#Budget2015: Immigration’s horror hat-trick; targets still too high

Australia’s national budget for 2015-16 was announced this evening.

For the third year in a row, there are 190,000 places allocated in the Migration program. Also for the third year in a row, there are 13,750 places allocated in the Humanitarian program (increasing to 18,750 in 2018-19). The Abbott (Coalition) government has built on the shameful efforts of the previous Labor government to deliver a bipartisan horror hat-trick.

Late last year, the government sought the public’s views on the immigration program. This implied, we thought, an interest in making changes. We now wonder why they bothered.

According to the SBS news service tonight, some budget savings are being made on the costs of providing resettlement assistance for refugees and removal costs for those found not to be owed protection.

But in terms of the net intake, nothing else appears to have altered. High immigration continues to threaten our environmental sustainability, social cohesion and cultural integrity. Once again, the government has failed to embrace the opportunity to reduce immigration.

Further information: Portfolio budget statements, Department of Immigration and Border Protection, 12 May 2015.

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