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Wednesday, 9 March 1977

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters) - I am not aware of the situation that the honourable member describes. Guidelines are, of course, laid down for eligibility for entry to Australia having regard to the previous experience and skills of the applicants wanting to come to this country and the labour market demand for that experience and/or skill. The Commonwealth Employment Service is working under great pressure at present. That position will be alleviated to a considerable extent by the recent decision of the Government in agreeing to an increase of 300 officers in the staff ceilings of the CES. That is a direct result of comments made to me by Mr Norgard during the course of his inquiry which amounts, as the Prime Minister has just said, to a fundamental review of all the operations of the CES. I hesitate to do anything which would add to the work load of the CES in its present difficult circumstances, but nevertheless I will see that the honourable member's suggestion receives detailed consideration.

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