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Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

Cross portfolio measures for Indigenous Australians

The Government continues to direct substantial resources to achieving better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. As part of this, the Government is taking a new direction, putting in place a framework of cooperative structures that will produce greater collaboration and coordination across government agencies.

The new Indigenous initiatives in the Budget will provide funding of $253.1 million over five years (including $35 million in 2003-04) for a range of Indigenous initiatives including: family violence prevention, health, education, employment, community volunteers, infrastructure, and the continuing process of reconciliation.

This funding includes $13.1 million to be absorbed within the existing resourcing of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and an equity injection of $20 million (for expansion of the Home Ownership Programme). Accordingly, the gross impact of the measures on the Budget balance over five years is $220 million. Taking into account savings from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services, the net additional expenditure is $110.6 million over five years.

In addition to these cross-portfolio measures the Government will also provide $10.3 million over four years to improve the quality of residential aged care for Indigenous Australians. See also the related expense measure titled Investing in Australia’s Aged Care – more funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Services in the Health and Ageing portfolio.

Table 10: Cross Portfolio measures for Indigenous Australians — Summary of measures

Table 10:  Cross Portfolio measures for Indigenous Australians — Summary of measures

Table 10: Cross Portfolio measures for Indigenous Australians — Summary of measures (continued)

Table 10:  Cross Portfolio measures for Indigenous Australians — Summary of measures (continued)

  1. Total includes expenditure of $20 million in 2003-04.
  2. Total includes expenditure of $15 million in 2003-04.
  3. Details of this measure can be found under Capital.
  4. A positive number for revenue indicates an increase in the fiscal balance.
Northern Territory Juvenile Diversion Scheme and Aboriginal Interpreter Service — continued funding

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Attorney-General’s Department 3.9 - - -

The Government will provide $3.9 million in 2004-05 to divert juveniles from the criminal justice system and to help alleviate the language barrier faced by Aboriginal persons in the Northern Territory. The funding will enable the continuation until 30 June 2005 of the pre-court Juvenile Diversion Scheme, related services for young people such as case management and mentoring, and the Aboriginal Interpreter Service. These initiatives are delivered through an Agreement with the Northern Territory Government.

Indigenous Education Agreement 2005-08

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 7.0 12.1 11.8 11.3

The Government will provide $923 million over four years for new Indigenous Education Agreements with State Governments and non-government education providers for the period 2005 to 2008. This funding represents the Government’s contribution to the operation of Indigenous education. A provision of $878 million of this funding has already been made in the forward estimates.

Total funding for the major component, the Indigenous Education Strategic Initiatives Programme, will be $641.6 million over the 2005 to 2008 period. This includes additional funding of $39 million to support new strategic projects and interventions with a change of focus to “what works”, targeted primarily at Indigenous students of greatest educational disadvantage and particularly those in remote areas.

The Indigenous Education Direct Assistance programme will be restructured at the existing funding levels ($280.9 million over the 2005 to 2008 period). Targeting of the programme will be improved and funding for Parent-School Partnership projects will be allocated on a competitive basis.

This funding also includes an additional $3.2 million over four years to strengthen performance frameworks for Indigenous Education.

Indigenous Youth Employment Consultants

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations - - - -

The Government will provide $13.1 million over four years to fund up to 30 Indigenous Youth Employment Consultants to help facilitate the transition from school to work for young Indigenous people.

The consultants will be linked to Job Network providers and will work with young Indigenous people, their families, communities, education providers and local businesses to improve the transition from school to work by identifying and promoting options for work opportunities, further education and training.

The cost of this measure is being fully absorbed within the existing resourcing of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Indigenous Community Volunteers — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations - - - -

The Government will provide $20 million in 2003-04 to the Indigenous Community Volunteers organisation to expand its capacity to involve non-government organisations and businesses matching skilled volunteers to the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The funding will also provide for longer-term volunteer placements in Indigenous communities of up to two years each.

Indigenous Financial Management

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Family and Community Services 1.1 1.1 1.1 1.1

The Government will provide $4.4 million over four years for additional financial management projects in Indigenous communities. These projects are aimed at increasing the purchasing power of families by assisting them in their management of family income.

Primary Health Care Access Programme for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Health and Ageing 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0

The Government will provide $40 million over four years to the Primary Health Care Access Programme to further improve access to health services for Indigenous Australians. This will build on the measures announced in the 1999-2000 and 2001-02 Budgets.

The additional resourcing will allow further primary health care sites to be established and existing sites to be expanded. This will include additional doctors, nurses and Aboriginal health workers, training of Indigenous Australians to work in health sciences, improved Indigenous health data collection, and improved quality of service provision.

This measure will also facilitate inclusion of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to treat conditions particular to Indigenous health needs. This will include consideration of medicines not yet registered in Australia as well as consideration by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee of medicines not yet subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Reconciliation Australia — continued support

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $15 million in 2003-04 to support Reconciliation Australia’s continuing role in providing a national focus for reconciliation. The funding will be utilised to promote reconciliation, support local community events and identify and promote good reconciliation practice. It will also provide for the ongoing operations of Reconciliation Australia.

Indigenous Family Violence Partnership Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 5.3 10.5 10.7 10.8

The Government will provide $37.3 million over four years to pursue bilateral partnerships with State governments to fund family violence initiatives in Indigenous communities. The Family Violence Partnership Programme will complement the delivery of existing government programmes and services and fund new initiatives and infrastructure to meet gaps in service delivery particularly, but not exclusively, in remote areas. Funding will be directed to areas and communities in need.

Indigenous Family Violence Prevention Legal Services — expansion

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 3.2 6.5 6.5 6.5

The Government will provide additional funding of $22.7 million over four years to double the network of service providers of Family Violence Prevention Legal Services from 13 to 26.

The additional services will be located in regional and remote areas and will provide specialist services to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, particularly women and children, who are victims of family violence and those who are at immediate risk of such violence.

Indigenous Women’s Development

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 2.4 4.7 4.7 4.7

The Government will provide funding of $16.5 million over four years for three new initiatives that are consistent with the Ministerial Council on the Status of Women’s action plan (announced on 29 August 2003) to create opportunities for Indigenous women within the community.

The Networking Indigenous Women Initiative, at a cost of $10.9 million over four years, will promote a network of mutual support and leadership by fostering linkages among women at the local level who have, or who want to take, a leadership role in their communities.

The Indigenous Women’s Leadership Programme, at a cost of $3.9 million over four years, will target women already making a significant contribution within their own communities, building on this capacity and enabling them to expand their horizons and influence.

The Indigenous Men and Family Relationships initiative, at a cost of $1.8 million over four years, will complement and support women’s leadership by focusing on men and promoting their important role in community and family relationships.

Torres Strait — Major Infrastructure Programme

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Torres Strait Regional Authority 5.3 5.4 5.5 -

The Government will provide additional funding of $16.2 million over three years to complete the Major Infrastructure Programme. The programme aims to raise the health and living standards of Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal persons residing in the Torres Strait region through a set of infrastructure-related projects to improve basic community services, such as: water supply and treatment augmentation; reticulated sewerage and treatment; and solid waste disposal.

This measure represents the third stage of the Australian and Queensland Governments’ jointly funded Major Infrastructure Programme for the Torres Strait, which began in 1998. Funding is subject to agreement by the Queensland Government to provide matching funding.

Indigenous Australians — better service delivery

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services -5.3 -10.1 -10.2 -4.7
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission -13.0 -22.4 -21.8 -21.9
Total -18.3 -32.5 -32.0 -26.6

On 15 April 2004 the Prime Minister announced new arrangements to improve outcomes for Indigenous Australians from Australian Government programmes. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) is to be abolished and the programmes formerly delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services (ATSIS) will become the responsibility of other departments and agencies. The abolition of ATSIC will save $79.1 million over four years. These savings, plus the projected ATSIC cash balance of $6.8 million, and other savings from ATSIS of $30.3 million over four years, will be redirected to several high priority programmes.

The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs will assume an enhanced policy role, supported by an Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination. The Office will take over the policy functions of ATSIS and the current responsibilities of the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and the Indigenous Communities Coordination Taskforce.

As an interim measure, pending the Prime Minister’s decision on the new administrative arrangements orders, all assets and appropriations of ATSIC and ATSIS will be transferred to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants

The Government will provide an additional $100.9 million over four years to enhance key settlement and other services for humanitarian entrants and migrants, including those settling in regional Australia. These measures form part of the Government’s response to the Report on the Review of Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants.

Table 11: Settlement Services — Summary of measures

Table 11:  Settlement Services — Summary of measures

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — increased assistance to humanitarian entrants

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 12.2 9.8 9.9 10.0

The Government will provide $41.9 million over four years to improve assistance to Special Humanitarian Programme entrants.

Funding will be provided to cover the cost of medical checks, the establishment of a national no-interest loan scheme to help meet travel costs associated with bringing Special Humanitarian Programme entrants to Australia, partial initial information and orientation assistance, and long-term accommodation support services. It will also provide for stronger case management and coordination across the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy service types and strengthen the role of volunteers under the strategy.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — increased tuition

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 10.7 8.5 8.7 8.9

The Government will provide $36.8 million over four years to increase the hours available to humanitarian entrants under the Special Preparatory Programme. This funding will offer up to 400 hours of preparatory tuition to clients in the 16-24 year age bracket, and supplement existing offered hours of tuition for those above the age of 24 years.

With the changing composition of Humanitarian Programme entrants and the anticipated increase in entrants from African countries, the percentage of entrants with low levels of schooling has increased. This measure will assist humanitarian entrants to deal with a structured learning environment and provide the necessary skills for entry under the Adult Migrant English Programme, and subsequently the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Programme.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — additional funding for community services

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 0.8 1.3 1.4 1.4

The Government will provide $4.9 million over four years to increase grant funding levels under the Community Settlement Services Scheme and improve performance and accountability measures.

The Scheme provides grants to community-based organisations to assist migrants and humanitarian entrants to settle and participate equitably in Australia. The additional funding will improve the capacity of organisations to adequately and efficiently implement work programmes and meet accountability requirements. This measure will also enhance the accountability arrangements for the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’ grants-funded settlement services, ensuring appropriate targeting and maximum value for money.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — maintain funding for the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $25 million over five years from 2006-07 to 2009-10 to maintain funding for existing services under the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy. This will enable a tender for services to proceed this year with re-tendered services to commence in October 2005 and run to June 2010.

The strategy helps humanitarian entrants rebuild their lives in Australia by providing support designed to meet their initial settlement needs. These settlement services are delivered by a number of contracted providers in each State and Territory.

This measure will involve funding of $5 million in each year from 2006-07 to 2009-10. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — Job Placement, Employment and Training and Reconnect services

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Family and Community Services 1.5 2.0 2.1 2.4

The Government will provide additional funding of $8.0 million over four years for ten combined Job Placement, Employment and Training and Reconnect ‘multi-function’ service outlets.

The new services will specifically target young people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds who are newly arrived to Australia. These services will provide early intervention assistance for young people who are either homeless or at risk of homelessness and those attempting to enter the workforce or gain new skills.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — family relationships services

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Family and Community Services 0.5 1.5 1.6 1.6

The Government will provide $5.2 million over four years to community organisations under the Family Relationships Services Programme. The funding will be used to deliver services and information, including family violence and family relationship counselling, to refugee and humanitarian immigrants.

The programme is delivered on behalf of the Government by more than 100 community based organisations, including Relationships Australia, Anglicare, Lifeline, UnitingCare Burnside, and other locally based family support services.

Settlement Services for Migrants and Humanitarian Entrants — additional language, literacy and numeracy places

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Education, Science and Training 4.1 - - -

The Government will provide $4.1 million in 2004-05 for additional places in the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Programme.

This funding will provide around 1,300 new places in 2004-05 to jobseekers whose language, literacy and numeracy skills are below the level considered necessary to secure sustainable employment or additional training.

Other measures in the Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs portfolio

Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs — information technology costs

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 19.0 17.4 17.5 15.7

The Government will provide an additional $69.6 million over four years to fund the extension of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’ Information Technology (IT) service agreement with its outsourced IT provider.

The contract includes improvements in IT functionality related to the scope and complexity of the Department’s business requirements.

The Department will meet $8.1 million of these costs from internal cash reserves.

Fisheries — combating illegal activities in northern Australian waters

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 2.4 - - -
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 0.6 - - -
Total 3.0 - - -

The Government will provide $3 million in 2004-05 to enable the continued apprehension and investigation of illegal foreign fishers in remote localities, implementation of their rapid repatriation, and the continuation of broader fisheries compliance activities.

The Government will further examine long-term arrangements for the apprehension and detention of illegal fishers in Australia’s northern waters.

Humanitarian migration — continuation of displaced refugee initiatives

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $22.4 million over four years to continue initiatives to address the situation of displaced persons and refugees.

This funding will assist international organisations and countries of first asylum to support displaced and vulnerable persons, and to prevent further dispersal of displaced people who require effective protection until repatriation or other solutions become feasible. This funding will be directed at encouraging voluntary returns of persons who no longer need protection.

This measure will involve funding of $5.4 million in 2004-05, $5.5 million in 2005-06, $5.7 million in 2006-07 and $5.8 million in 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Humanitarian migration — continuation of funding for international cooperation

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $4.9 million over four years to maintain resources for work with host governments and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on information flows and cooperation in relation to people smuggling, irregular migration and humanitarian migration.

The funding will support Australia-based employees in continuing to liaise with foreign government officials on matters related to irregular migration and people smuggling, including return agreements, and will assist the UNHCR and the International Migration Organisation to implement repatriation arrangements and to expedite the process of humanitarian visa assessment.

The programme is aimed at strengthening the international system of protection for refugees and reducing people smuggling.

This measure will involve funding of $1.2 million in 2004-05, $1.2 million in 2005-06, $1.2 million in 2006-07 and $1.3 million in 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Humanitarian Program

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 17.3 17.9 17.7 18.1
Department of Family and Community Services 5.2 11.6 13.5 18.4
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations 1.5 2.1 2.3 2.3
Department of Education, Science and Training 1.0 3.4 5.2 6.3
Department of Health and Ageing 0.7 1.9 3.3 4.7
Total 25.7 36.9 41.9 49.8

The Government will increase the size of the Humanitarian Program in 2004-05. The programme will increase from 12,000 to 13,000 places and assistance will focus on refugees from Africa, the Middle East and South West Asia, reflecting the most recent resettlement priorities of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

The funding of $154.3 million will cover the increased provision of services under the Integrated Humanitarian Settlement Strategy, English tuition under the Special Preparatory Programme and the Adult Migrant English Programme, and translating and interpreting services. The funding will also cover income support costs and the expected usage of health, education and employment services by the additional permanent residents.

The Humanitarian Program has also been re-configured, resulting in the intake of refugees increasing by 50 per cent in 2004-05. Refugee places will rise to 6,000 in 2004-05, up from 4,000 in 2003-04. The remaining 7,000 places in 2004-05 will be for the Special Humanitarian Program and onshore protection needs (reduced from 8,000 in 2003-04).

Long-term detention strategy

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs -36.3 -46.5 -51.0 -50.0

The Government has reviewed the long-term detention strategy for immigration detention facilities and is returning $55.5 million over four years to the Budget.

The revised long-term detention strategy takes into account the success of the Government’s measures to reduce unauthorised boat arrivals to Australia, and the ongoing policy to process offshore any new unauthorised boat arrivals. The revised strategy also recognises the continued demand for detention facilities for over-stayers and those who breach visa conditions.

The rationalisation of detention facilities in Australia, to be achieved by the mothballing of the Port Hedland Immigration Reception and Processing Centre, will result in savings of $50.5 million over four years.

Other adjustments to the strategy will result in expense savings of $133.3 million over four years and additional capital funding of $128.4 million over four years, leading to net savings of $5 million. These reflect variations to the scope and timing of proposed developments and upgrades to a number of immigration detention facilities. They also reflect the net impact of replacing funding for the future rental of privately owned facilities with the provision of funding required for public ownership of detention facilities.

The capital funding will meet the cost of upgrades, development and redevelopment work associated with the facilities. The major component of the capital funding ($91.3 million over three years) is the upgrade of Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) to be undertaken by the Department of Finance and Administration. The Department of Finance and Administration is already managing the construction of the Christmas Island Permanent Immigration Reception and Processing Centre.

The revised strategy includes funding for the redevelopment of the Maribyrnong IDC, further upgrades to the Baxter facility and maintenance costs for a Brisbane IDC. The strategy also includes funding to purchase land for a new Melbourne IDC and provisional funding from 2007-08 for a new Melbourne IDC to eventually replace the Maribyrnong IDC.

Migration — continuation of capacity building to combat people smuggling and irregular migration

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $4 million over four years to maintain funding for capacity building to combat people smuggling and irregular migration.

The continuation will help further strengthen the capacities of governments in relevant source and transit countries to combat people smuggling. It will also enable Australia to continue its cooperation with authorities in the region on technical capacity building to maximise managed migration and minimise illegal migration, people smuggling and trafficking.

This measure will involve funding of $1 million in each year from 2004-05 to 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Migration (non-humanitarian) program

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Health and Ageing 2.9 8.5 14.5 21.0
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.3
Department of Education, Science and Training 0.6 2.1 3.5 6.1
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
Department of Family and Community Services 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1
Total 6.2 13.3 20.8 30.0
  1. A positive number for revenue indicates an increase in the fiscal balance.

The Government will increase the permanent migration (non-humanitarian) program by 5,000 places to a range of 105,000 to 115,000 places. The additional places will comprise the former parent contingency reserve of 4,000 places, which is to be rolled into the main programme, and 1,000 places for doctors and their families recruited under MedicarePlus.

In addition to the increase in the permanent migration (non-humanitarian) program, a contingency reserve of 5,000 places for Skilled Independent Regional Visa holders will be established. This visa class aims to encourage more skilled people to settle in regional areas. The visa class requires applicants to settle and work in regional Australia or a low population growth centre for a minimum period before they can apply for permanent residence. The better targeting of migrants through the Skilled Independent Regional Visa class, to the skill needs of the Australian labour market, is expected to deliver additional economic, budgetary and employment benefits.

The funding of $8.3 million over four years provided to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs will be primarily focused on the provision of English language tuition to the additional adult migrants. Funding of $61.9 million over four years for the Health and Ageing, Family and Community Services, Education, Science and Training and Employment and Workplace Relations portfolios will enable the provision of health, education and employment services for the additional permanent migrants.

The additional funding for the increase in the permanent migration (non-humanitarian) programme will be partly offset by increased revenue of $25.2 million through additional Visa Application Charges.

The net overall impact of the programme changes is $45 million over four years.

Migration entry processes — extension of offshore resources

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs - - - -

The Government will provide $15.4 million over four years to maintain the integrity of migration entry processes. This programme strengthens offshore compliance resources to help staff located at overseas posts and major international gateways combat document and identity fraud and people smuggling.

This measure will involve funding of $3.8 million in 2004-05, $3.8 million in 2005-06, $3.9 million in 2006-07 and $3.9 million in 2007-08. Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Regional Migration Initiatives

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 7.0 6.0 6.9 8.1
Department of Health and Ageing -3.0 -7.7 -10.9 -14.3
Department of Family and Community Services -4.1 -6.2 -9.9 -9.2
Total -0.1 -7.9 -13.9 -15.5
  1. A positive number for revenue indicates an increase in the fiscal balance.

The Government will provide $29.8 million (including $1.8 million capital funding) over four years to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs for the implementation of key initiatives to attract people with much needed skills and resources to regional Australia and to smaller capital cities. This will help lower the levels of migration to larger capital cities, in particular Sydney.

As part of this measure a two-stage skilled visa process for certain skilled independent migrants involving two years as a temporary visa holder in regional Australia before application for a permanent visa is allowed will be introduced. A temporary resident State government-sponsored retired investor category will also be introduced to replace the existing Retiree Visa. These initiatives also include higher minimum salary levels for employer sponsored temporary and permanent migrants where they are sponsored by employers in Sydney, and the introduction of a Sydney Skill Shortage list. Both of these are to be determined by the New South Wales Government in consultation with Australian Government agencies.

Promotional activity will be undertaken to raise the level of awareness of regional migration initiatives, particularly amongst employers in regional Australia. The funding will also provide increased humanitarian settlement in targeted regional locations where employment opportunities exist. Settlement assistance will also be provided to eligible families of skilled migrants choosing to go to regional Australia.

The reduction in expenses for the Health and Ageing and Family and Community Services portfolios reflects savings in social security and Medicare resulting from the introduction of a two-year temporary visa period before application for a permanent visa can be considered.

The increased revenue of $57.7 million over four years is the result of additional Visa Application Charges.

The new arrangements will deliver net savings of $93.3 million over four years.

The capital funding will meet the cost of system enhancements related to the changed visa categories required.

Residential Housing Projects and Alternative Detention Arrangements

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 2.0 5.8 6.9 6.9

The Government will provide $27.4 million (including $5.8 million capital funding) over four years to expand Residential Housing Projects and develop alternative detention arrangements, in particular for women and children.

This funding will provide additional Residential Housing Projects at Villawood, Sydney and in Perth, the use of foster care placements for minors and the development of alternative detention arrangements within the community. This initiative continues the Government’s policy to implement a range of alternative detention models to respond to the needs of detainees.

The capital funding will meet the cost of establishing Residential Housing Projects at Villawood and Perth.

Review of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigneous Affairs’ Business Processes and Costs

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 110.5 117.1 124.6 125.2

The Government will provide $477.4 million over four years to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA), to ensure that it is properly resourced to meet the changes in its operating environment. These changes include the heightened security and integrity issues now facing all border protection agencies.

The requirement for additional funding for DIMIA was identified by an extensive review of DIMIA’s resourcing conducted by the Department of Finance and Administration, DIMIA, and the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Treasury.

The Government has agreed to operational efficiencies within DIMIA, which will deliver savings of $5.9 million over the next four years without any loss of quality of service. In addition, the Government has put in place a range of governance measures to enhance transparency and control over DIMIA’s funding in the future.

Provision of $483.3 million over four years was included in the contingency reserve in the 2003-04 Budget for the expected impact of the review from 2004-05 onwards. Accordingly there is a net positive impact on the fiscal balance of $5.9 million over four years.

Review of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs’ Business Processes and Costs — additional funding for capacity building

Expense ($m)
2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.8

The Government will provide additional funding of $18.8 million over four years to increase the capacity of authorities and international organisations in transit and other countries to detect and intercept illegal people movements. This measure will contribute to the continuation of the current low level of unauthorised boat arrivals in Australia.


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