at the Inverbrackie facility? Can the minister advise whether he had advised the Prime Minister at any time during this period of a convicted terrorist being held at the Inverbrackie detention facility? So I am seeking a response in relation to the chronology of those, and particularly on the first in terms of when the department was advised by the AFP and by ASIO.

The minister may well be familiar with the evidence provided by both ASIO and the AFP, confirmed by ministers prior to him in the earlier session, relating to the Attorney-General and the Minister for Home Affairs. They state that the department was advised of this on 30 August by ASIO and in mid November by the AFP.

More broadly in relation to this issue—and I will try and deal with these in one and then we can move onto the other matters—on the processing of the claim of this individual, the letter that the minister sent to the acting shadow minister for immigration stated that the assessment of the protection claim for these individuals, including the one I referred to, are being progressed by the department. Yet, today, the minister said that he had received advice that their assessment had not proceeded. So, I am just looking for an update as to what is the status of those two issues. Then, more broadly, what is the nature of that assessment?

The minister has been advised by ASIO and the AFP that there is an individual who presents a national security threat. Is the assessment that the department is going through an assessment of the asylum claim, which would be unnecessary in the event that a national security threat is present? Is the minister looking at whether there is a national security threat in relation to this individual? If that is the case, I would assume that no further action would be required on the asylum claim, because the minister would be well aware that the convention provides no obligation on Australia to afford people protection in those circumstances. I would be interested to know what assessment process has been conducted. Is it on the national security issue or is it on the asylum claim issue?