CAPSA’s Federal Pre-Budget 2023-24 Submission

CAPSA welcomed the opportunity to provide a submission to the Federal Government’s Pre-Budget 2023-24.

We believe that through this budget, the Federal Government has the opportunity to provide tangible, positive change – including permanent protection and sustained financial and community support – to the lives of refugees and people seeking asylum in Australia.

CAPSA hopes that this Budget will enable the fulfilment of all welcomed election promises, providing permanent protection where owed and prioritising the humane treatment of all refugees and people seeking asylum.

Summary of our recommendations:

Support refugees and people seeking asylum to rebuild their lives in the community

Recommendation 1: Ensure the transition of TPV and SHEV holders to permanency begins as soon as possible but no later than the 2023-24 Budget. Further, this should be facilitated through adequate funding across visa processing, community assistance and support, swift family reunion and support during the transition to permanency, including free legal assistance.

Recommendation 2: Devote adequate resources and make the required administrative changes to the SRSS program so it can provide ongoing support to those who need it most. This would include revising the eligibility criteria to be based on need, rather than employability and other factors.

Recommendation 3: Reverse the ministerial discretion preventing children medevaced from offshore detention to attend university and provide sufficient funds to allow for the supported resettlement of the Medevac cohort in Australia, including independent legal and psychosocial support.

A more generous Humanitarian program

Recommendation 4: Expand Australia’s Humanitarian Program beyond the ALP’s current stated goal of 27,000 to sustainably address the escalating demand and longevity of crises such as those unfolding in Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Recommendation 5: Continue to provide targeted and sustained funding to ensure that visa processing, including in the humanitarian program, continues to occur expeditiously.

End indefinite detention and resettle those offshore permanently in Australia

Recommendation 6: Reverse the previous Federal Government’s decision not to resettle refugees from Indonesia who registered with UNHCR after July 1 2014.

Recommendation 7: Invest in the creation and implementation of policies that ensure immigration detention is only used as a measure of last resort, for the shortest possible duration – in line with international standards.

Recommendation 8: End offshore processing and ensure swift resettlement for all affected people owed protection; in Australia, otherwise wherever that is least damaging for and preferred by them. Allocate funds to ensure appropriate financial, psychosocial, legal and community support to all affected people as they consider their futures and resettlement options. 

Read our full submission here.