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Government established immigration business units

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Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

The Hon. Philip Ruddock MP

Parliament House, Canberra, ACT 2600 - Phone (06) 277 7860; Facs. (06) 273 4144

Federal Budget 1997 MPS 43/97

Government establishes immigration business units The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, has responded to the needs of Australian industry with a range of initiatives to assist businesses to compete in the global marketplace.

"Business Units will be established in a number of my Department's offices to upgrade the service to business clients seeking the temporary or permanent entry of overseas staff who have skills which are unavailable locally," Mr Ruddock said.

The Business Units in State Offices will re-organise and augment the delivery of services to the business community as recommended by the Roach Committee in August 1995 and the Lin Committee in March 1997.

"Consultation with business indicated they needed a more streamlined and efficient approach to handling applications for the entry of highly skilled workers, so the Government has responded," Mr Ruddock said.

"A 'one stop shop' approach with dedicated staff will ensure continuity in case management, and consistent and professional advice to employers. Business needs a timely service to respond to the challenges of operating in the international economy."

"It will also enable business unit staff to increase their specialist knowledge, and provide a service similar to those provided by the private sector."

The Business Units will assist the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs to build up relationships with business and develop a better understanding of the business environment and the needs of Australian employers.

The Units will provide:

* a business enquiry hotline and electronic lodgement of forms facility; * an individual service consultant, specialising in industry sectors, to deal with all types of business applications lodged by any particular firm; and * regular site visits and information seminars.

"While better meeting the needs of business, my Department will also be better able to address the issue of bona fides, so the community can be confident that skilled migrants and temporary entrants are enhancing our economic growth," Mr Ruddock said.

"This is in line with the Government's policy of restoring the balance in Australia's immigration program and revitalising community confidence in immigration."

13 May 1997 Media contact: Steve Ingram (06) 277 7860

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