This week, our representative in Australia, Andrew Walton, submitted a letter to members of parliament in Canberra, detailing our campaign for freedom of movement between the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and requesting support from within the Australian government for the expansion of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
The letter is detailed below.
To get in touch with Andrew regarding the free movement campaign in Australia, please email Andrew.Walton@CFMO.org
For more information about how to get in touch with your local MP in Australia, please visit the Parliament of Australia's members website here.
For all other information, please email our support team at support@CFMO.org.
Dear Honourable Member,
I am writing to you today to ask you to challenge Prime Minister Turnbull to match words with deeds in regards to building the innovation economy.
The Prime Minister can do this by committing to seek expansion of the special visa program (visa subclass 444), which currently allows Australian & New Zealand citizens to work and study in each other’s countries, to include the citizens of Canada and the United Kingdom through reciprocal ministerial agreements based on the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.
The benefits of the reciprocal expansion of the special visa scheme for Australia will be substantial and will, in our estimation, form an important plank in allowing the economy to evolve into a leader of innovation, giving Australia a real and decisive competitive advantage in the global economy.
The re-establishment of the right to live and work in Canada and the United Kingdom has been shown to have wide spread support, with a major poll conducted by the Royal Commonwealth Society finding that 70% of Australians, 75% of Canadians, 82% of New Zealanders and 58% of Britons support the re-establishment of citizens' rights to live and work in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. This shows a remarkable level of support and provides a clear mandate for expansion of the special visa scheme.
Our Organisation has been actively building awareness and support for the re-establishment of our collective citizens' rights to live and work in each other's nations, and has support in the representative bodies of each nation.
The key to our future prosperity lies in how effectively we innovate and compete in an increasingly globalised marketplace. By securing the ability of Australians to work and study in the United Kingdom and Canada, we will unlock a unique and substantial competitive advantage for our nation globally. In effect, we will create the foundation of a single labour market servicing the world’s third largest combined economy.
Throughout this huge region, Australians will work and study freely while our businesses recruit the best talent, all without the cost, risk and often lengthy delays currently experienced through arduous immigration controls.
The ability of Australians to work and study in both Canada and the UK will significantly promote innovation, as we will have unparalleled access to the ideas and innovations being developed in the European, North American and Asian-Pacific markets.
Key Industries which would especially benefit from increased access to the Canadian and British markets, to name just a few, would be;
- The Resources and Mining industry;
- The Financial services industry;
- The IT, Technology and Automation industries; and
- The Manufacturing sector
The expansion of the special visa scheme should, in our opinion, be secured through non-binding ministerial agreements such as the ones which form the basis of the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. The advantage of this approach is that it leaves Australia free to adjust the agreement(s) as the situation demands without impediment, as well as ensuring we retain full control over our borders and immigration system.
Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organisation - Australia
[Image Attribution: Australian Parliament - Wikipedia, JJ Harrison]