Australian Greens Propose Tripling National Intake of Refugees

The Australian Greens party has proposed accepting 50,000 refugees annually, more than three times the planned figure for the current fiscal year, as part of its migration policy for the next election.

The intake includes 40,000 people for humanitarian reasons and the remainder under a skilled refugee program, the Greens said in a statement Saturday. As part of its policy, the group proposes increasing Australia’s overall migration program to 230,000 from the 203,750 expected in the current fiscal year ending June 30.

The plan will shave A$160 million ($124 million) over the next four years from the national budget estimates, including savings from shutting offshore detention centers in Manus Island and Nauru, the Greens said.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last month flagged the prospect of a so-called double dissolution election on July 2. All 150 seats in the House of Representatives and the 76 Senate seats are up for grabs in such a ballot. In a normal election, only half the senators may be replaced.

Under Australia’s existing humanitarian program, the nation plans to accept 13,750 people this financial year, rising to 18,750 in the year ending June 2019.

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