New Australian immigration advisory council

15 October 2009

On 9 October 2009, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans announced the Council for Immigration Services and Status Resolution.

The Council will advise on Government immigration policy initiatives. This includes advising on New Directions in Detention and the national rollout of the Community Status Resolution Service.

'The Government's focus is on resolving the immigration status of people quickly and fairly while ensuring they are treated humanely and with dignity and respect,' Senator Evans said.

'The council will provide independent advice on policies, services and programs to achieve timely, fair and effective resolution of immigration status for people seeking asylum or other migration outcomes in Australia.

'The terms of reference and membership of the council reflects the range of expertise required to implement the Government's New Directions in Detention policy.'

The new Council will meet on the first time on 21 October and replaces the Immigration Detention Advisory Group (IDAG). IDAG had provided advice on detention services, accommodation and facilities at immigration detention centres in Australia. The main priority for the new organization is to come up with alternatives to detention for those who are not in lawful immigration status in Australia.

Paris Aristotle AM, director of the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture will chair the Council. He was formerly a member of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group and has more than 25 years' experience in the field.

'I believe the new group will provide valuable perspectives and their community links will help to strengthen the provision of community services to immigration clients in support of timely case resolution,' said Senator Evans.

'I'd like to acknowledge and thank the valuable and long–standing contribution of members of the Immigration Detention Advisory Group since its establishment in 2001.'

'Their independent expert advice provided to the previous and current government has been greatly appreciated.'