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Monday, 2 June 2003
Page: 15577

Mr BRENDAN O'CONNOR (1:53 PM) —I wish to bring to the attention of the House an instance where, on behalf of a constituent, I sought an exercise of ministerial discretion under section 417 of the Migration Act. My constituent arrived in Australia on 28 November 1998 and applied for a refugee visa on 8 January 1999. She then applied for an exercise of ministerial discretion on 5 April 2002. There are strong humanitarian reasons why this visa should be granted. The applicant would face harassment from police and physical abuse from her former husband on return to her home country; she is a single parent; the applicant has two young children attending a local primary school; and her only other family is a brother who is an Australian citizen. This case was supported by me, the applicant's employer, the children's teachers and the applicant's parish priest. In light of recent events surrounding the minister's exercise of his discretionary power under section 417, it remains unclear to me why my constituent was unable to receive a favourable decision from the minister.