Monday, November 25, 2013

Buy Australian?

The Abbott government is widely advertising the policy of selling Australian citizenship to rich foreigners. This stance is the opposite of its efforts to bury the outcome of recent asylum-seeking attempts.

The immigration advice site reports:
The new Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison has said that he wants to fast-track 400 wealthy visa applicants for permanent residence. The 400 have applied for subclass 888 Significant investor visas and Mr Morrison believes that, between them, they have about AUS$2bn to invest in the Australian economy. He also says that he wants to 'reboot' the Significant Investor Visa so that it creates more Australian jobs. .... So far, 28 Significant Investor visas have been granted. To qualify, applicants must have at least AUS$5m to invest in Australia. The investments must be made in investments approved by the Australian government.
I feel a little uneasy about the idea of purchased citizenship, but the policy enacted by Labor in November 2012, has been fully embraced by the Abbott government and its Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.
There is currently a nine-month waiting period before an applicant can receive an 888 visa but Mr Morrison says that he wants to cut this for fear that wealthy Chinese citizens will take their money elsewhere. 
Speaking at the Migration Institute of Australia in Sydney on Monday 21st October, Mr Morrison told his audience that he was poaching international talent 'like a recruiter for your local sports team'. He said that people who got 888 visas would 'transfer their wealth to Australia over a generation' and that their businesses would become Australian, creating jobs for Australians.

He said 'We think people who create business, people who risk capital, people who go out there every day and create jobs off their own enterprise is what we need to see more of in this country and certainly within our immigration programme'.
Compare this to recent efforts to restrict reporting on asylum-seekers.
The birth of children and clinical depression are no longer being formally reported as incidents in Australian detention centres, while self-harm events have been downgraded from critical to major, according to new guidelines from the detention service provider Serco. The new guidelines were created in March this year, when the previous Labor government was in office.
Bipartisanship on asylum-seekers was the sad reality. 

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