National Security

Transcript | 2GB Drive | 22 April 2024

April 22, 2024

Monday 22 April 2024
Interview on 2GB Drive with Chris O’Keefe
Subjects: Yet another NZYQ visa breach

CHRIS O'KEEFE: Well for more, let's bring in James Paterson. He is the Shadow Minister for Home Affairs. He's on the line. James, good day.

JAMES PATERSON: Thanks for having me, Chris.

O'KEEFE: Not a good look?

PATERSON: It's certainly not. And would you believe it's actually the second one in a week. Because last week in Melbourne the AFP also charged another NZYQ cohort detainee, who had been released in the community, for also breaching his visa conditions. And this of course follows ten of them who were charged earlier in the year, but none of those charges could be brought forward because the Albanese government stuffed the visa conditions that they issued them under.

O'KEEFE: Playing devil's advocate, the fact that the AFP knows they have breached curfew conditions suggests to me that the AFP's keeping a close eye on them.

PATERSON: Well, except for the fact that there are also another group of 18 former detainees who have committed very serious crimes under state and territory law and have been charged with those criminal offences. So a very significant proportion of the former detainees, upon being released, have reoffended against the Australian community. And for all this time there's been two main ways of controlling them. One is issuing electronic monitoring, effectively an ankle bracelet. Well, we now know that only half of the detainees they still have those on, the other half have been released from that condition. And the other was the preventative detention order regime that the parliament passed before Christmas. And now nearly six months on guess how many times that's been used Chris?

O'KEEFE: Zero.

PATERSON: That's right. Not once, not on a single occasion has this rushed legislation been used to take the highest risk offenders, the murderers or the sex offenders or the paedophiles off the streets because of the risk they pose to our community.

O'KEEFE: Why is that? What justification has both Home Affairs, The Attorney-General's Department, any of the bureaucrats that you have interrogated in the Senate, has there been any justification as to why the preventative detention orders have not been applied for in state courts?

PATERSON: There's been no good justification. There's only been excuses, which is it's complex. It takes time. There's lots of documents involved. We're working through it. We're working as hard as we can. But I honestly didn't expect of all the now 153 people who have been released, that all of them will be behind bars by now. But I thought a few of them would be. I thought at least the murderers would be. I thought at least the rapists would be. I thought at least the paedophiles would be. But none of them, not one of them is off the streets. All of them have the opportunity to re-offend. And some of them are. We know at least 18 who violated state and territory laws and ten, and now 12 who violated their visa conditions.

O'KEEFE: Senator, I appreciate your time, as always.

PATERSON: Thanks, Chris.

O'KEEFE: That's James Paterson, Shadow Minister for Home affairs.


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