Australian politics LIVE blog: Immigration Minister refuse to give a straight answer over simple question about High Court asylum seeker criminal crisis – even though he’s been asked it FIVE


Embattled Labor ministers Andrew Giles and Clare O'Neil have held a press conference in an attempt to allay community concerns over the High Court ruling that released 148 asylum seekers from indefinite detention.

Follow Ny Breaking Australia's live blog here.

Fiery moment Mark Dreyfus criticizes the reporter's 'absurd question'

Mark Dreyfus has insulted a journalist who asked all three ministers whether they 'owe the public an apology'.

The animated attorney general said, “I would like to point out that that question is absurd. You are asking a Minister of the Crown to apologize for enforcing Australian law, for acting in accordance with Australian law, for following the instructions of the High Court of Australia.

“I'm not going to apologize for enforcing the law. I will not apologize for pursuing the rule of law and will not apologize for my actions – do not interrupt – I will not apologize for acting in accordance with a Supreme Court ruling.

“Your question is absurd.”

Andrew Giles has built his career on his compassion for refugees and his opposition to indefinite detention.

Before entering politics, he was a lawyer involved in the 2001 MV Tampa case, when a cargo ship carrying 433 rescued refugees arrived in Australian waters.

He said working on the case was the moment he decided to enter politics.

Australian politics LIVE blog Immigration Minister refuse to give a

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms O'Neil stood outside Sunrise to hit back at the Coalition's calls for her resignation over the crisis.

Ms O'Neil has insisted since the High Court ruling that if she had her way, all asylum seekers would still be in detention.

1701823976 405 Australian politics LIVE blog Immigration Minister refuse to give a

Clare O'Neil points out the coalition's failures when they were in government

Elaborating on her last response, Ms O'Neil said: 'For 10 years I have lived through a coalition government that wavered when a problem arose.

“I see them doing nothing while people died in aged care during COVID. I see them giving billions of dollars to companies that lost, that made more money during COVID and did nothing about it.

“We saw Scott Morrison going to Hawaii in the middle of the wildfires. You can decide whether we have got the politics right.

“My game does everything it can every day to protect Australians and that's what we've been doing since the Supreme Court decision.”

Ministers were given 'the opportunity to acknowledge the community's concerns' but 'challenge the interpretation' of the crisis

Home Secretary Clare O'Neil was given the 'opportunity' to acknowledge the community's concerns without directly apologizing for the High Court's decision.

Instead, she “challenged” the journalist's interpretation of the situation.

'There are safety concerns. It is justified because of what we have seen in recent days.

“That is why the government has spent a moment of every day since the Supreme Court ruling, and even before that, trying to find solutions to keep the community safe.

“For twenty years, and even longer, ministers have had the power to detain people at will in a way that the Supreme Court has just declared unconstitutional. That decision would have been made regardless of who was in government at the time.

“With the decision taken within a week and a day of the Supreme Court's ruling, we have created tailor-made visas for each of the released persons. We have set up a $255 million joint operation between the police and the ABF, which manages these cases. people and liaising with state governments.

“We had passed a new law that allowed us to protect the community in ways the Commonwealth hasn't done before.

“Less than a week since the reasons for the Supreme Court decision, we had developed a preventive detention regime that will be considered by Parliament.”

Ministers deny Coalition argument that the only asylum seeker to be released was NZYQ

The coalition has repeatedly argued that NZYQ, the plaintiff in the original Supreme Court case, was the only person who should be released after the decision.

But Attorney General Mark Dreyfus said that's “simply not true.”

“I had a statement I made submitted to the Senate yesterday that makes it very clear: the Supreme Court's decision sets a new limit on the power to detain anyone in the same position as the plaintiff in that case. . And it had to be implemented immediately,” he said.

Several 'how many' questions remain unanswered

Journalists at the press conference asked several questions to both Mr Giles and Ms O'Neil, which went unanswered.

They were all about 'how many' asylum seekers have been released and will be addressed by the government's new laws. None of them received a graded answer.

  • How many have committed murder?
  • How many of these will applications be submitted for?
  • How many people have we tried to resettle?
  • How many would have had their visas violated?
  • How many are there in each state or territory?

Andrew Giles and Clare O'Neil are being bombarded with questions about Labor's handling of the High Court ruling

The Immigration Minister has dodged questions about providing an overview of the types of perpetrators among the 148 asylum seekers released into the community following the High Court ruling.

Mr Giles said there would be some “difficulties” in revealing these details, arguing that Labor must “find the right balance between providing information to the community without particular prejudice to other legal responsibilities”.