Immigration and Border Protection

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April 05, 2019

On the eve of the election the Liberals are steamrolling ahead with their plan to privatise Australia’s visa processing system – putting at risk 3000 Australian Public Service jobs and our border security.

Today – a Friday afternoon after Parliament had risen – the Department of Home Affairs quietly released the next stage of tender documents of the Liberals’ privatisation plans. The first round of documents were released on 7 December 2018 – the day after the Parliament had risen for the year.

Labor has announced it strongly opposes the Liberals’ privatisation of Australia’s visa processing system.

Visa processing times have blown out of control under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government with partner visas now at record-high processing times of up to 28 months. The number of people on bridging visas in Australia – waiting for the Department to process their applications – has blown out to over 191,000 people.

The Liberals’ “solution” is to privatise Australia’s visa processing system with service fees and profits being handed over to the top end of town as part of a ten year contract that would even eventually extend to Australia’s citizenship processing.

Peter Dutton has been put in charge of the contracts after Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman recused themselves from the process due to their close personal and professional friendship with one of the front running bidders for the contract.

Why has the man named the worst Immigration Minister due to his ever-growing list of failures been put in charge of the biggest decision and changes to Australia’s immigration system in decades?  

Labor is deeply concerned the privatisation of visa processing will mean the loss of thousands of Australian jobs, puts at risk the privacy of applicants given the transfer of personal data to a private provider, and ultimately weaken the integrity of Australia’s borders.
These risks are proof that Australia’s visa processing system should remain in public hands to support Australia’s national interest; not the interests of private profit.

The only way to stop the Liberals’ plan to privatise our border control is to elect a Shorten Labor Government.