Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Migration Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 8)

  • - C2004L02420
  • No longer in force
SR 2003 No. 283 Regulations as made
These Regulations amend the Migration Regulations 1994.
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR24-Nov-2003
Tabled Senate24-Nov-2003
Gazetted 04 Nov 2003
Date of repeal 24 Nov 2003
Repealed by Disallowed in Full

Migration Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 8) 2003 No. 283

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

STATUTORY RULES 2003 No. 283

Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Immigration and

Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

Migration Act 1958

Migration Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 8)

Subsection 504(1) of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations, not inconsistent with the Act, prescribing all matters which by the Act are required or permitted to be prescribed or which are necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.

In addition, paragraphs (d) and (e) of the definition of "excised offshore place" in subsection 5(1) of the Act provide that the regulations may prescribe an external Territory and any island that forms part of a State or Territory as an "excised offshore place" (other than the external Territories of Christmas Island, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, and Cocos (Keeling) Islands, which are already defined as excised offshore places).

The purpose of the Regulations is to amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to prescribe:

•       certain islands that form part of Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory; and

•       the Coral Sea Islands Territory;

as excised offshore places, pursuant to paragraphs (d) and (e) of the definition of "excised offshore place" in subsection 5(1) of the Act.

The effect of being an "excised offshore place" is that persons who are not citizens of Australia who arrive in such places without authority - usually in the form of a visa - cannot make a valid application for a visa.

The Regulations address indications that people smugglers are likely to change the focus of their operations to target landing on islands closer to the Australian mainland. In combating these new threats it is necessary to extend the bar on visa applications by persons who arrive without lawful authority at these offshore places.

Australian citizens and other persons with lawful authority under the Act to be in Australia will continue to be able to move about freely in these areas and make any applications permitted by the Act.

In particular, in respect of the Torres Strait Islands, the Act allows inhabitants of the Protected Zone (as established by the Torres Strait Treaty) to move about freely in connection with the performance of their traditional activities. These provisions will continue to apply and traditional inhabitants of the Torres Strait will not be affected by the inclusion of the Torres Strait Islands in the definition of "excised offshore place".

The Commonwealth will continue to ensure that, while unauthorised arrivals at excised offshore places cannot apply for visas, appropriate arrangements will ensure that Australia continues to fulfil its obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and under other relevant international instruments.

Details of the Regulations are set out in the Attachment.

The Act specifies no conditions that need to be met before the power to make the Regulations may be exercised.

The Regulations commence on gazettal.

ATTACHMENT

Regulation 1 - Name of Regulations

This regulation provides that these Regulations are the Migration Amendment Regulations 2003 (No. 8).

Regulation 2 - Commencement

This regulation provides that these Regulations commence on gazettal.

Regulation 3 - Amendment of Migration Regulations 1994

Regulation 3 provides that Schedule 1 to these Regulations amends the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Regulations).

Schedule 1 - Amendment

Item [1] - After regulation 5.15A

This item inserts new regulation 5.15B into Part 5 of the Regulations.

New subregulation 5.15B(1) provides that the Coral Sea Islands Territory is prescribed as an excised offshore place for the purpose of paragraph (d) of the definition of "excised offshore place" in subsection 5(1) of the Act.

New subregulation 5.15B(2) provides that the following islands are prescribed as excised offshore places for the purposes of paragraph (e) of the definition of "excised offshore place" in subsection 5(1) of the Act:

•       all islands that form part of Queensland and are north of latitude 21 degrees south; and

•       all islands that form part of Western Australia and are north of latitude 23 degrees south; and

•       all islands that form part of the Northern Territory and are north of latitude 16 degrees south.

The effect of the above Territory and islands being prescribed as excised offshore places is that persons who are not citizens of Australia who arrive there without authority - usually in the form of a visa - cannot make a valid application for a visa.

The amendments address indications that people smugglers are likely to change the focus of their operations to target landing on islands closer to the Australian mainland. In combating these new threats it is necessary to extend the bar on visa applications by persons who arrive without lawful authority at these offshore places.

Australian citizens and other persons with lawful authority under the Act to be in Australia will continue to be able to move about freely in these areas and make any applications permitted by the Act.

In particular, in respect of the Torres Strait Islands, the Act allows inhabitants of the Protected Zone (as established by the Torres Strait Treaty) to move about freely in connection with the performance of their traditional activities. These provisions will continue to apply and traditional inhabitants of the Torres Strait will not be affected by the inclusion of part of the Torres Strait Islands in the definition of "excised offshore place".

The Australian Government will continue to ensure that, while unauthorised arrivals at excised offshore places cannot apply for visas, appropriate arrangements will ensure that Australia continues to fulfil its obligations under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and under other relevant international instruments.