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Monday, 21 October 2002
Page: 8226

Ms Gillard asked the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 19 September 2002:

(1) Further to the answer to question 646 (Hansard, 16 September 2002, page 6316), how many Temporary Business (Long Stay) visas have been issued in the last three financial years.

(2) How many employees sponsored under this scheme have had a copy of the employment contract placed on file with his Department as required in the last three financial years.

(3) Further to the monitoring of business sponsors and possible breaches of Australian law which may have occurred, how many cases have been referred over the last three financial years to the agencies referred to in the answer for further investigation and appropriate action.

(4) What has been the outcome of these referrals.

Mr Ruddock (Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation) —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) 1999/2000 - 35006.

2000/2001 - 40136.

2001/2002 - 37597.

(2) Full copies of the actual employment contracts are not required as part of the processing of Temporary Business (Long Stay) visas. From July 2001, each visa applicant is required to acknowledge they know what salary they will be paid. This is verified against the information provided by the sponsor on the nomination.

(3) Targeted national coordinated monitoring commenced in January 2001 and was enhanced to current levels in November 2001. Prior to this monitoring was only undertaken on a more limited basis and mainly in response to allegations or other advice.

21 cases have been referred to other agencies.

(4) Other agencies do not always report the outcome of referrals to the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) eg the Australian Taxation Office.

Outcomes reported to DIMIA have been:

Restitution made to employees—3 cases.

Business sold or closed down—5 cases. In 2 of these cases, the business sponsors have left Australia.

Criminal conviction recorded against the sponsor—1 case.

No breaches found—2 cases.

Changes made to the employment conditions of employees—1 case.

Currently under investigation—8 cases.

In all the above cases, departmental records of the sponsors concerned have been noted. The information is taken into account should the sponsors have further dealings with the Department.