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Thursday, 22 October 1964


Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) . - I shall deal first with a point raised by Senator Ormonde. An application for a passport must be accompanied by a document signed by the spouse of the applicant. If it is not so accompanied, the issue of the passport is held up for 21 days. The spouse of the applicant is notified that application for a passport has been made, and if the spouse wishes to oppose the application, sufficient time is allowed for action to be taken. If no action is taken within 21 days, a passport visa is issued to the applicant.

Senator Bransonreferred to Division No. 274, sub-division 2, item 03, which relates to a Commonwealth subsidy paid to hostels. The suggestion made by the honorable senator is new and I am unable to comment on it. I shall certainly pass it on to the Minister and ask him to communicate with the honorable senator.


Senator Branson - The Minister does not know about North Africa, South Africa and West Germany?


Senator ANDERSON - No, and the information is not readily available to me at the moment. Senator Ormonde referred to the immigration of a family which may include a sick child or adult member. Most honorable senators have had some association with this type of case and have received representations from people placed in these circumstances. We all are familiar with cases where migrants, after establishing themselves in Australia, seek to bring here the other members of their families. Decisions to refuse entry on the grounds of health are taken on advice received from officers of the Department of Health. Health is a vital question and the Department of Health arranges that medical examinations are conducted overseas before entry to Australia is approved. In some instances the Government has allowed a sick member of a family to come to Australia after officers of the Department have satisfied themselves that the other members of the family are reasonably capable of caring for the invalid.

Attention must be paid to the type of incapacity involved. Tuberculosis readily comes to mind. Special care must be taken to determine whether a prospective migrant is suffering from a notifiable disease. Each case is treated on its merits. I can say from my experience of departmental officers that every avenue is explored in an endeavour to assist prospective migrants. If the honorable senator has a particular case in mind, I suggest that he convey the details to the officers of the Department, who will examine the case as favorably as they can. Consideration will be given to the human factor, to the preservation of the health of

Australians, and to the ability of the family to care for its sick member.







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