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Wednesday, 24 August 1983
Page: 230

Mr WEST (Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs)(10.19) —by leave-I move:

(1) Clause 6, page 2, at the end of the clause add the following paragraphs: '; (g) by omitting from sub-section (7) 'A woman' and substituting 'A person';

(h) by omitting from sub-section (7) 'her husband' (wherever occurring) and substituting 'the person's spouse'; and

(j) by omitting from sub-section (7) 'his entry' and substituting 'the spouse's entry'.'.

(2) Clause 8, page 3, lines 5 to 7, omit the clause, substitute the following clause:

Cancellation, expiration and renewal of entry permits

'8. (1) Section 7 of the Principal Act is amended- (a) by omitting from sub- section (3) 'prohibited immigrant' and substituting 'prohibited non-citizen'; and

(b) by omitting sub-section (4).

''(2) Where a person who, upon the commencement of this Act- (a) is a non- citizen within the meaning of the Principal Act as amended by this Act; and

(b) is not the holder of an entry permit (not being a temporary entry permit),

had, at a time before that commencement, ceased to be a prohibited immigrant within the meaning of the Principal Act by virtue of the operation of sub- section 7 (4) of that Act, that person becomes, upon that commencement, a prohibited non-citizen for the purposes of the Principal Act as amended by this Act.'.

(3) Clause 10, page 3, lines 27 to 40, and page 4, lines 1 to 10, omit proposed sub-sections 12 (2), (3) and (4).

Amendment No. 1 seeks to substitute neutral words-it is really only a technical amendment-in sub-section (7) of section 6 of the Act for words which are perceived by members of the community as being discriminatory on the grounds of sex. This amendment of a purely technical nature is in accordance with the Government's approach to sex discrimination.

Amendment No. 2 repeals section 7 (4) of the Act which at present prevents the deportation of overstayers five years after the expiry of their entry permits simply because they succeed in evading detection during that time. The effect of this repeal is to render future overstayers and those who, because of the operation of section 7 (4) have ceased to be prohibited immigrants, liable to deportation from Australia. The repeal of section 7 (4) will enhance the Government's control of its migration program which is overburdened by this back -door migration of overstayers who, more often than not, also work illegally. The amendment would not affect the status of former prohibited immigrants whose permanent residence has now been regularised. Of course, the repeal of section 7 (4) would not result in massive and indiscriminate deportation of this class of non-citizens. I assure the Committee that ministerial discretion to let them stay remains in certain circumstances. Each case will be considered on the basis of its merits.

Amendment No. 3 is really only for drafting convenience. This amendment relocates the definition of permanent residence from proposed new section 12 to proposed new section 14A. This will allow the same definition for calculating the 10 years or permanent residence, giving immunity from deportation for both proposed new section 12, which deals with criminal deportation and section 14, which deals with deportation on the grounds of security.