This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Requests made by George Christensen's office for Visa's for fnationals.'.


 
 
 
7 January 2019 
TD 
BY EMAIL:  [FOI #5178 email]  
In reply please quote: 
FOI Request: 
FA 19/01/00139 
File Number: 
ADF2019/3676    
Dear TD 
I refer to your email dated 26 December 2018 in which you request access to documents 
held by the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) under the Freedom of Information 
Act 1982
 (the FOI Act). 
I am writing to tell you that I intend to refuse your request on the basis that a practical refusal 
reason exists. However, before I make a final decision to do this, you have an opportunity 
to revise your request to remove the practical refusal reason. This is called a ‘request 
consultation process
’. You have 14 days to respond to this notice in one of the ways set out 
below. 
Scope of Request 
You have requested access to the following: 
Submissions by George Christensen or his office, supporting the granting of Visa's 
for Filipino Nationals within the last 18months. 

Power to refuse request  
Section 24 of the FOI Act provides that if the Department is satisfied that a practical refusal 
reason exists in relation to a request, the Department must undertake a consultation 
process with you, and if, after that consultation process, the Department remains satisfied 
that the practical refusal reason still exists, the Department may refuse to give you access 
to the documents subject to the request. 
Practical refusal 
practical refusal reason exists if either (or both) of the following applies: 
(a) 
the work involved in the processing of the request would substantially and 
unreasonably divert the resources of the Department from its other 
operations  
(b) 
the request does not satisfy the requirement in section 15(2)(b) of the FOI 
Act, which requires you to provide such information concerning the document 
you are seeking access to, to enable the Department to be able to identify it. 
 
6 Chan Street Belconnen ACT 2617 
PO Box 25 Belconnen ACT 2616 • Telephone: 02 6264 1111 • Fax: 02 6225 6970 • www.homeaffairs.gov.au 
 
 

link to page 2 link to page 2
Reasons for practical refusal 
In order for the Department to be able to identify any documents that would be relevant to 
your request, it is necessary to first identify the individual visa applications for which 
submissions may have been received from Mr Christensen or a member of his staff. To do 
this, each and every visa application received by the Department across the timeframe of 
your request, being 18 months, would have to be assessed, to ascertain whether any such 
submissions had been received. 
In the event that the Department were to be able to limit those searches to individuals who 
were identified as being a citizen of the Philippines, each of those visa applications would 
have to be individually assessed  to ascertain whether any submissions were received in 
support of that application, and whether that submissions was from a particular person that 
may fall within the scope of your request. 
Whilst you have limited the timeframe for your request to 18 months, you have not identified 
a specific type of visa. Statistics published by the Department on its website demonstrate 
that in 2017-18  
•  a total of 106,773 visitor visa applications were lodged from individuals who were 
citizens of the Philippines 
•  a total of 2,520 primary subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visas were granted 
to individuals who were citizens of the Philippines2 
There are a broad range of other visas that would also be captured by your request. 
The Department would be required to divert significant resources from its current operations 
in order to identify, locate and collate the documents held within the Department that may 
be captured by your request. Without reviewing each and every single visa application 
received during the 18 month timeframe of your request, it would not be possible for the 
delegated FOI decision maker to be assured that all documents relevant to your request 
had been identified. 
This diversion of resources which would occur to accomplish this task would result in a 
substantial adverse effect on the business area within the Department  that would be 
required to undertake that task. To process the request would require a complete diversion 
from that area’s ability to carry out their normal functions and activities.  
I am satisfied that in order to undertake such a search for any documents that would be 
relevant to your request, the Department would be required to divert significant resources 
from its current operations, and that this diversion would result in an unreasonable diversion 
of the resources of the Department from its normal operations.  
Request Consultation Process 
If you wish to revise your request to specify the documents you are seeking access to, the 
agency may be able to process your request and consider whether it holds any relevant 
documents. 
You now have an opportunity to revise your request to enable it to proceed. 
                                                
1 https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/research-and-stats/files/visitor-visa-june-2018.pdf  
2 https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/research-and-stats/files/temp-res-skilled-rpt-summary-30062018.pdf  



Under section 24AB of the FOI Act, you have 14 days to respond to this notice in writing 
and advise me whether: 
•  you wish to make a revised request; 
•  indicate that you do not wish to revise your request; or 
•  withdraw your request.  
If you do not do one of the three things listed above during the consultation period (14 days) 
or you do not consult the contact person listed below during this period, your request will be 
taken to have been withdrawn in accordance with section 24AB(7) of the FOI Act. 
Contact 
Should you wish to revise your request or have any questions in relation to this process, 
please do not hesitate to contact us at [DIBP request email].  
 
Alison Smith 
Acting Assistant Director | Freedom of Information Section 
FOI and Records Management Branch 
Productivity and Compliance Division | Corporate and Enabling Group 
Department of Home Affairs 

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