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Friday, 12 June 1970

Mr Whitlam asked the Minister for immigration, upon notice:

Can he state the differences between the laws and procedures of Australia and New Zealand with respect to the admission of Pacific islanders as (a) residents and (b) visitors.

Mr Snedden - The Acting Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

Pacific islanders seeking to travel to Australia for any purpose other than transit to another country are required to obtain visas or other forms of prior permission to do so, on the same basis as residents of other countries, as described in the concurrent answer to Question No. 1121.

Government policy as announced in this House on 9th March 1966 permits consideration of applications for entry to Australia for residence by persons of non European descent, on the basis of their suitability as settlers, their ability to integrate readily and their possession of qualifications which are in fact positively useful to Australia. Since the 1950s the spouses, fiances, fiancees and close dependent relatives of residents of Australia have also been eligible to enter for residence.

In order to facilitate travel and tourism persons seeking to travel to Australia as visitors are promptly granted permission to do so unless there is reason to doubt that a genuine visit is intended.

Visa officers are expected to exercise care and discretion in such assessmentsto avoid numerous deportations of spurious visitors. However in the great majority of applications permission is granted quickly.

It is understood that New Zealand's laws and procedures relating to Pacific islanders seeking to enter for residence or visits are essentially similar except that the peoples of the Cook Islands, Nine and Tokelau Islands are New Zealand citizens and are entitled to enter New Zealand. They have to satisfy certain conditions before being permitted to leave their islands.

Entitlement for Entry to Australia from New Zealand (Question No. 1 121)

Mr Whitlam . asked the Minister for

Immigration, upon notice:

In what circumstances are persons from New Zealand entitled to enter Australia as (a) residents and (b) visitors.

Mr Snedden - The Acting Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

Persons entitled to enter Australia are those who may not be regarded as immigrants in the legal sense because Australia is their home through prior residence. Residents of New Zealand do not as such have a legal entitlement to enter Australia.

By administrative arrangements British subjects of European descent may in general come to Australia without prior permission - from New Zealand or elsewhere. These arrangements have long applied also to Maoris coming here from New Zealand.

All other persons wherever resident are required to obtain visas or other forms of prior permission to travel to Australia, for residence or other purposes excepting transit through Australia to other countries. The rules as to eligibility for visas or other forms of prior permission to travel are the same for residents of New Zealand as for persons living elsewhere.

Since 1920 British subjects travelling between New Zealand and Australia have not been required to present passports upon entryto either country.

Cultural Attaches

Question No. 1170)

Mr Hayden asked the Minister for

External Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Which Australian overseas representative officers have been appointed cultural attaches.

(2)   In each case where attaches have been appointed what is their number and what are their qualifications.

Mr McMahon - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(i)   It is not customary to make public the names of departmental staff who may be working or have worked in particular areas.

(2)   Cultural matters are normally handled by the diplomatic staff of Australian missions overseas as part of their normal duties. The only post to which an officer has been specifically assigned in the past to handle cultural matters on a fulltime basis is the Embassy in Tokyo. Two officers have been assigned there in this capacity and both were members of the Department's diplomatic staff. In addition, an officer in the Embassy in Paris is responsible for matters affecting Australia's relations with UNESCO, and in this capacity he also handles a number of cultural matters.

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