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Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Page: 3189

Senator ELLISON (3:52 PM) —I move:

That the Senate—

(a)   notes that:

(i)   currently persons who reside in Australia on a temporary Retirement Visa (subclass 410) are unable to apply for permanent residency, and

(ii)   this is a small group of people with a high commitment to Australia who are restricted in the contribution they can make to our nation as a result of being unable to apply for a permanent visa;

(b)   recognises that:

(i)   many 410 visa-holders are highly skilled, yet they are restricted to just 20 hours of work per week due to the restrictions on their temporary visa,

(ii)   if 410 visa-holders were able to apply for permanent residency, then as permanent residents there would be no restrictions on their workforce participation and this would be of benefit to the labour market, the Australian economy and the individuals concerned, and

(iii)   a number of these visa-holders have a strong involvement in community and volunteer activities and that, again, the nature of the visa restricts the number of hours that the individual can commit;

(c)   believes that these individuals should not be subject to the uncertainty and requirement to comply with visa renewal requirements;

(d)   recognises:

(i)   the additional cost in taxation and health insurance that these visa-holders are subject to as a result of being on a temporary visa, and

(ii)   that these visa-holders have a strong commitment to the community and should not be restricted in the contribution they can make;

(e)   believes that it is fitting that Australia acknowledge the commitment of many of these visa-holders to our nation; and

(f)   calls on the Government to enable temporary retirement 410 visa-holders to apply for permanent residency.

Question agreed to.