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Who is supporting high immigration levels?

Illustration: Michael Leunig

Good on the Liberals’ lord mayor Robert Doyle for taking on Labor’s federal MP Kelvin Thomson in a ”Big Population” debate on Monday night. And good on Thomson for gingering up his party on the social, economic and environmental costs of Australia’s vastly increased and internationally atypical level of immigration. Judging by the overwhelming support in the audience for Thomson’s case, one wonders where support for high immigration lies.

Doyle’s claim to growth by immigration as unstoppable, as something to be ”managed”, is belied by its active promotion at state and federal levels, softened by such weasel words as ”provisioning for projected population growth”. The funding of political campaigns by property interests at state and local level was identified as underpinning the policy. Doyle’s defence that developer funding of his and other city council campaigns is publicly declared is blunted by the fact that it isn’t revealed until after the election.

A call for a referendum on immigration levels was enthusiastically received.

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Updated MRT – RRT application for review forms

The MRT-RRT Tribunals released updated versions of the M1, M2 and R1 ‘Application for review’ forms today (design date 10/14), as part of the move towards using email as the primary means of communication with applicants and their representatives. The forms now provide applicants with an opportunity to elect to receive all case related correspondence from the Tribunals via email.

The previous version of these forms, released in March 2014 (design date 03/14), will continue to be accepted by the Tribunals until 30 January 2015.

Current application forms are available on the ‘Forms’ page of the Tribunals’ website.  (more…)

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Temporary pause in Victorian state nomination system

From Live in Victoria:

The Live in Victoria website is undergoing a major technology upgrade.  As a result the State visa nomination applications system will be disabled from 9am Monday 27 October 2014 and will be operating by Monday 3 November 2014.

Please note that applicants and agents will be unable to submit applications for State visa nomination during this time.

The processing of applications recently lodged and already in the system will also be temporarily paused during this time, as our representatives will be unable to access the system while the upgrade is being undertaken.

The Skilled and Business Migration Program will also be unable to answer queries about the progress of applications while the system is down. (more…)

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SIV Review outcome and changes announced

The Government today announced important changes to the Significant Investor Visa and creation of a Premium Investor visa.

The new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) will require an investment of $15 million, nomination by Austrade and has no residency requirements.  PIV holders will be eligible for permanent residency after holding the complying investment for 12 months.

Other changes include: (more…)

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Significant Investor Update – Victoria

‘Victorian Government’s October 2014 Significant Investor Update has been released

This update provides information from the Victorian Government on their activities to support and attract investor migrants to Victoria, through the Business Innovation and Investment Program’s Significant Investor Visa stream.

This edition contains the following information:

  • Reforms to Significant Investor and 457 visa programs
  • Significant Investor nomination update
  • Victoria’s flexible visa nomination requirements (more…)
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Returned to torture and death: Greens push for an end to forced Afghan repatriation

14 Oct 2014 | Sarah Hanson-Young
Immigration & Citizenship

The Australian Greens will move a motion in the Parliament calling for a moratorium on forced refugee returns to Afghanistan and asking for a team of experts to be deployed on a fact-finding mission, after disturbing revelations surfaced that Hazara men have been tortured and killed by the Taliban in recent weeks.

“We’re fighting extremism in Iraq while forcing refugees into the arms of the Taliban in Afghanistan. It just doesn’t make sense,” the Greens’ immigration spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said. (more…)

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MRT-RRT Community Liaison Update – October 2014

The MRT-RRT Tribunals have provided their October 2014 Update, which includes the following information:  

  • Lodgements in September were higher than for August, with partner and protection cases accounting for almost half of all lodgements
  • Clearance rates for the month for the MRT were 134% and the RRT 119%
  • Further reminder that email communication will become the primary communication method
  • A single registry address registry@mrt-rrt.gov.au has come into effect for all case related communications
  • M1, M2 and R1 ‘Application for review’ forms have been updated on their website

(more…)

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Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda

The Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda – An action plan for a stronger Australia has been released by the Federal Government.

The Agenda outlines proposals for lifting productivity, ensuring gains to economic and jobs growth, developing a better skilled labour force, lowering production costs, increased and improved infrastructure and cuts in red tape.

Proposals relevant to migration include the implementation of reforms to the 457 visa and enhancements to the investor visa programme.

(more…)

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Government sweeps 457 Visa problems under the carpet

The Federal Government’s announcement of reforms to the 457 Visa program has ignored serious flaws with the program, the CFMEU National Secretary Michael O’Connor said.

“The Government’s announcement today that it will lower the English language requirements for workers on 457 Visas is a dangerous mistake,” he said.

Only one work-related death of a 457 Visa worker has been recorded since the former Government introduced the current 457 Visa minimum English language standards in September 2009. (more…)

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Further Government statement on Subclass 457 review

The Federal Government has announced the following changes to the 457 programme:

  • streamline the processing of sponsorship, nomination and visa applications to reward low risk applicants and refocus compliance and monitoring activities on high risk applicants;
  • increase the sponsorship approval period from 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses, to give start-ups more time to make their businesses sustainable; (more…)
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