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Wednesday, 30 May 2018
Page: 5059


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (16:42): Minister, you are now responsible for visa operations and visa reforms, according to the information from the department. During the federal election, the coalition followed Labor's lead and announced a new temporary parent visa. The coalition promised that 'children would be required to pay a bond', but the government has since announced that children—that is, adult children—will need to pay a fee, not a bond. Where's the budget reference to this, by the way, Minister? The fee will be $10,000 for five years and $5,000 for three years, which is expected to raised $99 million for the budget coffers over the forward estimates. I would like you to point out where that is.

Migrant community stakeholders have confirmed that, during the election, the minister's office told them there would be no cap on this visa, but your government capped the visas at 15,000 visas per year. But the cruellest act of all was to put migrant adult children in the tough situation where couples needed to choose between their parents and in-laws, because only one set of parents are allowed to be sponsored at any one time. There was no mention of that before the election. None of the four Home Affairs ministers in the current portfolio have offered any advice to migrant communities about how to sit around the dinner table and make that choice—a pretty uncomfortable decision and pretty uncomfortable conversation to have to have.

Minister, why have you broken your parent visa promises to migrant communities? Why is the Turnbull government making families choose between parents and parents-in-law? What's the policy benefit of making couples choose between their parents? And why didn't the minister mention this before the election? Why didn't the government mention it at all in opposition? Despite announcing the visa in the election campaign, the government has repeatedly said that the creation of this new parent visa is reliant on the successful passage of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016. Minister, that bill was introduced on 1 September 2016 and it was passed in the House of Representatives, with the support of the Labor opposition, on 10 October 2016—the same year. Since then, it's been sitting in the Senate waiting for the government to make this bill law so that this new parent visa is a priority for families and a reality.

When will your government prioritise the creation of new visa pathways for parents by bringing this bill on and creating the new visa? Is there any problem you're not telling us about? Why have you kept migrant families in limbo? Have there been any issues with private health insurance providers being unable to offer the type of health insurance the visa requires? If so, what are those issues and what is the government doing to resolve those issues? If there are any problems: why did the government announce a new visa if it hasn't worked out all the kinks? Does the minister accept that members of migrant communities who have been made to wait almost two years with absolutely no end in sight may feel misled by the Turnbull government?