The Australian federal government is facing backlash as revelations surface regarding the release of 149 detainees, including seven murderers, 37 sex offenders, and 72 violent criminals, following a High Court decision.
The High Court had ruled against the government's practice of indefinite detention, forcing the release of these individuals.
The government contends that it was compelled to release the detainees following the court's ruling but has faced criticism for not having a preventive detention regime in place beforehand.
According to documents presented in the Senate, the released cohort also includes 16 domestic violence offenders, 13 drug traffickers, and five individuals convicted of people smuggling or other significant crimes.
Liberal frontbencher James Paterson criticised the government's inaction in utilising preventive detention laws introduced the previous year, highlighting concerns over public safety.
The Department of Home Affairs disclosed that none of the released individuals had been subjected to preventive detention measures.
Liberal leader Peter Dutton reiterated the need for stricter measures, advocating for the re-detention of individuals ineligible for deportation.
The case that sparked the controversy involved a stateless Rohingya man convicted of a sexual offence against a child, leading to his indefinite detention.
The opposition has seized on these revelations to question the government's handling of public safety and its responsiveness to legal decisions impacting immigration policies.