A sex offender released from immigration detention following a High Court ruling has been charged with two counts of indecent assault, prompting the federal opposition to call for two ministers to resign.
Afghan refugee Aliyawar Yawari was deemed a “danger to the Australian community” by a South Australian judge in 2016 following attacks on three elderly women in 2013 and 2014.
SA Police have confirmed a 65-year-old man was charged with two counts of indecent assault and was refused police bail to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Monday.
Australian Border Force confirmed that two immigrants released from immigration detention following a High Court ruling had reoffended in SA and NSW.
One of them remains in custody after committing a serious sexual assault, opposition immigration spokesman Dan Tehan said, as he called for Immigration Minister Andrew Giles and Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil to resign.
“This is a catastrophic failure. The Albanese government has failed their number one duty, which is to keep the Australian community safe,” he told Seven’s Sunrise program on Tuesday.
“The time has come for the prime minister to do the right thing and ask for these ministers to resign, and if they don’t he should sack them.”
Mr Tehan accused the government of failing to adequately prepare for the possibility of the High Court ruling indefinite immigration detention was illegal.
“We would have been making sure that in the months leading up to the High Court decision that we were looking at what legislation we could put in place to keep the community safe,” he said.
“The warnings were put out that there was a real worry that these people would reoffend, and that, sadly, it looks like allegedly that is what’s happened.”
The federal government will introduce amendments on Wednesday to laws brought in to deal with the fallout from the High Court decision that ruled indefinite detention was illegal, resulting in the release of more than 140 detainees.
Under the amendments, preventative detention orders would apply to those released, which include murderers and sex offenders, and are based on similar measures for high-risk terror offenders, Ms O’Neil said.
The exact number of released detainees the preventative detention orders would apply to is not known.
Asked by shadow attorney-general Michaelia Cash why the government had released the high-risk detainees, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said it was imperative to work within the court’s decision.
“A shadow attorney-general should understand that a government under the Westminster system does not act like an autocratic dictatorship and actually does what the court says,” Senator Wong told parliament on Monday.
Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said the coalition would likely back the laws.
“If the government has adequate measures to keep Australians safe, then we will support those measures and we’ll see what they have to say,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“If we see a bad bill, we’re not going to support it.
Greens senator Nick McKim called the laws a “race to the bottom” on refugee policy.
“It creates two different classes of people in this country under the law, depending on whether you are the holder of a particular class of visa or not,” he told reporters.