House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019



4:58 pm

Photo of Andrew GilesAndrew Giles (Scullin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Cities and Urban Infrastructure) Share this | | Hansard source

We see revelations in The Australian newspaper that the Minister for Home Affairs is getting ready to privatise Australia's visa system, potentially selling it off to someone who has donated thousands of dollars to the Liberal Party. Under this plan a private company will be awarded a contract to run Australia's visa system—the most fundamental system of a national government—as a for-profit business. Liberal Party powerbroker Scott Briggs, whose company is one of the leading bidders for the contract, donated $53,000 to the Liberal Party in 2017-18. That doesn't past any pub test. Australians don't want the visa system sold off, and they especially don't want it flogged off to one of the PM's Liberal mates.

And we know that the UK is experiencing this privatisation approach. There are reports of British residency being granted in exchange for a two million pound investment. So we can see what will happen here.. A privatised system will inevitably lead to people paying for access to our visa system. Is that what we want here? Is that in Australia's national interest? Is that how we should decide who comes into Australia? I have met with the good men and women who work at the front line of our visa system, who strive to make our immigration system work under pressure. A good minister would support them in doing this important work instead of walking away from his responsibilities and undermining it.

Photo of Michael SukkarMichael Sukkar (Deakin, Liberal Party, Assistant Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, I require that the debate be extended.