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Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Page: 8403

Mr LAURIE FERGUSON (Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services) (12:32 PM) —by leave—I present a supplementary explanatory memorandum to the bill and move government amendments (1) to (12), as circulated, together:

(1)    Schedule 1, item 2, page 4 (lines 22 to 26), omit subsection 379AA(4).

(2)    Schedule 1, item 9, page 6 (lines 10 to 16), omit subsection 379C(7).

(3)    Schedule 1, item 9, page 6 (line 18), omit “(8)”, substitute “(7)”.

(4)    Schedule 1, item 10, page 6 (line 29) to page 7 (line 2), omit the item.

(5)    Schedule 1, item 12, page 7 (lines 20 to 24), omit subsection 441AA(4).

(6)    Schedule 1, item 19, page 9 (lines 10 to 16), omit subsection 441C(7).

(7)    Schedule 1, item 19, page 9 (line 18), omit “(8)”, substitute “(7)”.

(8)    Schedule 1, item 20, page 9 (line 29) to page 10 (line 2), omit the item.

(9)    Schedule 1, item 22, page 10 (lines 23 to 27), omit subsection 494A(5).

(10)  Schedule 1, item 27, page 12 (lines 1 to 7), omit subsection 494C(7).

(11)  Schedule 1, item 27, page 12 (line 9), omit “(8)”, substitute “(7)”.

(12)  Schedule 1, item 28, page 12 (lines 20 to 26), omit the item.

The government proposes amendments to the Migration Amendment (Notification Review) Bill 2008 to ensure that measures contained in the bill operate effectively and as intended. The aim of the bill is to provide greater certainty concerning notification procedures and to ensure that visa applicants and visa holders are effectively informed of matters relevant to their dealings with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

The bill seeks to balance the need for efficient administration against the need for applicants and visa holders not to be prejudiced by errors in the content of documents or in the manner in which documents are given to them. The bill contains three key amendments, one of which is to provide that substantial compliance with the required contents of a notification document is sufficient unless the visa applicant is able to show that the error or omission in the document causes them substantial prejudice.

Following the introduction of the bill into parliament it became apparent that the provisions relating to substantial compliance produced unintended consequences both in terms of errors in the notification document and also in relation to the compliance operations of the department. In addition, the amendments regarding actual notification will cover most of the circumstances that have caused difficulties in the past and ensure that a person who is actually notified cannot seek to rely on a technical error in the notification process.

The amendments remove provisions in schedule 1 to the bill relating to substantial compliance with the notification requirements in the act. The remaining two measures in the bill will assist in ensuring greater certainty regarding notification without causing prejudice to visa applicants and visa holders. I commend the amendments to the chamber.

Question agreed to.

Bill, as amended, agreed to.