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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6436


Mr MORRISON (Cook) (17:56): First of all, can I just associate the coalition with the condolences and sentiments of the minister in relation to the Coptic community and the minister's response. Can I also associate the coalition—I am sure the member for Menzies in particular, who has been a keen advocate on these matters, as well as the member for Brisbane—with the honourable member's question to the minister. This is a matter that I think enjoys strong cross-chamber support. That is something that I am sure will continue well into the future.

In the time remaining, I will pull together a number of eclectic matters from different parts of the portfolio for the minister to address. In following up the member for Brisbane's question, can the minister advise when the concept of the jobs board was first raised in relation to enterprise migration agreements and more specifically for the Roy Hill EMA? Who raised it, and when did the Prime Minister first indicated to him that a jobs board should form part of the EMA policy infrastructure, in particular for the Roy Hill project? Can the minister please advise, will parties to an EMA be required, as a condition of that EMA, to take workers from the jobs board prior to seeking the overseas workers that are part of that agreement's entitlement?

On another matter, could the minister please confirm to us matters raised in evidence in estimates last week regarding the department's resourcing for monitoring these EMAs. Evidence was provided by the minister's department by officials last week that the government would not be providing any additional resources or officers to monitor the implementation of enterprise migration agreements to ensure that conditions are met for granting 457 visas. I refer specifically to the response of Mr Kukoc. Senator Waters asked:

… You said that that existing monitoring program will be extended to EMAs. Will there be any additional officers or resources to cover that new area of responsibility?

The response from the official was:

That will be covered within the existing number of inspectors and resources

So, how many additional inspectors? How much additional resources will be provided to the department to perform their responsibilities in relation to the monitoring of 457s? Could I also ask the minister to advise me, moving to outcome four, is it now the case that the government has adopted the coalition's policy that those seeking family reunion applications—who have arrived as EMAs or who have received visas as a result of an onshore application more generally—are now being directed to make applications for family reunion under the mainstream family reunion program as opposed to under the refugee and humanitarian program? Can the minister advise how many special humanitarian visas he anticipates will be granted this year to offshore applicants, and how many applicants there will have been to date for special humanitarian visas? As well, how many he anticipates may be available to be granted next year?

Finally, given that the average number of arrivals has risen since the last MYEFO before the budget to 750 per month and the estimates process has confirmed that the budget is based on a number of arrivals of IMAs of 450 per month, and given that since last year's budget there has been an increase of $420 million a year for 2012-13—which is an extra $1.1 million every day—can the minister guarantee that when the next MYEFO is released there will not be a further blow-out because of the higher than assumed level of arrivals?