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
The Morrison Government’s controversial visa privatisation scheme should be scrapped, according to a Senate Committee inquiry into outsourcing of government services.
This is another embarrassing blow to Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton as they try to sell off Australia’s $1 billion visa system.
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee recommended that: “…the Australian government does not proceed with the Request for Tender (RFT) Delivering Visa Services for Australia - Global Digital Platform, and seeks instead to fund and deliver an in-house solution.”
Over 2,000 Australian jobs are on the chopping block because of Scott Morrison’s visa privatisation scheme.
The Senate inquiry heard damning evidence of the risks associated with outsourcing the visa processing system, including procurement risk, economic risk, data security and threats to national security.
The Migration Council Australia expressed concern that Australia’s system of migration could be negatively affected by the privatisation of the processing system.
The Migration Institute of Australia also expressed ‘grave concerns’about ‘commercialising’ the visa processing system, identifying ‘a tension between integrity and profit.
The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) is concerned that visa privatisation could lead to the next robodebt.
Universities Australia made clear that: “The best way to maintain integrity, efficiency and minimise cost and hardship to visa applicants is for Australian visa processing services to be retained within the immediate control of the Department of Home Affairs.”
Universities Australia also raised concerns that visa outsourcing may create a visa system ‘which is not equitable’.
The Committee warned against adopting a similar privatisation scheme to that undertaken in the UK – where visa outsourcing has prompted a strong backlash - with lawyers and MPs calling for an investigation into the private scheme that rips off migrants and allows private companies to reap millions.
This follows revelations yesterday that Scott Morrison’s mate Scott Briggs had bailed from the Australia Visa Processing (AVP) bid, after Mr Briggs’ Southern Strategy made a ‘mistaken’ $165,000 donation to the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party still refuses to answer any questions about the ‘donations for tenders’ scandal.
The Age and SMH has reported that investors had “grown very weary” of the lengthy process and believed Mr Brigg’s connections had disadvantaged the bid.
Nobody supports visa privatisation, not even Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, who said: "I tell you what, I don't know if I'd want to put our border security system at risk with a privatised entity."
Enough is enough, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton must scrap their plan to privatise Australia’s visa system.