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Tuesday, 24 September 2002
Page: 4798


Senator Sherry asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 29 August 2002:

(1) How many departmental officers were engaged in compliance activities to detect those in Australia illegally, or working illegally, in each of the years from 1983 to 1996, inclusive.

(2) How many compliance visits and/or raids were conducted for each of the years from 1983 to 1996, inclusive.


Senator Ellison (Minister for Justice and Customs) —The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) It is not possible to provide complete figures for the number of staff engaged in compliance activities for the years 1983 to 1996. This is because over the years the systems used by the Department have changed including the level of data captured on these systems.

Data on staffing from 1983 through to 1991/92 is only held by the Department at the location level - for example Central Office, State/Territory Offices and those working at overseas posts - and not by the kind of work those staff were engaged in.

However, information is available for the period from 1992/93 to 1996/97. This information goes to the number of staff engaged in the Department's sub-program `Investigations and Enforcement', which is predominantly involved with onshore compliance activity of the kind asked about. This data is provided in the following table.

Period

Staff Years

1992/93

306

1993/94

244

1994/95

276

1995/96

204

1996/97

252

(2) Similarly, it is not possible to provide complete figures for the number of compliance visits undertaken between 1983 and 1994/95. This information is not recorded in the Department's Annual Reports from that period, and is not available from departmental computer systems.

However, data is available on community visits undertaken by compliance staff since 1995/96. Since 1996/97 the data is available on both employer awareness visits and community visits. This data is provided in the following table.

Period

Employer Awareness Visits

Community Visits

Total

1995/96

N/A

N/A

3544

1996/97

598

2725

3323

1997/98

577

3409

3986

1998/99

453

2740

3193

1999/2000

379

2940

3319