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Thursday, 30 September 1971
Page: 1825

Mr Hayden (OXLEY, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for

Immigration, upon notice:

(1)   Can he say whether the New Zealand Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Marshall, publicly expressed regret at Australia's refusal to treat all New Zealand citizens equally in relation to entry into Australia?

(2)   Is the discrimination practised by Australia in this respect based on skin colour: if so, what are the details?

(3)   Are there any restrictions based on skin colour on the entry of Australian citizens into New Zealand?

(4)   Has his attention been drawn to public statements in the press which asserted that he rejected the advice of the Department of Immigration in applying these barriers; if so, is the position as stated?

(5)   Was the Cabinet decision also a rejection of the advice of the Department of Immigration?

(6)   Does discrimination by other countries against Australian citizens on the basis of their colour meet with the approval of the Government; if not, why, does the Government apply discrimination against coloured citizens of New Zealand?

Dr Forbes (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   and (3) On 30th July 1971, Mr Marshall as New Zealand Minister for Immigration issued the following statement:

The New Zealand Government has proposed that New Zealand and Australian citizens of Asian and other non-European descent normally resident in either country should have free entry to our two countries. The matter has been carefully considered by both Governments. I have now been advised by the Australian Government that it does not favour a change in the existing requirements relating to the entry to Australia of New Zealand citizens.

We were seeking a reciprocal arrangement under which all Australian and New Zealand citizens could move freely across the Tasman without the need for passports or any form of entry permit. At present this freedom of movement is enjoyed only, by British subjects who are of European origin or who are Maoris or Aborigines. All other Australian and New Zealand citizens must meet certain conditions for entry to Australia or New Zealand as the case may be.

Although at this stage Australia does not feel able to make the change, we have decided to extend to all Australian citizens normally resident in that country, irrespective of their ethnic origin, permission to enter New Zealand either as visitors or as residents upon their satisfying the authorities at the point of arrival of their Australian citizenship.'

(2)   and (6) The conditions under which residents of New Zealand may enter Australia remain as stated in the answer given to the Leader of the Opposition's question No. 1121 (Hansard, 12th June 1970, page 3644).

These conditions in relation to non-European citizens of New Zealand (other than Maoris) are the same as those applying to non-European people from all other countries. The Australian Government after very careful consideration concluded that a change for one country could have implications in relation to others.

I have not received complaints concerning discrimination by other countries against Australians.

(4)   and (5) It is a long established practice that the nature of advice given by, Departments to Ministers is not made public. I do not intend to depart from that practice in the present instance.

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