A while ago I was asked for some thoughts on the life of an aussie expat for a senate submission report and was pleased to provide some thoughts about why I'm working working overseas at the moment....I needn't have bothered.
Government Response Dismisses Ordinary Overseas AustraliansA pdf version of this media release is available at:http://www.southern-cross-group.org/
The Southern Cross Group (SCG) today expressed its disappointment withthe Federal Government’s recent response to Senate Committeerecommendations made in the Inquiry into Australian Expatriates.In the response tabled twenty-one months after the Senate Committeerecommendations were first published, the Government rejected eight outof sixteen recommendations.Senate Committee proposals rejected by the Government include:
· The recommendation to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 toassist expatriate Australians to maintain their electoral enrolmentwhile abroad;
· The recommendation to establish a web portal devoted to the provisionof information and services for expatriate Australians;· The recommendation that the web portal should include a page of linksto expatriate network websites, to facilitate engagement and informationexchange in the expatriate community;
· The recommendation to establish a policy unit with the Department ofForeign Affairs and Trade to facilitate the coordination of policiesrelating to Australian expatriates;
· The recommendation that the websites of Australia’s foreign missionsshould include an on-line registration facility to enable localexpatriates to register their professional profiles, in turn allowingstronger engagement between missions and expatriates, providing aresource for missions in their work of promoting Australia’s interestsoverseas, and allowing expatriates to be notified of upcoming events andnews;
· The recommendation to amend Australian citizenship law to ensure thatchildren of people who renounced their citizenship under Section 18 ofthe Australian Citizenship Act 1948 are eligible to apply for Australiancitizenship by descent.
To me they all seem fairly reasonable and intuitively responsible requests however I love this part of the report the best
SCG Australian Co-ordinator John MacGregor said, “A number of verysensible proposals that the Government has rejected would not beexpensive to implement but would make a big difference to the lives ofmany ordinary overseas Australians. Although the Government hasdismissed so many of the Senate Committee’s good ideas, it has to date wholly failed to put forward its own comprehensive strategy plan or blueprint for this country’s future engagement with its million-strongdiaspora. We can only assume that the Government finds such a step unnecessary because most of those in the diaspora are disenfranchisedunder Australian electoral law and have no power at the ballot box.”
I think the bigger issue to consider is the loss of these people as a resource, sure we'll come home and visit, probably buy an investment property or two, but at the end of the day Australia is missing out more from our absence than we are missing from being overseas.