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Visa free movement should continue

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Philip Ruddock MP Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

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

Electorate Parliament House

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


New .Zealanders are not the real problem in the breakdown of control of migration entry to Australia.

If members of the Labor Caucus think that closing down visa free movement between Australia and New Zealand will enhance the governments image as effectively controlling entry to Australia, they should think again. The decisions on Chinese students, the lamentable failure to deter manifestly unfounded refugee applications, speak for themselves.

Caucus should be thinking about ways to enhance the Closer Economic Relations with New Zealand, not destroying the potential of those relations. Since the CER agreement came into force in 1983, total bilateral trade has grown at an average rate of 15 per cent per annum. This will be destroyed without the capacity for the free movement of labour.

The New Zealand economy is starting to out-perform the Australian economy and in time will provide an enticement to some Australians to go to New Zealand to invest and seek employment opportunities.

Short term decisions pursued by a union that wants to operate a closed shop ought to be firmly resisted. ยท

If there are difficulties in relation to compliance with Australian taxation law and industrial awards, then it is these areas which need to be addressed. Laxity in administration ought not be the reason why a productive and

mutually beneficial relationship is destroyed.

1 June 1992