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Reports of immigration racket require urgent response

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Philip Ruddock MP 13b

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

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

Electorate Parliament House

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


Increasing numbers of reports about illegal movement of people across the Torres Strait requires an urgent response from the Government.

Three separate incursions have now taken place and from published reports, all appear to be following the same route.

Only the Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, who has de-briefed each party, would know whether or not there is an organised racket in facilitating illegal entry to Australia.

However, this back door access to Australia is now sufficiently widely known internationally that we need to be using our relationship with Papua New Guinea to suggest they more carefully screen entry arrangements.

Further, the Government needs to ensure that there are sufficient Australian immigration officials in the Torres Strait to be able to fully and properly monitor travel between PNG and Australia.

The continued free movement of people in the region is dependent upon co-operation to ensure that others who may be in breach of Australian immigration entry arrangements are excluded.

The Government would like to have us believe that these incursions are merely an extension of international refugee movements.

But the fact remains that the increasing frequency of attempted illegal entry to Australia is a result of the Government's failure to get on top of the refugee determination process and the flawed decisions taken in relation to

PRC nationals by former Prime Minister Hawke and present Prime Minister Keating. r

5 November 1992

Contact Philip Ruddock on pager (02) 925 3911 #25589

CO Μ Μ Ο N WE A L T H parliamentary library MICAH