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Tuesday, 30 May 1989
Page: 3040

Senator JENKINS(8.57) —Having heard the Minister's previous words about discretion and wanting it all tied up, I must reiterate that I find it incredible that the Committee may be happy to leave clause 11g on page 17 as it stands. It reads:

The Secretary may at any time, in his or her absolute discretion, cancel a valid visa.

That is how it is worded-without any amendments or additions to that clause at all.

I will now speak to amendment No. 15. This particular addition has been requested in representations from very many ethnic communities. This amendment would extend the family reunion category to include brothers and sisters. Given that there are people who do not have any relatives in any other family reunion categories, it is appropriate that categories be extended in this way. As I said when I spoke earlier, it is widely recognised that migrants who already have a close relative resident in Australia are more likely to settle successfully and are less likely to become dependent on welfare and less likely to leave Australia, as some skilled and independent migrants do after a relatively short time here. So in fact this will help reunite many families without opening the door to a flood of dependent persons.

Similarly, amendment No. 16 provides that persons who have the status of a refugee cannot be deported on a technicality. I would be interested in hearing the Minister's comments on those two amendments.