The opposition has called on the Albanese government to apologise to Australians as Labor looks to detain people recently released from immigration detention who may pose a risk to community safety.
The government is not revealing how many foreigners could end up behind bars under laws which passed the parliament on Wednesday night to set up a preventive detention regime.
A 45-year-old man became the fourth former detainee to be charged with fresh offences after he allegedly broke the curfew of his visa conditions and stole luggage from Melbourne airport.
The government has been scrambling to respond to the High Court’s decision, which overturned 20-years of legal precedent to rule indefinite detention unlawful.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the government owed Australians an apology and answers.
“They have created chaos about this from the beginning,” she told Sky News.
“Not even to have laws ready for preventative detention … we might not have had these people, at least two of them arrested, because they might have been put back behind bars where they belong.
“Critically now the test for this government is what are they going to do to make sure women and children in Australia are safe.”
Ms Ley said the government needed to provide clear information to the public about how they would use the laws, and how many “predators will be locked up before Christmas”.
Of the more than 140 people released, four are accused of reoffending.