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Australia’s immigration minister “failed to report” New Zealand rapist stepfather

Australian Home Secretary Stephanie Foster admitted her department failed to advise Immigration Minister Andrew Giles on tribunal decisions allowing non-citizens to remain in the country despite committing serious crimes.

Giles came under intense opposition pressure over a ministerial recommendation that took a foreign national’s links to Australia into account when the tribunal decided to cancel that person’s visa.

The ruling came after the New Zealander, known as CHCY, was allowed by the Appellate Tribunal to keep his visa despite being found guilty of raping his stepdaughter.

“The department failed (Minister Giles), we failed to follow our very clear protocol and, in particular, we did not seek advice from him in any way on… matters that were the subject of (media reports),” she said. he said Tuesday at a Senate estimates hearing.

“We are not saying that none of these matters would have come to the attention of the minister. We say she hasn’t gotten to him yet… That’s what I’m trying to get to the bottom of.”

Ministerial Direction 99 was established in January 2023 following concerns from the New Zealand government that too many people were being deported despite closer links to Australia than to New Zealand.

According to the guidelines, factors to be taken into account in visa matters include community protection, whether the conduct constituted domestic violence, the person’s links with Australia and the welfare of children.

Where to get help for sexual violence.

Interior officials also revealed that in the wake of the latest Gaza war, 3,309 tourist visas were granted to Israelis and 2,341 to Palestinians between October 7 and March 31.

The commission heard that only 571 Palestinians managed to reach Australia safely.

In response to questions from Green Party senator David Shoebridge, department officials said most were fleeing violence in the Gaza Strip.

The total number of tourist visas submitted by Palestinians during the same period was 9,600, with 1,831 people refused.

They admitted that the rate of refusal of tourist visas for Palestinians was higher than average.

Shoebridge sharply criticized the government for providing about $440,000 in financial aid to 571 Palestinians since April, saying about $800 per person fleeing a war zone is a waste.

Senator Shoebridge asked further questions of the department about the soon-to-be abolished Immigration Assessment Authority, set up under Abbott’s coalition government.

“What are the plans for the 7,500 people whose asylum applications were rejected under the fast-track system that the government now recognizes as unfair and is abolishing?” he asked.

“I believe the IAA decisions will be upheld,” Foster said, adding that ministerial intervention would be needed to overturn any decisions.

However, the senator rejected this proposal, claiming that it could not work in practice.

“How on earth could any single person, especially given all the other responsibilities of a minister… get involved in thousands of such requests?”