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Tuesday, 23 August 1983
Page: 77

Question No. 33

Mr Rocher asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 3 May 1983:

(1) How many temporary entry permits were granted to foreign experts to work in Australia and in Western Australia during 1981-82.

(2) How many of these expatriates were to be engaged in work on engineering and resource development projects in (a) Australia and (b) Western Australia.

(3) How many of those permits granted were for work in connection with the Woodside LNG project, and what are the numbers and skills of those for each company involved in the project.

(4) What measures are being taken to co-ordinate granting of permanent permits to work in Western Australian State Government authorities.

(5) Are any steps taken to ensure that resident professionals receive priority in employment opportunities over imported workers issued temporary work permits.

Mr West —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) There were 12,412 visas issued to professional and technical experts in 1981-82; 2,411 of these for work in Western Australia.

(2) (a) Figures not available for Australia as a whole.

(b) 721 expatriates were engaged in work on engineering and resource development projects in Western Australia in 1981-82 with periods of stay ranging from a few weeks to two years.

(3) In 1981-82, 529 permits were granted for work in connection with the Woodside LNG project, covering skills in marine and geological surveying, oil rig platform design and building and underwater diving, welding, construction, dredging and pipe-laying for the 16 companies involved in the project.

(4) and (5) Current temporary residence policy allows for the admission to Australia of specialist personnel from overseas only where it can be demonstrated that no suitably qualified Australian residents are readily available to fill the vacancies.

The Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs consults with the Western Australia Department of Resources Development, through the Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, on labour market questions and relevant aspects of industrial relations prior to deciding an application.

Companies applying for the admission of personnel from overseas are required to demonstrate that they have adequately tested the local labour market and, where appropriate, to introduce training programmes so that local staff may eventually replace overseas staff.