Australia to Revert to Original Rule on Parent Visa Following Backlash
The Australian Greens party had planned to do a disallowance motion against the rule, with support from Australian Labor Party and other key crossbenchers.
Following weeks of anger from migrant communities, the Australian government is set to reverse the regulation introduced by Social Services Minister Dan Tehan that doubled the income requirement for people wanting to bring their parents to Australia, SBS Punjabi reported.
The government will undo the regulation rather than face a narrow defeat on the Senate floor, a letter written by Tehan to Greens senator Nick McKim on May 10, said, according to the report.
In the changes that took effect in April, residents needed to prove that they earn an annual income of $86,607, as opposed to $45,000 under the previous rules, in order to bring their parents to Australia.
The Greens had planned to put a disallowance motion to stop the change, with Labor and a group of key crossbenchers such as Derryn Hinch, Tim Storer, Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick, agreeing to back the motion.
The motion was postponed after McKim secured the deal with Tehan. “The minister has given a commitment that he will issue a new determination which will basically take the assurances of support levels back to what they were before the current determination was issued which doubled or tripled the amount of money that people needed to earn before they could sponsor a family member to migrate to Australia,” Senator McKim was quoted as saying.
The government has said that it will revert to the previous rules and will proceed to “reassess” any migrants who applied since the new rules came in April, as per the letter sent to McKim. Tehan said in the letter that he plans to rewrite the rule before May 23, which will “replicate the circumstances as they were prior to April 1,” the report said.
The government’s willingness to repeal the new rule is a departure from Tehan’s previous stance where he had told the publication that the Australian government wanted to ensure that newly-arrived migrants had the financial capacity to support themselves, while also ensuring that the social security system remained sustainable.
Meanwhile, One Nation Party leader Pauline Hanson is all for reducing the migrant intake in Australia to 75,000 per year.
“We need to rein it back in because we haven’t got the money to provide for the infrastructure projects and people are screaming. When you actually hear from about 54 to 60 per cent of the Australian populace, (they) want a reduction in immigration,” she said to Sky News.
Hanson went on to say that both major political parties are ignoring the public sentiment. “But the government and Labor are not listening. They’re basing the whole economic policy based on immigration numbers that come into the country.”
A report published by Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs, however, said that skilled migrants who were granted permanent visas in 2014-15 were estimated to have a lifetime net contribution of $6.9 billion to the budget, do not live on welfare or rob local workers of jobs.
Former prime minister Tony Abott had also made a similar statement earlier in the year, citing unsustainability.”I think we need to scale it back not because we’re anti-immigrant, we’re pro-immigrant, but the immigration program has to be run in the interests of everyone, specifically for the people who are already here,” he had said.