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The order of the day having been read for the resumption of the debate on the question—That the Bill be now read a second time—And on the amendment moved thereto by Ms Gillard, viz.—That all words after "That" be omitted with a view to substituting the following words: "whilst not declining to give the Bill a second reading, the House:

(1) notes that:

 (a) the Howard Government slashed the number of visas available for parents seeking to migrate to Australia to join their families to 500 in 1998;

(b) through this savage cut in visa numbers, the Howard Government has deliberately created a queue of over 20,000 parents seeking to migrate;

(c) the deliberate creation of this queue has caused stress and suffering for the families involved;

(d) having created this crisis, the Howard Government's only answer is a new visa class which requires the payment of a $25,000 fee which will be beyond the means of many; and

(e) while Labor has historically supported sponsoring families making a contribution to the health and welfare costs associated with the migration of parents, the system needs to be equitable and not cause undue hardship; and therefore

(2) calls on the Government immediately to introduce a fair system of parent visas, which will stop families in the current queue suffering additional stress and hardship and will meet Australia's needs into the future"—

Debate resumed.

Amendment negatived.

Question—That the Bill be now read a second time—put and passed—Bill read a second time.

Message from the Governor-General

Message No. 104, 3 December 2002, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending an appropriation for the purposes of the Bill.

Consideration in detail

Bill, by leave, taken as a whole.

Mr Andren moved an amendment.

Debate continued.

Amendment negatived.

Bill agreed to.

Consideration in detail concluded.

On the motion of Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs), by leave, the Bill was read a third time.