House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Statements by Members

Hasluck Electorate: Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

1:53 pm

Photo of Tania LawrenceTania Lawrence (Hasluck, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Hasluck is home to many culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and many of those communities wish to have access to good engagement with politics and government at all levels. The Albanese government is engaging with the Australian community from the ground up. A couple of weeks ago, Minister Giles visited Dayton, in Hasluck, to meet my community to discuss both immigration and the Voice to Parliament. We were hosted by the Swan Valley Labor branch, and I wish to thank Harry Gill and Steve Catania and the team for hosting the forum, and particularly Harry, for providing the translation support.

Attendees raised a number of issues, ranging from visa and citizenship approvals to health insurance and community support services. Community leaders had noticed the significant improvement in visa-processing times since the election and congratulated the Albanese Labor government. We inherited a crippling backlog of around one million unprocessed visas. Minister Giles added 600 additional processing staff, and by March this year the backlog was almost half of what we inherited, and wait times for temporary and short-term skilled visas had reduced drastically, from around 83 days to around 38 days. The citizenship backlog is also now at its lowest in six years. On the Voice to Parliament, Minister Giles and I were ably assisted by Amar Singh, the 2023 Australian of the Year Local Hero, who stopped in to visit on his long trek around Australia promoting the Voice to Parliament.