The Joint Standing Committee on Migration released their report Immigration Detention in Australia: A New Beginning today, and I’m glad to see that their recommendations constitute a substantial liberalisation of the current regime. However, as the dissenting report notes, they could have gone much further.
Naturally, the Coalition is irked, but they can go take a running jump at themselves.
- Detainees should no longer be billed for being incarcerated
- The maximum stay should be 12 months*, with a judicial review of the reasons for keeping them for longer where it must be shown that they are a risk to the country
- Health checks should take a maximum 5 days
- Security checks should be completed in 90 days
- A bunch of transparency and accountability reforms in visa decisions (to stop miscarriages of justice like the Haneef case, as just one example)
A parliamentary committee inquiry is only as good as its terms of references, so kudos to Labor for doing it properly. Now they’d better follow through!
* The Howard regime once sent its lawyers all the way to the High Court arguing that they could keep people locked up forever, and won. Despicable.