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Federal funding for immigration advisory services

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M e d ia Release Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs The Hon. Gerry Hand, MP

Parliament House, Canberra, AC T2600 Telephone: (06) 277 7860

MPS 3/92


The Federal Government is to introduce a financial grants scheme to assist immigration advisory service organisations.

The Minister for Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs, Mr Gerry Hand, said today $310,000 would be allocated annually in a competitive scheme to help fund the work of organisations providing free and accessible services to disadvantaged and vulnerable clients of the Immigration Department.

He said the grants would be available to those community agencies which provide advice and assistance to people making general migration enquiries and applications to the Department.

"There has been a noticeable increase in the use of advisory services in recent years," Mr Hand said.

"In the past, some services have received one-off grants. The new arrangement replaces this ad hoc process with a competitive grants scheme which will be introduced in the 1992-93 financial year."

The Minister said it was anticipated that one large grant would be made available for services in Sydney and one for Melbourne-based organisations, because of the concentration of migrants in those centres.

Smaller grants would be made to services operating in other capital cities which had a substantial immigration advice workload.

Mr Hand said the Administrative Review Council, the Committee to Advise on Australia's Immigration Policies and the Joint Standing Committee on Migration Regulations had expressed support for such a scheme.

CANBERRA 10 January, 1992

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Lynne Adams Doug Walker

Minister's Office (06) 277.7860 DILGEA (06) 264.1711