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Thursday, 15 June 1989
Page: 4197

Senator JENKINS(11.58) —I want to make some brief remarks about two permanent residents of Australia. The first is Mr Chae Sun Lee. I am in receipt of information that the Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs may enforce a deportation order against Mr Chae Sun Lee on 18 July this year. Mr Chae Sun Lee, who was born on 24 April 1940 in Korea, became a permanent resident of Australia on 28 April 1976. He actually entered Australia on 7 November 1974. Since his entry to Australia he has not departed the country. Therefore, he has spent an uninterrupted period of time in Australia since that date.

On 17 November 1984 he was arrested and charged with attempting to unlawfully kill on two counts. He protested his innocence all the way along the line, still protests his innocence and an appeal is pending. He was convicted and sentenced in Perth on 28 June 1985. He was sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of 4 1/2 years and a maximum term of 9 1/2 years. On 18 July 1989, the date on which the Department of Immigration plans to deport him, he will have been in Australia for an uninterrupted period of 14 years, eight months and two weeks.

As I understand it, traditionally it has been official policy not to deport any person who has been residing here legally for at least 10 years. Mr Lee has been and presently is attempting to appeal against his conviction. He is also waiting on a decision of the Legal Aid Commission in order to appeal against the Department of Corrective Services in Western Australia because he is claiming medical and physical neglect during his time in prison; in fact he has lost the sight of one eye. I do not want to say too much about that as an appeal is pending. However, if this deportation order is carried out in July, it will mean that his appeal will not be brought before the courts beforehand. That does not appear to be particularly just. I place on record that, as Mr Lee has an appeal pending against Corrective Services in Western Australia, he should not be deported until his appeal has been heard.

The second Australian resident whom I wish to mention is Mr Eduardo Rojas. He is 21 years old. He came to Australia from Chile just two years ago. He came in on the immigration program based on humanitarian concerns. He had previously been a political prisoner in Chile. He and his wife have two children, who were both born in Australia and, therefore, are Australian citizens. Mr Rojas accompanied Mr Sergio Buschmann while Mr Buschmann was in Australia. In fact, he was given the job of accompanying Mr Buschmann back to Sweden to help ensure his safe passage to that country. Not only has Mr Buschmann been detained by the United States authorities at Anchorage in Alaska, but it appears that Mr Eduardo Rojas has also been detained.

Mr Eduardo Rojas is a permanent resident in Australia. It appears that the United States may be considering a possible exchange of both Mr Buschmann and Mr Rojas for two Chilean officers. It appears that the United States may be in negotiation at present with regard to extraditing both of these people to Chile. My concern is that this should not happen to a permanent resident in Australia. In Mr Buschmann's case we are looking at the various refugee conventions to which Australia is a signatory. Mr Rojas is a permanent resident of Australia and, therefore, is entitled to the protection of Australian authorities. I exhort the Government to ensure that Mr Rojas is returned safely to his family in Australia as soon as possible.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Senate adjourned at 12.04 a.m. (Friday)