By Bianca Hall and Edmund Tadros

Senior Defence brass opposed the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s bid to use the remote Scherger RAAF base as a detention centre, documents released under freedom of information show.

Defence refused to release more than half the pages in the heavily redacted package of documents.

But the documents it did release about the arrangements between it and the Immigration Department show preparations to convert the base into a detention centre were being made on an ad hoc basis.

Read more about how Defence resisted its base being used for immigration detention at The Canberra Times.

By Bianca Hall and Edmund Tadros

The Federal Government is improperly using the Defence Department to support its refugee policies, the Australian Defence Association says.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has entered into contracts worth at least $176million since 2010 – including $35million with Defence – to prepare and operate the Curtin and Scherger remote RAAF bases as detention centres.

Read more about the ADF’s refugee role at The Canberra Times.


By Edmund Tadros and Bianca Hall

Detention centre operators, an international training company, a NSW Government department and a multinational IT firm are the big winners from the Federal Government’s immigration policies.

An analysis of tender data by The Canberra Times has identified, for the first time, the companies that have won the most lucrative contracts from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship since 2008.

Combined with information from DIAC, a fuller picture has emerged of the true cost of the Federal Government’s asylum-seeker policy, with a refugee advocate saying the money could be better deployed in cheaper community-based alternatives.

Read more about the cost of Australia’s immigration policies at The Canberra Times.


By Edmund Tadros and Markus Mannheim

Australia’s military university has filed at least 29 formal reports of alleged sexual offences over the past decade, including claims a female cadet was king-hit and raped while unconscious.

But the records, obtained under freedom of information law, may represent a mere fraction of all reported assaults at the Australian Defence Force Academy.

One colonel warned the school’s commandant, Commodore Bruce Kafer, in April that its archives were ”patchy” about incidents before 2009 and could not be relied on as a full account of the academy’s troubled history.

Read more about ADFA at The Canberra Times.