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Border Force returns to cowboy culture of the bad old days

Media Release

The Principal Solicitor of the National Justice Project, George Newhouse today was dismayed by media reports that two Australian citizens were mistakenly detained and sent to the Christmas Island detention centre several months ago.

The reports came with the news that the head of the Australian Border Force, Roman Quaedvlieg had gone on leave.

Quaedvlieg who earns $731,000 a year, was appointed inaugural commissioner of Border Force and his stewardship has attracted controversy, most notably a bungled operation to check the visas of “any individual we cross paths with” on Melbourne streets in August 2015, which was cancelled after mass protests.

“I was the lawyer for Cornelia Rau, who was wrongfully detained in Baxter Detention Centre for 10 months and for Vivian Solon, an Australian citizen who was thrown out of her own country by the Howard Government. I have seen lives destroyed by bungling in the Department of Immigration” said Prof. Newhouse.

“Over a decade ago I criticised the Department of Immigration for acting like a bunch of cowboys because of their failure to implement due process and to make proper investigations – all because they were under pressure to deport people and please their political masters.”

“After the Rau and Solon cases the Howard Government set up an Inquiry run by Federal Police Chief Mick Palmer. The recommendations from that Inquiry went some way to address the Cowboy Culture in the department but they were subsequently rolled back by the Abbott Government,” he noted.

“It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest if the Turnbull Government and Peter Dutton are going back to those bad old days.”

“I don’t know the details of these two new cases”, he continued, “But whoever they are and whatever they are alleged to have done, they are Australian citizens. To wrongfully detain two citizens on Christmas Island is a worrying sign that the department that may be out of control once again.”

“Questions need to be asked about who made the decision to detain and remove these individuals? Was the minister involved?”


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  1. Matters Not

    Rowan was formerly a member of the Queensland police force before he joined the Australian Federal Police in 2005, where he was the Chief Police Officer of ACT Policing.

    Perhaps Rowan Quaedvlieg and Peter Dutton knew each other? And if not, then why not?

    Yes it’s a small, small world.

  2. Matters Not

    Yes she probably had the odd rise and fall – with the emphasis being on the rise, with a hand or two along the way.

    KL, you may have noted also that Rowan was also well connected politically .

    Surprised? I’m not. After all, it’s Dutton at the center of this world.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Roman*…and yes, he is known to be very ambitious. Peter and Roman want to head the new super department.

  4. Matters Not

    Perhaps in the future, instead of having David Petraeus as the guest speaker, Rowan might be the new star.

    Both seem to have similar weaknesses. I assume that Rowan, like David, is also a ‘jogger’ of note.

  5. Terry2

    These are the type of questions that Dutton wants in the Citizenship Test :

    Quite a few are contradictory : what do you think ? Remember, how you answer could dictate whether you spend your life in Oz or a nice Pacific Island.

    Take the first question, for instance :

    What do we remember on Anzac Day?

    a. The landing of the Australian and
    New Zealand Army Corps at Gallipoli, Turkey

    b. The arrival of the first free settlers from Great

    c. The landing of the First Fleet at Sydney Cove

    I would have said, to remember and honour those who gave their lives in the Wars in which Australia has participated……………….I’m off to Nauru !

  6. stephengb2014

    I was going to make comment but perhaps I had better not. I am a duel citizen, I could end up with a lengthy spell on Manus, Christmas Island or Naru, prior to a trip,to UK without by super or a pension.

    What have we come too!

  7. Sir Scotchmistery

    We have come to a point where as a nation we are beneath contempt. We constantly vote for turds so our political classes are a shit sandwich.

    Dutton is a simple worry. Some flucker on ABC the other day suggested he will be the next pm. I thought to give that idea oxygen is too encourage that bully. It’s time for a bunch of javelins to land.

  8. diannaart

    Any ex QLD police force member needs to apply for permission to enter any other part of Australia.

    …make that current or ex QLD police force. Joh may have left the scene, but corruption lingers…

  9. paulwalter

    Underlyingly sinister, this misuse of the detention facility… think Siberia.

    This is an insane, ugly and cold blooded government and these uncovered events are no more accidental than the Centrelink monstrosity.

  10. diannaart


    Fully agree, every time I hope the political/economic zeitgeist won’t get any worse along comes another noisome wish/command from the far-right.

  11. helvityni

    Yes, paulwalter, and this government does not like talking about on the water, in the air ,or underground matters…oops sorry the last bit is wrong; they do like talking about mines and they are underground… Sorry again,they do like buying and building submarines, and as far as I know they move under water…..

  12. roma guerin

    Nothing to do with Border Farce surprises me. I cannot read the couriermail link because I am not a subscriber. I guess the headline says all I need to know. The msm will have a field day, whilst ignoring what is happening to the poor chaps on Manus – the torture goes on and the Dept pretends it does not know.

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