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Joint Standing Committee Report on conditional entry

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Philip Ruddock MP

Federal Member for Dundas Electorate Parliament House

Shadow Minister for Immigration Tel: (02) 858 1011 Tel: (06) 277 4343

and Ethnic Affairs Fax: (02) 804 6739 Fax: (06) 277 2062

Philip Ruddock MP Deputy Chairman, Joint Standing Committee on Migration Regulations.




Recommendations put forward by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Regulations, following its report on Conditional Entry, reflect a unanimous view, except in one area, in respect to proposals which will accommodate the migration of some people currently excluded by existing law.

The one area of investigation which did not receive committee unanimity, and the reasons why this occurred, needs to be put on the public record. This relates to the matter of an insurance bond.

First of all, in the course of the Committee's hearings, it became clear that no insurance company or health insurance fund was able to respond in a positive way to suggestions that a refundable insurance bond be provided by intending applicants who failed the health criteria. Such a bond could be drawn upon if any claim

was made by the applicant upon the public health system, education, welfare or other services.

Secondly, the practical matter of monitoring such an arrangement would require an extensive, costly and intrusive administrative apparatus.

This would arise because an entrant under these arrangements would be entitled to use services provided by the Commonwealth, State or Local Government and government funded charitable organisations. Since the proposal envisages that a refund be made of any part of the bond not drawn upon, the Government

would be obliged to monitor all these bodies to ensure that an entrant has not made a claim, so that the balance of the bond can be refunded to the insurer. Such a monitoring arrangement would have to be in place for the lifetime of an entrant, and this could be for as long as 70, 80 or 90 years.

Without an effective and workable monitoring arrangement, the Government would be unable to make a claim against the insurer for payment for any services provided to the entrant.

Because of the lack of consensus on how this matter should be approached, the Department of Immigration has been given the task of investigating the possibility and feasibility of implementing a workable proposal.

However, in view of the evidence given by departmental officials on the difficulties in implementing such a proposal I very much doubt that they will develop a workable proposal where the Committee has failed to do so

13 January 1993 Contact Philip Ruddock Pager number (02) 925 3911 # 25589