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Thursday, 5 February 2009
Page: 669

Mr Forrest asked the Prime Minister, in writing, on 13 November 2008:

(1)   Does he believe that the decision by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to refuse a residency application to a physician in Horsham on the basis that his youngest son has Downs Syndrome is consistent with Australia’s international anti-discrimination obligations on the grounds of disability; if so, why.

(2)   Given the shortage of physicians in rural areas, will he commit to doing all he can to have this decision overturned so that citizens of the Horsham region are not denied the services of this physician; if so, how; if not, why not.

Mr Rudd (Prime Minister) —I am advised that the answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator the Hon Chris Evans, received a request to intervene in the case of Dr Bernhard Moeller and his family on 26 November 2008. In response to this request, Senator Evans granted permanent visas to Dr Moeller and his family.

(2)   As above.