Peter Mares and Mark Webster touched on the possibility that applications for Partner visas could be axed if the new Visa Capping Bill goes ahead.
Whilst I agree that it is theoretically possible, I don't think it is likely.
I want to speak up on behalf of non-contributory Parent visa applicants, please. Applicants for Contributory Parent visas are safe. They are cash cows and nobody is likely to kill a cash cow.
I have had an e-mail this morning from the Parents Visa Centre, confirming that the quotas of non-contributory Parent 103 and Aged Parent 804 visas have been halved for 2010-2011.
Minister Evans increased those quotas from 1,000 in total to 2,000 in total during his first nyear in Office in 2007-2008. He doubled the quotas to 2,000 for 2008-2009 and he held that in place for 2009-2010.
The total will be halved again for 2010-2011. 700 are to be earmarked for the applicants for the offshore Parent sc 103 visa. Some 15,500 Parents are waiting for those and, if the quota remains at 700 a year, those Parents are now looking at a wait of some 22 years.
I believe that applicants for the onshore Aged Parent 804 visas are in an even worse potential predicament. The quota for them has been reduced from 600 visas ayear to just 300 a year. I think there are about 5,500 applications in the pipeline for the subclass 804 visas.
If a couple, one of the applicnts has to be 65 or near enugh before thery can even apply for this visa. The Visa Capping Bill enables the Minister for Immi to scrap their visa applications, terminate their Bridging Visas at the same time and kick them out of Oz, potentially after giving them no more than 28 days notice.
Many of these Parents are in their 70s and 80s. The only life that they have left is the one that they have with their child or children in Oz. Nonetheless, they could still be kicked out of Oz with no rights of review or appeal.
No doubt Minister Evans would claim that he has “no intention” of ever treating elderly people so badly. He is nevertheless frightening them into an early grave. Why? If he has “no intention” of treating them badly, why have these elderly Parents not been ring-fenced in his preposterous new Visa Capping Bill, so as to reassure them – and me – that the Aussie Government would never stoop to such abominable conduct? If he thinks that my own reaction is one of “hysteria” then he will just have to live with it until he convinces me that the Government would never stoop so low.
These Parents and Aged Parents have not been ring fenced. I hope that the other Senators will protect these very vulnerable groups.
If I were the Aussie Parliament, I would not waste my own time on re-drafting this Bill. I would simply chuck it out in its entirety and tell Minister Evans to re-write the thing fully and properly if he expects me to consider the revised version of this iniquitous new Bill..