Reports that many foreign fighters have returned to Australia emphasises the need for parliament to pass legislation to prevent such dual-citizens temporarily heading home from war zones, a federal cabinet minister says.
News Corp newspapers reported 40 Australians who joined Islamic State and other extremist military groups fighting in Syria and Iraq are now back home.
It says federal government authorities believe some of the fighters, who are among 230 Australians who have travelled to the war zone since 2012, pose a “significant” security concern.
“I think it is important that we proceed to the temporary exclusion orders,” Industry and Science Minister Karen Andrews told Sky News on Sunday.
She said the temporary exclusion order provided the government and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, in particular, the opportunity to access how, if and when they should return to this country.
“Our number priority as a government, and it’s a number one priority for every government, is to keep its citizens safe,” Ms Andrews said.
The government will be looking to pass the temporary ban on dual-citizen foreign fighters from returning to Australia during the next sitting fortnight.