Government to save cash on immigration

 

Tuesday’s federal budget indicates $389.

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6 million will be spent in 2014-15 and 2015-16 on resettlement assistance for refugees and removal costs for those found not to be owed protection.

The cash includes $141.9 million on building accommodation and facilities in Papua New Guinea, Nauru and Cambodia for resettled refugees.

No cash has been allocated for 2016-17 and beyond.

Officially, only one asylum seeker boat arrived in Australia last year while an unknown number were turned back to Indonesia under Operation Sovereign Borders.

Just to be sure the trend continues, a $40 million advertising campaign will be rolled out domestically and overseas to discourage people smuggling ventures.

The Customs ship Ocean Shield will also have its patrol time at sea ramped up from 180 days to 300 days at a cost of $74.3 million over five years.

There’s also a $554.5 million saving over five years from scaling down the detention centre network and reduced need for charter flights to take asylum seekers to Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea.

Detention facilities at Phosphate Hill and Construction Camp on Christmas Island and Blaydin in Darwin will shut their doors, on top of the 11 centre closures since the coalition came to power in 2013.

The establishment of Border Force Australia, which merges Customs with the immigration department this July, will save $270 million over four years.

There also will be efficiencies made in visa, refugee, humanitarian processing and by simplifying skilled migration and temporary visa programs to the tune of $168.1 million over four years.

The humanitarian refugee intake will remain at 13,750 places next financial year before rising to 18,750 in 2018-19.

The permanent migration program stays at 190,000 places including 128,550 for skilled workers and 57,400 for family reunion.