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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 45

(Question No. 4427)

Mr Price asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 20 August 1986:

Have any studies been conducted in relation to the new system of lodging applications for sponsorship at his Department's overseas posts into

(a) whether or not the handling and processing of applications has improved significantly,

(b) acceptance by the ethnic community, and

(c) whether Australian sponsors feel discriminated against by being unable to pursue inquiries in Australia.

Mr Hurford —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

While no specific study of the new sponsorship arrangements has been undertaken to date, my department continuously monitors procedures and workloads at overseas posts to ascertain their efficiency.

(a) A survey of client reaction to the new arrangements at nine key posts (London, Belgrade, Pretoria, Bonn, Damascus, Hong Kong, Manila, Santiago and Suva) showed that the streamlined procedures have been very favourably received.

The new arrangements eliminate the need for Australian offices of the Department to check sponsorships prior to applications being considered overseas. Where necessary, sponsorship checks are now undertaken in Australia concurrent with overseas processing. This has clearly shortened processing.

(b) and (c) There is no evidence of adverse reaction from the ethnic community or from sponsors to the new system.