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Thursday, 16 May 1985
Page: 2074

Senator McINTOSH —Is the Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs aware of a report in today's Australian Financial Review regarding a World Bank report on Indonesia? Is the Minister aware that the report has approved the Indonesian Government's transmigration policy which aims to move some of the 100 million people on Java to less densely populated areas such as Kalimantan and Irian Jaya? Did the Australian Government make any submissions at all to the World Bank report either directly or through the inter-governmental group on Indonesia? Does the Government consider the transmigration policy a humanitarian one? If not, has the Government made its views on the matter known to the Indonesian Government?

Senator GARETH EVANS —As I told Senator McIntosh a minute ago when he insisted that he would ask this question, I will have to take that question on notice. I can say briefly only that the Government has taken a sustained interest in the transmigration question to the extent of initiating a discussion of this at the inter-governmental group on Indonesia in Jakarta on 20 March at which a comprehensive briefing was given to various delegates from various governments on this sensitive question. What input we may have had into the World Bank study is something on which I will need to gain further information and I will advise Senator McIntosh accordingly.