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Establishment of Business Advisory Panel

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

The Hon. PhliiprRucidock MR Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

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


A new panel to advise Government on Australia's permanent and temporary entry „ arrangements for business people has been inaugurated today by the Minister for,. Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock.

'The Business Advisory Panel (BAP) will advise on ways in which business entry can be made more responsive to the needs of Australian business, while maintaining the integrity of the immigration system," Mr Ruddock said.

Neville Roach, Managing Director of Fujitsu Australia, who will chair the Panel previously chaired the Inquiry into the Temporary Entry of Business People and Highly Skilled Specialists.

"Mr Roach brings to the Panel an understanding of international competition with his expertise in*tbe information technology industry. His contribution will be complemented "by the skills and business backgrounds of other Panel members," Mr Ruddock said.

The other Panel members are: • Ms Jenny Fletcher, banking

consultant; • Mr Allan Handberg, National Chief Executive, Australian Chamber of Manufactures; • Dr Deborah Kuchler, Project

D e v e l o p m e n t M a n a g e r ,

Queensland Manufacturing Institute in Townsville; • Ms Pauline Mathewson, Partner, Coopers and Lybrand;

Mr Peter McLaughlin, of World Competitive Practices; Mr Maurice Newman, Chairman, Australian - Taiwan Business Council; Mr Mark Paterson, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Mr John Schaap, Chair, Tourism Council of Australia.

'The immediate and short-term needs of business can often be met by the temporary entry of people. The processing of temporary entry visas was recently streamlined following the implementations of the recommendations of the Roach Committee

'The permanent entry of highly skilled workers to meet local skill shortages is an important part of developing the economy and the Government will be seeking advice on how best to maximise the benefits from this program," Mr Ruddock said.

'The Panel will use a number of smaller working parties to look at specific issues. Its working parties may co-opt additional members to examine particular issues so that the broadest possible range of views is available to my Department.

'The Panel's agenda will initially focus on a Review of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme; an evaluation of the temporary entry reforms introduced in August 1996; and then an assessment of Business Skills migration activities," Mr Ruddock said.

30 May 1997 MEDIA CONTACT: . Steve Ingram 0419 278715 (06) 2777860 DEPARTMENTAL CONTACT: Eric Brookbanks (06)264 4298 Note: The Panel's first meeting will be at 10am, 70 Phillip St , Sydney