Elections are an opportunity for you to have a say about who makes decisions on your behalf in the Australian Parliament, and to influence which party will become the next Government.

You should think about what issues affect you and your family. What would you like the Government to do about them? Find out what candidates standing for election in your area say about these issues, as well as what the different parties are promising. You should try to pick the party or candidate that cares most about the issues that matter to you, and that best matches your views on these issues.

Find out who the candidates are

Start by finding out which electorate you live in. For the federal election you can do this by looking up your postcode or suburb on the AEC website or by calling the AEC on 13 23 26.

Australian Electoral Commission logo

You should then find out which candidates are standing for:

  • the House of Representatives position in your electorate; and
  • the Senate positions in your state or territory.

Once the election is called, you can find this out through:

Australian Electoral Commission logo

Phone: 13 23 26

Icons of major Australian political parties

Party Websites

On party websites, you should look for a page with a list of the candidates. This will be labelled along the lines of ‘Candidates’, ‘Our people’, ‘Our Team’, or ‘Election’.

Find out what the candidates care about

Once you have found the House of Representative candidates for your electorate and the Senate candidates for your State or Territory, find out what issues they care about.

To do this, look at what they write or say on their websites, social media pages, pamphlets or in interviews and speeches that they give. If a candidate mentions an issue a lot, it is probably something that they plan to act on if they are elected.

If a candidate has previously been elected to parliament, you can find out whether they have done anything about the issue you care about before. You can read what speeches MPs and Senators have made in parliament at https://www.aph.gov.au

In particular, parliamentarians use their ‘maiden speech’ (first speech) in parliament to highlight issues that are most important to them. You can see how parliamentarians have voted on particular issues through https://theyvoteforyou.org.au/people

If you aren’t sure what a candidate thinks about issues that you care about, call them at their office, attend events where they will be, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is their job to convince you to vote for them.

Major Parties and their Candidates

Click on each Party for links to their Candidates

Phone numbers

The Australian Greens

1800 017 011

Australian Labor Party

(02) 6120 0800

Centre Alliance

(08) 8545 0400

Liberal Party of Australia

(02) 6273 2564

The Nationals

(02) 6273 3822

Candidates are strongly influenced by the values and the positions of their parties. MPs and Senators will normally make the decision that their party tells them to.

You can find out what parties are promising through their websites. Look out for pages that are called something like ‘Our policies’ ‘Our values’, ‘Our vision’, ‘Our Plan’, ‘National Platform’.

The ABC has a useful tool called Vote Compass, which lets you check how your views on issues compare with the political parties:

Vote Compass logo

Party promises related to you

To help you find out about parties’ promises, we have asked the major parties what their policies are for issues that matter to migrant and refugee women.

Last year, through the Migrant and Refugee Women’s Voices survey, you told us that these are the issues that matter to you:

We have asked the Australian Labor Party, the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Greens, and the Nationals what their election promises are on these issues. We will update this page as we hear back from them.

This is what they’ve said:

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government Long Term National Health Plan is delivering a world-class health system which is providing patients with access to quality medical care, record hospital funding, affordable life-saving medicines and breakthrough medical research. By keeping our economy strong, we can deliver the essential health services which people rely on and Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are guaranteed.

All Australians have equitable access to the public hospital system, Medicare and the PBS including women from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are registered with Medicare. As a result of our strong economic management, the Morrison Government can guarantee this will continue into the future.

Labor party Logo

Labor believes in investing in health care so all Australians can access and afford the best possible quality of care. The Liberals have cut billions of dollars from hospitals under a funding formula doctors say will “doom our public hospital system to failure.”

Labor will invest an extra $2.8 billion building new hospitals and wards, reducing elective surgery and emergency department waiting times, and restoring the core health funding cut by the Liberals.

We will invest more in Medicare and lift the Liberal’s rebate freeze within our first 50 days if elected.

Labor will also deliver the biggest cancer care package in Australian history – our Medicare Cancer Plan – with a $2.3 billion investment to dramatically slash out-of-pocket costs for cancer patients. This will mean millions of free scans, millions of free consultations and cheaper medicines for cancer patients.

A Shorten Labor Government will make women’s health a national priority by committing to the Australian Women’s Health Charter and implementing a National Women’s Health Policy that addresses women’s health needs throughout their lives, and addresses gender, ethnicity and other social determinants of health.

Labor will tackle breast and ovarian cancer.

We will deliver Australia’s first ever National Sexual and Reproductive Health Strategy so all Australian women can access safe, legal, affordable reproductive health services.

Labor will also invest in maternal health so mums and babies get the best start in life. Labor will make sure thousands of premature and underweight babies get access to life-saving donor breast milk with a $15.2 million breastfeeding package. We’ll also invest $5 million to drive down Australia’s still birth rate, which is higher in migrant and refugee communities.

The Greens party logo

The Greens believe that access to quality healthcare is a human right, and that culturally and linguistically diverse populations should have access to care in a safe and culturally appropriate environment. The Greens believe that refugees and people seeking asylum living in Australian communities should receive fair levels of support from the government. This would include income support, housing, access to Medicare, trauma and torture counselling, English language courses and employment assistance. This commitment was demonstrated in our leadership of the Medevac Bill which meant that currently detained refugees would be brought to Australia to access healthcare when they need it. In addition to this, we will: – ensure that refugees and people seeking asylum living in Australian communities should receive fair levels of support from the government.

This would include income support, housing, access to Medicare, trauma and torture counselling, English language courses and employment assistance; – adequately fund public health care to ensure that all Australians can access the healthcare they need; – create a new ten-year, $5.3 billion National Partnership Agreement on Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women between state and federal governments.

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government has taken direct action to prevent violence against women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) recognises the different needs and experiences of women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, including migrant women and children. On 5 March 2019, the Morrison Government announced a $328 million package to reduce violence against women and children. This package includes a number of activities targeted at reducing violence against CALD and migrant women and their children.

ln addition, on February 28 2019, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs issued a Direction to stop the entry to Australia of people convicted of violent crimes against women and children. The Direction is designed to prevent the entry to Australia of people convicted of violent crimes against women or children, regardless of the nation in which the offence occurred or the sentence that was handed down.

The Coalition is also supporting temporary and provisional visa holders who are victims of family violence the Government by providing support to regularise a person’s visa status while they remain in Australia, including allowing eligible visa applicants to leave a violent relationship without the risk of losing their right to residence in Australia.

Since 2013, over 7,046 women and children have been granted visas through the Women at Risk program, which supports women at risk of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of their gender. In 2017-18, the highest number of women and dependents were granted a woman at risk visa in our history (2,126 people in total). In 2018-19, at least 15 per cent of places have been set aside for the Woman at Risk program, up from a 10 per cent target last year.

Labor party Logo

A Shorten Labor Government will make a record Commonwealth investment of over $660 million in the Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, more than doubling current funding and committing to long term change.

Labor’s package includes commitments that specifically address violence against migrant and refugee women and women on temporary visas.

Women from migrant and multicultural backgrounds or on temporary visas often face additional barriers in reporting domestic violence, leaving violent relationships and accessing culturally competent services.

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a new 10-year National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children – with a dedicated national strategy for culturally and linguistically diverse women.

Labor will invest $62 million in Local Community Prevention and Front-Line Service Grants – including a dedicated funding stream for culturally and linguistically diverse women.

Other measures to protect women from migrant and refugee backgrounds include:

  • Flexible support packages. Labor will invest $60 million in 20,000 Flexible Support Packages of up to $10,000 to support people escaping family violence in practical ways that help them the most – such as rent, furniture, transport, medication, home security and transport costs – which temporary visa holders will be able to access.
  • Tackling forced marriage. Labor will invest $13.6 million to tackle forced marriage and introduce forced marriage protection orders and a Commonwealth Forced Marriage Unit to assist victims.
  • Recognising economic abuse. Labor will change the law to ensure economic abuse is a recognised form of family violence, and that dowry abuse can be one of many kinds of financial abuse.
  • Supporting women on temporary visas. Labor will review immigration and social security arrangements and invest $5 million in services and interpreters.

You can read more about Labor’s family violence commitments at https://alp.org.au/policies/preventing-family-violence/.

The Greens party logo

The Greens will fully fund frontline crisis response services and primary prevention for domestic violence, at $5.3 billion over ten years. This will allow for specialist services which are responsive to the needs of all women including migrants and people with a disability, as well as LGBTIQ+ people. We will legislate to double domestic violence leave from five to ten days. Further, we will provide an additional $200 million over four years to a Survivor Grant Fund, giving up to 50,000 survivors grants of up to $4000 to minimise financial hardship when leaving an abusive scenario. The grants would be prioritised for people at highest risk of domestic violence.

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government continues to help all women in Australia, including women from migrant and refugee backgrounds, to have greater choices about their lives, improved economic independence and financial security. There are more women in work than ever before, more women in full-time work, and the gender pay gap is at a record low of 14.2 percent.

Our $119.2 million Women’s Economic Security Statement is focussed on assisting women at many different points of their lives, in different parts of Australia, and in different circumstances. It includes funding of $65.9 million to increase women’s workforce participation through a range of measures.

For those women from migrant and refugee backgrounds who are in receipt of income support, the Government’s mainstream employment services system, jobactive, helps to prepare for and obtain meaningful and sustainable work opportunities. It includes employment service providers who specialise in providing support for people from migrant and refugee backgrounds. The Liberals & Nationals Government is making changes to jobactive to ensure that the support and services available to newly arrived refugees is better targeted. During their first 12 months in Australia, newly arrived refugees will be able to focus on adjusting to life in Australia and improving their English language proficiency through the Humanitarian Settlement Program (HSP) and the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP). During this period, they can volunteer to participate in jobactive at any time and access the full suite of jobactive assistance. This compares to the limited assistance through Stream A (Volunteer) that they are able to receive under current arrangements.

The Liberals & Nationals Government is also introducing transformative change to the employment services system, including greater investment in enhanced services for job seekers that face significant barriers to employment, giving them the extra support they need to move from welfare to work.

Labor party Logo

Every worker, no matter where they have come from or what languages they speak, must be treated with fairness, dignity and respect in the workplace.

Labor believes that people who are looking for work need to be supported to develop the skills and experience they need for jobs in their local area, and helped to find secure, decent jobs.

Labor knows that the current system isn’t working for unemployed people, businesses, or taxpayers. We believe that labour market programs should be geared towards making people more work- ready, helping them get the skills they need, and helping them to get a secure, decent job.

Instead of ticking boxes, employment service providers should be getting to the bottom of what’s stopping unemployed people getting work, building relationships with employers, and getting a better understanding of the local labour market.

People receiving payments need help to look for work and deal with the underlying impediments to getting work – like homelessness, domestic violence, or coming from a non-english speaking background.

Under Labor, mutual obligation and any compliance measures that go with it, will be aimed at helping people to get off income support and into sustainable work.

The Greens party logo

The Greens will set gender pay equality as an objective of awards and the Fair Work Act. We also support measures to ensure appropriate classification and pay for work in traditionally low paid industries where the majority of workers are women and/or migrants.

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government has taken direct action to prevent violence against women from migrant and refugee backgrounds.

Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022 (the National Plan) recognises the different needs and experiences of women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds, including migrant women and children. On 5 March 2019, the Morrison Government announced a $328 million package to reduce violence against women and children. This package includes a number of activities targeted at reducing violence against CALD and migrant women and their children.

ln addition, on February 28 2019, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs issued a Direction to stop the entry to Australia of people convicted of violent crimes against women and children. The Direction is designed to prevent the entry to Australia of people convicted of violent crimes against women or children, regardless of the nation in which the offence occurred or the sentence that was handed down.

The Coalition is also supporting temporary and provisional visa holders who are victims of family violence the Government by providing support to regularise a person’s visa status while they remain in Australia, including allowing eligible visa applicants to leave a violent relationship without the risk of losing their right to residence in Australia.

Since 2013, over 7,046 women and children have been granted visas through the Women at Risk program, which supports women at risk of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of their gender. In 2017-18, the highest number of women and dependents were granted a woman at risk visa in our history (2,126 people in total). In 2018-19, at least 15 per cent of places have been set aside for the Woman at Risk program, up from a 10 per cent target last year.

Labor party Logo

A Shorten Labor Government will make a record Commonwealth investment of over $660 million in the Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, more than doubling current funding and committing to long term change.

Labor’s package includes commitments that specifically address violence against migrant and refugee women and women on temporary visas.

Women from migrant and multicultural backgrounds or on temporary visas often face additional barriers in reporting domestic violence, leaving violent relationships and accessing culturally competent services.

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a new 10-year National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children – with a dedicated national strategy for culturally and linguistically diverse women.

Labor will invest $62 million in Local Community Prevention and Front-Line Service Grants – including a dedicated funding stream for culturally and linguistically diverse women.

Other measures to protect women from migrant and refugee backgrounds include:

  • Flexible support packages. Labor will invest $60 million in 20,000 Flexible Support Packages of up to $10,000 to support people escaping family violence in practical ways that help them the most – such as rent, furniture, transport, medication, home security and transport costs – which temporary visa holders will be able to access.
  • Tackling forced marriage. Labor will invest $13.6 million to tackle forced marriage and introduce forced marriage protection orders and a Commonwealth Forced Marriage Unit to assist victims.
  • Recognising economic abuse. Labor will change the law to ensure economic abuse is a recognised form of family violence, and that dowry abuse can be one of many kinds of financial abuse.
  • Supporting women on temporary visas. Labor will review immigration and social security arrangements and invest $5 million in services and interpreters.

You can read more about Labor’s family violence commitments at https://alp.org.au/policies/preventing-family-violence/.

The Greens party logo

The Greens will fully fund frontline crisis response services and primary prevention for domestic violence, at $5.3 billion over ten years. This will allow for specialist services which are responsive to the needs of all women including migrants and people with a disability, as well as LGBTIQ+ people. We will legislate to double domestic violence leave from five to ten days. Further, we will provide an additional $200 million over four years to a Survivor Grant Fund, giving up to 50,000 survivors grants of up to $4000 to minimise financial hardship when leaving an abusive scenario. The grants would be prioritised for people at highest risk of domestic violence.

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government is providing record funding for education. That’s record funding for child care, for every school, for state schools, for Catholic schools, for Independent schools and record funding for higher education. Every Australian student will benefit from our record funding and reforms to improve student outcomes.

The AMEP supports eligible migrants and humanitarian entrants to learn foundational English language skills to enable them to participate socially and economically in Australian society. The AMEP is a voluntary program that provides clients with access to up to 510 hours of free English language tuition in their first five years of settlement. Approximately 60,000 clients receive English language tuition per year.

Labor party Logo

Labor will ensure that when migrants and their families come to Australia, they are able to fully participate in Australian life – this means access to free public education for children, English language support and work rights for dependents.

Labor is committed to strengthening the Adult Migrant English Program so it’s more effective with more services available.
We will also invest an extra $8 million in community language schools so more Australian children get the chance to learn other languages. Community language schools contribute to Australia’s standing as a successful multicultural nation – they help preserve and celebrate cultures and traditions and promote diversity, inclusion and respect.

Investing in education is critical to building an economy that works for everyone.

Labor will provide an extra $14 billion over 10 years to deliver the biggest school investment in Australian history, ensuring every child in every school gets the funding they need to succeed.

We will also invest $1.7 million to extend the national preschool program so it covers three and four- year-olds. This means 15 hours of quality early learning per week for every child in the two years before they start school, ensuring they get the best start to their education.
Labor wants Australia to be a country with a strong economy and secure, well-paid jobs – that’s why we’re investing in TAFE, apprenticeships and universities.

A Shorten Labor Government will waive upfront TAFE fees for 100,000 students and create 150,000 new apprenticeship places. We will also end the Liberals’ cap on Commonwealth supported university places and help 200,000 more young Australians attend university over the next decade.
To make sure all Australians get the chance to study at university, including students who are the first in their family to go to university, or who come from migrant or refugee backgrounds, Labor will invest an extra $174 million in a University Pathway Fund.

The Greens party logo

The Greens strongly support greater resourcing of culturally inclusive state and local government programs and services. The Greens are proud to be strong advocates for equal access to education, services, and social support in settlement for refugee and migrant women and funding for culturally inclusive education. The Greens’ plan to make university and TAFE completely fee-free will mean greater access for women from CALD, migrant and refugee backgrounds.

In addition to this, the Greens will invest $50m to provide better English language support, through the following initiatives:

  1. Stop the undermining of the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) and begin an urgent review to reverse the outsourcing of services.
  2. Ensure the development and implementation of a nationally agreed English language proficiency framework for assessing and reporting on the needs and progress of students learning English as an Additional (EAL) language in schools.
  3. Support the development of effective post-school education and training pathways for migrant and refugee youth who have difficulty accessing the education and training system due to a lack of English and prior education.
  4. Establish a dedicated unit in the Department of Education and Training to oversee and coordinate language in education and training.
Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government works to improve the lifetime wellbeing of migrants and refugees settling in Australia by responding to their specific needs, and encouraging their independence and participation in the Australian community.

In 2017, the Coalition Government replaced the Humanitarian Settlement Services and Complex Case Support programs with the improved HSP. The HSP assists clients to build the skills and knowledge they need to become self-reliant and active members of our society, through a needs-based, case management approach.
HSP service providers work with clients to identify their needs and goals and develop an individual case management plan. This includes to support housing, as well as other outcomes that impact on housing including language services, money management, education and training, and community participation and networking.

As part of the Fourth Action Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children, the Morrison Government will invest $60 million towards new emergency accommodation for those escaping domestic violence and $18 million to keep women safe in their homes, where it is safe to do so.

The Coalition Government also provides over $1.5b annually to states and territories to deliver appropriate housing for vulnerable Australians, including women from migrant and refugee backgrounds. States and territories have primary responsibility for delivering and maintaining these services, supported by the Commonwealth’s ongoing funding contribution.

Labor party Logo

Labor believes affordable and secure housing is essential to wellbeing, participation and social inclusion, and that all Australians have a right to safe, affordable and appropriate housing throughout their lives.

Housing affordability and increasing homelessness are significant social and economic challenges that must be addressed, requiring national leadership and the Commonwealth has a substantial role to play.

A Shorten Labor Government will build 250,000 new affordable rental homes over the next decade in partnership with the community housing sector for Australians on low and moderate incomes.

In November 2018, Labor announced $18 million for Safe at Home Grants to help people affected by violence stay safe in their own home.

Labor will invest in an $88 million Safe Housing Fund to deliver transitional housing for women and children escaping violence, older women at risk of homelessness and young people exiting out-of- home care as they move between crisis accommodation and a long term home.

A Shorten Labor Government will also launch a national refuge build, doubling the Liberals’ funding for refuges and emergency housing, with an extra $60 million to deliver new refuges, upgrades, accessibility improvements and better facilities for children across the country.

Labor will also re-establish the National Housing Supply Council and appoint a dedicated Federal Housing and Homelessness Minister.

The Greens party logo

The Greens’ bold plan to build 500,000 affordable and rent-controlled social homes will mean greater access for all. In addition, the Greens will increase funding for crisis housing services to $500m per year, which will be especially targeted to vulnerable cohorts; women, LGBTIQ+, First Nations, and women of culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and refugee and migrant women. The Greens are committed to achieving equality for women. We have a plan to ensure women are safe, valued and treated as equals in private and public life, and we will put in place legal, workplace and economic reforms that directly address the key causes of inequality for women in Australia and around the world.

Liberal and National Party logos

The Liberals & Nationals Government’s 2019-20 Budget provides a record $8.6 billion for child care, including $8.3 billion for the Child Care Subsidy. Our Child Care Subsidy is targeted at the families that work the most and earn the least. We will invest $449.5 million over two years from 2019-20 to extend the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education, ensuring every child can participate in 600 hours of quality preschool in the year before school. We will also provide the Smith Family with $1 .4 million over two years from 2019-20 to work with state and territory governments to develop strategies on how to further lift preschool participation rates.

Labor party Logo

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver massive cost-of-living relief for nearly one million Australian families struggling with the costs of child care with a $4 billion investment in early education. A Shorten Labor Government will put more money back in working parents’ pockets for 887,000 Australian families.

We will increase the subsidy rate from 85 per cent to 100 per cent up to the hourly fee cap (currently $11.77 per hour for long day care) for families earning up to $69,000 who meet the activity test requirements. This will make child care free, or almost free, for up to 372,000 families.

Labor will also crack down on excessive fee increases and review the system for vulnerable children to make sure vulnerable and low-income families and children aren’t falling through the cracks.

This is on top of Labor’s $1.7 billion National Preschool and Kindy Program which will provide 15 hours preschool in the two years before school. For the first time, every three-year-old in Australia will be able to access 15 hours of subsidised world class preschool, so they can get the best start to learning.

With 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurring before the age of five, investing in quality early education is one of the smartest investments our nation can make.

The Greens party logo

The Greens’ plan will make childcare fee-free for one in four families, or 80% of families in Australia. We will also remove the activity test to access the child care subsidy. We will extend free preschool education to 3-year-olds and the number of available hours to 24 per week, which will mean universal early childhood education for 3 and 4 years old.

Liberal and National Party logos

Australia is stronger and more prosperous as a nation because of our multicultural heritage.

The Liberals & Nationals Government is focused on policies that will ensure Australia continues to build on its multicultural success, and remains committed to promoting social cohesion through greater understanding of shared values and identity.

We have done this by investing in programs that embrace our diversity and help all communities actively become part of, and benefit from, Australia’s economic and social development.

Through the 2019-20 Budget, we have announced a $71 million social cohesion package to enhance the everyday experiences Australians have in common – how we communicate, live and engage with each other.

  • It expands existing programs to help new arrivals become part of Australia’s economic and social development through the National Community Hubs Program and new round of Fostering Integration Grants. It will build interfaith and intercultural understanding in classrooms, cultural institutions and through community-driven programs.
  • Digital initiatives will help young people counter online hate. Implementing Sport 2030 will fund a range of initiatives supporting Australian sport and the role it plays in promoting social inclusion.
  • It includes new funding through the Community Language Schools Multicultural Grants Program to help young Australians learn another language and connect people to new cultures.

This builds on a solid record of policies and programs supporting Australian Multicultural communities.

  • Multicultural statement: Multicultural Australia: United, Strong, Successful
  • Multicultural Access and Equity Policy
  • The Adult Migrant English Program
  • Temporary Sponsored Parent visa
  • New visa and citizenship pathways give new migrants and visa holders the opportunity to be full and active participants in civic society:
  • Aged care labour agreements to support migrant communities
  • New measures to back Australia’s religious communities
Labor party Logo

Australia is a nation of 25 million stories from all corners of the globe and our diversity makes us one of the most multicultural countries on earth.

Labor is committed to greater inclusion and ensuring that all Australians know they are valued for their contribution.

Labor believes every Australian deserves the right to live free from racial and ethnic vilification. Modern Australia and multicultural Australia are the same thing. We will continue to fight for important protections against racial hate speech in Australia.

Labor strongly opposes the Liberals’ out of touch proposal for changes to Australian citizenship law.

Setting the bar at university-level english does not reflect the contribution migrants have made to our society across all walks of life, and we will not support the Liberals’ view that if you don’t have university-level english you don’t deserve to be an Australian citizen. We also remain opposed to the Liberals’ proposal to significantly extend the wait time for permanent residents to affirm their commitment to Australia through citizenship.

In government, Labor would enhance support for people in culturally and linguistically diverse communities across Australia by strengthening the Adult Migrant English Program, establishing a dedicated body – Multicultural Australia, better tailor settlement services to community needs and improve data collection, and by boosting support for community organisations.

Labor will have more to say about our commitments to a multicultural Australia in the lead up to the election.

The Greens party logo

The Greens know that Australia is one of the most successful multicultural nations on earth. Our incredible diversity is our strength – it’s who we are. Generations of migrants and refugees have made Australia home, with every single one of us adding to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our nation. In order to protect and strengthen multiculturalism in Australia, we’ll introduce a Federal Multicultural Commission to provide independent advice to government and undertake evidence-based research on multicultural issues and ongoing community engagement. We will always champion diversity in our communities.

The Greens will always fight for our rights, champion diversity and call out discrimination, bias and bigotry. We will make sure that everyone has the opportunity to live a good life, free from discrimination. That’s why we will:
Work with First Nations People, to establish a path for sovereignty and treaties and to close the gap; Close offshore detention and create a safe pathway for people who seek our help; Ensure equality for women in all aspects of society, including at work; Stamp out systemic racism and hate speech; Make Australia accessible and fully fund the NDIS; Ensure LGBTIQ+ people have full equality under the law and in our communities; Create a charter of rights; Make Australia a good global citizen, by supporting peace and demilitarisation.

You can find more detail on all our policies at https://greens.org.au/policies

Liberal and National Party logos

The Migration Program is essential to Australia’s economic prosperity. It should provide avenues for employers to meet skills gaps on a temporary or permanent basis where Australians are not available. It should also provide opportunities for family reunification. The Liberals & Nationals Government has set the 2019-20 Migration Program at 160,000 places ensuring employers and families have the same amount of visas available as were granted in 2017-18 – the last full financial year.

The Coalition has increased the Humanitarian Program from 13,750 in 2012-13 to 18,750 including I

Under the Coalition, the number of migrants becoming Australian citizens continues to rise, with a 106 per cent increase in citizenship approvals in the first nine months of this financial year compared to the same period last year. Between 1 July 2018 and 31 March 2019, more than 103,400 approvals were granted, compared to 50,197 approvals in the same period last year.

Labor party Logo

Labor is committed to developing policies that enable and promote the participation of migrants and refugees in society by recognising the value of Australia’s diversity and removing barriers to access and participation.

Labor will adopt a long-term approach when setting annual immigration levels. Permanent migrants provide a stable, effective and targeted source of skilled workers. Labor will encourage employers to sponsor temporary visa holders for permanent residency where the visa holders are working under successful arrangements and have priority skills which are in shortage in Australia.

A Shorten Labor Government will deliver a fairer Long Stay Parent visa so that Australian families from migrant and multicultural backgrounds can reunite with their loved ones. The visa is uncapped, available for both sets of parents and is one quarter of the cost of the Liberals’ visa.

As Australia’s migrant and multicultural communities re-establish their lives in Australia, the ability for families to reunite with parents and grandparents still overseas is highly restrictive and expensive. Labor’s Long Stay Parent visa will make it easier for migrant families to temporarily reunite with their parents.

In respect to the global humanitarian crisis, Labor believes Australia can, and should, play its part by helping to resettle our fair share of genuine refugees and is committed to progressively increase Australia’s annual humanitarian intake to 27,000.

Additionally, Labor’s planned reform of the Community Sponsored Refugee Program will, over time, allow up to 5,000 refugees to resettle in Australia annually. If elected, Labor will also appoint a Special Envoy for Refugee and Asylum Seeker Issues. We will abolish Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas, which leave asylum seekers in a state of limbo, and place those found to be refugees on permanent protection visas.

Labor is committed to ensuring people seeking asylum will have means-tested access to funded migration assistance.

The Greens party logo

The Australian Greens have a plan to abolish temporary protection visas and reintroduce permanent protection, provide faster and fairer pathways for New Zealanders to obtain Australian citizenship, allocate more resources to processing applications for Australian citizenship, and clear the backlog of parent visas that are languishing in an indefinite limbo. The Greens will also launch our family visa policy very soon.

The Greens refugee policy will also return Status Resolution Support Services (SRSS) payments, and increase it to the same rate as Newstart, for those that need it, and reinstate Humanitarian Settlement Services and Complex Case Support programs and funding. Our policy will also end offshore boat turnbacks and detention, increase humanitarian intake to 50,000ppl p.a., establish a regional processing solution, implement 7 day limit for onshore detention, Abolish temporary protection and fast track processing, and create a private sponsorship refugees program, similar to Canada’s.

In the last parliament, the Australian Greens stopped changes to section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, stopped changes to the Australian Citizenship Act that would have introduced a standalone English language test and increased the waiting period for eligibility, Stopped a doubling of the ‘assurance of support’ income requirement for family reunion visas, Stopped the extension of fast-track processing, sponsored the ‘Medivac amendment’ that ultimately passed into law, led debate on onshore & offshore detention, and set policy bar for other progressive parties.

Responses have been published without editing, beyond enforcing the 300 word limit per party per question. You can read the parties’ responses in full below: