8 Feb 2023

Australia softens its controversial "501" deportation policy

From Nine To Noon, 9:05 am on 8 February 2023
Australian Border Force

Photo: AAP

From next month, Australia is to soften its controversial deportation policy - described by our government as "corrosive" and by human rights groups as "draconian" and "inhumane".

Under Section 501 of the Australian Migration Act, amended 8 years ago by the former Liberal government, someone sent to jail for 12 months or longer can have their visa cancelled, and be deported to the country of their birth - even if they have barely lived there.

Former Home Affairs Minister, now opposition leader, Peter Dutton famously referred to the policy as "taking out the trash".

More than 2500 people born in New Zealand have been deported back here, many without any family connections here.

So what will the new approach mean? Greg Barns is a Melbourne based Senior Council barrister and spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance.