Andrew Giles under fire for detainee crisis; Anthony Albanese calls Zelensky

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles has cancelled seven visas as he works through a total of 30 needed for urgent review.

Giles has been forced to defend his job as he scrambles to fix the detainee crisis and rewrite the rule – called ministerial direction 99 – used to allow violent criminals with close ties to Australia to stay, including serial rapists and paedophiles.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was forced to defend his immigration minister in question time on Wednesday, and on ABC AM this morning Giles justified why he still had his job.

Under pressure: Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.

Under pressure: Immigration Minister Andrew Giles.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“[I have my role] because there’s so much work to do to clean up the mess, to rebuild a migration system that was left in tatters,” he said as he was repeatedly pressed by host Sabra Lane.

Albanese told the chamber during question time yesterday that they would be rewriting ministerial direction 99, and Giles said this morning it would be released as soon as it was ready.

“I’ve been meeting with my senior officials of the department last night to ensure that the expectations that I’ve set out to the parliament are put into practice,” he said.


“We believe that these decisions [on whether to allow visa holders to stay in Australia] need to be guided by two clear principles, the protection of the Australian community and by common sense.”

Giles also confirmed there were about 30 visas under urgent review.

“In the last few days, I’ve cancelled seven visas, I’m considering as we speak … there are around 30 that I’ve pulled up as a matter of absolute urgency, I’ve dealt with through the day and night,” he said.

Department of Home Affairs secretary Stephanie Foster told estimates on Tuesday and Wednesday that her department had failed to warn Giles about these cases, putting blame on budget restraints.

“What has been unacceptable is the fact that these AAT decisions, to set aside cancellations that were made under direction 99, that were made by this government, by my department … I was not told that these cancellations had been overturned by the tribunal. That’s the issue that I’m deeply concerned about and that’s what I’m focusing on fixing now,” he said.

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