The 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
The integrity of Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Programme will be restored over the forward estimates from the 2015 Budget with the ongoing success of Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB).
After stopping the flood of illegal maritime arrivals (IMA) into Australia under Labor, the vast majority of refugees taken in by Australia will once again be from the world’s refugee camps and other locations offshore.
The intake in the Special Humanitarian Programme (SHP) fell from almost 4,700 people in the last year of the Howard Government to just 500 in 2012-13 while the number of IMAs taking their places rose from 200 to almost 5,000.
The thousands of IMAs in Australia who are still to be processed will not take the places of those offshore as they did under Labor.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said that with OSB stopping the illegal boat arrivals, once again Australia would be able to offer the majority of spaces in the Humanitarian Programme to those around the world most in need.
The intake would remain steady over the next financial year, remaining at 13,750 places in 2016-17 then increase to 16,250 places in 2017-18 and 18,750 places in 2018-19.
"This commitment means that Australia remains one of the top three refugee resettlement countries in the world," Mr Dutton said.
"Our 2018-19 offshore intake will be among the largest in more than 30 years."
"Out of the 13,750 places this year, a minimum of 11,000 will be made available in the Refugee and the Special Humanitarian Programme categories, including 1,000 designated places for women at risk." Mr Dutton said.
The Government has recently undertaken broad consultation with peak organisations and community leaders to inform the future composition of the programme.
Up to 190,000 places will be provided for permanent migration in 2015-16.
That will include approximately 128,550 places for skilled migration, 57,400 for family migration and 565 for migration under the Special Eligibility stream of the managed Migration Programme.
In addition at least 3,485 places will be provided for Child category migrants outside the managed Migration Programme.
"Our Migration Programme will continue to benefit Australia with these decisions balancing the Government’s economic, social and humanitarian responsibilities," Mr Dutton said.