" Federal government’s commitment to overhaul Australia’s broken protection visa system – Circle Green Community Legal

A welcome announcement from Immigration Minister Andrew Giles stating that the Federal Government will increase funding and resources to fix Australia’s broken protection visa system.

The government has committed to spending a total of ‘$160 million to “restore integrity” in the system’ (ABC News), including increased funding towards:
    • ten extra Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) members and ten additional Federal Circuit and Family Court judges
    • the Department of Home Affairs for quicker processing of new applications
    • legal assistance services

    ‘Chief executive of the Victorian Foundation of Survivors of Torture, Paris Aristotle, agreed the existing lengthy processes caused refugees more trauma through a “perpetual sense of uncertainty.”’ (ABC News)
    Efficient visa processing will ultimately see refugees and people seeking asylum no longer having to wait in uncertainty for long periods and will assist in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of people seeking protection. Access to legal advice and assistance will ensure applicants experience a fair and informed process.

    We have seen the current broken system’s negative impact on people seeking asylum, including the deterioration of their mental and physical health and overall general wellbeing. These changes are long overdue and necessary. We hope the announcement leads to meaningful change, resulting in a more fair and humane refugee assessment process and generally in the rhetoric around people seeking protection.

    Reference: ABC News, Government to overhaul asylum claim system, saying false applicants are exploiting long wait times (5 October 2023): https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-10-05/asylum-visa-processing-overhaul-clear-years-long-backlogs/102935618