Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Doctor's appeal rejected - now accepted

A tribunal has rejected an appeal by a Wimmera doctor against a decision denying his family permanent residency because of his son's disability.

Dr Bernhard Moeller and his family have had their application for residency refused because of the costs associated with the care of their son, who has Down Syndrome.

The Member for Mallee, John Forrest says the Migration Review Tribunal decided yesterday to support the Department's decision.

He says the Minister for Citizenship, Chris Evans, will now be asked to intervene.

"The Minister's indicated on a number of occasions his willingness to consider the use of his powers," he said.

"He's recently done it in regard to a professional nurse in Australia and we are hopeful he will come good for the Moellers."

Updated 4:12pm (AEST)

Doctor with Down syndrome son granted residency

A German doctor who was refused permanent residency because of his disabled son has been given a reprieve by the Federal Government.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans has granted a permanent visa to Dr Bernhard Moeller and his family.

Dr Moeller asked Senator Evans this morning to intervene in the case.

He had been denied a visa by the Immigration Department because his 13-year old son has Down syndrome.

Today Senator Evans told the Upper House that Dr Moeller would be able to stay.

"As Minister I can take into account all the circumstances and it was clear to me that Dr Moeller and his family are making a very valuable contribution to their local community," he said.

"Dr Moeller is providing a much-needed service in the area the family have integrated very well and they have substantial community support."

Dr Moeller says it has been very stressful waiting for the news,

"I was very tired yesterday when I got this news about the refusal from the tribunal and I was thinking is it really worthwhile? But now I am really happy. We've been jumping for joy," he said.

He said the system needs to be changed.

"I think something has to be done about it. It has to be set up more flexible. because I don't want more people to have such an experience like I had."

"It was a lot of stress and I think it was unnecessary," he said.

Dr Moeller is the only internal medicine specialist servicing 20,000 people in Horsham in western Victoria.


Disability group: review migration laws
The Down Syndrome Association of Western Australia says the Commonwealth must review legislation which makes it hard for people with children with disabilities to migrate to Australia.


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