Coalition senators oppose the recommendations of this report.
Coalition senators strongly support and endorse comprehensive settlement
and support services for migrants. As the committee's report notes, Australia's
delivery of settlement services is internationally acclaimed. The committee’s
recommendation to create an entirely new bureaucracy to control settlement
services is onerous and unnecessary. The current administrative arrangements
have proven to be successful and will continue to be.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) has proven experience in leading
the Government's settlement services policy and support and is leading reform
of better linkages to other government services.
Through the new Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) which begins on 30
October 2017, DSS is driving reform to the sector that will see:
an outcomes-based delivery framework introduced;
improved case management for humanitarian entrants with
individualised, needs-based support;
clearer linkages to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and
the Skills for Education and Employment Program, (administered by the
Department of Education and Training) and jobactive, (administered by
the Department of Employment);
better English language, education and employment outcomes for
humanitarian entrants, including introducing new methods to track outcomes over
expanded orientation and information on life in Australia to
provide humanitarian entrants with foundation skills required for their new
innovation and increased efficiency in service delivery amongst
a reduction in bureaucratic red tape for service providers.
The committee's recommendation that a specific migrant-stream employment
service be developed by the Department of Employment under the current jobactive
model is already being addressed through several government departments.
As the committee was advised during hearings, DSS has been regularly
convening an interdepartmental working group to discuss better employment
outcomes for humanitarian entrants and improving coordination between agencies
with regards to the sharing of information between on-the-ground services. The
working group has included the Department of Employment, the Department of
Education and Training, the Department of Human Services and the Department of
Immigration and Border Protection.
DSS officials acknowledged that an evaluation had found skills
recognition reform was needed. It is a high priority of the Turnbull Government
that humanitarian entrants' skills and experience is recognised to lead to job
Recommendation 2 also asks for 'stronger coordination' with the AMEP,
which, as outlined above, will be achieved under the DSS-led Humanitarian
Settlement Program (HSP).
Coalition senators oppose making recommendations to independent private
organisations such as the Australian Press Council, particularly those with the
role of holding the parliament to account.
Coalition senators oppose the recommendation that democratically elected
Members of Parliament should be bound by codes of ethics developed by previous
Senator Jonathon Duniam
Senator James Paterson
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