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Tuesday, 12 June 1984
Page: 2826

Senator MacGIBBON(4.45) — I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

I am not prepared to speak on this paper because it was only released at the end of last week and I have not had time to read it. It is an important paper. For some years we have had a committee called COPQ-the Committee on Overseas Professional Qualifications-which has examined in detail and enabled thousands of migrants to this country to have their qualifications at a professional level registered in Australia. COPQ has operated without any serious criticism being levelled at it. A new council is to take over the function of COPQ. My concern is that it may well have inherent in its structure the ability to debase the standards that previously have been demanded from Australians and migrants and which were recognised. My point of particular concern is that the new council has the Executive Secretary of COPQ-but not as a full board member-but the rest of the people, with the exception of the president of the council, appear to have very little in the way of academic qualifications. That does not mean, of course, that suitably qualified people cannot be appointed to it. I seek leave to continue my remarks at a later date.

Leave granted; debate adjourned.