- Freed detainees can sue taxpayers for unlawful detention
- Rapists and killers among 81 freed after High Court ruling
- Federal government to pass emergency legislation today
- READ MORE: See the cheap motel housing asylum seekers
Nat Barr has been left shocked after discovering murderers, rapists and child molesters released from immigration detention will be able to sue the government for millions.
Political Editor for Seven News Mark Riley told the Sunrise host that even the most perverted of the 88 asylum seekers released had the right to sue taxpayers over unlawful incarceration after the High Court ruled their detention had been unconstitutional.
‘The government can’t put these people back into detention, at least until the High Court releases its full reasons for that rather surprising decision last week,’ he said.
‘What are the repercussions,’ Barr asked.
‘There is a legal issue here about what the high court has actually found, and the implications for hundreds of people who are in detention,’ Mr Riley explained. ‘Whether they too can now apply to be released under this decision.
‘There are refugee advocates and lawyers crawling over this – and we’ll see the implications of that very quickly.
‘The people who have now been released have the ability to sue the government and remember, the government doesn’t have any money, taxpayers have money, so they can sue taxpayers for millions of dollars for illegal incarceration.’
‘Really? For the time they’ve been in?’ an obviously shocked Barr replied.
‘They now have rights under Australian law to sue taxpayers for millions of dollars of compensation.
‘Murderers, rapists, child abusers, all the rest of them on equal standing. That is the law,’ Mr Riley said.
Barr responding saying: ‘Wow. Including the paedophile who raped the 10-year-old boy, the murderer, the rapist. This is horrendous.’
The shock development comes as Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil introduces a raft of strict new visa conditions for the released detainees including ankle tracking devices and curfews.
‘If I had any legal power to do it, I would keep every one of those people in detention,’ Ms O’Neil said on Thursday. ‘Some of these people have committed deplorable, disgusting crimes.’
‘So for the people who are released from detention, we did not want to let these people out of detention, but we have a simple message for them,’ she said.
‘We will set the strictest possible conditions for you. If you, if you do not follow them, you will end up back in jail.’
Nine of the 83 asylum seekers who have been let out into the community are being housed at a motel in Western Sydney, being paid for by taxpayers.
They will support themselves with at least $550 a fortnight from the government’s Status Resolution Support Service as well as being provided with free Medicare.
Daily Mail Australia approached several residents at the western Sydney motel who were wandering freely around the grounds on Wednesday and was met with a barrage of abuse.
It is not suggested that everyone pictured is a criminal or asylum seeker, only that they were all going in and out of the motel on Wednesday.
One heavily-tattooed man wearing a singlet and rolling a cigarette did not say whether he had been released from detention but made it clear he did not wish to be interviewed.
‘Get the f*** out of here,’ the man yelled. ‘What the f*** are you doing?
‘Get the f*** out. I call the police. We are all innocent people here. Why are you trying to talk to us? What are you doing?’
Two police officers had earlier spent at least half an hour inside the motel, which can only be entered with a swipe card or after talking with reception via an intercom.
Asked whether she could comment on the Villawood detainees, a woman behind the front desk said: ‘No we can’t, thank you.’
One man who spent much of the day outside on his mobile phone confirmed he had been a detainee but twice declined to discuss his situation.
‘I am from Villawood,’ he said. ‘I am talking to family. Afterwards, please.’
Another young man wandering around with his mobile phone said: ‘I don’t want to speak to you.’
The opposition has seized on the release of the offenders, peppering the immigration minister in parliament about whether taxpayers’ money was being used to house them upon their release.
Immigration Minister Andrew Giles reiterated that the Commonwealth government opposed the release and the High Court ruled against it.
Mr Giles said money was being spent to ensure the continued monitoring of where certain offenders were staying after their release.
‘Our concern is to maintain community safety, a critical element of that in some cases is having some control over where an individual lives,’ he said.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton accused the minister of not being prepared for the decision.
‘If there was another option available – which I honestly believe that there is – then they could have prevented these people from getting out onto the streets,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB.
Mr Giles said the government had continued to look at ‘all regulatory and legislative options’, but was hamstrung in its response as the High Court’s reasons for the decision had not yet been published.
The government sought prior advice about options depending on a variety of outcomes of the court’s decision, he added.
Mr Dutton said the minister needed to do ‘everything within the law to make sure that you can stop these people from getting back out onto the streets’.