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Tuesday, 24 March 1987
Page: 1363

Mr JULL —My question is directed to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs. What instructions have been given to Australian Immigration personnel in South Africa and Zimbabwe concerning the issuing of visitor and migrant visas to Australia for South African residents? Has an instruction been given that representations from Australian parliamentarians on visa issuance be not accepted by Immigration personnel at those posts, even if they are on humanitarian grounds and when Australian families are involved? Is there now a 27-week wait for visa issuance at these ports? Will the Minister do anything to resolve the situation?

Mr HOLDING —I thank the honourable gentleman for his question. No such instructions have been issued. There is a considerable wait as a result of Government policy dealing with applications from South Africa, but certainly while I have been dealing with these matters as Minister Assisting I have received representations from members on both sides and there is certainly no instruction, either from the Minister or from anywhere else, which suggests the usual representations that come from honourable members or other prominent citizens will not be dealt with.