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Thursday, 25 September 2014
Page: 7104

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaAssistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women) (12:00): by leave—The government made a decision to repeal the non-contributory parent visas and other family visas in the context of Labor's debt and deficit legacy and because of the critical need to prioritise sustainable migration pathways. Some of the visa options were simply impractical. For example, the waiting period for the aged dependant relatives and remaining relatives visa is 25 years. Given it is not possible to apply for the aged dependant relative visa until pension age, a 25-year wait means a number of applicants will never be granted the visa. We believe it is unfair to ask applicants to pay to lodge an application when in reality there is absolutely no prospect of them ever getting the visa.

There are also other options available for parents including generous visitor visa provisions. Additionally, there are extra allocations for carers and I note in this regard the waiting period for a carer visa is between four and six years. So Senator Hanson-Young's proposed disallowance motion would be a backward step for the fairness and sustainability of the family migration program and the coalition will not be supporting the disallowance motion.

Question agreed to.