Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Get married and live permanently in Australia. That is the choice facing the 9000 or so temporary refugees who are still crying out for help.

The good news is that the government has amended its refugee policy, in response to public opinion. Senator Amanda Vanstone, the Immigration Minister, is on record as saying that the Government has tweaked its much-criticized Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) scheme to give temporary refugees priority access to a pool of mainstream migration visas.

Although the good Senator is not getting soft on illegal migrants, she has made it transparently clear that the rules will be relaxed for those who wish to marry an Australian citizen. Or move to regional Australia for 12 months.

Of course, Senator Vanstone is thinking about marriage of a certain kind: that is the popularly accepted marriage of the Adam and Eve vintage; but not marriage between Adam and Steve, so to speak. Anyway, you get the drift!

Be that as it may, the relationship between marriage and freedom has now been firmly established in the minds of refugees and asylum-seekers who want to call Australia home. Many are rubbing their hands with glee!

But first they have to find the right partner.
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