Terror and the Australian Migration Program

19 March 2019

The terrifying attack by an Australian on Muslims immigrants in New Zealand last week has placed the politics of the Australian Government toward immigrants in Australia under the spot light.

While Scott Morrison, and even the bullying Daily Telegraph, may be saying the right thing in the aftermath of one of the most disturbing terrorist attacks in recent history, the previous attitudes of the Prime Minister and the Liberal Party towards the Muslim and multicultural community in Australia have not always been so supportive.

Nicholas Houston, Immigration Lawyer and ACT Senate Candidate running under the banner of the Democratic Reform Alliance said, “The fact is that over the last 36 months immigration has been drawn in to the political arena and not just the fraught issue of asylum seekers.”

“The retrospective changes to the citizenship law that caused so much distress to permanent visa holders, the deliberate blow out in visa processing time frames that has affected Parent, Partner and employer nominated visa cases, and the continual and haphazard changing of occupations, processes, and time frames in the Skilled visa program, have all been very damaging to applicants caught up in the visa process”.

“Speaking frankly, these diminutions of the migration program and the stress it has caused to visa applicants have been aimed fairly and squarely at the multicultural community of Australia in the mistaken belief held by the by the Liberal Party of Australia there are votes in bashing migrants”.

“While polling indicates this does not appear to be the case, the on-going changes and the failure to consider the impact on people in the visa and citizenship pipeline have been hurtful. Perhaps in the aftermath of Christchurch the Government might also pause to reflect on its management of the mainstream migration program”.

Escaping poor governance overseas

Steven Bailey, the Chief Political Adviser of the Democratic Reform Alliance said, “In many cases migrants come to this country to escape corrupt, violent, and poorly run governments”.

“While the multicultural community may be feeling some relief at the change in rhetoric and political strategy there is still great suspicion the guns will once again be turned towards new Australians if the Liberal Party thinks there is an electoral advantage in so doing”.

Mr Houston said “The chaotic changes in the migration program are symptomatic of a broader sickness in Australian politics. Australians are dissatisfied with politics and the failure of the Liberal Party of Australia, the Australian Labor Party, and the National Party of Australia, to properly represent the electorate”.

Need for a visa-users lobby group

The Democratic Reform Alliance can see the need for the establishment of a formal visa users lobby group. This would be an organisation for users of the visa system, being people seeking to apply to migrate to Australia and their Australian family members, that would advocate on behalf of visa applicants.

This advocacy would not be directed at the substance of the law, as it is the prerogative of the Australian Government to determine the size and the content of the Australian migration program, but at the processes mandated for applying for a visa and the essential fairness or lack thereof in visa processing and the process of policy change.

The Democratic Reform Alliance strongly supports the establishment of such a group.

Introducing the Democratic Reform Alliance

The Democratic Reform Alliance is a political party established to direct public dissatisfaction towards enhanced structures of accountability and transparency in public and political life. The Democratic Reform Alliance has a Platform that places it in the middle of the moderate centre of Australian politics.

The Democratic Reform Alliance has a Platform that is limited, reasonable, realistic, and popular. It seeks to introduce strict standards of behaviour on our elected representatives, better levels of formal accountability and fewer options for corruption and enhance the functioning of representative democracy in Australia. More importantly, it has a series of well thought out strategies aimed at delivering the positive changes Australians are looking for.

For further information please contact Nicholas Houston.

Tel: 0412 189 814
Email: convenor@democraticreformalliance.org.au
Website: www.democraticreformalliance.org.au


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