Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Attorney-General

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


30 MAY 2024


Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus and his Department were blissfully unaware dangerous criminals were being allowed to stay in Australia as a result of the Albanese Government’s disastrous Direction 99.

This was despite Mr Dreyfus having direct oversight of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, an agency within his own portfolio, which made numerous decisions allowing many hard-core criminals to remain in Australia as a result of the Direction.

Under questioning by Shadow Attorney-General Senator Michaelia Cash in Senate Estimates it was revealed that Mr Dreyfus sits on the Government’s Significant Legal Issues Committee but Direction 99 was never discussed by the committee.

The Attorney-General’s department confirmed there are 600 significant legal issues dealt with each year but are still unsure if the Direction 99 disaster is a significant legal issue.

“Mr Dreyfus has been proved incredibly incompetent by not identifying this matter as a significant legal issue,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Mr Dreyfus’s complacency about this matter is symptomatic of the incompetence of the Albanese Labor Government,’’ Senator Cash said.

“Why wasn’t he aware that the AAT was allowing these criminals to remain in the country?” she said.

“There’s a culture of complacency on border protection and community safety from this Government,’’ Senator Cash said.

“We are talking about allowing rapists and murders to stay in Australian when they could have been deported,’’ she said.

“The oversight of the legal system and the safety of the community is a core responsibility of the Attorney-General, the nation’s first law officer, and he has let the Australian people down,’’ Senator Cash said.