Australian Government, 2013-14 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Immigration and Citizenship

Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme — continued

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 10.5

The Government will provide an additional $10.5 million in 2013‑14 to fund the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme (ASAS).

This measure will provide continued support at current levels for asylum seekers who are awaiting resolution of their application.

The Government has also agreed to transfer allowances provided under the ASAS, Community Assistance Scheme and Community Detention to the Department of Human Services.

See also the related savings measure titled Integrated Service Delivery Framework.

Australia in the Asian Century — enhancing the Working Holiday Maker Program

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Department of Immigration and Citizenship

The Government will provide $0.3 million over five years commencing in 2012‑13 to enhance the Working Holiday Maker visa program for Indonesia and Malaysia.

The Working Holiday Maker visa program is a capped reciprocal arrangement which allows young adults from partner countries to take extended holidays in Australia and entitles visa holders to a 12 month stay in Australia with work rights. This initiative will increase the current caps in Indonesia and Malaysia from 100 places to 1,000 places per annum and provide an additional $2.6 million in visa revenue over five years.

Funding for this measure was provided for in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13.

Further information can be found in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper of 28 October 2012 issued by the Prime Minister.

This measure forms part of the Government's strategy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Asian century.

Building Socially Inclusive Communities

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 1.1 13.8

The Government will provide $14.9 million over two years from 2012‑13 to fund a package of initiatives to support social inclusion in communities with large migrant populations. This measure expands the existing Diversity and Social Cohesion Program and provides capacity to promote social inclusion and build resilience in particular communities at risk of social discord. Additionally, the Government will provide a range of infrastructure grants to enable these communities to create meeting places to promote social cohesion.

This measure will provide funding to community organisations to engage local coordinators in up to 100 communities across Australia to enhance social inclusion and improve connections to services provided by all levels of government.

The measure will also provide better access to government services by providing funding to translate program information into relevant languages.

Further information can be found in the press release of 12 April 2013 issued by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Combating People Smuggling — Disruption Activities

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 1.9

The Government will provide $1.9 million in 2013‑14 to moderate and reduce the inflow and movement to Australia of irregular maritime arrivals from source countries, predominately the Middle East.

This funding will enhance passenger screening, engagement strategies, response capabilities, and capacity building throughout the Gulf and Middle East region.

This measure is part of the Australian Government's response to people smuggling.

Combating People Smuggling — enhancing the regional response

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 16.2 13.8 9.9 10.1
Attorney‑General's Department 3.2 3.6 4.5 4.5
Total — Expense 19.3 17.4 14.4 14.6

The Government will provide $65.8 million over four years to reduce irregular migration to Australia by improving engagement with origin and transit countries to:

  • increase asylum seeker registrations to promote the use of regular migration pathways;
  • provide additional humanitarian assistance to displaced populations to reduce the incentive to move onwards to Australia through irregular means;
  • improve border control and immigration management to support a regional response to irregular migration;
  • encourage returns of asylum seekers found not to be owed protection; and
  • strengthen legal frameworks to better prosecute people smugglers.

This measure is part of the Australian Government's response to people smuggling, and builds on the 2012‑13 MYEFO measure Response to the expert panel — Regional capacity building initiatives. Funding for this measure will be partially offset from the provision for expanded aid funding held in the Contingency Reserve.

Integrated Service Delivery Framework

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services 10.9 14.2 12.2 12.2
Department of Immigration and Citizenship ‑33.5 ‑28.7 ‑20.4 ‑20.0
Total — Expense ‑22.6 ‑14.5 ‑8.2 ‑7.8
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 5.0
Department of Human Services 1.8
Total — Capital 6.8

The Government will achieve savings of $102.6 million over four years through the rationalisation of administration arrangements for the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme, Community Assistance Support and the Community Detention programs.

Income support arrangements will now be administered through Centrelink, under a streamlined Integrated Service Delivery Framework managed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

To achieve these savings, funding of $56.3 million (including capital funding of $6.8 million) over four years will be provided to DIAC and the Department of Human Services to enhance monitoring of service delivery functions.

Migration Program — allocation of places for 2013‑14

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 0.9 1.6 2.3 2.5
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2

The Government will maintain the 2013‑14 Migration Program at 190,000 places with a revised composition of 128,550 skilled stream places, 60,885 family stream places and 565 special eligibility places.

The small increase in the family migration program will assist in meeting increased demand for family places over recent years which is largely attributed to the increase of skilled migrants who wish to sponsor their partners and other family members. A strong family migration program is an important factor in attracting and retaining skilled migrants.

The skilled stream will continue to focus on Australia's longer term skill needs with a significant allowance for the needs of regional Australia.

The cost of this measure reflects the direct impact of changes in the Permanent Migration Program for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. Any flow‑on effects to other portfolio agencies due to population movements have been reflected in the estimates separately.

Migration Review Tribunal — Refugee Review Tribunal — Revised Demand Driven Funding Model

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal 2.9 0.3 ‑1.5 ‑3.0
Migration Review Tribunal and Refugee Review Tribunal 0.3 0.3 0.5

The Government has identified savings of $0.3 million over four years by adjusting the way in which the Migration Review Tribunal — Refugee Review Tribunal is funded.

Increased funding of $4.4 million (including capital funding of $1.1 million) will be provided over the four years to reflect the level of funding the tribunals require to resolve their expected workload. Reduced expenditure of $4.5 million will be achieved over the two years 2015‑16 and 2016‑17 from implementing a range of increased operational efficiencies.

Refugee Status Determination Review

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Immigration and Citizenship 8.6 8.1

The Government will provide $16.6 million over two years to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for legal expenses associated with refugee status determinations (RSDs) for irregular maritime arrivals (IMAs). As a consequence of the High Court decision that RSDs for IMAs are judicially reviewable, DIAC requires additional resources for legal work.

The Government is also commissioning a comprehensive review into Australia's RSD system. Currently in Australia, a significant number of negative decisions on asylum claims at primary assessment are overturned on review.

In recent years a number of comparable countries, such as the United Kingdom and Canada have undertaken significant reform of their migration legislation and processes for the determination of refugee status, including appeal rights.

A review of Australia's RSD system will look to identify changes to improve the efficacy of the system and to ensure that acceptance outcomes for asylum seeker claims are consistent with our international obligations and with final acceptance rates for comparable cohorts in other countries.

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