Federal

Mar 4, 2011

ASIO confirms resources
pressure

Questions are still being asked about the length of time taken by ASIO to complete security assessments of asylum seekers.

Tom Cowie

Crikey journalist

As the federal government rushes to increase the capacity of its immigration detention centres to relieve pressure on its overloaded system, questions are being asked about the length of time taken by ASIO to complete security assessments of asylum seekers -- nine hundred genuine refugees continue to languish in detention awaiting clearance.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen announced yesterday that a new $9.2 million detention centre would be established at Wickham Point, 35 km south-east of Darwin. The facility would be ready to house 500 asylum seekers by the middle of this year, he said, before eventually moving to a capacity of 1500.

While much of the increased strain on the government's has been attributed to an increase in asylum seeker boat arrivals, pressure is also beginning to increase on the role of ASIO. Each asylum seeker who arrives offshore is submitted to a security check by ASIO. They can be held indefinitely, as there is no time limit for ASIO to complete the checks.

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44 comments

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44 thoughts on “ASIO confirms resources
pressure

  1. shepherdmarilyn

    The question is why ASIO have to do the checks in the first place because it is not legal to grant refugee status to anyone deemed to have committed war crimes or crimes against the UN and anyone in that category would be excluded.

    That is done before the grant is made so the time and money wasted on ASIO is just another ruse to try and reject people and they all know it.

    ASIO don’t check kids, they don’t talk to most of the people, they cannot check in the home countries so there is precisely nothing left for them to check.

    It is just another hoax and no-one bothers to ask the correct question which is “if people are not excluded under Article 1F of the convention why do they need more time wasted on ‘security checks’. They are refugees and once they have been found to be refugees they cannot be excluded later on down the track.

    It’s dumb and dumber in ASIO and DIAC running the show like two sets of deluded morons.

  2. Flower

    I’ve been trying to assist a neighbour. He’s been in Australia for nearly four years on a Visa 457. He is a skilled worker who is sent all around the state on jobs because of his work ethics and work efficiency. In addition and separate to his work position, he has a degree from Lebanon in electrical engineering.

    He made application for PR in 2009 though it appears the agency acting on his behalf did not submit the application to DIAC until June 2010. Nevertheless he still has not been granted permanent residency.

    He’s pays plenty of taxes, his wife works fulltime, his children attend the local state school, they all attend the local Baptist Church on Sundays and he has no plans to blow up the neighbourhood.

    He has a significantly generous deposit to buy a house. Waving his arms about like a mad Lebbo, he tells me: “I never do nothing wrong. I live in shit house – I wanna buy my own house. I pay big rent for nothing. How can I buy house without PR? Refugees get PR – not me!”

  3. John Bennetts

    What’s this about needing more staff? Clearly, the output indicates that ASIO needs fewer staff. Since last year only 75% as many cases were assessed as for the average of the previous 6 years, surely the response should be to CUT staff by 25%, commensurate with output.

    Only after subsequent reviews of productivity and workload should replacements be considered.

    Let the mandarins know that their inefficiency is eating at their power base, get rid of the surplus staff and redefine the way that the work is handled, before considering adding more slowcoaches to an already stuffed bunch of incumbents. The last thing that should be done is to add more feathers to an already stuffed bed.

    Have I forgotten the refugees? No way! Those who have UN clearance may just as well go on their way. 35,000+ of the more than 38,000 customers are already roaming our streets. What’s to be feared about another thousand or so, a meagre 3 percent or less, a large number of whom are kids in any case?

  4. shepherdmarilyn

    Flower dear your friend is not in danger and I am sick to death of clowns using every forum about refugees who have nothing to make up yarns about “friends’ who did different things.

    Grow up.

    It is not the fault of Afghan refugees that we have made their country unliveable.

    Your friend can go home and be safe.

    Now get over it.

  5. Flower

    Shepherd – I was alluding to ASIO’s delay and its skewed priority system in processing PRs.

    Three weeks ago I held a tea party. Among the mix of guests were Iraqi, Afghan and Somalian refugees (One Afghan friend does not know her year of birth). Added to that list were Lebanese Christians, one Pom, three Chinese and nine Australians. And what have you done Shepherd? Squawk, squawk, squawk?

    May I suggest that you and are part of the problem? And I suspect you may have been asked this question before: Do you have a problem with your hormones or is it just some sort of obsessive disorder?

  6. John Bennetts

    Oh dear! Ladies!

    You have significant common ground between you. While I take a fiendish pleasure from reading artistic insult, surely the time has come to let go of each others’ throats.

  7. Flower

    Yay John. Surely you alone would know that provocation and falsehoods incite my delicate sensibilities? And it must be therapeutic for you when you can unload some of that latent malice you have for the fairer sex and which you try so hard to suppress?

  8. Sir Lunchalot

    @ shepherdmarilyn

    Marilyn, they need to undertake comprehensive checks and its hard because the countries they come from dont have the systems we do. Also the illegal immigrants may change their name or have false papers or no papers.

  9. AR

    In this digital age, no competent officer needs more than a couple of hours to TOTALLY (and most citizen naifs would freak if they realised how completely) examine, document and evaluate a person.
    It is beyond ludicrous to claim that spooks need to contact o/s agencies in the refugees home countries.
    IF they existed, and weren’t utterly corrupt, partisan or incompetent, the belief that they would have anything useful to say is passing strange, given that these ‘undocumented’ people (tearing my hair out this afternoon listening to the Cadaver reiterating all his bile & b/s on Their ABC’sCounterpoint about refugees) have fled such regimes.

  10. Syd Walker

    ASIO’s budget has increased by approximately an order of magnitude (~10x) since 2001 – the start of the absolutely vital and thoroughly terrifying War on Terror (i.e. Bin Laden and all that, wink, wink, nudge, nudge – just remember… NEVER mention nanothermite!)

    As all Australians will doubtless recall, this rather meagre increase in annual funding had to be battled through Parliament at every stage – as our fearless elected representatives and the mass media openly debated whether more Australian taxpayers’ dollars should indeed be spent on what a few seditious cynics have described as cancerous growth in spookdom.

    Now it turns out we’ve actually been stingy. The valiant men and women of ASIO risk all daily to defend Australians’ freedom (ensuring envious Islamic fundamentalist terrorists have an enduring reason to hate us) – yet we can’t even provide our courageous defenders with sufficient resources to function at a minimal level of effectiveness! What a mean-spirited lot Australians are!

    A Government really concerned about national security would surely loosen the purse-strings. This should be above mere party politics – and incessant, well-publicised demands in Parliament to scrutinise the intelligence agencies more closely must stop!

    Sometimes it almost seems like Al Qaida has infiltrated Labor, the Coalition and the Greens. If only ASIO had enough funds to monitor all our politicians 24×7 (as well as trade unionists, peace activists, Arabs, Muslims, boat people, civil libertarians, environmentalists and other key threats to the Australian way of life). Then we all might feel a little safer…

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