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What's the rush Minister?

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Philip Ruddock MP


Federal Member for Dundas Electorate Parliament House

Shadow Minister for Immigration Tel: (02) 858 1011 Tel: (06) 277 4343

and Ethnic Affairs Fax: (02) 804 6739 Fax: (06) 277 2062


The indecent haste with which organisations must tender for grants, raises questions about the fairness and thoroughness of the selection process.

In an area where trust in the independence and competence of voluntary advice is given, it is unfortunate that the credibility of the arrangements are undermined by flawed administration.

On May 27 1992, Minister Hand introduced the Migration Amendment Bill (no.3) 1992, which required the registration of migration agents.

Registration fees were imposed. Part of the expected revenue of $1 million from those, was to be made available to community based migration advice agencies. The legislation secured speedy passage through both houses of parliament with the Coalition's support.

Now, some nine months later (and mere weeks to a Federal election), the Minister announces that grants amounting to $310,000 will be provided, this financial year, to existing non-profit immigration advice organisations.

Nine months delay in establishing advisory arrangements does, however, correspond with well understood government inertia - as seen in the refugee area.

Eligible organisations must now lodge their applications for these grants by February 14, only some 12 days after the announcement was made. This is not much time for organisations to obtain the application forms and guidelines, develop a proposal and submit it to the Department.

In competitive tendering, allowing only a short period of time to lodge applications, is usually consistent with a pre-ordained result.

3 February 1993 COMMONWEALTH


Contact Philip Ruddock (02) 925 3911 #25589 MICAH