Scott Morrison was replaced as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection by Peter Dutton. The move has been interpreted as a promotion for Mr Morrison (who will become Minister for Social Services) and a demotion for Mr Dutton, who has performed poorly in the Health portfolio. Prominent asylum advocate Julian Burnside has criticised Morrison’s time as Minister “a terrible stain on our [Australia’s] history”. Mr Dutton’s initial comments suggest his early focus will be on deporting visa over-stayers.
Burnside also condemned the recent passage of the Asylum Legacy Act, highlighting the lack of legal recourse for asylum seekers who are initially assessed not to be genuine refugees. The Act also creates a new a class of visa – the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa, and establishes the Immigration Assessment Authority.
The remaining asylum seeker children held on Christmas Island have been returned to the mainland while they wait for their claims to be assessed.
An Iranian asylum seeker has ended a hunger strike after not eating for 53 days. Earlier this year the man was found not to be a genuine refugee by the Refugee Review Tribunal. Another Iranian asylum seeker, who’s asylum claim is yet to be processed, will sue the Australian Government for negligence, alleging he was intentionally denied medical treatment for severe burns.