“When contrasting the present respective Victorian and Western Australian positions in terms of a community exposure spread risk and thus, a threat of contracting COVID-19 by a vulnerable person, it must be said that for the present, as a location, Western Australia is now perhaps one of the safest places in the world to be,” Justice Martin found.
BNL20 is facing deportation after his visa was cancelled last year. He had arrived in Australia in 2010 and has been fight authorities for the right to stay here ever since.
In 2013, the Refugee Review Tribunal found that the man should be protected by Australia under the Refugees Convention.
But the Supreme Court was told that in October last year, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s director-general assessed BNL20 to be “directly or indirectly a risk to security” under the ASIO Act.
The man’s lawyer, Sanmati Verma, described the decision to transfer her client to WA as “beggaring belief”.
In a report published by the Human Rights Law Centre, Ms Verma said he was sick and moving him was dangerous.
The Commonwealth said it had a duty of care and that leaving BNL20 in the Melbourne immigration facility was unacceptable.
Justice Martin said he had not been persuaded by the man’s arguments around needing to remain closer to his family and dismissed the application
He was expected to be flown to Perth on a commercial flight before spending 14 days in Yongah Hill under quarantine before being allowed to move around the centre.