Government removes unnecessary dual regulation for lawyers

Today, the Australian Government removed unnecessary dual regulation for a large section of legal practitioners operating in the migration advice industry. Assistant Minister Customs, Community Safety and Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood spearheaded the passage of the landmark legislation through the Parliament.

The Bill, which was highly commended by the legal communities across Australia, was passed in the Senate eliminating the need for legal practitioners from having to register with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).

The Bills also ensure lawyers are no longer required to pay two sets of annual registration fees to both OMARA and their relevant state practice board and further negates the need to adhere to the code of conducts of two separate entities.

“This regulation has been an unnecessary burden to our legal fraternity and an unreasonable extra cost. The legal practitioners already have to adhere a very strict code through their state legal boards.” said Mr Wood

The Assistant Minister, Jason Wood, introduced the Bill package to the Parliament in November 2019. The Bill package passed the House of Representatives on 12 February 2020 and was introduced to the Senate the following day.

The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee report, released on 27 February 2020, recommended the Senate pass the bills without delay.

Mr Wood said the Bill package reflects the Government’s deregulation agenda and will remove unnecessary administrative burden and dual regulation of lawyers – who are already subject to a strict professional regulatory regime.

“The Bills will benefit more than 2,200 legal practitioners who provide immigration assistance in connection with legal practice,” he said.

“These changes demonstrate the Government’s commitment to a world class migration advice industry that works in Australia’s interests,” he said.

More information about Australia’s efforts to safeguard the integrity of the migration advice industry is available at: www.mara.gov.au.

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