US singer Chris Brown has been denied a visa to Australia to perform a series of concerts due to have taken place in December. A notice was sent to the singer indicating the visa refusal and he now has 28 days to appeal the decision. The announcement came three days after Australia's recently appointed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he backed banning Brown from Australia.
"People to whom these notices are issues have 28 days to present material as to why they should be given a visa to enter Australia," a spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said. "Decisions on whether a visa will or will not be issued are made after that timeframe and consideration of the material presented to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection."
A petition calling to ban the singer from performing in Australia was launched earlier in the week by campaign group GetUp. It was signed by more than 14,000 people, with the campaign stating: "Chris Brown is an extremely influential figure, particularly among young people. Allowing his entry into Australia sends the message that the Turnbull government does not place significant weight and condemnation on men's violence against women."
Under Australia's Migration Act, people with a "substantial criminal record" can be refused a visa. In 2009, Brown, 26, pleaded guilty to assaulting singer Rihanna, his girlfriend at the time. He was sentenced to five years probation in the US, which was lifted in February this year. He has been denied visas to the UK and Canada since he was convicted.
Australia's Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, also backed calls to deny Brown a visa earlier this week. She said: "I can assure you that the minister for immigration and border protection will be looking at this very, very seriously. I am clearly not going to pre-empt a decision by the minister, however, I can assure you what my strong recommendation would be."
Meanwhile, many Australians took to Twitter to welcome the decision. The actress, screenwriter and film producer Rebecca Valastro tweeted, "Feels good to be lucky enough to live in Australia, especially as government says -NO MORE domestic violence."
Meanwhile, passionate rock 'n' roll fan Dan Coppard to to Twitter to ask Chris Brown directly, "How do u feel about being banned from Australia? Personally i find it hilarious!" At the time of publication, Brown is yet to reply.
Brown has previously toured Australia since his conviction; once in 2011 and again in 2012. It is unclear whether he will appeal the decision.