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New measures to strengthen the regulation of migration agents.

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Gary Hardgrave MP   Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs 

  Media Release H53/2002 - 9 June 2002


New Measures to Strengthen the Regulation of Migration Agents


New laws to strengthen the regulation of migration agents and protect their clients were passed in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Gary Hardgrave, announced.

"Migration agents can have a valuable role to play in assisting people with their immigration applications and most do a professional job but I am determined to ensure that more is done to eliminate the shonky operators from this industry," Mr Hardgrave said.

"The legislation passed by the House of Representatives is a further step in this direction. If passed by the Senate, the legislation will provide the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) with additional powers to protect the clients of migration agents and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of industry regulation arrangements."

Key features of the legislation include:

expanded powers for the MARA to investigate complaints against former migration agents who previously could de-register themselves to escape sanctions; ●

agents being barred from returning to the industry for five years for serious breaches of the Code of Conduct; and ●

streamlined arrangements to ensure continuity of registration for migration agents while their annual re-registration applications are assessed. ●

"The industry review underway now will focus on consumer protection issues and to examine whether the existing registration arrangements can be extended to cover migration agents working overseas who are not covered by the existing arrangements," Mr Hardgrave said.

Mr Hardgrave said further legislative changes to extend the consumer protection provisions of the scheme may follow once the review was completed.

9 June 2002

Media contact: Amanda Lynch 0419 123 862

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