About this inquiry

An inquiry into the payment of cash or other inducements by the Commonwealth of Australia in exchange for the turn back of asylum seeker boats.


Past Public Hearings

05 Feb 2016: Canberra, ACT

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Inquiry Status

Inquiry lapsed

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Payment of cash or other inducements by the Commonwealth of Australia in exchange for the turn back of asylum seeker boats

At the dissolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives on 9 May 2016 for a general election on 2 July 2016, the parliamentary committees of the 44th Parliament ceased to exist. Therefore inquiries that were not completed have lapsed and submissions cannot be received.  However, information about the inquiries is still available on this website. 

Information on committees for the 45th Parliament will be presented here as soon as it is available.


On the 24 June 2015 the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report:

The payment of cash or other inducements by the Commonwealth of Australia in exchange for the turn back of asylum seeker boats, with reference to:

  1. the reply of the Government to the order for production of documents ordered by the Senate in the amended general business notice of motion no. 724 moved by Senator Hanson-Young on 16 June 2015;
  2. any money paid to anyone on board a vessel en route to Australia or New Zealand by any Customs, Immigration or other Commonwealth officer from September 2013 to date;
  3. the facilitation or authorisation of the payment of any money to anyone on board a vessel en route to Australia or New Zealand by any Customs, Immigration or other Commonwealth officer from September 2013 to date;
  4. any payments made to any such vessels‘ captain, crew or passengers;
  5. any payments made in relation to the passage of any such vessels, their passengers or crew;
  6. the legality, under international and domestic law, of the above matters;
  7. the damage caused by the above matters to the bilateral relationship between Australia and Indonesia;
  8. the extent to which any such bribes constitute an incentive for people-smuggling operations to Australia;
  9. whether it is standard practice for Australia to pay cash or other inducements to the captains or crew of boats carrying asylum seekers and, if so, how long this practice has been carried on and how much has been spent on this policy in the past, including what payments have been made to particular individuals and the amount of any such payments;
  10. any related matters.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794
legcon.sen@aph.gov.au