Reforming the migration program
Over the last 24 months we have seen migration drawn in to the political arena and not just the very fraught issue of asylum seekers.
The retrospective changes to the citizenship law that caused so much damage and distress to permanent visa holders, the deliberate blow out in visa processing time frames that has affected Parent and Partner visa cases, and the continual and haphazard changing of occupations, processes, and time frames in the Skilled visa program, have all been very damaging.
In the Skilled visa program, state and territory governments have been as equally at fault as the Liberal Government on the federal level in making uncoordnated changes and very stressful changes to the process.
Speaking frankly, these diminutions of the migration program and the stress it has cause to visa application have 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 proposed changes and the failure to consider the impact of the changes on people in the visa and citizenship pipeline have been hurtful.
It is an election year this year and while non-citizens cannot vote, they can think
Escaping poor governance overseas
In many cases migrants come to this country to escape corrupt, violent, and poorly run governments. It is not edifying to see ego driven instability and systemic abuse of entitlements and conflicts of interest become a feature of government administration in Australia.
The chaotic chances in the migration program are symptomatic of 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.
This frustration is expressed in different ways. In disengagement from the major parties and politics generally, in a sense that the institutions are managed by insiders for the benefit of the insiders, in surveys that indicate high levels of mistrust in the media, and in a disrespect for politicians whom we never meet and who are seen as manipulating the system for their own benefit.
While there are elections once every three or four years this is not enough to hold politicians and their parties accountable and to provide real representation to the voting public. While there are opportunities for political participation outside of the life of the Parliament these are limited and frustratingly do not provide representation within our main political institutions.
Need for a visa-users lobby group
VisAustralia 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 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.
VisAustralia would support the establishment of such a group.
Introducing the Democratic Reform Alliance
In the absence of a visa users lobby group, it is appropriate to turn to other vehicles for achieving reform.
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 moderate, 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 Ausralia. More importantly, it has a series of well thought out strategies aimed at delivering the positive changes Australians are looking for.
We comend the party to you.
For more information about the Democratic Reform Alliance we invite you to visit its website: