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Latest submissions

20Dec 17

2018-2019 Pre-Budget submission

On 20 September 2017, the Assistant Minister to the Treasurer called for submissions from individuals, businesses and community groups seeking their views regarding priorities for the 2018-19 Budget. This submission focused on the Refugee and Humanitarian Program, overseas aid, temporary protection, asylum and offshore processing.
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19Dec 17

Submission on the Settlement Engagement and Transition Support Discussion Paper

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.
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20Oct 17

Submission to the Inquiry on the Migration Amendment (Prohibiting Items in Immigration Detention Facilities) Bill 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.
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27Sep 17

Submission to the inquiry into regional development and decentralisation

In this submission, we argue that the movement of refugees to regional areas can sustain and grow the population base, bring about economic opportunities, grow and diversify the regional economy and employment base, and create more vibrant and cohesive communities. Importantly, we argue that the Australian Government should consider not only the challenges faced by refugees directly resettled in regional areas (primary resettlement), but needs to offer greater and more targeted support to those who move to regional towns after living in metropolitan areas, as well as to the communities that receive and welcome these groups.
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25Aug 17

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill 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.
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25Aug 17

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.
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18Aug 17

Submission to the inquiry into a Modern Slavery Act

This inquiry was established to consider whether there should be a Modern Slavery Act in Australia. Our submission highlights the need to address forced migration issues throughout Asia, recognising the link between refugees and victims of trafficking. It explores options for Australia to take a more protection focused role in the region, especially through leadership in the Bali Process. Finally, it endorses a Modern Slavery Act in Australia and highlights areas of particular concern for people seeking asylum and refugees in Australia in relation to issues of trafficking.
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01Aug 17

Submission on the Australian Citizenship Legislation (Strengthening Requirements) Amendment Bill 2017

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 would introduce new requirements before people can obtain Australian citizenship, including a new English language test and changes to the period of residence. It also re-introduces previous measures that would increase the discretionary powers of the Minister for Immigration. This submission sets out the Refugee Council of Australia's key concerns about this Bill.
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25Jul 17

Submission on the OPCAT in Australia consultation paper

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.
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08Jun 17

Response to the proposed citizenship changes

In this submission to the Department of Immigration, RCOA expresses its deep concern at the changes to the test and requirements for Australian citizenship proposed in the Discussion Paper published on 20 April. The inclusive nature of Australian citizenship is a crucial element in the success of our multicultural society. Gaining citizenship should be an enabling, positive and welcoming process for applicants and one which is seen to contribute to building a cohesive and dynamic nation.
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