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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Mr Jacobi asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs upon notice:

(1)   With reference to the interim report from the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defence on its inquiry into the Lebanon Crisis, and the quoted figure of 1835

Lebanese arrivals during the nine months ended 30 September 1976, were the figures, as quoted by the Committee, correct.

(2)   Were they the latest figures that he had provided to the Committee.

(3)   Is it a fact that Lebanese migration of 1496 in 1975 was about half the pre-war figures of 3 1 78 arrivals in 1 974.

(   4 ) Is it also a fact that the 1 976 figures of actual arrivals is unlikely to exceed the pre-war figures quoted in part (3).

(5)   Are figures of arrivals always substantially lower than visas issued and, therefore, figures of visas issued by him are not a clear indication of the true picture.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(   1 ) The 1976 statistics given for permanent arrivals showing last country of residence as Lebanon were preliminary figures issued by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Final figures are now available for the period January to June 1976. These are:

January, 82; February, 196; March, 164; April, 104; May 124 (c.f. 123 preliminary); June, 164 (c.f. 167 preliminary).

The statistics for July (325 ), August (256) and September (418) were also based on incomplete data and final figures are not yet available. Accordingly 834 persons arrived in the period between January and June 1976 and this figure together with the preliminary statistics until September 1976 gives a total of 1833.

(2)   Yes. Subsequently preliminary figures for arrivals for October 1976 have been received. They show that 767 persons from the Lebanon arrived in October.

(3)   Yes. But it needs to be recognised that the 1975 arrival figures were affected by: the introduction of occupational requirements in October 1974, problems associated with consideration and processing of applications during 1975 due to the conditions in the Lebanon.

(4)   No. Preliminary figures indicate arrivals to the end of October 1976 to be 2600. If arrivals at the present rate of some 800 per month continue, the total for 1976 will be well in excess of the 1 974 figure.

(5   ) It is correct that not all persons granted visas decide to migrate and it is possible that, if conditions remain stable in the Lebanon, some persons granted visas may decide not to migrate. The actual issue of visas, however, is specific evidence of the Government's willingness to admit the persons concerned to Australia. Whether the persons approved actually travel is a decision for them but the opportunity has been offered and can be availed of, if desired.

Immigration Offices Overseas (Question No. 884)

Mr E G Whitlam (WERRIWA, NEW SOUTH WALES) am asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs:

(1)   How many (a) Australia-based and (b) locallyengaged persons are employed in each of his Department's overseas offices.

(2)   How many persons made inquiries at each office in 1975-76.

(3)   How many persons migrated from the area for which each office is responsible in 1 975-76.

Mr MacKellar - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:




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