Many individuals in my electorate of Lalor have already raised their grave concerns regarding the abolition of various sub-classes of the non-contributory parent visa. After stating in Senate budget estimates last week that they were 'not sure' when the changes would take effect, here we are this week with the repeal lodged in the House of Representatives. This again shows the Abbott government creating a society of haves and have nots—again, another policy that means that if you have money, you will be right; if you don't—too bad!
Under the contributory parent stream, it has been reported that some of these visa applications are costing up to $125,000. So low- and middle-income families that have, until now, had the hope of being reunited permanently with family members have lost that hope—unless they can afford to pay thousands of dollars. There was no community consultation, and no warning of when this would happen. The government have just ignored how very important these visas are for the families that are granted them. It is mean-spirited to only allow family reunion to those who can dig deep into their pockets and just ruin the hopes of the less fortunate. Many in my community will be negatively affected, and I implore the government to keep these sub-classes of visas.