Media releases

"Extraordinary Risks" In Visa Privatisation

November 01, 2019

ANDREW GILES MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIES AND URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE
SHADOW MINISTER ASSISTING FOR IMMIGRATION AND CITIZENSHIP
MEMBER FOR SCULLIN

A former deputy secretary of the Department of Immigration has delivered a scathing critique of the Morrison Government's plan to privatise Australia's visa system, saying it contains "extraordinary risks", during a senate inquiry today into the controversial proposal.

Dr Abul Rizvi said that there had been a failure to make a business case for the privatisation scheme.

Mr Rizvi also warned that in the case of an underperforming private contractor running Australia's visa system: "it would be near impossible for the Commonwealth to take back control without losing control of the visa processing system".

Any hope that the outsourcing of the visa system might clear the chronic backlog of visa applications was also smashed by Mr Rizvi, because the privatisation would start with visa categories that are easy to process and not the complex caseload that are largely responsible for the backlog.

In the UK, where the visa system has been privatised, there are rising calls to overhaul the system following profiteering of visa operators and their exploitation of vulnerable people.

Reports have shown visa applicants can only attend one of just six "core centres" across the

country which offer a free service. Or they can go to another 51 which charge a fee starting from 60 -forcing people to travel hundreds of miles or pay high fees in order to submit their applications on time due to a lack of free appointments.

Peter Dutton refuses to talk about his $1 billion privatisation scheme because it can't be justified.

Enough is enough. The Morrison Government must stop its plan to privatise Australia's visa system, immediately.

A FAIR GO FOR AUSTRALIA