The Australian Government has called for input from the Australian public on the Humanitarian Programme, including the size and composition of the Programme.
The Government has already committed to increase the size of the Programme from the current level of 13,750 places up to 16,250 places in 2017-18 and 18,750 places in 2018-19. In addition, last September it announced an extra 12,000 places to resettle people displaced by conflicts in Syria and lraq.
Despite its commitment to high rates of growth, the Government claims that the consultation process will inform its decision-making about program planning and development. We believe that the current growth trajectory, alongside the Migration Programme of 190,000 permanent places in 2015-2016, is unsustainable for Australia. We hope that the Minister will be open to well-argued recommendations to REDUCE IMMIGRATION. Former NSW Premier Bob Carr, for example, told ABC Radio National on 16 February that ‘population growth is a cause of many of our problems and we should halve immigration immediately to combat it’.
To support the consultation process, the Government has released a Humanitarian Programme 2016-17 discussion paper that outlines how the Programme currently operates and provides information on its management, size and composition over previous years. The Programme provides permanent resettlement to those most in need, who are in desperate situation overseas, including in refugee camps and protracted humanitarian situations. Note that regional processing arrangements and Australia’s management of the illegal maritime arrival legacy caseload are not within the scope of this discussion paper or consultation.
The government seeks answers to the following questions:
- In your view, how many places should Australia attribute to the offshore component of its Humanitarian Programme?
- What do you think should be the proportion split between the Special Humanitarian Programme and Refugee categories in the offshore component of its Humanitarian Programme?
- To which regions (Africa, Asia or Middle East) do you think most places should be allocated?
- In your view, how important is the Woman at Risk programme?
- Should the available places under the Community Proposal Pilot be increased?
- Do you have other comments, particularly on the offshore component of the 2016-17 Programme?
The government invites interested people and organisations to make written submissions. These should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by Sunday 27 March 2016.
Please send the REDUCE IMMIGRATION team a copy of your submission! Our email is: email@example.com
Sources and references:
Media Release, 17 February 2016, from the Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Departmental webpage [17 February 2016]