4.4.10 Security Notice Issued

Summary

This topic explains the impact of a security notice being issued to an individual in receipt of FA or an FTB child, as well as information on review and appeal processes.

Issuing of a security notice

The cancellation of a visa by the Immigration Minister or the cancellation of an Australian passport or the refusal to issue an Australian passport by the Foreign Affairs Minister on national security grounds may lead to a notice being given to the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General will then consider:

  • the extent, if any, to which they are aware that any payments of FA of the individual are being, or may be, used for a purpose that might prejudice the security of Australia or a foreign country, and
  • the likely effect of the cancellation of their FA on the individual's dependants if the Attorney-General were to issue a security notice.

The Attorney-General may then decide to issue a security notice to the Minister for Social Services in relation to the individual. The security notice may then result in:

  • cancellation of the individual's FA payments, or
  • FA payments for that individual being paid to a payment nominee, or
  • cancellation of an FTB child's payments if the security notice is given in relation to an FTB child aged 19 or younger.

Payment nominee

If FA payments are directed to be paid to a payment nominee, the payment nominee is appointed by the Secretary and must use the payments in accordance with a written direction of the Secretary. The nominee must adhere to all legislative requirements of payment nominees (4.1.3.10), as modified by the FA(Admin)Act section 57GI.

Act reference: FAAct section 57GI Loss of family assistance for individuals on security grounds

Review & appeal of security notices

The decision to issue a security notice is made by the Attorney-General and not an officer under the FA legislation. As a consequence, decisions made under the relevant provisions to pay or not to pay FA are taken not to be decisions of an officer under the FA legislation therefore they cannot be reviewed under the FAAct Part 3 Division 7.

Decisions to cancel welfare payments may however be subject to a judicial review under the Judiciary Act 1903 section 39B or The Constitution section 75(v).

Decisions of the Foreign Affairs Minister and the Immigration Minister to cancel or refuse passports and visas (respectively) and the Attorney-General to issue security notices may also be reviewable under the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977.

As any decision by the Attorney-General to cancel welfare payments is triggered by the cancellation of a visa or the cancellation of, or refusal to issue an Australian passport, an individual will be able to seek a review of the decision to cancel a visa or the cancellation of, or refusal to issue, a passport. This would include merits review under the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975 of an adverse security assessment made by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) in support of those decisions.

Act reference: FAAct section 57GR Certain decisions not decisions of officers

Last reviewed: 7 November 2016