Does your party have plans to speed up the status assessment process and make it more transparent?
Currently there are thousands of people who came to Australia seeking asylum who are languishing for years in onshore detention centres, in community detention, and on rolling Bridging Visas. None of these people have any certainty to their situations or lives. Those in onshore detention are imprisoned, those in in community detention have restrictions on their movement and are not permitted to work, and many of those on Bridging Visas have now been cut off from a Status Resolution Support Services payment (SRSS) living allowance.
Australian Greens policy will increase Australia’s humanitarian intake to 50,000 people per year, abolish temporary protection visas and reintroduce permanent protection, limit onshore detention to 7 days, and restore SRSS payments for those that need it while their refugee status is being assessed. These changes and additional resourcing for our refugee status determination system will ensure more applications are processed, more quickly, and with greater transparency and certainty for applicants.
The Australian Greens Access to Justice policy will also ensure that anyone who thinks they are being treated unjustly by our refugee status determination system will have access to appropriately resourced community legal assistance services.
These policies will ensure Australia meets its human rights obligations, can provide a safe-haven for those who need it, and allow refugees to fully participate in our communities and rebuild their lives.
Labor has committed to establishing independent oversight of Australia’s immigration detention network and reintroducing the ‘90 day rule’ into the Migration Act.
The Coalition introduced the Fast Track Assessment process to efficiently and effectively deal with the 50,000 protection claims associated with the legacy caseload inherited from Labor. Applicants found not to engage Australia’s protection obligations, are eligible for a limited form of review by the Immigration Assessment Authority (IAA), rather than placing an additional burden on the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT).
Between 1 July 2018 and 31 December 2018, the IAA received 953 referrals and made 1,454 decisions and had 435 cases on hand. The average median processing time of these decisions was 133 days, which is less than a third of the average number of days from lodgement to decision for applications considered by the AAT.
We have no plans to amend the status assessment process.