Australia Immigration

Cuts will hit Australian immigration department, it is confirmed

by Ray Clancy on August 18, 2016

in Australia Immigration

Concerns have been raised about budget cuts to immigration in Australia, which means hundreds of jobs being lost at a time when the workforce is already stretched.

There are worries that it could mean longer queues for people arriving in Australia and visa applications being processed more slowly.

police-passport-immigrationHundreds more public servants at the Immigration Department and Australian Border Force are set to lose their jobs as the department is hit with deep cuts to its budget this year.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) confirmed that a 5% cut to its budget, some $116 million, means that staff numbers will be reduced by 300. But the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) believes it could be as high as 800.

Voluntary redundancies will be offered until late October and after that there will be a freeze on hiring replacements for departing staff.

CPSU deputy national president Rupert Evans said the cuts will have a major impact at a time when the workload in immigration is growing rapidly. ‘There’s already well over 1,000 fewer staff across the department than there were in 2012/2013. In the same period the number of international passengers has grown by 3.6 million and there’s an extra 2.8 million visas being processed,’ he pointed out.

‘A Government that was genuinely committed to DIBP’s critical work would provide stable and adequate funding to maintain staffing levels and maintain workers’ rights and pay. Indeed if they were serious about coping with rising demand and increasing complexity of work, they’d increase the department’s funding and staffing,’ he said.

Other groups of civil servants in various government departments are also facing job cuts. Plans include the loss of 810 jobs in the Department of Human Services, 344 in the Department of Social Services and over 50 in the Department of the Environment.

Cultural agencies such as the National Film and Sound Archives, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Museum of Australia will lose about 60 positions.

The attorney general’s department could lose 264 positions and a further 41 jobs will go from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, which faced criticism late last year over problems with its employment figures.

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