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Thursday, 27 September 1973
Page: 1711

Mr Lynch asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

(1)   Did he state that his personal ambition is to abolish the use of passports and visas.

(2)   If so, has he directed his Department to undertake any studies or action designed to achieve his stated ambition.

Mr Grassby - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   I have often stressed my wish to remove paper barriers and needless red tape with the aim of encouraging the interchange of visitors between countries. The Government has already taken steps in this direction with its simplified policy and procedures for the issue of visas to visitors wishing to come to Australia which came into effect on 1 September 1973.

However, there remains an essential need for international travellers generally to be able to identify themselves and to establish their nationality by producing a valid travel document and in Australia's case I believe our best interests arc currently served by retaining the visa requirement except for direct transit traffic.

(2)   I have not directed my Department to undertake any such studies, because while it remains my ambition to achieve a totally free movement of the peoples of the world, this would not regretfully be possible in the light of international tensions and transcontinental criminality and the need to safeguard our own people at this time of continuing global unrest.

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