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Tuesday, 19 September 1972
Page: 893

Senator YOUNG (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Attorney-General. In the event of persons being convicted of sabotage and terror or conspiring to commit acts of sabotage and terror such as the recent bombings in Sydney, will the Government deport such people if they are not naturalised citizens of Australia? What steps can the Government take regarding deportation if such persons are recently naturalised citizens of Australia? Will the Government make provision for any persons so convicted and remaining in Australia to be gaoled for the term of their natural lives with no provisions for parole?

Senator GREENWOOD - Both under the Immigration Act and the Crimes Act there is power for persons to be deported from Australia. But deportation is a step which the Government would be very loath to take except in those cases where an examination of the circumstances clearly warranted it. Of course many persons who have committed offences against Australian laws have been deported but the deportations which have occurred are of persons who are not Australian citizens. There is a power in respect of certain offences under the Crimes Act whereby persons who may be Australian citizens although they were not born in Australia may be deported. To deport those people would raise enormous problems and this would be an area in which the Government would be loath to act. I think the appropriate answer to the honourable senator's question is to say that whether a person is deported must depend upon the merits of the case. Until persons are apprehended and convicted of the offence to which the honourable senator referred it is imprudent and, I think, improper to speculate upon what the Government might do. The Government has the power to deport. It has exercised that power on other occasions. It has not exercised it on occasions. It is a matter of judgment in each case.

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