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 2 MIGRATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (MIGRATION AGENTS INTEGRITY MEASURES) BILL 2003

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 Mr L. D. T. Ferguson, 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) supports the continuation of a statutory form of regulation of migration agents, believing that complete voluntary self-regulation, as advocated by the Coalition in the past, would seriously endanger vulnerable clients and badly undermine the integrity of our migration system;

(2) expresses its dismay that the Government has allowed privileged access to Ministers, and Ministerial and Departmental staff, to a number of unregistered agents who are close associates of the Coalition;

(3) notes growing concern about the Ministerial intervention process, particularly in so far as it is entails unequal access by certain groups and individuals and arbitrary and non-transparent decision making by the Minister;

(4) requires the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs to display a stronger resolve to investigate and prosecute individuals engaged in unregistered practice, people trafficking, migration fraud and other offences under the Act, including matters referred to the Department by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA);

(5) urges MARA to address concerns about its visibility, efficiency, and accessibility and improve its means of communication with consumers, registered agents, ethnic community organisations and media outlets; and

(6) requests the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs to give priority attention to the need to bring overseas agents into the regulatory system and to develop a mechanism to require agents to maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance as a condition of registration"—

Debate resumed.

Question—That the words proposed to be omitted stand part of the question—put.

The House divided (the Deputy Speaker, Mr Wilkie, in the Chair)—

AYES, 76

Mr AbbottMr CostelloMr JullMr Ruddock
Mr AndersonMr DownerMr KatterMr Schultz
Mr K. J. AndrewsMrs DraperMrs D. M. KellyMr Scott
Mr AnthonyMr DuttonJackie KellyMr Secker
Fran BaileyMrs ElsonMrs LeyMr Slipper
Mr BairdMr EntschMr LindsayMr A. D. H. Smith
Mr BaldwinMr FarmerMr LloydMr Somlyay
Mr BarresiMr Forrest*Mr McArthur*Dr Southcott
Mr BartlettMrs GallusMr I. E. MacfarlaneDr Stone
Mr BillsonMs GambaroMr McGauranMr Ticehurst
Mrs B. K. BishopMrs Gash*Mrs MayMr Tollner
Ms J. I. BishopMr HaaseMrs MoylanMr Truss
Mr BroughMr HardgraveMr NairnMr M. A. J. Vaile
Mr CadmanMr Hartsuyker*Dr NelsonMrs D. S. Vale
Mr CameronMr HawkerMs PanopoulosMr Wakelin
Mr CausleyMr HockeyMr PearceDr Washer
Mr CharlesMrs HullMr ProsserMr Williams
Mr CioboMr HuntMr PyneMr Windsor
Mr CobbMr JohnsonMr RandallMs Worth

NOES, 58

Mr AdamsMr L. D. T. FergusonMr LathamMr Quick*
Mr AlbaneseMr M. J. FergusonMs LivermoreMr Ripoll
Mr BeazleyMr FitzgibbonMr McClellandMs Roxon
Mr BevisMs GeorgeMs J. S. McFarlaneMr Rudd
Mr BreretonMr GibbonsMs MacklinMr Sawford
Ms BurkeMs GriersonMr McLeayMr Sciacca
Mr ByrneMr GriffinMr McMullanMr Sercombe*
Ms CorcoranMs HallMr MelhamMr Sidebottom
Mr CoxMr HattonMr MossfieldMr S. F. Smith
Mrs CrosioMs HoareMr MurphyMr Swan
Mr Danby*Mrs Irwin*Mr B. P. O'ConnorMr Tanner
Mr EdwardsMs JacksonMr G. M. O'ConnorMr K. J. Thomson
Ms EllisMr JenkinsMr OrganMr Zahra
Mr EmersonMr KerrMs Plibersek
Mr EvansMs C. F. KingMr Price

* Tellers

And so it was resolved in the affirmative.

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. 173, 2 October 2003, from His Excellency the Governor-General was announced recommending an appropriation for the purposes of the Bill.

Leave granted for third reading to be moved forthwith.

On the motion of Mr Hardgrave (Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs), the Bill was read a third time.