||First Vietnamese refugees arrive by boat.
||Australian Ethinic Affairs Council established.
||Galbally Report on migrant programs and
Determination of Refugee Status Committee set up.
||Community Refugee Settlement Scheme begins.
||Assisted passages to end, except for refugees.
Special Humanitarian Program begins.
||Remaining discinctions between 'British'
and 'aliens' ended, both becoming 'non-citizens'.
The 'Blainey debate' on Asian immigration.
National Population Council established.
Residence requirement for citizenship reduced to two years.
||Office of Multicultural Affairs established
within the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
||FitzGerald Report on immigration policy:
Immigration - A commitment to Australia.
||Chan Yee Kin v Minister
For Immigration And Ethnic Affairs - High Court articulates
the "real chance, test for well-founded fear of persecution.
New migration regulations reduce ministerial discretion under
the Migration Legislation Amendment Act.
National Agenda for a Multicultural Australia launched.
Immigration Review Tribunal established.
Second lot of boats containing Tiananmen Square refugees arrives.
||Australian population passes 17 million.
Chinese nationals resident at 20 June 1989 to be allowed to
remain for four years as temporary residents.
||Start of major ministerial consultations
with community groups on settlement needs.
National Population Council report, Population Issues and
Public Accounts Committee report on the business migration program.
||Settlement Advisory Council
Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee report, Australia’s
Refugee and Humanitarian System.
Migration Amendment Act extends government’s
powers of detention.
Migration Reform Act
stops review of migration decisions under the Administrative
Decisions (Judicial Review) Act and excludes grounds of
review such as natural justice, unreasonableness, relevant and
irrelevant considerations and bad faith.
Lim case on legality of detention.
Amendment Act (No. 4) limits amount of compensation payable
for illegal detention of migrants to $1 a day.
||Memorandum of Understanding
between Australia and China on refugees.
Refugee Review Tribunal commences hearings.
||Minister for Immigration,
Local Government and Ethnic Affairs v Respondent A case
on Chinese one-child policy - Federal Court rules that refugee
status can be based on being a member of a group affected by
a government fertility control policy.
In response the Migration Legislation Amendment Bill (No.3)
attempted to remove fertility policies as a basis for refugee
claims. It was allowed to lapse, however when the decision was
reversed by the Full Federal Court, a result upheld by the High
Court in Minister for Immigration v A&B.
Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs v Ah Tin Teoh
holds that ratification of a treaty gives rise to a legitimate
expectation that government decisions will comply with the terms
of that treaty, even where it has not been incorporated into
domestic law through legislation.
Decisions (Effect of International Instruments) Bill 1995 aims
to counter Teoh and remove any legitimate expectation that may
have been created by the ratification of a treaty. This bill
is not passed.
||Federal Coalition government elected.
||Administrative Decisions (Effect of
International Instruments) Bill 1997 again aims to counter
Teoh and remove legitimate expectations based on treaty
ratification. It is not passed.
||HREOC report, “Those who’ve
come across the seas: detention of unauthorised arrivals.”
(Effect of International Instruments) Bill 1999 again attempts
to counter Teoh and remove legitimate expectations based on
treaty ratification, but is not passed.
Temporary Protection Visa class is introduced, limiting unauthorised
onshore applicants to applying for a three year Temporary Protection
Visa rather than a Permanent Protection Visa.
Temporary Safe Haven Visa class introduced for people who have
been displaced from their place of residence, cannot reasonably
return and are in grave danger of their personal safety for
related reasons. The Kosovar Safe Haven Visa is also introduced
to cater for a group of Kosovar refugees the Australian government
had agreed to offer protection to.
||Senate Legal And Constitutional Committee
Inquiry Report “A Sanctuary Under Review: An Examination
of Australia’s Refugee Humanitarian Determination Processes”.
||Migration Amendment (Excision
from Migration Zone) Act
Migration Amendment (Excision from Migration Zone) (Consequential
Border Protection (Validation and Enforcement Powers) Act
These Acts, together with others related to them and passed
at the same time (see below), are intended to discourage unauthorised
entry into Australia, deter people smugglers and increase the
legal response to people arriving in Australia unlawfully. Areas
to the north of the mainland that were previously part of Australia’s
migration zone are excised (excised territories). They generally
make offshore applicants who have spent more than 7 days in
a country in which they could have sought and obtained protection
ineligible for refugee or special humanitarian visas and only
eligible for the new Secondary Movement Declaration (Temporary).
They also restrict onshore applicants who have spent 7 days
in a country where they could have sought protection to temporary
protection visas and prevent them obtaining permanent protection
Another new class of visa was introduced - the Secondary Movement
Offshore Entry (Temporary) is available for people who have
landed in the excised territories and only allows the holder
to apply for temporary protection visas.
Legislation Amendment (Judicial Review) introduces privative
clause to s.474 of the Migration Act, narrowing the basis on
which some decisions made under the Act, such as those on refugee
status, could be challenged in Courts.
A definition of persecution as “serious harm to the person”
and “systematic and discriminatory conduct” and
“predominant” reason was also added to he Migration
Act, a higher threshold than the one proposed by the Federal
Court in Ahmadi v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural
Affairs and Kord v Minister for Immigration and Multicultural
and Indigenous Affairs.
||Minister for Immigration
and Multicultural Affairs v Khawar – the High Court
affirmed that, in the definition of ‘refugee’, the
serious harm involved in persecution may be perpetrated by non-State
agents, and that the State’s only involvement may be the
failure to provide protection. This case involved a Pakistani
woman who suffered serious and prolonged domestic violence,
and who was refused assistance by the police despite appealing
for their help.
||S157/2002 v Commonwealth of Australia –
High Court states that the privative clause cannot prevent the
Court reviewing in the Migration Act decisions affected
by jurisdictional error.
|Information from Jupp J and Kabala M, The Politics
of Australian Immigration (1993) AGPS and with thanks to Dr
Mary Crock and Louise Pounder for their advice and contribution.