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Tuesday, 6 April 1965

Senator ANDERSON (NEW SOUTH WALES) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - I am grateful to the honorable senator for giving me forewarning of his question. I am able to inform him that, generally speaking, migrants are recruited under various assisted passage schemes in accordance with requisitions received from the Department of Labour and National Service, defining the categories of workers required from time to time. We are aware of the need to ensure that sufficient suitable labour is available for our primary industries and to assist in decentralisation, but the honorable senator will recognise that the availability of suitable workers has become very limited in our migrant source countries. We welt understand the importance of primary industries to the Australian economy, and this has been kept in mind throughout the whole immigration programme.

The most practical suggestion I could make to the honorable senator would be that farmers requiring suitable migrant labour should make their needs known specifically to district employment officers of the Department of Labour and National Service. If that is done, all possible action will be taken to recruit the workers required.

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