Second Reading SpeechMr Anthony
That the bill be now read a second time.
The purpose of the bill is to amend the definition of `Australian resident' in relation to the social security law so that access to social security payments for New Zealand citizens moving to Australia is restricted to those New Zealand citizens who meet normal migration selection criteria or are covered by a social security international agreement.
On 26 February 2001, the Prime Minister announced these changes indicating at that time that these changes to the social security law were necessary to provide a fair and mutually beneficial approach to the cost of supporting people in need while preserving the common labour market and free movement of people currently available through the trans-Tasman travel arrangements.
The bill provides that the changes will not apply to New Zealand citizens who were resident in Australia on 26 February 2001, or who are temporarily absent from Australia and who have been in Australia for a period, or periods, of 12 months in the previous two years immediately before 26 February 2001.
For those New Zealand citizens who are intending to reside in Australia, a three-month period of grace will apply from 26 February 2001. A six-month period of grace will apply to those New Zealand citizens temporarily absent from Australia on 26 February 2001 and who are in receipt of a social security payment under the portability arrangements that apply under the social security law. A longer 12-month period of grace will apply to those New Zealand citizens, resident in Australia but temporarily absent, who are unable to return to Australia in the three-month period and are not in receipt of a social security payment.
The bill also ensures that the changes do not apply to any child-related payments under the social security law and the family assistance law. Likewise, the bill ensures that the changes do not affect access to concessions under the social security law and the Health Insurance Act 1973. I present the explanatory memorandum to this bill.
Debate (on motion by Mr Horne) adjourned.