Senate Seeks Compassion For Dr. Moeller

Senate seeks compassion for Dr Moeller

Sydney Morning Herald
November 11, 2008 – 4:52PM

The Senate has condemned the federal government for failing to show compassion to a German doctor denied permanent residency because his son has Down syndrome.

Bernhard Moeller moved with his family to rural Horsham, in central-western Victoria, two and a half years ago to help fill a doctor shortage.

Dr Moeller has a temporary 457 visa which is valid until 2010 but has been denied permanent residency because the immigration department believes his 13-year-old son Lukas would be a drain on the health system.

The Senate on Tuesday supported a motion, moved by opposition disabilities spokesman Cory Bernardi, that acknowledged the Moeller's plight.

The motion called on the government to “expedite the decision-making process with regard to Dr Moeller and his family's application for permanent residency”.

It also condemned “the lack of action, advocacy, commonsense and compassion given to the Moeller family by the Rudd government”.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said he had no power to intervene in the case until after the Migration Review Tribunal had upheld the department's decision.