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Minister announces further details of 1996-97 humanitarian programme

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M e d i a R e l e a s e

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144

MPS 5 9 /9 6


The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, today announced further details of the composition of the 1996-97 Humanitarian Programme.

"In our election commitments I foreshadowed a review of the Special Assistance Category (SAC) component of the Humanitarian Programme, and in my announcement of the 1996­ 97 Humanitarian Programme on 3 July, I said we would reduce the net allocation to the

SAC by 1,000 places to 5,200 places including 668 brought forward by the previous Government," Mr Ruddock said.

"The reduction reflects an easing of conflicts and tension in areas of the world addressed by this category."

"I have decided to terminate three SACs which have achieved their original purpose," Mr Ruddock said.

"They are the Minorities from the Soviet Union SAC, which has been in operation since 1992, the East Timorese SAC for people in Portugal, Macau and Mozambique, which has been in operation since 1991 and the Cambodian SAC, which began in 1993.

"I have made small allocations to each of these SACs so that applications at a very advanced stage of processing can be finalised," he said.

Mr Ruddock said the review had shown ad hoc and unchecked growth in the Special Assistance Category. The number of SAC entrants had increased to the point where they were taking up about half the available places under the Humanitarian Programme.

The Minister also announced that arrangements are being made to allow the immediate families of Humanitarian Programme entrants and Protection Visa holders to come to Australia under the Humanitarian Programme.

Under these new arrangements, the Humanitarian or Protection visa holder in Australia will not be required to be an Australian citizen in order to sponsor immediate family members for entry.

Details of these arrangements will be announced in the near future.

C ANBERRA 4 Septem ber 1996

M EDIA INQUIRIES: Steve Ingram 0419 278 715 or (06) 2777 860


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CATEGORY/COMPONENT Places 1995-96 Brought


Places 1996-97

Refugee * 4,000 665 3,335


Special Humanitarian 2,800 667 2,133

Programme (2,800)

6,200 668 4,532

Special Assistance Category (5,200)

13,000 2,000 10,000

TOTAL Offshore Programme (12,000)

Onshore refugee 2,000

TOTAL PLACES 13,000 12,000


* Within the Refugee allocation, 420 places are allocated for the Woman-at-Risk Programme

(Figures in brackets include the 2,000 places brought forward to 1995-96 by the previous Government).

Special Assistance Categories

Category 1996-97 Allocations

Minorities of the form er USSR To be discontinued

Approximately 120 (to finalise applications)

East Timorese in Portugal, Macau or Mozambique To be discontinued Approximately 80 (to finalise applications)

Cambodian To be discontinued

Approximately 60 (to finalise applications)

Burmese in Burma 50

Citizens of the form er Yugoslavia 1,622

Sudanese 300

Burmese in Thailand 200

Sri Lankan 250

Ahmadis 50

Vietnamese 600 (for CPA component only)

Unallocated* 1,200

Total 4,532

* To provide flexibility for changing priorities.