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Chinese students misled

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Philip Ruddock MP 31

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739

Parliament Flouse Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062


Reports that Immigration Minister Hand has said that the Australian Government will not act against Chinese nationals (holding PRC Temporary Entry Permits) and force them back to China in 1994 holds out expectations that cannot be realised at law.

Prime Minister Hawke made the same statement 18 months ago. H e prevaricated but still holds out this prospect to all PRC nationals in Australia at the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

Minister Hand, in his meeting with Chinese students in Sydney, makes the same offer.

It is pointed that he does not do so by discussion in Parliament or by press release directed to the Australian community generally.

The law is clear.

PRC nationals in Australia at the time of the Tiananmen Square events have only 4 years protection.

Permanent residence is available to those who have grounds that might also be available to any other temporary entrant legally in Australia. Specifically the opportunity to change status on employment or spouse grounds.

The great bulk o f PRC nationals will not therefore receive permanent residence unless the Government provides, by a change in the law, a specific visa category. To date it has not decided to do this.

A new government in 1994 cannot be bound by vague undertakings. I have made this clear to PRC nationals temporarily in Australia.

Those who properly receive permanent entry, of course, will be eligible to remain as will those with a substantial claim for protection, proven on a case by case basis.

All others would be required to leave.

It is hard to understand why the Government persists in promoting the myth that PRC nationals would not be forced back against their will in 1994 when the Government declines to put any such poljcy decision in law. _________ _

April 10 1991