16 February 2005
Visa overstayers detained in Northern Victoria
Sixty eight illegal workers and visa overstayers have been located in and around the northern Victorian towns of Nathalia, Murchison, Yarrawonga and Numurkah, said the Australian Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.
Sixty eight illegal workers and visa overstayers have been located in and around the northern Victorian towns of Nathalia, Murchison, Yarrawonga and Numurkah, said the Australian Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today.
‘Community information led staff from my department to visit locations in the Goulburn Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday,’ Senator Vanstone said. ‘They located 19 people who were working in breach of their visas and 49 people who had overstayed their visas.’
’DIMIA officers, usually with the help of state police, will make regular visits to workplaces across Australia, including restaurants, farms, shops, offices and factories in an effort to find people who are in the country illegally or who are working illegally,’ said Oonagh Baerveldt, spokesperson for the Visa Bureau.
’It’s imperative visa holders understand the conditions of their visa and abide by those conditions,’ said Baerveldt. ‘This is an important reminder to UK nationals looking to obtain short or long term visas for Australia; the system is carefully policed. It’s important for visa holders to consult a professional migration agency and understand that circumventing the terms of an Australian visa can have serious consequences.'
‘The success of operations such as these should send a strong message that this government does not tolerate people living and working illegally in this country,’ Senator Vanstone said.
As required by law, the overstayers have been transferred to the Baxter Immigration Detention Facility. Arrangements for their departure from Australia are being made. The group is comprised of 49 Malaysians, 17 Thais and 2 Cambodians; in total there are 45 males and 23 females.
In the 2003-2004 financial year, the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), located over 20,000 people who had overstayed their visas or breached their visa conditions.
During the first week of February, fourteen illegal immigrants and visa overstayers were located in and around the northern Victorian town of Swan Hill and sent to Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre while arrangements were made for their departure.