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Wednesday, 20 April 1966


Mr CLEAVER (Swan) .- Visitors to this or any country are quick to criticise the unnecessary filling in of forms that a government may require. All of us who travel know how frustrating it is to reach a port of destination and to find that we are delayed because some document must be filled in. For certain new settlers coming to Australia - aliens, until such time as they become naturalised - to be faced with a form is sometimes not easy for them to accept. I find in these amendments to the Aliens Act good reason to compliment the

Government. As other speakers have said, the amendments relate to the simplification of aliens' registration in this country. The use of the incoming and outgoing registration card is a decided improvement. It provides for an efficient system and the country and the Government should be adequately protected by its use. This,, of course, applies to those people who will be classified as aliens because their visit to us is for one year or less. However, for those other people classified as aliens, the completion of a registration form at the time they apply for the visa overseas is a commonsense and sensible thing to do. It will obviate the filling in of a form m the rushed moments when they arrive at the port of destination.

In passing, apart from applauding these minor amendments which have some significance after all, I should like to refer to the aliens' register. The honorable member for Grayndler (Mr. Daly) has referred to the figures that are shown upon that register. I would remind all concerned that the figures include those people who have not yet sought naturalisation and, of course, their children aged 16 years and over. It can also include the children aged between 16 and 21 years of those previous aliens who are now naturalised but who may not have encouraged their children to take a step similar to that which they themselves have taken. This recalls to my mind the experience of an unfortunate woman in Western Australia who, having been here for years, thought she was naturalised because she thought that her parents had included her name when they had been naturalised. Recently she was amazed when confronted with a request that she should have her name removed from the electoral roll because she was still listed as an alien.

I would recommend to the Minister for Immigration (Mr. Opperman) and the officers of his Department that consideration should be given to every possible means of encouraging people seeking naturalisation to include in their application form every one of their children under 16 years of age and to encourage those aged between 16 and 21 to stand with them on the night of naturalisation and be themselves naturalised, which is their right and entitlement, and to ensure that they get the certificate of naturalisation or the modified smaller certificate that is now available. As a matter of fact, I feel that this could well become a drive by the Australian Government very legitimately in the interests of the children so that in later years they may not be embarrassed as was the woman I have just mentioned.







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