They still call Australia home: Inquiry into Australian expatriates

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They still call Australia home: Inquiry into Australian expatriates

8 March 2005

© Commonwealth of Australia 2005
ISBN 0 642 71502 5

View the report as a single document - (PDF 712KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Membership of committee (PDF 98KB) (HTML format)
Foreword (PDF 168KB) (HTML format)
Abbreviations (PDF 127KB) (HTML format)
Chapter One - Introduction (PDF 152KB) (HTML format)
Conduct of the inquiry
Scope of the report
Note on references
Chapter Two - The Australian expatriates phenomenon (PDF 214KB) (HTML format)
Defining an expatriate
Characteristics of expatriates
Why Australians go overseas
Evidence from submissions
Evidence from the Hugo 2002 survey
Why some Australian expatriates stay overseas long-term or permanently
Work opportunities
Remuneration and financial issues
Friends and family
The lure of the lifestyle
Still call Australia home?
Implications for Australia
Brain drain or brain gain?
The Committee's view
Chapter Three - The extent of Australia's expatriate community (PDF 204KB) (HTML format)
Determining the extent of Australia's expatriate community
Possible ways of more accurately determining the number of Australian expatriates
The Committee's view
Chapter Four - Communication, policy formulation, and the role of Government (PDF 204KB) (HTML format)
Communication, access to information, and use of the Internet
A web portal?
Enhancing mission websites?
Lack of coordination of government policy
Chapter Five - The legal concerns of overseas Australians (PDF 305KB) (HTML format)
Citizenship issues
Background and history of Australian citizenship
Dual citizenship: the repeal of section 17
Dual citizenship: renunciation of citizenship under section 18
Other citizenship issues
Information and awareness relating to citizenship
Voting issues
Statistics on overseas voters
Current requirements under the Commonwealth Electoral Act
Should the enrolment restrictions be relaxed for Australians overseas?
The Committee's view
Administrative considerations
Education and information on voting for overseas Australians
Chapter Six - Repatriation and related concerns (PDF 198KB) (HTML format)
Do expatriates want to return to Australia? And will they?
Assistance for repatriation?
Realities of repatriation
Chapter Seven - Other concerns of expatriates (PDF 220KB) (HTML format)
Taxation issues
Income tax rates
Withholding tax for expatriates
Lack of a tax-free threshold for expatriates on superannuation pensions
Section 23AF of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (expatriates working in countries with no personal income tax)
Portability of superannuation
Residency requirements for small superannuation funds
Driver's licence issues
Medical insurance issues
Social security agreements
Working holiday arrangements
Chapter Eight - Measures taken by other countries regarding their expatriates (PDF 211KB) (HTML format)

Legislative representation of expatriates
Expatriates' representative bodies sponsored by government
Other countries
Identification cards for expatriates
Awards for expatriates
Schemes to encourage the return of expatriates
Other measures
Registers of expatriates
Measures to facilitate economic development

Chapter Nine - Promoting Australia's interests through its expatriates (PDF 224KB) (HTML format)

Engaging with academic expatriates
Fellowship schemes
Short-term return schemes
Networking of researchers
Engaging with expatriate professionals
Attracting expatriate professionals
Networking of expatriate professionals
Engaging with expatriates at overseas posts
Encouraging expatriates to invest in Australia
Expatriate networks

Chapter Ten - The Committee's conclusions (PDF 213KB) (HTML format)

Communication and access to information
Policy formulation and coordination
Australian missions overseas
Concerns regarding voting and citizenship rights
Citizenship issues
Voting issues
Engagement with expatriates

Additional comments by Government senators (PDF 108KB) (HTML format)
Communication and access to information
Policy formulation and coordination
Australian missions overseas
Concerns regarding voting and citizenship rights
voting issues
Engagement with expatriates
Appendix One - Organisations and individuals that provided the committee with submissions (PDF 125KB) (HTML format)
Appendix Two - Witnesses who appeared before the Committee (PDF 156KB) (HTML format)

Sydney, Tuesday 27 July 2004
Melbourne, Wednesday 28 July 2004
Canberra, Thursday 29 July 2004
Canberra, Wednesday 4 August 2004

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794