News National Govt to fast track refugees

Govt to fast track refugees

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The federal government plans to tackle a huge backlog of asylum seeker claims by introducing new laws to speed up the decision process.

About 23,000 asylum seekers are living in Australia on bridging visas and awaiting determinations on their claims.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has flagged that after July 1, when the Senate changes over, he’ll introduce a bill to parliament aimed at “triaging” refugee claims, The Australian reported on Friday.

This means the government will be negotiating the passage of the laws with eight crossbenchers, including three senators from Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party, rather than the Australian Greens who currently hold the balance of power.

The government is also considering changes to the Refugee Review Tribunal, which reviews unsuccessful asylum seeker claims, to allow the government make its own case on appeals and challenge any new information introduced by claimants.

“When our bill gets to parliament … the resolve of the parliament to support the strong policies of the coalition will be put to the test,” Mr Morrison told The Australian.