Bob Hawke said that the great influx of migrants after the Second World War is the most defining feature of Australia today. He is right. There is no doubt migrants have shaped our country for the better—building, expanding, educating and creating a diverse society of which we should all be proud.
How then does this Abbott government seek to repay that hard work and contribution? It is by punishing families through a mean-spirited cutting of a program that allows families to be reunited with overseas relatives, often elderly parents. Taking the axe to the non-contributory parent visa is a cruel and heartless attack on our ethnic communities. It means for tens of thousands of ethnic families spread across the country, including in my electorate of Corio, their hope of being reunited with family has now been slammed shut, unless of course they can afford there ported $125,000.
It goes to the very heart of the cruel and twisted priorities of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s government. Why is this government turning its back on migrants who have given so much to this country?This is a government that thrives on slogans. Is their new three-word slogan ‘Stop the parents’? Labor will not stand by and let the Abbott government punish those who have worked so hard to make Australia the wonderful place it is today by cruelly denying them being able to share this country with their families.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Sydney)