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Monday, 12 November 1973
Page: 3100

Mr MULDER (EVANS, NEW SOUTH WALES) - I direct my question to the Minister for Immigration. Is it a fact that the media have been describing as a new Australian, Dr Shapiro, who is a candidate for the State seat of Gordon in New South Wales? Will the Minister make it plain that anyone who has been a resident of Australia for 27 years and a citizen of this country longer than most Australians have been alive is not anew Australian? Will the Minister tell us when a new arrival ceases to be a migrant.

Mr GRASSBY - I would assess - certainly it is the emphasis given by the Settlement Division of the Department of Immigration - that a man ceases to be a migrant when he becomes a citizen of Australia. Certainly the practice of describing people as migrants, newcomers or new Australians after 20 years or 27 years of being a citizen is one to be deprecated. I could never imagine, for example, addressing the honourable member for Wentworth, Mr Bury, as a migrant. He was bom overseas and has been a distinguished member of this Parliament and a citizen for a great many years. It would be artificial and contrived to describe him in a way which would indicate that he had arrived yesterday. In relation to the specific question asked by the honourable member, my information is that Dr Shapiro has been a distinguished member of the Australian community and a citizen for a great many years. I think it is not a good practice to continue these descriptions when people have joined the family of the nation; they are citizens and they should be regarded as such. I would say that when the man is a citizen, he has ceased to be a migrant, a new Australian or a newcomer. He is simply a citizen of the nation.

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