The Minister alone will decide whether a person’s case will be reviewed. They will be heard by a new body, Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA) based only on a person’s files.
They will not have the opportunity of a new hearing and people will not be allowed to provide new information to the IAA except in exceptional circumstances where a person must explain why the information was not presented in the first place. The facts and merits of a person’s case will not be re-heard. The IAA can only test whether the law has been properly applied.
People seeking asylum are in various stages of the fast track process. It is a time of high anxiety and stress.
Those who have their applications approved are no longer eligible for a case worker and have to navigate their way through employment pathways, perhaps moving to a regional area with all the issues associated with this. They have not been eligible for formal English classes and many of them do not have the level of English required for employment.
Those who have a negative outcome face great uncertainty about their future. Some have limited access to Medicare. It is common practice now to give everyone work rights with the expectation they can support themselves. Centrelink benefits are no longer available to them.
Some will apply for a hearing at the Federal Circuit Court but this is a costly and there is a long waiting period. It is their last hope of their negative decision being reversed.
People with a negative outcome face homelessness and destitution. It has a serious impact on their wellbeing and mental health. They could be redetained in an immigration detention centre and sent back to their country of origin or left to languish in the community without any income support and access to Medicare.
We do not know what will happen to everyone but we do know there are increasing numbers in this situation. They need support and assistance from community members to keep them engaged and alive and provided with the essentials of food, shelter, medical care and employment opportunities.