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Tuesday, 30 November 1971
Page: 3876

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

(1)   Which countries did he visit in October and November 1971.

(2)   With which governments did he have negotiations or discussions on (a) new migration agreements, (b) renewed migration agreements, (c) assisted passages, (d) visa- arrangements, (e) social sen ices, (f) taxation concessions ' and (g) professional qualifications.

(1)   What was the outcome of these negotiations and discussions.

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

(1)   United States of America. . Canada, Britain, Portugal, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Germany. Greece. Japan. Hong Kong.

(2)   Useful and wide ranging discussions on matters of mutual migration interest were conducted with relevant Ministers and officials in all of Australia's migrant source countries visited.

As a matter of course assisted passage arrangements, social services and the recognition of professional qualifications were covered.

Also there were discussions on new and existing migration agreements.

None of the Governments indicated any desire for a change in the existing visa arrangements.

For many years normal taxation concessions in respect of dependants living abroad have been available to migrants in Australia where the dependants intend to join the breadwinner in Australia. This concession ceases if the dependants du not join the head of the family within 5 years of his arrival here. Presumably these facts are known to the Governments of migrant source countries and the subject was nol raised by them.

(3)   Negotiations and discussions on a number of matters are continuing. When the position is reached where it would be appropriate to make a public announcement on any particular item this will be done after consultation with the other Government concerned.

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