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Wednesday, 8 May 1985
Page: 1590

(Question No. 97)


Senator Bolkus asked the Minister for Finance, upon notice, on 20 March 1985:

(1) In light of shortages in the labour market for foreign exchange dealers reported in the 1984-85 Budget Statements, Budget Paper No. 1, does the Minister for Finance anticipate further shortages in the future.

(2) Has the entry of foreign banks into Australia affected the labour market for foreign exchange dealers.

(3) Can the Minister detail the States in which shortages in the labour market for foreign exchange dealers have occurred.


Senator Walsh —The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

(1) The current shortages in the labour market for foreign exchange dealers are expected to persist to some degree over the next 12-18 months. The shortages result from a major increase in demand for this occupation arising from the deregulation of the Australian financial system, the granting of additional licences for foreign exchange dealers, and the recent decision to allow entry of foreign banks into Australia.

To compensate for the shortfall in domestic sources of supply, I am advised that approval has been given to the recruitment of foreign exchange dealers from overseas as part of an arrangement negotiated between the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and the Australian Merchant Bankers Association. The terms of this arrangement require the member banks of the Association to boost their domestic training efforts to provide for the long-term needs of the industry. Likewise, any further applications for overseas recruitment of foreign exchange dealers will be assessed having regard to the Government's policy objective of enhancing employment and training opportunities for Australians.

(2) The entry of foreign banks into Australia is expected to add significantly to the demand for foreign exchange dealers and related money-market workers.

(3) Shortage of foreign exchange dealers have been reported in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.