Home Affairs facing $300m overspend

Border Force budget cuts
Australian Border Force staff numbers have been cut in the lead up to Christmas. (Photo: Marina Neil)

Oz Kiwi opinion

Planning an overseas holiday this Christmas?

As well as ensuring your permanent visa’s travel facility is valid, allow for airport delays.

There’s also more bad news for people waiting on visa applications. Recruitment for visa processing staff in Hobart has been halted. Note, this won’t impact on the NZ 189 Visa as it is processed in Adelaide

Home Affairs budget slashed to avoid $300 million overspend

07 December 2018

Sally Whyte and Nicole Hasham — Sydney Morning Herald

The Australian Border Force is slashing staff numbers at airports over the busy Christmas period as part of desperate measures to stem a predicted $300 million overspend at the Department of Home Affairs.

Airport delays

Western Australia Regional Commander Rod O’Donnell said after receiving a revised budget “I will only be able to afford around one third of the current level of [casual staff] usage going forward”. He confirmed this applied to “aviation operations” and would come into effect from December 17.

Expect airport and freight delays.

Christmas is a busy period for both passengers and freight, but Border Force will have fewer staff to cope. (Photo: Wayne Taylor)

Visa processing delays

Recruitment for visa processing staff in Hobart was also halted as part of budget cuts across the country.

Community and Public Sector Union Deputy National President Lisa Newman said, “Visa processing times are already unacceptably long and halting recruitment means they’re only going to get worse.”

[Read the full Sydney Morning Herald article].

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