Australia’s hard-working Department of Immigration and Border Protection yesterday (23 December 2013) spent valuable tax-payer-funded hours on a matter of urgent national security, and then told us all about it via a media release on the astonishing topic of Santa’s great Aussie investment on behalf of our toy manufacturers. Given the timing of Christmas, they couldn’t wait for the Minister’s regular operational briefing on Friday …
Apparently, a wise and well-informed Santa figured that the “business short stay visas” he has used in the past to support his annual Christmas visits to Australia didn’t quite match his commitment to our nation. Instead, he realised that this year he would require a “subclass 188 significant investor visa” in order to secure “the employment of hundreds of local and interstate elves”.
We get the lame joke. We could prolong the weak humour by noting that Santa’s investment target, “Festive Toys Inc”, isn’t registered as an Australian business and lacks an ABN. Is Santa trying to bypass the GST? Clearly, his funds are headed in a shady direction and the Department should never have granted his visa.
But it’s not April Fools’ Day. We are concerned that valuable staff time, at a real cost to tax-payers, has been directed to devising a fabrication rather than preparing sound policy to REDUCE IMMIGRATION to Australia.
Also yesterday, The Australian revealed this fascinating information about the same Department’s more serious work on our behalf:
Spending by the Department of Immigration on legal fees jumped to $46 million last year – a 40 per cent increase in two years – as the number of people in immigration detention soared and the government was forced to defend its visa decisions in the courts.
The legal costs were one of the highest of any commonwealth agency, contributing to a total government legal bill of $715m last year.
We are pleased that the government is willing to back its decisions with court action, and we understand that good legal processes are not cheap. There is, however, a better way. A comprehensive policy to REDUCE IMMIGRATION would ultimately reduce the number of contentious decisions. This would help to reduce the Department’s legal costs and to conserve tax-payers’ funds. It would also reduce pressure on infrastructure!
You might like to share these observations with your family and friends over festive celebrations in coming days. Remind them of how easy it is to write REDUCE IMMIGRATION on ballot papers, and thus to influence decision-makers at local, state and federal levels.
Best wishes for the season to all our readers!