New integrity regulations disallowed in the Senate

The previously reported regulations relating to public health debts, health insurance, character and integrity of applications were successful repealed in the Senate on Tuesday.

As written, these new conditions would have affected many visa holders and placed them, due to the general and vague wording (particularly as to what constitutes criminal conduct), at the mercy of interpretation and the policy objectives of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

These regulations were enough of a concern for Senator Nick McKim, who moved to have the instrument disallowed on 14 November 2017. After a few postponements, the motion was resolved on 5 December 2017. Utilising section 42 of the Legislation Act 2003 (Cth), the Senator mustered enough support to have the regulation defeated, ceasing its effect immediately.

While relatively rare, those with long memories will recall a disallowed motion has happened before and with even greater effect. Previously, non-contributory parent and other family member visas were abolished from 2 June 2014, but later reinstated after the offending instrument was later disallowed on 25 September 2014, effectively reinstating these visas, which are still available.