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Hang the national interest

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Philip Ruddock MP


Federal Member for D undas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Parliament House

Tel: (06) 277 4343 Fax: (06) 277 2062

Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739


Immigration Minister Gerry Hand should show the same courage in dealing with the A C TU as he does in party factional disputes.

The A C TU needs to be told that while the Immigration Program may well fall because of the Government-induced recession, a targeted reduction in the skilled migrant intake would be contrary to the national interest.

The Opposition has made it clear that it would not lower the standards of migration entry to achieve planned targets in the program.

The A C TU is arguing that the program should be maintained by bringing in as migrants people who cannot com pete in the job market.

It is thus advocating that w e accept less well-educated, less skilled and less employable people.

This is a recipe for the ultimate destruction of Australia's Immigration Program.

Community support needs always to be considered in the planning o f the program and is only forthcoming when the program is targeted carefully in the national interest.

Australia certainly does not need to target for entry, an unskilled population to be kept by the Australian taxpayer.

Australia's present high level of unemployment is a result o f Government policy implemented by the party installed, in part, by the ACTU.

The A C T U President, Mr Martin Ferguson, should put the blame where it lies and certainly not use migrants as scapegoats.

The Immigration Program will certainly fall again this year. Application numbers will also be sharply down. This will be the outcome because in the eyes of the international community, w e are seen to be a less popular destination.

April 10 1991