New plan to get radicals out of Australia
THE Morrison Government is debating stripping extremists of their Australian citizenship if they are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship based on where they, their parents or even grandparents were born.
The Government is also preparing to strengthen laws around onshore, dual-national terrorists, with the current legislation unworkable because it requires an extremist to have been convicted of a terror offence with a sentence of six years or more.
There is also a high threshold of proof that they are a foreign national.
The Daily Telegraph has learned the vast majority of the 400 terrorists monitored by ASIO are either dual-citizens or are entitled to acquire a foreign citizenship based on where they were born or the birthplace of their parents or grandparents.
Yet, only six dual-national terrorists have been stripped of their Australian citizenship.
The rest are walking free, with ASIO lacking the resources to monitor every one of them full-time.
The plan to deport terrorists who are solely Australian citizens is understood to have been discussed at the high-level National Security Committee of Cabinet.
It has the backing of some Liberal MPs while others are concerned at the prospect of leaving an Australian citizen stateless.
Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Migration, Jason Wood, who sits on the Intelligence and Security Committee, said if extremists were born overseas but have become an Australian citizen, they should be deported based on their eligibility to reacquire the citizenship of their birth country.
"As far as I'm concerned, if you've put your hand up to say you uphold the rights and responsibility of Australian citizenship, but the next minute you want to talk jihad all day, it's a breach of contract and you need to go," Mr Wood said.
He said secure courts should also be set up to deal with sensitive material from intelligence agencies.
"One issue is a dual citizen can't be evicted unless they are convicted of a terror offence," he said.
By contrast, more than 160 bikies have been booted out of the country and 20 dual citizens have had their Australian citizenship revoked for child sex offences.
Michael Sukkar, the former chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, said: "We need to make it easier to revoke the citizenship of people who represent a real threat to our values and way of life."
"A good place to start would be to expand the scope of deportation to include terrorist sympathisers. This should include those on a security agency watch list, as well as people who repeatedly associate with known terrorists."
A spokesman for the Morrison Government said: "The Government hasn't ruled out any options. It has explored some measures with high constitutional risk."
In a speech to the Press Club in February, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton admitted the current anti-terror laws were not working.
"I am concerned that legislation to strip the Australian citizenship of dual nationals engaged in terrorism is not working as it should," Mr Dutton said.
The Daily Telegraph has exposed the flaws around stripping dual-citizenship terrorists of their Australian nationality since March last year and, in response, former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull wrote to Mr Dutton to ask him to strengthen the anti-terror legislation.
Nothing has happened in 20 months, despite Mr Dutton pushing for change behind the scenes.