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Down Syndrome NSW
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Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Migration Review and disability: LifeMatters podcast

The podcast of yesterday's LifeMatters (ABC Radio National) discussion of  Enabling Australia,  the report of the recent review of immigration policy as it impacts on people with disabilities and their families, is now available to listen to online, or to download as an mp3 file.  Richard Aedy interviewed the review's Chairman, Michael Danby, and the CEO of Down Syndrome Victoria, Catherine McAlpine.

The report itself is substantial (239 pages), and is available to download as a whole, or in chapters, from the Committee's webpage.

The Joint Standing Committee on Migration has made 18 recommendations aimed at  modernising the immigration treatment of people with disabilities,  but has fallen short of recommending that disability be removed from immigration health criteria.  

Senators Sue Boyce and Sarah Hanson-Young have made "additional comments" (pp 201 - 213), stating that ....

..... "we are of the view that the Inquiry provided sufficient evidence to warrant going further than Recommendation 18 to achieve a truly nondiscriminatory, and economically and socially beneficial, approach to migration treatment of disability." 

Their further recommendations are:

Recommendation A: We recommend that the Government remove the exemption of the Migration Act 1958 from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992.

Recommendation B: In the event that Recommendation A is not accepted, we recommend that the Government acknowledge that rejecting temporary visa holders as permanent visa holders solely on the basis of the birth of a child with a disability is discriminatory and develop protocols to address this.

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