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Home > News > Refugee Council of Australia welcomes increased funding for refugee support services in 2024-25 Budget

Refugee Council of Australia welcomes increased funding for refugee support services in 2024-25 Budget

The Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA) has welcomed the Australian Government’s increased funding support for refugee settlement services in the 2024-25 Budget and new measures to support people displaced by the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. 

While the annual Refugee and Humanitarian Program will remain at 20,000 places, the level set in 2023-24, the Australian Government has allocated $120.9 million over five years to enhance the support of newly arrived refugees. 

The Government has allocated $2.9 million for emergency financial assistance and Medicare support for people fleeing the conflict in Gaza and Israel and $1.9 million for Medicare access for Ukrainians on bridging visas. 

RCOA chief executive officer Paul Power said the majority of the new settlement funding would focus on additional resources for the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP). 

“The funding boost to the HSP of $86.6 million over five years is much needed as this program provides critically important support to newly resettled refugees,” Mr Power said. 

“We also welcome the allocation of $1.0 billion over five years to establish the new Administrative Review Tribunal. Reform of Australia’s administrative appeals process is critically important to creating greater fairness and more prompt decision-making in Australia’s onshore protection program.” 

While the Department of Home Affairs will allocate $890 million to Refugee, Humanitarian and Migrant Services and $142 million to Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the bulk of Departmental spending will be allocated to border security and detention measures. These include $604 million for the Offshore Processing policy, $1.16 billion for Onshore Compliance and Detention, $1.43 billion for Border Enforcement, and $586 million for Border Management.  

“It’s disappointing to see the allocation for Asylum Seeker Support Payments has been cut from $37 million in last year’s budget to $17.3 million in the 2024-25 budget. It is clear that more work needs to be done to convince the Government to act on community concerns about destitution and homelessness among people in the asylum process.” 

For media inquiries, contact: 

Elly Kohistani
M: 0432 809 244 

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