The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government's plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
The Government's new Australian Border Force (ABF) will commence operations on schedule on 1 July. Command of the Government's highly successful Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) will transition to the ABF by the end of this year.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said recent events in Australia and around the world highlighted the importance of strong border security.
"The ABF will be an agency focused on protecting our borders with the ability to gather intelligence and swiftly deal with existing and emerging threats across the complete border continuum," Mr Dutton said.
"The officers of the ABF will play a crucial front-line role in addressing the threat of foreign fighters and tackling organised and transnational crime.
"They will also ensure OSB continues to stop the people smugglers who seek to breach our borders and prey on vulnerable men, women and children."
OSB's success in stopping the boats has saved countless lives, stopped the inflow on Illegal Maritime Arrivals (IMAs) and restored the integrity of our borders and our humanitarian immigration programme.
The ongoing success of OSB and its flow-on effects will deliver savings of more than $500 million in the 2015 Budget.
By halting the flood of IMAs who were continually filling detention centres across Australia under Labor, the Government has been able to empty and close many of the 17 additional detention centres opened by the Rudd and Gillard Governments at great cost to the nation between 2008 and 2013.
The savings include:
- closures of Phosphate Hill and Construction Camp on Christmas Island, Bladin APOD in Darwin and fewer numbers at remaining centres realising net savings of $326 million over the coming years;
- reductions to the use of charter flight transfers between the various detention centres providing savings of $66 million; and
- logistics and service requirement savings across the detention network which will add a further $112 million.
These savings are in addition to the 10 detention facility closures in 2014 and other changes to the management of the onshore detention network which generated savings of $283.3 million realised in last year's budget.
Mr Dutton said that in its 20 months of operation OSB had delivered results that many thought were unattainable.
"The facts are clear - our borders are stronger, countless lives have been saved and our costs are down.
"The two most important outcomes in all of this are that there have been no known deaths at sea since we started turning back the boats and without the flood of IMAs we are once again able to reach out through our Refugee and Humanitarian Programme to those most in need around the world and bring them to Australia through an orderly, compassionate and planned way," Mr Dutton said.