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Australian Government Coat of Arms

Budget | 2015-16

Budget 2015-16
Australian Government Coat of Arms, Budget 2015-16

Part 2: Expense Measures (continued)

Immigration and Border Protection

Asylum Seeker Support — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑0.1 20.8 ‑0.1 ‑0.1 ‑0.1

The Government will provide $21.0 million in 2015‑16 to continue provision of the Asylum Seeker Assistance Scheme to support eligible non‑Illegal Maritime Arrivals while they await resolution of their migration status.

This measure will be partially offset by not renewing federal grant funding of $140,000 per annum to the Refugee Council of Australia.

This measure will also be offset by other savings and revenue measures from the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio.

Emerging International Airports

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 4.1 4.5 4.5 4.1
Department of Agriculture 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
Total — Expense 4.6 5.0 5.0 4.7
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 2.8 3.3 0.5
Department of Agriculture 0.3
Total — Capital 3.1 3.3 0.5

The Government will provide $26.2 million (including $6.9 million in capital funding) over four years from 2015‑16 to establish permanent border clearance services at Townsville and Sunshine Coast airports to support regular international air services.

Further information can be found in the press release of 7 February 2015 issued by the Prime Minister.

International Organization for Migration — reduction

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑13.6 ‑15.1

The Government will achieve savings of $28.7 million in 2014‑15 and 2015‑16 through revising funding provided to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under regional cooperation arrangements. Funding for the IOM has been reduced to reflect that the costs of managing potential illegal immigrants (PIIs) are lower than originally estimated.

The IOM is funded for the care and management of PIIs intercepted on their way to Australia and to assist the Indonesian Government to monitor migration flows and coordinate responses to irregular maritime activity.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Management of the Immigration Detention Network

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 0.5 1.3 1.0 0.7 0.5
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑21.8 ‑101.4 ‑142.8 ‑137.3 ‑136.3
Total — Expense ‑21.4 ‑100.1 ‑141.7 ‑136.6 ‑135.8
Department of Human Services
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑8.2 ‑10.5
Total — Capital ‑8.2 ‑10.5

The Government will achieve savings of $554.5 million over five years from 2014‑15 by consolidating the immigration detention network.

This measure has been made possible by the Government's effective policy of stopping the boats.

The immigration detention facilities at Phosphate Hill and Construction Camp on Christmas Island and Blaydin in Darwin will be closed. By July 2016 the North West Point facility on Christmas Island will transition to a contingency setting for use as a reception processing site, should it be required.

Savings will be achieved through a reduction in the use of charter flights to support Illegal Maritime Arrival (IMA) transfers, the provision of work rights to IMAs on Bridging Visa Class E and reductions in other logistics and service requirements across the detention network.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Savings for elements of this measure have already been provided for by the Government.

Migration Agents Registration Authority — deregulation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.4 ‑0.5
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑2.4 ‑2.5 ‑2.5 ‑2.6

The Government will remove the requirement for lawyer migration agents to be registered under the migration agents' regulatory scheme following consideration of the Independent Review of the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).

This measure removes an unnecessary regulatory burden, clarifies OMARA's regulatory jurisdiction and ensures lawyers working as migration agents are not accountable to two authorities.

This measure will have a net negative impact on the Budget of $8.2 million over four years from 2015‑16, which comprises a reduction of $10.0 million in revenue and savings of $1.8 million in departmental expenses. This measure is part of the Government's overall effort to remove red tape on business.

This measure will be offset by savings and revenue measures from the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio.

National Security — anti‑people smuggling strategic communications campaigns

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 11.5 11.5 8.4 8.5

The Government will provide $39.9 million over four years from 2015‑16 to continue anti‑people smuggling strategic communications campaigns. Funding will be provided for domestic campaigns as well as those in source and transit countries.

This measure aims to deter people smuggling by alerting potential illegal immigrants to the dangers of people smuggling ventures and educating them about Australia's immigration policy.

This measure extends the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014‑15 measure titled Anti‑people smuggling strategic communications campaigns.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

National Security — Australian Customs Vessel Ocean Shield — surge and continuation

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 16.4 19.1 16.5 19.8
Australian Customs and Border Protection Service 2.5
Total — Expense 2.5 16.4 19.1 16.5 19.8

The Government will provide $74.3 million over five years from 2014‑15 to increase the availability of the Australian Customs Vessel (ACV) Ocean Shield for maritime people smuggling operations from 180 days per year to 300 days per year over the period 2015‑16 to 2017‑18, and to support ongoing operations of 180 days per year from 2018‑19.

See also the related expense measure titled Maintaining the response capability for Illegal Maritime Arrivals in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2014‑15.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

From 1 July 2015 the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will be consolidated into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

National Security — combating people smuggling — international engagement

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 4.7

The Government will continue with its commitment to stopping the boats by providing an additional $4.7 million in 2015‑16 for international engagement activities to prevent and disrupt maritime people smuggling.

Australian Border Force officials within the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to be stationed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka to coordinate Commonwealth agency efforts to sustain the prevention of maritime people smuggling.

This measure extends the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Combating people smuggling — international engagement.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

National Security — Regional Support Office — additional funding

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 1.3

The Government will provide $1.3 million in 2015‑16 to continue the activities of the Regional Support Office of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime, which aims to reduce irregular migration in the Asia Pacific region. This measure is part of the Government's commitment to stopping the boats and putting an end to people smugglers' trade.

This measure will be offset by savings and revenue measures from the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

National Security — strengthen and enhance Australia's border protection services — further measures

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 15.5 17.0 19.9 11.3
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 3.1 3.1 3.1 3.1
Total — Expense 18.6 20.1 23.0 14.5
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 18.5 35.4 33.6 0.7
Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity 0.3 0.2
Total — Capital 18.8 35.4 33.6 0.9

The Government will provide $164.8 million over four years from 2015‑16 to implement capability enhancements to further strengthen Australia's border protection services.

Funding will be provided for:

  • design and scoping work for new ICT platforms to manage travellers' biometric data and visa information;
  • the trial and full‑scale rollout of next generation eGates at major international airports and three seaports; and
  • additional equipment and training for the Australian Border Force to undertake operational activities.

Additional funding will be provided for the expanded workload of the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity. From 1 July 2015 the whole of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's activities comes under the Integrity Commissioner's jurisdiction.

This measure extends the 2014‑15 Budget measure titled Smaller Government — strengthen and enhance Australia's border protection services.

This national security measure underlines the Government's commitment to a safe and secure Australia.

Reforms to the Human Trafficking visa framework

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 2.2 .. .. ..
Department of Social Services .. .. .. ..
Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Total — Expense 2.2 .. .. ..

The Government will provide $2.3 million over four years to reform the Human Trafficking visa framework. Victims of human trafficking who have assisted a criminal investigation and would be in danger if returned to their country of origin will be provided a permanent 'referred stay' visa. Holders of this visa will have access to adult English language training and be exempt from the two year newly‑arrived resident waiting period for social security payments.

This measure will be offset by savings and revenue measures included in the Immigration and Border Protection and Social Services Portfolios.

Refugee resettlement arrangements for Illegal Maritime Arrivals in offshore processing centres

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 137.4 110.2
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 0.1 141.8

The Government will provide $389.6 million over two years to implement refugee resettlement arrangements for Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) who are found to be owed protection, and removal arrangements for IMAs found not to be owed protection. The Australian Government will work with the Governments of Nauru, Papua New Guinea, and Cambodia to build their capacity to deliver settlement services including accommodation, health, education and case management, and to increase their removals capability.

This measure includes $141.9 million in capital funding to provide new infrastructure to support refugee resettlement. The new infrastructure will also deliver benefits to the broader communities of the resettlement countries.

Response to the Integrity Review of the 457 Programme

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 0.7 1.0 1.0 1.0

The Government will provide $3.7 million over four years to implement recommendations from the Independent Review into the Integrity of the Temporary Work (skilled) visa (subclass 457) programme.

This measure will provide funding for the simplification and streamlining of visa processing for low risk 457 sponsors, and the investigation of 457 sponsors to determine whether they are complying with their sponsorship obligations.

This measure will be offset by savings and revenue measures from the Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio.

Smaller Government — consolidation of Australia's border protection services

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection

The Government will achieve savings of $270.1 million over four years from 2015‑16 from the consolidation of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection into a single department.

As well as delivering efficiencies, a single organisation will strengthen and enhance Australia's border protection services, foster trade and travel and improve Australia's national security.

The savings from this measure are a consequence of the 2014‑15 Budget measure Smaller Government — strengthen and enhance Australia's border protection services and will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

The Smaller Government reforms are eliminating duplication and waste, streamlining services and reducing the cost of government administration.

Savings for this measure have already been provided for by the Government.

Smaller Government — Immigration and Border Protection efficiencies

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Human Services 1.2 ..
Department of Social Services 0.1
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑13.6 ‑41.0 ‑42.1 ‑42.4
Total — Expense ‑12.4 ‑41.0 ‑42.1 ‑42.4
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 12.4 12.4 12.4
Department of Human Services
Total — Revenue 12.4 12.4 12.4
Department of Immigration and Border Protection 4.3 2.6
Department of Human Services
Total — Capital 4.3 2.6

The Government will achieve net savings of $168.1 million over four years from 2015‑16 from efficiencies in visa, refugee and humanitarian processing, and by simplifying the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programme.

Efficiencies have been identified following a review of departmental operations relating to the Refugee and Humanitarian Assistance Programme and visa processing systems. In addition, through simplification of the skilled migration and temporary activity visa programme, the number of visa subclasses will be consolidated whilst ensuring programme integrity is maintained, with the related system changes across three portfolios delivering operational savings.

This measure forms part of the fourth phase of the Smaller Government reforms, which reduce the size and complexity of government.

The Smaller Government reforms are eliminating duplication and waste, streamlining services and reducing the cost of government administration.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.

Smaller Government — Immigration and Border Protection Portfolio

Expense ($m)
2014‑15 2015‑16 2016‑17 2017‑18 2018‑19
Department of Immigration and Border Protection ‑0.3 ‑0.3 ‑0.3 ‑0.3

The Government will achieve savings of $1.0 million over four years by merging the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) function into the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and replacing the OMARA Advisory Board with a non‑remunerated independent reference group.

This measure is part of the fourth phase of the Smaller Government reforms which reduce the size and complexity of government.

The Smaller Government reforms are eliminating duplication and waste, streamlining services and reducing the cost of government administration.

The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.