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Department of Home Affairs Consultation: Managing Australia’s Migrant Intake

In order to inform the Settlement Council of Australia’s response to the Department of Home Affairs discussion paper, Managing Australia’s Migrant Intake, we are conducting a telephone consultation with members across the country. The teleconference will take place from 2.30pm AEDST on Monday 29 January 2018. Register here.

The Department of Home Affairs (formerly Department of Immigration and Border Protection) is currently undertaking its annual consultation into the planning of the Migration Program.

This commenced with an industry roundtable in Sydney in mid-December 2017 where SCoA CEO Nick Tebbey, together with representatives of approximately 10 other industry stakeholders, engaged in a high-level discussion with departmental representatives about the future of the migration program and the impact that recent changes have had on security, stability and, importantly, settlement prospects for all migrants.

SCoA took the opportunity to press for a more holistic consideration of settlement, and called for decisions impacting all migrants to be viewed in light of their long-term settlement prospects. It is SCoA’s strong belief that further investment in services that assist the settlement of all migrants will have significant benefits, both for those migrants and, importantly, for Australia as a whole. We will continue to press this point in future interactions with the department.

Following the stakeholder roundtable, the department has now released a discussion paper (attached below) which asks interested parties to consider a range of issues that impact the current migration program and also planning into the future. It sets out 10 questions, which have been reproduced here for reference.

Interested parties are encouraged to submit their answers to these questions, as well as any other relevant comments, by 2 February 2018 to migration.policy@homeaffairs.gov.au.

SCoA will be developing a comprehensive response to this discussion paper and welcomes any input from our members. If you have any comments, queries or concerns, please direct them to our National Office at info@scoa.org.au by no later than 25 January 2018.

DHA Discussion Paper – January 2018

General
  1. What factors are important to consider in planning the Migration Program over the next five years? Would those factors change over the next 10 or 15 years? If so, how?
  2. How can we plan migration to ensure it is balanced to manage the impact on the economy, society, infrastructure and the environment in a sustainable way?
  3. How can governments, industries and communities help ensure infrastructure and services best support migration as well as the broader population?
    1. Do you think migration is currently being planned with a sufficient view of Australia’s long-term needs?
    2. If not, how could these considerations be better incorporated?
  4. Does the current size and balance of the Migration Program reflect the economic and social needs of Australia?
    1. What information do you need about migration? Would information about future migration planning levels numbers assist you?
Planning the Migration Program
  1. How could the permanent Migration Program be more responsive to global migration trends, including the rise of temporary migration?
  2. Should we have planning levels for the permanent Migration Program? Should we plan for some streams of migration but not others? Should we have planning levels for any or all of the temporary programs?
  3. How do family and skilled migration differ? Should these difference mean we plan for each differently?
  4. Is Australia maximising the benefits of independent unsponsored migrants in the Migration Program? How can the Independent stream be strengthened?
Family Migration
  1. How can we ensure family migration best enables Australians to reunite with overseas family members, while supporting the Australian community?
  2. How can we best manage and plan for primary visa applicants as well as the family they bring with them on their visa? Should secondary applicants be counted separately from primary applicants?