Australian Government, 2010‑11 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Immigration and Citizenship

Border Security — biometrics for border and visa processing

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 28.7 15.5 11.6 12.5
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 1.0 - - -

The Government will provide $69.4 million over four years (including $1.0 million in capital funding) to introduce a biometric‑based visa system for certain visa applicants. From 2010‑11, visa applicants in ten overseas locations may be required to submit fingerprints and facial images, which would be matched against the biometric databases of Australia and partner countries. The Australian Passports Office will also further develop its biometric capability to better combat the fraud exposure of genuine Australian passports.

This builds on the measure Biometrics for visa and border processing commencement announced in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2009‑10.

Further information can be found in the press release of 23 February 2010 issued by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.

Border Security — engagement with Indonesia

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 5.7 21.2 2.4 2.0

The Government will provide $32.9 million over four years to enhance Indonesia's capacity to manage irregular migration flows in the region.

This measure will support Indonesia's Directorate‑General of Immigration in managing irregular migration flows and combating people smuggling activities. The measure includes assistance to Indonesia to improve the integrity of their visa application determination and granting process, and the processing of involuntary returns; additional funding to the International Organisation for Migration to support the Indonesian Government in upgrading a number of immigration detention facilities; and extra funding to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the processing of refugee status determinations.

The cost of this measure will be partially offset by $31.2 million from the provision for expanded aid funding held in the Contingency Reserve. The remaining $1.6 million will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

This measure is part of the Government's commitment to increase Australia's overseas development assistance over the long term.

Border Security — Regional Movement Alert System — continuation

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - - - - -

The Government will provide $9.2 million over four years to continue the Regional Movement Alert System (RMAS). The RMAS is a counter‑terrorism initiative endorsed by Asia‑Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders in 2005 that allows participating countries to automatically verify the status of passports.

Provision for this funding has already been included in the forward estimates.

Department of Immigration and Citizenship — efficiency improvements

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - -0.3 -0.3 -0.3 -0.3

The Government will reduce the administrative cost of grants programs administered by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship by consolidating the existing Diverse Australia program and the National Action Plan to Build Social Cohesion, Harmony and Security program to form the Diversity and Social Cohesion program.

This measure will provide savings of $1.1 million over four years.

Grant to the Refugee Council of Australia

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - - - - -

The Government will provide a grant of $140,000 per year, starting in 2009‑10, to the Refugee Council of Australia to ensure its continued solvency.

The Refugee Council of Australia is a peak national body representing the views of the refugee and humanitarian sector and is made up of some 130 organisational members and 200 individual members.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Indexation reform — settlement services for migrants and refugees

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - -0.6 -1.4 -2.2 -5.2

Indexation of a number of services provided under the Settlement Services for Migrants and Refugee program will be amended to a Wage Cost Index as new contracts are entered into between 2010‑11 and 2013‑14. This is consistent with Government indexation arrangements for other programs with substantial wage cost components.

This measure will provide savings of $9.4 million over four years compared to current indexation arrangements.

Three Settlement Services programs are affected by this change: the Adult Migrant English program (AMEP) which provides English lessons to eligible migrants; the Humanitarian Settlement Services (HSS) program which provides humanitarian migrants with initial intensive settlement services; and the Grants for Community Settlement Services (CSS) program which provides grant funding to help migrants participate equitably in Australian society.

Migration Program — allocation of places for 2010‑11

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Various Agencies - -7.8 -19.6 -33.0 -47.6
Australian Taxation Office - 15.0 30.3 45.1 60.6

The Government will provide up to 168,700 places in the 2010‑11 Migration Program, unchanged from the 2009‑10 planning level. However, the composition of the Migration Program will be shifted towards the skill stream in order to focus the program more on Australia's economic needs and help to alleviate emerging capacity constraints. The 2010‑11 Migration Program will comprise 113,850 skill stream places, 54,550 family stream places and 300 special eligibility places.

The net impact on the fiscal balance is expected to be an increase of $258.9 million over four years.

Migration program — General Skilled Migration eligibility changes

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 16.0 -2.9 -5.5 -5.7 -4.0
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 2.1 - - - -

The Government will provide $33.0 million over five years (including capital of $2.1 million in 2009‑10 for information technology changes) to reform eligibility requirements for General Skilled Migration (GSM) applicants following the review of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). The reforms will ensure the GSM program is more responsive to the needs of industry and employers and better addresses the nation's future skill needs.

Reforms include revoking the MODL from 8 February 2010, implementing a new and more targeted Skilled Occupations List, phasing out the Critical Skills List and changing the Migration Act 1958 to give the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship the power to set the maximum number of visas that may be granted to applicants in any one occupation. Around 20,000 offshore General Skilled Migration program applications lodged before 1 September 2007 will be cancelled and the visa application charges refunded to all affected applicants.

The cost of this measure includes departmental expenses to implement the reforms ($18.6 million over four years) and visa application charge refunds ($14.4 million in 2009‑10). From 2010‑11, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will reprioritise $33.0 million from its existing resources to fully offset the cost of the measure.

Further information can be found in the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship's press release of 8 February 2010.

See also the related revenue measure Migration program — General Skilled Migration eligibility changes — visa revenue in the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio.

Mirrabooka Multicultural Centre

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - - - - -

The Government will provide an additional $0.6 million in 2010‑11 towards the construction of a multicultural centre in Mirrabooka, Western Australia. A $1.0 million contribution towards the construction of the centre was included in the 2008‑09 Budget.

Mirrabooka is an area of high migrant and refugee settlement. The multicultural centre, to be built in partnership with the City of Stirling, will include homework and support services for young people and an outreach service for women. It will also facilitate organised sporting and recreation activities to help newly arrived migrants integrate into the community.

The cost of this measure will be offset from the Grants for Community Settlement Services program.

Offshore Asylum Seeker Management — officer deployment to Afghanistan

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 2.9 2.9 - -

The Government will provide $5.8 million over two years to deploy two officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to Kabul, Afghanistan.

The officers will liaise with the Afghan Government and relevant international organisations to assist with the appropriate settlement and re‑integration of returned Afghan nationals.

Systems for People — ongoing maintenance funding

Expense ($m)
2009‑10 2010‑11 2011‑12 2012‑13 2013‑14
Department of Immigration and Citizenship - 41.7 45.0 42.0 41.0

The Government will provide an additional $169.6 million over four years for business‑as‑usual funding to maintain the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's (DIAC's) Systems for People information and communication technology infrastructure.

Systems for People was approved in the 2006‑07 Budget to address deficiencies in DIAC's information systems identified in the Palmer and Comrie reports.

The cost of this measure has been offset by a provision previously included in the Contingency Reserve, and therefore has no net impact on the budget position.

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