The Turnbull Government is strengthening Australia’s border, while helping the economy through more efficient border clearances of people and goods.
The dividends of the success of Operation Sovereign Borders in stopping the boats will achieve further savings in this Budget, helping to strengthen our nation’s finances.
“There has not been a successful people smuggling venture to Australia for more than 600 days. In stopping the boats we have halted the flow of illegal arrivals into detention centres,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said.
“This success will enable the Government to close four additional detention facilities, achieving savings of $39.1 million over four years.”
This will take the total number of detention facility closures by this Government to 17.
While Labor was in government they opened 17 – the result of their failure to secure Australia’s borders allowing people smugglers to send more than 50,000 illegal arrivals into our country.
These closures have saved Australian taxpayers more than $500 million.
The additional facility closures will be staged over the next two years to retain operational capability. Facilities to be closed are:
- Perth Immigration Residential Housing
- Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre in Melbourne
- Blaxland compound at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre in Sydney.
Further, the lease for the Wickham Point Alternative Place of Detention will not be renewed beyond November 2016.
“The closures are part of a comprehensive long-term plan for the immigration detention network and will occur progressively between 2016 and 2018,” Mr Dutton said.
“The Government will continue to invest in the immigration detention network to ensure its facilities are fit for purpose and are able to manage any potential risks to community safety and security.”
The Government is also committed to fostering legitimate trade and travel to further help our economy’s transition and create jobs.
“We will invest $69.9 million over four years to implement the Australian Trusted Trader (ATT) program.”
ATT is a partnership between Government and private industry aimed at enhancing trade by improving the international competitiveness of Australian businesses.
Another dividend of the Government’s border protection policies is the restoration of integrity to our refugee and humanitarian program.
This has meant Australia can offer an additional 12,000 places to resettle people displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
During 2016-17 Australia will continue its generous resettlement, with 13,750 places available in the Humanitarian Program to those most at risk. By 2018-19 Australia’s Humanitarian Program will increase to 18,750 places.
Up to 190,000 places will be available for permanent migration in 2016-17. This will include up to 128,550 places for skilled migration, 57,400 for family migration and 565 for migration under the Special Eligibility stream of the managed Migration Program.
In addition, at least 3,485 places will be provided for child category migrants outside the managed Migration Program. This continues the transition of the child category to a fully demand-driven model by 2019-20 as recommended by the Interdepartmental Committee on Intercountry Adoption in 2014-15.