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Minister's immigration consultations a success

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THE: HON 'PHILIP RUDDOCK MR Minli.W for tm m ig rtitfo n and M ulticultural Affairs

Pit rliamcnt House C'inberra ACT 2600 Telephone: (06) 277 7860 Facsimile: (06) 273 4144

M I'S 12/9.I


Community consultations just completed on the size and composition o f next year's immigration program lu v e been very useful and successful the M inister for Immigration arid M ulticultural Affairs, Pliillp Ruddock said today.

"I liave \dstted every capital city in Australia and some major regional centres and have had input from hundreds o f people representing organisations from a very wide cross-section o f the Australian community, * M r Ruddock $aj,d.

"The issues raised arid views put to me will help the Government frame next year's program , so that it will provide long-term and lasting benefits to Australia.

"The consultations which were completed last Friday, have allowed the community to take part in the Government's decision-malting process and will help ensure there is confidence in the benefits provided by the Immigration program."

The M inister has received submissions and proposals on the program and the ways in which the ; Government can implement some o f its policy initiatives.

"It has been pleasing to hear the diverse rzinge c-f views put forward and we have received some valuable suggestions on h o w to ensure the program balances social, economic, environmental and international considerations," M r Ruddock said,

"In regional areas, government and community representatives have made suggestion on how to encourage migr ants to settle in their regions. These include the weightings in the points test and the possible use o f government bonds to enable business migrants to settle in the less populous states. ’

"I have also listened to the suggestions front many community representatives on how t h e . Govemm int should respond to humanitarian need.

"Othei topics have ranged across the needs o f industry seeking skilled migrants, and the views o f environmental and planning authorities."

The Minuter will prepare a submission on next ye ar's program, for the Government to consider. In its immigration policy, the Government had already suggested that the immigration intake would probably remain around the same levels. 9

An announcement on the size and composition of the program is expected in late May or early June, in time for implementation in 199(5-97.

Ca n b e r r a % May 19.96

Steve In g ram (0<>) 277 7360 C O N TA CT