The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will call on the Federal Government to abandon its plans to outsource visa services from the Department of Home Affairs, which will put jobs at risk and jeopardise national security.

Mr Wilkie wrote to the Prime Minister today to express his alarm.

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“The Government’s intention to outsource important visa services to the private sector is short-sighted and could have disastrous consequences,” Mr Wilkie said.

“In particular I’ve been contacted by a number of Hobart staff who are concerned that they could lose their jobs. By some estimates, over 100 public sector jobs in Tasmania alone are at risk. Some 2,000 jobs nationwide could be affected.

“Alarmingly, the Government have flagged that they want to outsource an enormous amount of work currently being done by Home Affairs staff. This includes visa processing, fraud assessments, communicating with clients and even character assessments.

“Let’s not forget that outsourcing these jobs to the private sector will mean there is more incentive to cut costs, automate processes and shed jobs.

“I’m also gravely concerned about national security. Outsourcing these services will undermine data integrity and put sensitive information at risk.

“It is a fundamental responsibility for any government to provide security for its citizens and manage its borders. It’s not a job for the private sector.”