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Wednesday, 23 May 1973
Page: 2505

Mr ENDERBY (Australian Capital Territory) (Minister for the Capital Territory, Minister for the Northern Territory and Acting Attorney-General) - 1 move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

The purpose of this Bill is to repeal those provisions of the Crimes Act 1914-1966 which permit Australian citizens to be deported from Australia. The Bill gives effect to the policy of the Australian Labor Party that naturalised Australians are to be treated for all purposes as Australians and are not to be liable to deportation or cancellation of citizenship except for substantial fraud in application for citizenship. The Crimes Act contains a number of provisions under which the Attorney-General may order the deportation from Australia of a person not born in Australia. The provisions apply irrespective of whether the person against whom such an order is made is an Australian citizen or not. These provisions were inserted in the Crimes Act by the Bruce-Page Government in 1926. The Government has in recent weeks given a number of assurances that Australian citizens will not be deported. The Bill is the practical expression of those assurances.

I turn now to the detailed provisions of the Bill. The first 3 clauses deal with formal matters or consequential amendments. The substantive provisions are clauses 4, 5 and 6. Clauses 4 and 5 amend sections of the principal Act which empower the Attorney-General to order the deportation of a person convicted of an offence against those sections in a case where that person was not born in Australia. Clause 6 of the Bill repeals a number of sections of the principal Act. Section 30l empowers the Attorney-General to. order the deportation of any person not born in Australia who is a member of a body of persons declared by the High Court or the Supreme Court of a State to be an unlawful association. The other sections to be repealed by clause 6 are machinery provisions relating to deportation under the Crimes Act. Clause 7 and the Schedule to the Bill make a number of amendments to the text of the principal Act to bring that text into conformity with current drafting practice. They do not involve any changes of substance in the principal Act.

The provisions of the Migration Act relating to the deportation of aliens and persons who are in law regarded as migrants will continue to apply. Under the Migration Act a person may be deported only if he is a prohibited immigrant, he is an alien or a migrant who has been convicted of a serious offence or he is an alien or migrant whose conduct has been such that, in the opinion of the Minister for Immigration, he ought not to be allowed to remain in Australia. In this latter case, a person against whom a deportation order is to be made has a right of appeal to an independent commissioner and he may not be deported unless the commissioner considers that the ground on which the deportation is proposed to be made has been established. The passage of the Bill will also give effect to many representations that have been made over the years by migrant organisations in Australia. I am confident that the Bill will be supported on all sides of the House. I commend it to honourable members.

Leave granted for debate to continue forthwith.

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