NZ bikie has Australia visa cancelled - again

Aaron Joe "AJ" Grahamm, a former president of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, had his visa cancelled in June last year. Photo / Getty Images
Aaron Joe "AJ" Grahamm, a former president of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, had his visa cancelled in June last year. Photo / Getty Images

Australia's Immigration Minister has again cancelled the visa of a New Zealand-born bikie with a long criminal record, hours after a federal court quashed the original decision.

Federal Court judge Richard Tracey on Thursday quashed Immigration Minister Peter Dutton's decision to cancel the visa of Aaron Joe "AJ" Graham over a technicality involving procedural unfairness.

A spokesperson for the minister told AAP on Thursday afternoon that Mr Dutton had "decided to again cancel his visa" - and Graham will remain in immigration detention or return to New Zealand pending any appeal.

Graham, a former president of the Rebels outlaw motorcycle gang, had his visa cancelled in June last year.

The immigration minister cancelled the special category visa that had allowed Graham to live in Australia since 1976 - when he arrived as a 10-year-old child - because his criminal convictions meant he failed the character test.

Under the Migration Act, a person fails the character test if they have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of more than 12 months.

Graham has been racking up convictions since 1985, Justice Tracey noted in his judgment.

In 2009 he was convicted in the Tasmanian Supreme Court of three counts of assault and sentenced to 15 months in prison.

But the immigration department in 2011 decided not to cancel Graham's visa and instead warned him after considering his long-term residence in Australia, his links to the community, his three adult children, and the risk of further offending.

Graham reoffended after the warning, which prompted the department to ask Mr Dutton to cancel his visa in 2015.

He was arrested during police raids targeting bikies in Hobart in June last year, before being flown to a NSW correctional facility to await deportation after Mr Dutton cancelled his visa.

Mr Dutton's office says the law allows the minister to cancel a visa without notice if he suspects the person does not pass the character test, or if he is satisfied it is in the national interest to do so.

- AAP

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