The federal budget, released this week, includes expenditure of $2.9 billion on immigration in 2019–20, of which around 65 per cent is to be spent on irregular migrants on and offshore.
The key elements of the federal budget in relation to asylum policy have been reported as:
the closure of Christmas Island Immigration Detention Centre, reopened in February at a cost of $180 million, from 1 July 2019; and
the reduction of payments to asylum seekers in Australia under the Status Resolution Support Service (SRSS) from $139.8 million in 2017-18 to $52.6 million in 2019-20.
Currently the Christmas Island centre is staffed by 150 people with no asylum seekers or refugees transferred there. One person has been transferred under the Medevac legislation, but was sent to mainland Australia for medical care.