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Independent News For The Australian Public Service
Edition Number 411. Updated Tuesday, 27 May 2014

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20,000 extra humanitarian places

Australia is to provide 20,000 extra places within the Special Humanitarian Program (SHP) of Australia's humanitarian refugee intake that will assist those most in need of resettlement.

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison said the extra places were the humanitarian dividend of the Government's successful border protection policies.

Mr Morrison said the places included 16,000 places over the Budget and forward estimates period and more than 4,000 in the current financial year, and the places would be delivered from within Australia's existing intake.

"In 2014-15 Australia will welcome 13,750 people through our humanitarian program and remains one of the top three refugee resettlement countries in the world," he said.

Border protection 'dividend'

"Consistent with our election commitment, a minimum of 11,000 of these places will go to offshore applicants."

Mr Morrison said of the 13,750 places at least 4,000 would be provided under the SHP component for the families of offshore humanitarian entrants.

"The grant of any temporary protection visas to illegal boat arrivals will be on top of the 13,750 permanent places offered to those arriving legally in Australia through the legitimate process," he said.

Mr Morrison said also in 2014-15, one thousand places would be allocated to the Woman at Risk program.

He said this program was celebrating its 25th year and had seen more than 14,000 visas granted to vulnerable refugee women and their children.

"The Government's policies under Operation Sovereign Borders are stopping the boats, saving lives at sea and allowing more places under our humanitarian program for those waiting in desperate circumstances around the world, without increasing our overall refugee intake at great expense to taxpayers," Mr Morrison said.

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