On 8 February 2007, the Senate referred to the committee the
examination of estimates of proposed additional expenditure for the financial
year 2006-07. The committee is responsible for the examination of the
Attorney-General's portfolio and the Immigration and Citizenship portfolio. The
portfolio additional estimates statements were tabled on 8 February 2007.
Reference of proposed expenditures
The Senate referred to the committee, for examination and
report, the following documents:
- particulars of proposed additional expenditure in respect of the
year ending on 30 June 2007;
- particulars of certain proposed additional expenditure in respect
of the year ending on 30 June 2007; and
- statement of savings expected in annual appropriations made by
Act No. 66 of 2006 (Appropriation Act (No. 1) 2006-07) and Act no 67 of
2006 (Appropriation Act (No 2) 2006-07).
The Senate also referred the following documents:
- final budget outcome 2005-06; and
- Advance to the Finance Minister as a final charge for the year ended
30 June 2006.
The committee was required to report on its consideration of
the additional estimates on or before 21 March 2007.
The committee met in public session from 12 February to 13 February 2007.
Over the course of the two days' hearings, totalling over 22
hours, the committee took evidence from:
- the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC);
- the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT);
- the Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT);
- the Attorney-General's Department (AGD);
- the Australian Customs Service (ACS); and
- the Australian Federal Police (AFP).
Copies of Hansard are available on the internet at the
following address: http://www.aph.gov.au/hansard/index.htm.
An index of the Hansard for each portfolio appears at Appendix
1 and Appendix 2.
The committee heard evidence from Senator the Hon Ian Campbell,
Minister for Human Services representing the Minister for Immigration and
Citizenship and from Senator the Hon Chris Ellison, Minister for Justice and
Customs who represented the Attorney-General.
Officers from both departments and associated agencies also
appeared. The committee thanks Ministers and officers for their assistance.
Questions on notice
Further written explanations, and answers to questions on
notice, will be tabled as soon as possible after they are received. That
information is also available on the committee's internet page at the following
The committee has resolved that the due date for submitting
responses to questions on notice from the Additional Estimates round is 30 March 2007.
In this report, the committee draws the attention of the Senate
to issues raised in the two days of hearings. These included:
- division of responsibilities in the Immigration and Citizenship
portfolio between the new Minister and Parliamentary Secretary;
- the financial position of DIAC;
temporary business (long stay) visas (subclass 457); and
- the composition of the refugee intake;
- family law issues and other policy making in relation to the
- Family Relationship Centres (FRCs);
- the National Document Verification Scheme(DVS);
Mr David Hicks;
- Integrated Cargo System (ICS); and
- AFP investigations regarding the theft of military equipment.
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