Migration appeals surge as government drags feet on Cory's reform call

February 28, 2019

The government plans to overhaul the Administrative Appeals ­Tribunal to slash its bureaucracy and deal with the boom in ­migration and refugee challenges, which last year grew 43 per cent - after Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi drew attention to this late last year in the Senate.

The Australian reports, Attorney-General Christian Porter is considering cracking down on repeat appeals by disappointed visa applicants and cutting the tribunal’s support staff.

The changes are being drawn up as part of the government’s ­response to a review of the AAT by former High Court judge Ian Callinan and the surge in migration and refugee challenges.

The AAT revealed in its last ­annual report that the migration and refugee division could not keep up with the surge in new cases. This had left it with 44,000 active migration and refugee matters at the end of the financial year.

Mr Callinan’s report has not been made public but Mr Porter said the growth in the migration caseload required serious attention. The migration and refugee division received 37,933 applications last financial year, the highest since the establishment of the division or its predecessor tribunals. This was 43 per cent more than the previous year and double the number in 2015-16.

The government had asked Mr Callinan to consider the extent to which AAT decisions meet community expectations and promote public trust and confidence in its decision making.

Senator Bernardi was right when he called for a release of the Callinan Review last December, because migration activists continue to flood the appeals system as the government dithers on reform and it only has three more sitting days to do anything about it before the federal election.

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