2015-16 Federal Budget in Brief – what it means for refugees or people seeking humanitarian protection

Record of Australian Extraterritorial Migration Control.

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2016-03-24 00:49:14

2016-03-24 00:49:14

• From 1 July 2015, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service will merge into a single agency, the Australian Border Force. The Government expects to save $270.1 million over four years from 2015-16 through this measure. Command of Operation Sovereign Borders will transition to the Australian Border Force by the end of 2015.
• $12.5 million has been allocated under the Attorney-General’s Department to extend the activities of the Operation Sovereign Borders Disruption Deterrence Task Group for a further two years. The Task Group, which is a joint effort involving the Australian Federal Police, Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Security Intelligence Organisation and the Australian Crime Commission, focuses on intelligence gathering, disruptions and joint policing operations.
• No further funding has been allocated for the Special Envoy for Operation Sovereign Borders.
• $39.9 million has been allocated over four years from 2015-16 to continue anti-people smuggling
strategic communications campaigns in Australia and overseas.
• $74.3 million has been allocated over five years from 2014-15 to increase the availability of the Australian Customs Vessel Ocean Shield for disruption of maritime people smuggling operations. The availability of the Ocean Shield will increase from 180 days per year to 300 days per year in 2015-16 and 2017-18 before decreasing back to 180 days from 2018-19.
• $4.7 million has been allocated in 2015-16 only to continue international engagement activities to prevent and disrupt maritime people smuggling. Australian Border Force officials will continue to be stationed in Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.
• $53.8 million has been allocated over two years from 2015-16 to extend Operation Resolute, the Australian Defence Force’s border protection operation.
• $86.9 million has been allocated to regional cooperation and capacity building activities to “strengthen the migration and border management capabilities of partner governments”. This will include activities to prevent and deter irregular movement, support harmonisation of asylum systems across the region and support international organisations providing services for irregular migrants intercepted en route to Australia.
• $1.3 million has been allocated in 2015-16 to the Regional Support Office established through the Bali Process but no further allocations are included in forward estimates.

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Refugee Council of Australia

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