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Tuesday, 9 March 1971
Page: 741

Mr Maisey asked the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

(1) Is it a fact that some self paying migrants from Yugoslavia come to Australia (a) by charter flights to Singapore where they transfer to regular commercial flights to Australia and (b) by travelling direct to Australia by charter flights.

(2) If so, can he say whether the majority of these passengers originate from country areas in southern Yugoslavia.

(3) What precautions are taken to avoid the introduction of foot and mouth disease to Australia when these people (a) join the aircraft in Yugoslavia and (b) land in Australia.

(4) What precaution is taken in Yugoslavia in the issuance of visas for travel by air to Australia for those people who do not come under Government sponsorship.

(5) Is notice or advice given to the Health authorities of the impending arrival in Australia of those people who join commercial flights in Singapore to enable appropriate steps to be taken to avoid the introduction of foot and mouth disease.

(6) If not, will the Government take account of the risk of introducing the disease to Australia by allowing migrants who are not under Government sponsorship to enter the country by this method.

Mr Lynch (FLINDERS, VICTORIA) - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) (a) I have no knowledge of any such movements, (b) Yes.

(2) The majority do come from southern Yugoslavia but no record is kept of the numbers from country areas.

(3) (a) With the co-operation of -the Yugoslav authorities a clearance centre has been established at Belgrade Airport. At this centre a thorough pre-flight examination of baggage, approved by the Commonwealth Department of Health, is made under the supervision of an Australian Medical Officer. Footwear is scrubbed with a disinfectant solution; clothing has to be clean and well laundered, and foodstuffs such as meat (canned or otherwise) and prohibited animal products are removed from migrants' baggage. Immediately prior to departure migrants are also obliged to walk over a mat impregnated with a disinfectant solution. These measures apply, to both assisted and unassisted migrants departing from Belgrade by air. (b) Upon arrival in Australia Custom; and Quarantine officers make a full inspection of migrants' baggage for 'risk' items, and arrange for the disinfection of footwear, clothing and other items where this is deemed to be necessary

(4) The precautions detailed above are applied to all migrants departing from Belgrade, whether or not they are sponsored by the Commonwealth Government.

(5) and (6) Sec answer to (1) (a).

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