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Joint communique issued following the Australia/Italy Joint Commission established under the migration and settlement agreement between Australia and Italy
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28 September 1978 85/78

The attached joint communique was released today by the Italian

Deputy Foreign Minister, the Hon. Dr Franco Foschi, and the

Australian Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, the

Hon. M.J.R. MacKellar, at the end of the two-day sitting -

of the Australia/Italy Joint Commission established under the

Migration and Settlement Agreement.


The Joint Commission established under the Italy/Australia

Migration and Settlement Agreement held its fourth meeting in

Canberra on 25 and 26 September 1978.

■ ■ ·* . . ■

The Joint Commission was opened jointly by the Italian Deputy

Foreign Minister, the Hon. Dr Franco Foschi, and by the

Australian Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, Hon.

M.J.R. MacKellar. Both Ministers stressed the importance of

continuing close co-operation and consultation between the two


The Joint Commission noted the major developments in immigration

policy and in the provision of programs and services to migrants

in Australia since the third meeting of the Joint Commission

held in Rome in February 1977.

The Joint Commission discussed the implications of the immigration

policy announced by the Australian Minister for Immigration and

Ethnic Affairs on 7 June this year. It noted that Italian

migration to Australia had a long and successful history and

that the Italian community in Australia was continuing to make

a major and appreciated contribution to Australia's development

in the economic, social and cultural spheres.

While the Joint Commission recognised that both Australia and

Italy faced difficult problems in reducing high levels of

unemployment there remained scope for continuing migration to

Australia from Italy. The changes in immigration categories and

procedures would be welcomed particularly in so far as the

selective extension of entry criteria for family reunion migration

is applied sympathetically.

It was agreed that the continuing flow of migrants and future

prospects in Australia should be subject to continuing review

by the Joint Commission which noted that persons born in Italy

had a lower level of unemployment at present than the overall

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figure for the Australian workforce. It was also agreed that

arrangements should be developed for regular circulation of

information to prospective migrants in Italy on Australian

conditions including specific employment opportunities in the

various industries and geographical locations. Information

helpful to entrepreneurs should also be circulated.

The Italian delegation was assured that the language element

in the new assessment procedures for migrant selection would not

impede the flow of migrants without fluency in English who had

good prospects for successful settlement in Australia.

The Joint Commission discussed the Galbally » Report on Services

and Programs for Migrants and noted that the rapid action to

implement it had been well received and appreciated. The

implementation of many of the « Galbally recommendations would

meet problems and needs identified during previous meetings of

the Joint Commission.

It was agreed that there should continue to be close consultation

and co-operation between the Australian authorities and Italian

Government representatives in Australia on programs and services

to Italian migrants in Australia.

The Joint Commission noted the preparatory work carried out so

far towards the conclusion of a Social Security Agreement

between Italy and Australia which continued to be an important

matter for Italian migrants in Australia. It was pleased that

discussions would take place· at the highest technical level .

in December 1978/January 1979 to facilitate progress· towards

conclusion of the Agreement.

The Joint Commission saw the rapid development of ethnic radio

in Australia as an exciting prospect for serving the needs of

the Italian community for information and cultural programs.

The initiation in the near future of ethnic television in the

main Australian cities would further extend these services to

the Italian community. It was agreed that there was scope for

provision of material from Italian sources for use in both

ethnic radio and television and.the Joint Commission recommended

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that the responsible agencies in the Australian and Italian

Governments might consider, and consult as necessary, on means

of facilitating the provision of informational and entertainment

material from Italian sources for use in Australian ethnic media.

The Italian Deputy Foreign Minister proposed that at future

meetings of the Joint Commission matters relating to exchanges

under the Cultural Agreement might also be examined by competent

representatives of both sides. .He also drew attention to the

value of consultations between Australian Commonwealth and State

Education Ministers and the Italian authorities on education

matters affecting Italian migrants in Australia.

The Australian Government delegation agreed to bring these

matters to the attention of the competent authorities.

The Joint Commission held extensive consultations, and considered

action, on:

. the recognition in Australia of overseas trade, technical,

professional and sub-professional qualifications;

. working visits to Italy of Australian social workers involved

with Italian migrants;

. a range of education matters including teacher exchanges,

the provision of teaching material for Italian classes in

Australian schools;

. problems associated with the air freighting of bodies to

Italy for interment. .

In regard to the recognition of Italian qualifications the Joint

Commission recommended that a visit to Italy by an Australian

tripartite mission should take place as soon as possible to

update the work of the 1968-69 Mission and that there would be

value in arranging visits by Australian experts to Italy for

consultation on Italian professional, sub-professional and

technical qualifications.

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It was agreed that the Joint Commission would meet in the third

quarter of 1979. In accordance with the rules for its operations,

the next meeting would take place in Rome.

Signed Signed

Dr Franco Foschi

27 September 1978

M.J.R. MacKellar

27 September 1978