Submission on the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support Discussion Paper (December 2017)
The Refugee Council of Australia made a submission on the Discussion Paper by the Department of Social Services (DSS) on the future of the Settlement Grants Program. The paper had been developed to guide sector consultations and provided an opportunity for currently funded Settlement Grant providers and other key stakeholders to provide views and ideas on the proposed changes to the Program before the next funding round.
Submission to the Inquiry on the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 (October 2017)
In this submission, the Refugee Council of Australia expresses profound concerns about the likely effect of the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 2017 on people in detention, their families and support networks as well as visitors to immigration detention facilities. We are greatly concerned that this Bill aims to introduce further restrictions to an immigration detention environment that is already highly restrictive.
Submission on visa simplification framework (September 2017)
On 31 July 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection opened public consultations on reforming the Australian visa system. In this submission, we made early comments on a discussion paper proposing a fundamental simplification of the visa framework.
Submission to Inquiry on the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2017 and the Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Amendment (Rates of Charge) Bill 2017 (September 2017)
This submission welcomes the introduction of two Bills that would change the regulation of lawyers who act as migration agents, the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2017 and Migration Agents Registration Application Charge Amendment (Rates of Charge) Bill 2017 for inquiry and report by 16 October 2017
Submission to inquiry into transitional arrangements for the NDIS (August 2017)
The Joint Standing Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) established an inquiry into transitional arrangements for the NDIS. This submission highlighted key barriers for refugees with disabilities in receiving support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and proposed recommendations for improving that support.
Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 (August 2017)
In this submission, we express our concerns the proposed amendments in the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 2017 will further disadvantage newly arrived communities in finding employment. Refugees often face difficulties in gaining employment due to structural barriers, including those created by federally funded employment programs, such as the Jobactive Program.
This submission will provide an overview of the failure of the proposed amendments to social services legislation, including the Jobactive program, to meet the needs of refugee communities.
Submission on the OPCAT in Australia consultation paper (July 2017)
On 9 February 2017, the Australian Government announced it intended to ratify the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT). by December 2017. In this submission, we made recommendations in relation to the implementation of the Optional Protocol on the Convention against Torture. This treaty provides for oversight and coordination of the monitoring of detention, including immigration detention
The inquiry into school to work transition
On 31 May 2017, the Standing Committee on Employment, Education and Training launched a new inquiry into School to Work Transition. This inquiry examined how better to support people to transition from school to work. RCOA’s submission endorsed the submission of the Multicultural Youth Advocacy Network, which identified barriers faced by young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds in this transition.
Submission on the Australian Government’s foreign policy White Paper (March 2017)
The Australian Government prepared a foreign policy White Paper, the first since 2003. Billed as a “comprehensive framework” to guide Australia’s international engagement over the next five to ten years, the White Paper was released in November 2017. Our submission on Australia’s foreign policy White Paper makes recommendations in relation to regional cooperation in the Asia Pacific, valuing multiculturalism, the value of diaspora communities and better engagement with international and regional organisations.
Submission into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017 (March 2017)
On 9 February 2017, the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee began an inquiry into the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017. This Bill includes measures previously introduced in other Bills, including the Family Payments Structural Reform and Participation Measures Bill 2015, and the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Family Measures) Bill 2015.
Submission into the inquiry into migrant settlement outcomes (February 2017)
On 17 November 2016, the Joint Standing Committee on Migration was asked to inquire into and report on migrant settlement outcomes. This submission into the inquiry on migrant settlement outcomes addresses proposals to exclude young people on the basis of character, the current settlement services framework, and provides suggestions on how to improve settlement experiences for people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds.