Administration and operation of the Migration Act 1958

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Administration and operation of the Migration Act 1958

2 March 2006

© Commonwealth of Australia 2006
ISBN 0 642 71547 5

View the report as a single document - (PDF 4692KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Members of the References Committee (PDF 141KB)
Abbreviations (PDF 133KB)
Recommendations (PDF 145KB)
Introduction (PDF 164KB)
Referral of the Inquiry
Background to the inquiry
Scope of the inquiry
Conduct of the inquiry
Structure of the report
Chapter 1 - Ministerial Responsibility (PDF 204KB)
Cultural problems within DIMIA
Ministerial responsibility
Personal responsibility
Were Ministers aware of DIMIA's cultural problems?
Committee view
Chapter 2 - Processing of protection visa applications (PDF 374KB)
Issues raised during this inquiry
Inconsistent and arbitrary decision-making by DIMA
Delays in processing applications, advising decisions and issuing visas
Failure to interview protection visa applicants
Use of inadequate and inappropriate interpretation services
Lack of appropriate knowledge, information and training
Questionable quality of information used in decision making
The existence of an adversarial and hostile culture within DIMA
Restrictions on applicants' access to legal advice and assistance
Chapter 3 - Secondary assessment of visa applications (PDF 364KB)
Criticism of secondary assessment procedures
Further avenues for review
Committee view
Chapter 4 - Ministerial discretion (PDF 299KB)
Statutory framework
Concerns raised in earlier inquiries
Concerns raised during this inquiry
Committee view
Chapter 5 - Mandatory detention policy (PDF 253KB)
History of the policy of mandatory detention
Criticisms of the policy
Alternatives to mandatory detention
Committee view
Chapter 6 - Mandatory detention in practice (PDF 313KB)
The use of detainee labour
Penal approach to immigration detention
Allegations of mistreatment
Health standards and medical care of detainees
Poor food
Detention costs
Alternative approaches to mandatory detention
Committee view
Chapter 7 - Outsourcing of management of immigration centres (PDF 290KB)
Recent reports relating to outsourcing arrangements
Government response to recent reports on outsourcing arrangements
Criticisms of outsourcing arrangements at immigration detention centres
Recommendations for change
Committee view
Chapter 8 - Temporary visas, bridging visas, and cost shifting (PDF 271KB)
Temporary Protection Visas
Bridging Visas
Humanitarian Program – cost shifting
Committee view
Chapter 9 - Removal and deportation (PDF 297KB)
Removal of unlawful non-citizens from Australia
Deportation of long term Australian residents
Failure to monitor after removal or deportation
Committee view
Chapter 10 - Student visas (PDF 236KB)
Relevant legislation
Importance of overseas students to Australia
Student awareness of migration law and policy
Student visa cancellations
Administration and enforcement issues – recent cases
Detention of students
Committee view
Additional comments from the Australian Democrats (PDF 189KB)
Additional comments from the Australian Greens (PDF 151KB)
Dissenting report by Government Senators (PDF 179KB)
Appendix 1 - Submissions received and tabled documents (PDF 122KB)
Appendix 2 - Witnesses who apepared before the committee (PDF 107KB)
Appendix 3 - Palmer Report - Findings and recommendations and Government Response
(Available in PDF format only)
(PDF 2053KB)
Appendix 4 - Comrie Report - Findings and Recommendations and Government Response
(Available in PDF format only)
(PDF 722KB)
Appendix 5 - The processing of visa applications - background (PDF 258KB)
Appendix 6 - Government Response to the Seante Legal and Constitutional References Committee's report 'A sanctuary under review'
(Available in PDF format only)
(PDF 175KB)
Appendix 7 - Recommendations of the Senate Select Committee on Ministerial Discretion in migration matters (PDF 175KB)
Appendix 8 - Recommendations of the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee report on Vivian Solon (PDF 155KB)
Appendix 9 - Interim procedure for independant medical opinions (PDF 128KB)

For further information, contact:

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

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794