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Wednesday, 20 April 1966

The following answers to questions upon notice were circulated -

Immigration. (Question No. 1623.)

Mr Opperman - The answer to the honorable member's questions is as follows -

The Department of Immigration engages in a most intense programme of publicity and information about Australia designed to attract and inform potential settlers from Britain.

Booklets and pamphlets specially prepared to inform prospective settlers in Britain cover subjects including employment, education, wages and taxation, housing, health and social services, hostels and general facts about Australia. About a quarter of a million of each of these pamphlets, which are revised two, three, and four times a year, to keep them up to date, are distributed each year. These are compiled most carefully in consultation with all the authorities expert in the subjects concerned.

In addition, special arrangements are made for -

(i)   frequent publication of special feature articles in the British Press - often by British journalists assisted to visit Australia to gather factual information;

(ii)   special features on television and radio, produced not only by the Department of Immigration but also by British television producers assisted to visit Australia;

(iii)   distribution of specially made colour films showing life in Australia as lived by the ordinary Australian;

(iv)   special films and information evenings for prospective settlers and window displays and exhibitions to encourage migration;

(v)   distribution of many series of colour slides and black and white photographs showing a wide range of aspects of life in Australia;

(vi)   distribution to home-town newspapers in Britain of hundreds of stories about happily settled migrants which are widely published, accompanied by photographs;

(vii)   widespread national and provincial Press advertising of the assisted passage scheme and the opportunities for British settlers in Australia.

This financial year nearly $250,000 is being spent directly on advertising and publicity about migration in Britain. This is out of a total publicity vote of almost $800,000, most of which is being spent overseas on migration information and publicity in Europe as well as Britain.

Every intending British migrant is seen, with his family, by an Australian Immigration officer at an interview specially arranged near where he lives. At this interview, lasting half an hour or more, the migrant is able to ask questions on matters not covered by earlier letters to him or booklets.

Finally, the department employs three specially trained lecturers in Britain, to address organisations and schools as required.

Civil Aviation: Compensation for Loss of Greyhounds. (Question No. 1638.)

Mr Swartz - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows -

1.   The four greyhounds in question were specifically booked by their owners as " baggage ". (This is frequently done to ensure that the dogs can be carried on the same flight as their owner.) The weight of the greyhounds was shown on the owner's passenger ticket in each case, two dogs being registered on the ticket as the baggage of each of two passengers. The Civil Aviation (Carriers' Liability) Act 1959-1962 provides that the maximum legal liability of airlines in these circumstances is $200 in respect of the baggage of any one passenger. Accordingly, the total legal liability of the carrier in the circumstances in question was $400 or $100 per dog. There is no question of an ex gratia payment of this amount being involved. The passenger ticket gives notice of this limitation and of the fact that extra insurance may be taken out with the carrier if the passenger so desires on payment of appropriate surcharge.

2.   Although animals are frequently carried on the above basis most animals and the bulk of air cargo are carried pursuant to conditions under which liability is limited to $20 per consignment unless the shipper declares the value of the goods and pays the appropriate surcharge. The Civil Aviation (Carriers' Liability) Act does not regulate liability for the carriage of cargo by domestic air carriers. Similar conditions are found in the documents issued by most surface carriers or alternatively, shippers insure their goods for values in excessof $20 per parcel with private insurance companies.

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