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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4431

Mr GOODENOUGH (Moore) (10:05): I welcome the announcement in the federal budget that the government will introduce a pathway to permanent residency for holders of retirement subclass 410 and investor retirement subclass 405 visas. Under the scheme, from 2018-19 a portion of the planned parent permanent migration places will be quarantined for retirement visa holders each year.

Retirement visa holders in Australia will be eligible to apply onshore for a permanent visa through the parent subclass 103 or the contributory parent subclass 143 visa streams. Retirement visa holders will be exempted from some parent visa requirements which they would typically be unable to meet, such as having family in Australia. The pathway will remain open until all retirement visa holders who wish to transition to permanent residency have done so. As part of the establishment of the pathway, the government will close the subclass 405 visa to new applicants. The subclass 410 visa is also closed to new applicants. The measure is estimated to provide a gain to the budget of $8.2 million over the forward estimates period. The revenue generated from this measure will be directed by the government to fund policy priorities within the Home Affairs portfolio.

I have previously advocated in this parliament on behalf of a group of individuals who are self-funded retirees, have private health insurance, have passed police clearances, have brought millions of dollars in capital and overseas sourced pensions into Australia, and who make a valuable contribution to our community through volunteering. A number of positive factors need to be taken into account in making the decision to grant this group of migrants a pathway to permanent residency, including the economic benefit of assets and foreign income brought into Australia, the projected increase in taxation revenue that will be generated from investments and superannuation brought onshore and the contribution to Australian society through volunteering and family support such as child care. I acknowledge the dedicated and persistent efforts over a number of years by a group of local constituents, including Mike Goodall, David Humphries and Jean Newstead, in advocating on behalf of the 410 visa holders. I believe that this group of individuals is worthy of permanent residency and citizenship, because they have demonstrated financial independence, the values of good citizenship and civic mindedness.