A sixth person has been arrested after a controversial ruling from the High Court that released 140 immigration detainees including hardened criminals.
The Australian Federal Police said a 36-year-old Eritrean-born man was arrested late on Friday in Melbourne’s west after he failed to comply with a curfew set out in laws rushed through parliament in response to the High Court’s ruling.
Temesgen Tsegay Gebreyonas is set to appear in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Saturday.
It follows a 39-year-old man arrested in Brisbane on Thursday morning.
That man was taken into custody by Queensland police on an outstanding NSW revocation of parole arrest warrant, in relation to a serious assault offence.
‘He was taken to the Brisbane watchhouse, where NSW officers will travel to extradite the man in the coming days,’ NSW Police said in a statement.
Pressure is mounting on the Albanese government as the opposition demands an apology to Australians.
Asked when he was planning to sack Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese defended his government’s response.
‘Ministers O’Neil and (Immigration Minister) Giles have done more to address this issue in a month than those opposite did in nine years,’ he told parliament.
Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil (pictured) faces mounting pressure after yet another recently released detainee was arrested on Friday
Six of the 148 recently released asylum seekers have been arrested since being freed. Pictured is a recently released detainee in Sydney
Labor and the Coalition worked together to pass laws last month that require released detainees to wear ankle monitors and follow strict curfews.
The government has been scrambling to respond to the High Court’s decision, which overturned 20 years of legal precedent to rule indefinite detention of non-citizens unlawful when there was no prospect any country would resettle them.
The ruling resulted in 140 detainees released into the community, some of which had served prison sentences for violent offences.
Further preventive detention amendments to the Migration Act passed parliament on Wednesday night.
The curfew breach carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $93,900 fine.
A 45-year-old man was the fourth former detainee to be charged after he allegedly broke the curfew of his visa conditions and stole luggage from Melbourne airport.
Deputy Liberal leader Sussan Ley said the government owed Australians an apology and answers for ‘not even having 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,’ she said.
‘Critically now the test for this government is what are they going to do to make sure women and children in Australia are safe.’
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil said the federal government was hamstrung by the High Court decision.
Ms O’Neil took steps to implement preventive detention legislation, typically applied to terrorists and spies, in order to lock up some of the detainees.
‘If it were up to me, all these people would never have been released from detention,’ she said.
The High Court ruled it was unlawful for the federal government to indefinitely detain non-citizens. Pictured is Villawood Detention Centre in south-west Sydney