BUDGET OVERVIEW: New release for the 2024/25 Financial Year

The Department is responsible for policy leadership and central coordination of strategy on national security and resilience, migration and citizenship, multicultural affairs, and border security. It will continue to deliver on its promise by protecting Australia and is committed to ensure that Australians can safely contribute to their communities through the implementation of policies and programs.

The Department will face trends such as geopolitical tensions, strategic competition, global hazard, technological change, etc, which will shape their plans. The Department will work across government, states, territories and other industries to progress critical reform activities related to:

  • Implementation of new policy commitments and reform under the Migration Strategy – Getting migration working for the nation
  • Implementation of the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy and its associated Action Plan
  • Reinforce the protective security policy across government, including strengthening alignment with the whole-of-Government cyber security settings.
  • Supporting the protection of safeguarding Australia’s critical infrastructure and national coordination of critical infrastructure security protection
  • Building Australia’s national resilience allowing Australia to anticipate, prepare, absorb, adapt, and evolve from both human-induced and natural crises.
  • Enhancing Australia’s national security, through the delivery of national coordination, regulation and policy, in order to safeguard Australia and its national interest from threats.
  • Strengthening national and democratic resilience, including through national strategies and broad-ranging stakeholder engagement by upholding Australian values and managing the disruption and impacts of international conflicts on domestic unity.
  • Enhancing preparedness for, and responding to, cascading events that are likely to have direct impacts on national security and resilience.
  • Maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of our nation’s border security, including reinforcing the whole-of-government approach to countering maritime people smuggling and civil maritime security in Australia’s maritime domain.

In 2024-25, the Department will continue to consult on and deliver reforms and commitments under the Migration Strategy and Nixon Review, including actions that are outlined in the Migration Strategy Policy Roadmap.

Australia continues to be faced with a series of strategic challenges. The measure being progressed will allow the Department to protect Australia that is prosperous, open and united.

For information on the budget, please refer to page 15 of the link below:

https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/Budgets/2024-25-home-affairs-pbs-full-version.pdf

Outcome 1

The outcome 1 consists in “Deliver national coordination regulation and policy that safeguard Australia’s domestic interests from national security threats, including cyber threats.” involves putting into practice programs in various Government bodies. Below are the list of programs to be executed by the respective Government bodies: 

Attorney-General’s Department 

  • Program 1.1: Attorney-General’s Department Operating Expenses—Legal Services and Families.  
  • Program 1.2: Attorney-General’s Department Operating Expenses—National Security, Integrity and International 

The programs of Attorney-General’s Department aims to the management of legislation and policy development by contributing when it comes to progressing of matters international crime and condemnation. 

Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission 

  • Program 1.1: Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission 

The program of Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission aims to work collaboratively with other Government bodies to ensure the protection of Australia from organised crime, and guarantee security and safety. 

Australian Federal Police 

  • Program 1.1: Federal Policing  
  • Program 3.2: International Police Assistance and External Territories 

The Federal Policing program of Australian Federal Police as the name itself says aims to provide national policing services and investigations to guarantee Australia’s security, avoid terrorism and cyber-attacks and meet the Australian economic and social interests 

Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre 

  • Program 1.1: AUSTRAC 

The AUSTRAC program of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre aims to work collaboratively with other Government bodies to identify and report the national security sectors and financial system through a financial intelligence. 

Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water 

  • Program 1.1: Reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions  
  • Program 1.2: Support reliable, secure and affordable energy 

The programs of Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water aims to work collaboratively with the Department of Home Affairs to provide a beneficial providence of water and energy supply by benefiting the energy markets, Australia’s energy infrastructure, and compliance with the International Energy Agency treaty. 

Department of Defence 

  • Program 1.3: Defence Contribution to National Support Tasks in Australia  
  • Program 2.14: Defence Intelligence 

The programs of Department of Defence aims to support Commonwealth and State Governments with emergency and non-emergency tasks and enforce the defence portfolio when it comes to signals that poses in risk the intelligence and Cyber operations. 

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

  • Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations  
  • Program 2.1: Consular Services  
  • Program 2.2: Passport Services 

The programs of Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade aims to the contribution of addressing national threats such as people-smuggling and human trafficking. 

Department of Industry, Science and Resources 

  • Program 1.1: Growing innovative and competitive businesses, industries and regions  
  • Program 1.2: Investing in science and technology 

The programs of Department of Industry, Science and Resources will operates collaboratively with the Department of Home Affairs to create a more innovative technologies to assist and replace critical and outdated technologies, support businesses to create a cyber security awareness, and support a long-term improvement in Australia’s economic diversity 

Department of Social Services 

  • Program 2.1: Families and Communities 

The Families and Communities program of Department of Social Services aim to provide assistance to all victims of slavery and slavery-like offences, support temporary visa holders that are experiencing domestic violence with access to financial support, migration assistance and legal advice, and facilitating the access to information to Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault, forced marriage and women’s right to live in safety, 

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet 

  • Program 1.1: Prime Minister and Cabinet 

The program of Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet aim to provides policy in relation to strategic priorities and major domestic, international and national security matters. 

Department of the Treasury 

  • Program 1.4: Commonwealth-State Financial Relations 

The program of Department of the Treasury relates to the facilitations of making payments to the states on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs in relation to the national security. 

More details in relation to the budged allocated for the Outcome 1 and forecasts can be found in tables between pages 30 to 38 from the Home Affairs Portfolio Budget Statements 2024-25 on the following link: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/Budgets/2024-25-home-affairs-pbs-full-version.pdf 

Outcome 2

The new outcome 2 came based on the same outcome of the last portfolio, but with some changes to reflect the new goals for the next financial year. 

The objective of the Outcome 2 for FY 24-25 is to “Support a united and prosperous Australia through effective coordination and delivery of immigration and citizenship policy and programs underpinned by robust integrity and assurance.” 

The Department of Home Affairs will be working with different departments through linked programs to help on achieving the expected results of Outcome 2. In a sum up, the DOHA will be working with: 

Department of Employment and Workplace Relations  

  • Program 1.1: Employment Services 
  • Program 2.1: Building Skills and Capability 

To provide clearer pathways and improved access to training for eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants; 

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

  • Program 1.1: Foreign Affairs and Trade Operations 
  • Program 2.1: Consular Services 
  • Program 2.2: Passport Services 

To counter people smuggling and human trafficking. Also supporting international traveller facilitation providing high-quality consular and passport services; 

Department of Industry, Science, and Resources 

  • Program 1.1: Growing innovative and competitive businesses, industries and  
  • regions  
  • Program 1.3: Supporting a strong resources sector 

Working on employer-sponsored permanent skilled migration and Significant Investor Visa Complying Framework to attract new sources of foreign investment, and industry understanding of immigration program options; 

Department of Social Services 

  • Program 2.1: Families and Communities 

Administering the Building a New Life in Australia Longitudinal Study of Humanitarian Migrants. 

Services Australia 

  • Program 1.2: Customer Service Delivery  
  • Program 1.3: Technology and Transformation 

Helping to deliver the best customer service to individuals, families and communities; and provides ICT network to deliver major transformation projects, including ICT shared services. 

More details in relation to the budged allocated for the Outcome 1 and forecasts can be found in tables between pages 39 to 48 from the Home Affairs Portfolio Budget Statements 2024-25 on the following link: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/Budgets/2024-25-home-affairs-pbs-full-version.pdf 

Outcome 3

Advance a prosperous and secure Australia through trade and travel facilitation and modernization, and effective customs, immigration, maritime and enforcement activities across the border continuum.  

Linked Programs:  

  • Australian Federal Police 
  • Australian Fisheries Management Authority 
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority 
  • Australian Taxation Office 
  • Civil Aviation Safety Authority 
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry 
  • Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water 
  • Department of Defence 
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 
  • Department of Health and Aged Care 
  • Department of Industry, Science and Resources 
  • Department of the Treasury 

PERFORMANCE MEASURES FOR OUTCOME 3 

Trade and Facilitation  

To advance Australia’s economic interests by co-designing services and policies that reduce the impact on legitimate movement of goods, and supports the Government’s trade agenda. 

Key activities:  

  • portfolio strategy, legislation and policy, to support the facilitation of legitimate trade  
  • Australian Trusted Trader Program delivery 
  • provision of tariff classification, valuation and rules of origin advice services  
  • advancing customs and border modernisation initiatives  
  • expert guidance to support import and export of legitimate goods. 

Performance Measure: Effective trade and travel policy and regulation and effective administration of border revenue processes 

Planned Performance results: 100 per cent of Australian Trusted Traders (ATTs) subject to assurance processes either pass, or are subject to a compliance activity 

Borderforce Management  

To protect Australia’s sovereignty, security and safety by developing strategy, legislation and policy that supports legitimate border movements, ensures compliance with border controls, strengthens visa and citizenship system integrity, and protects the Australian community from health risks. 

Key Activities:  

  • development and delivery of portfolio strategy, legislation and policy to support the facilitation of legitimate travel  
  • policy development and modelling in relation to border modernisation, community protection and consumer safety  
  • provision of migration, travel and import and export data and statistics  
  • risk-based compliance activities to promote observance of Australian border laws 

Performance Measures 

Effective trade and travel policy and regulation and effective administration of border revenue processes 

Planned performance results 

Average clearance time for travellers, and clearance rate for air cargo and sea cargo is maintained or improved 

Borderforce Revenue Collection  

To advance Australia’s economic interests through the effective collection and administration of customs duty and border charges 

Key Activities  

  • revenue collection and application assurance  
  • risk-based investigations and compliance activities 
  • enhanced revenue detection activities and promotion of voluntary disclosures  
  • collection and administration of Passenger Movement Charge  
  • administration of the Tourist Refund Scheme 

 Performance measures  

Effective trade and travel policy and regulation and effective administration of border revenue processes 

Planned performance results  

ABF employs effective processes to reduce revenue evasion  

Borderforce Enforcement  

Effective border security, maritime surveillance and response activities, and management of the Immigration Detention Network 

  • Continued support for Operation Sovereign Borders 
  • Risk management for processing of international air and sea passengers and crew 
  • Self-processing and clearance for eligible travellers at international airports 
  • Continued inspection and examination activity of international mail, air cago and sea cargo for deterrence and prevention of prohibited goods movement 
  • Land based patrol and surveillance  
  • Investigation and prosecution of breaches off Australian border laws  
  • Mitigation of risks posed by civil maritime security threats 

Performance measures 

Effective border security, maritime surveillance and response activities, and management of the Immigration Detention Network 

Planned Performance results  

The Australian Border Force effectively supports the Joint Agency Taskforce Operation Sovereign Borders (JATF OSB) mission to maintain zero successful maritime people smuggling ventures  

Onshore Compliance and Detention 

To protect Australia’s sovereignty, security and safety by maximising adherence to the entry and stay requirements through an effective and appropriate program of prevention, deterrence and enforcement. 

Key Activities 

  • Promotion of voluntary compliance with sponsor obligations through targeted education and engagement  
  • Providing services that facilitate status resolution 
  • Maintain community safety through proactive management of non-citzens  
  • Pursue court-imposed orders under the Community Safety Order scheme where the conduct of the non-citizen presents an unacceptable risk of harm  

Performance measures  

Effective border security, maritime surveillance activities, and management of the Immigration Detention Network 

Planned performance results  

The number of critical incidents per 1000 detainees in the immigration detention network is comparable or decreases 

SUMMARY OF BUDGETED EXPENSES FOR OUTCOMES 

  • Slight increase for 2024-2025 Budget (by comparison to Estimated Actual results for 2023-2024)   
  • Trade Facilitation and Industry Engagement 
  • Border Management 
  • Borderforce Enforcement 
  • Average Staffing Level 
  • Slight decrease for 2024-2025 Budget (by comparison to Estimated Actual results for 2023-2024)   
  • Borderforce Revenue  
  • ‘Onshore Compliance and Detention  

Financial Interpretations

The Department of Home Affairs’ budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 emphasizes the continuation and enhancement of its core functions, focusing on national security, immigration, citizenship, multicultural affairs, and emergency management. Key highlights include: 

  1. Strategic Investments
  • Strengthening Australia’s cyber security capabilities. 
  • Enhancing the integrity of the migration system. 
  • Reinforcing national resilience to security threats and emergencies. 
  1. Financial Performance
  • Total expenses for 2024-25 are projected at $4,257 million, with employee benefits, suppliers, and grants being the major expense categories. 
  • Revenue from the government matches the net cost of services, ensuring a balanced budget. 

Budgeted Financial Statements 

  1. Comprehensive Income Statement
  • Total expenses are projected to increase gradually over the forward estimates period, reaching $4,530 million by 2027-28. 
  • Employee benefits, suppliers, and depreciation and amortisation are the largest expense items. 
  1. Balance Sheet
  • Total assets are expected to increase from $2,880 million in 2023-24 to $3,120 million by 2027-28. 
  • Total liabilities will grow moderately, resulting in a steady increase in net assets. 
  1. Cash Flow Statement
  • Positive net cash flow from operating activities is projected, indicating healthy liquidity. 
  • Significant investments in property, plant, and equipment will be funded by capital appropriations. 
  1. Capital Budget
  • Capital appropriations for new assets are planned at $230 million for 2024-25, rising to $260 million by 2027-28. 
  • Major capital investments focus on maintaining and enhancing the Department’s infrastructure and operational capabilities. 

Key Focus Areas 

  1. Cyber Security
  • Implementation of the 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy to enhance national cyber defenses and resilience. 
  1. National Security and Resilience
  • Ongoing efforts to strengthen critical infrastructure protection, counter-terrorism, and emergency management capabilities. 
  1. Migration System Integrity
  • Reforms to ensure the migration system supports economic growth while maintaining robust integrity and security measures. 
  1. Regional Cooperation
  • Strengthening international partnerships to address transnational crime, terrorism, and irregular migration, promoting global and regional security. 

Conclusion 

The Department of Home Affairs’ budget for 2024-25 reflects a balanced approach to managing financial resources while addressing strategic priorities in national security, immigration, and resilience. The projected financial statements indicate a stable financial position, with adequate provisions for future investments and operational needs. The focus on enhancing cyber security, national resilience, and migration integrity aligns with the broader objective of safeguarding Australia’s interests and promoting a united and prosperous nation. 

Written by Gustavo Malaquias

15 May, 2024

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