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Tuesday, 8 May 1973
Page: 1748

Mr KERIN (MACARTHUR, NEW SOUTH WALES) - Has the Minister for Immigration seen the open letter addressed to him in the 'National Times' quoting the case of a migrant who, it is alleged, was trapped by a particularly pernicious home buying deal? What action has the Minister taken to end such exploitation of newcomers?

Mr GRASSBY - I saw the article in the "National Times'. The case mentioned therein is typical of some cases that have been brought to my attention in recent times. Unfortunately there are people who act as predators on newcomers. I suppose one of the best examples was that of individuals who were charging $30 to act as interpreters in certain instances. I am happy to say that that practice has been overcome by the initiation of the emergency interpreter services in Sydney and Melbourne which might be, and could well be, extended to other capitals if the need exists. If I remember rightly the case to which the honourable member refers occurred in Sydney. I have drawn the attention of the Sydney task force to this specific case for investigation and for examination of the whole problem of predators who undoubtedly take advantage of migrants' lack of knowledge of our language and lack of knowledge of Australia to take their illegal or improper exactions. They may not be illegal, so I withdraw that term, but they certainly are morally indefensible.

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