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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3674

Mr Innes asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   In which overseas posts are there officers of his Department

(2   ) How many officers of the Department are in each post, and what are their duties.

(3)   What are the geographical responsibilities of each post.

(4)   How many officers of the Department overseas are fluent in the language of the country or area in which they work, not including countries where English is the native language.

(5)   How many locally engaged staff work in each migration section in each overseas post, and what are their duties.

(6)   What were the workloads of each post, during each of the last 10 financial years, in terms of (a) migrant applications: (i) received (sponsored and direct), (ii) interviewed,

(iii)   accepted, (iv) rejected, and reasons for rejection, (v) deferred, and reasons for deferral, (vi) visas issued and (vii) the number of persons who travelled to Australia all in terms of the number of cases and persons, including the number of assisted and unassisted passages, (b) temporary residence applications, and types of temporary residence applied for, e.g. student work, sport, etc: (i) received (sponsored and direct), (ii) interviewed, (iii) accepted, (iv) rejected, and reasons for rejection, (v) deferred, and reasons for deferral, ( vi) visas issued and (vii) the number of persons who travelled to Australia, all in terms of the number of cases and persons, (c) visitor applications: (i) received, (ii) interviewed, (iii) accepted, (iv) rejected, and the reasons for rejection, (v) deferral, and the reasons for deferral, (vi) visas issued and (vii) the number of persons who travelled to Australia, all in terms of the number of cases and persons, (d) migrant re-entry applications: (i) received, (ii) accepted and (in) rejected, and reasons for rejection, (e) passports and documents of identity issued, (0 applications for citizenship: (i) received, (ii) granted and (iii) refused, and reasons for refusal, (g) publicity undertaken, indicating the type and time involved, (h) research into local conditions in industry and commerce and social conditions, and the number of research papers and position papers written, apart from monthly reports, (i) liaison with local authorities and with other embassies and (j) other work.

(7)   In which post are there (a) no officers of his Department or (b) no Australian based officers and, in the latter cases, who acts for the Department in these areas.

(   8 ) What are the workloads of the post in part ( 7 ) in terms of paragraphs (a) to (k) of part (6).

Mr MacKellar - Information in the precise terms sought by the honourable member is not available from records and statistics kept in the Department. A complete and comprehensive answer to Question 974 would require exhaustive research both in Australia and overseas and I do not consider that the deployment of scarce staff resources for this purpose could be justified. However, I am able to provide the following information:

In respect to parts 1, 2, 3 and 5 the following table is provided:



The duties of those officers referred to iri part 2 are:


1.   Administer the functions of the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs in overseas post and areas of responsibilities.

2.   Administer the Migration Office and direct and control all staff.

3.   Discuss migration matters with appropriate authorities as authorised by the Head of Mission.

4.   Conduct more important and contentious interviews on migrant and visitor applications and those concerned with Australian citizenship matters.

5.   Consider objections raised locally in the form of representations to the Head of Mission.

6.   Prepare reports arising from representations forwarded from Central Office.

7.   Closely supervise preparation and collation of statistical and other information for, and undertake analysis of, monthly report to Central Office.

8.   Advise the senior Australian political representative on all migration matters.

Other Migration Officers

1.   Interview applicants for migrant visas; determine general acceptability; approve or reject applications after interview.

2.   Decide applications for temporary admission to Australia as business or tourist visitor, temporary employee or private student. Interview and undertake corespondence in more difficult cases.

3.   Undertake counselling dudes as required.

4.   Undertake interviews and correspondence as necessary in connection with Australian citizenship matters.

5.   Observe and report on trends or other matters which may affect activities and/or policy.

Medical Officer

1.   Administer the health standards of migrants to Australia by:

(a)   Selection, appointment and dismissal of physicians and radiologists engaged in the examination of migrants

(b)   Supervision of panel physicians including reexamination of migrants as required.

2.   Provided advice to Heads of Mission on health matters generally.

3.   Prepare monthly reports to the Secretary, Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs and the DirectorGeneral of Health regarding medical examination of migrants and any significant trends in the health standards of migrant applicants.

Technical Adviser

Under the general supervision of the Chief Migration Officer

1.   Administer technical adviser services involving the classification of skilled migrants in accordance with Australian industrial awards and trade criteria. Give direction in the most difficult cases.

2.   Maintain close contact with government authorities, trade unions and technical institutes in facilitating the smooth operation of trade criteria.

3.   Undertake surveys and investigations into trade training methods courses and standards on the Continent and assess their comparability with Australian trade requirements.

4.   Assess suitability of migrants for occupational selection and evaluate trade qualifications in accordance with Australian standards.

5.   Consult with Executive Officer (Technical Adviser Services) as necessary.

The main duties performed by locally engaged staff referred to in part 5 are as follows:

1   . provide interpreting/translating services

2.   ' perform receptionist/stenographic duties

3.   Registry/general clerical assistance duties.

In respect to part 4, of the Department's officers in the twenty-seven non-English speaking countries directly serviced by the Department, seven officers are fluent in the principal language of the country or area of posting and twenty-four officers have a working knowledge of the appropriate language.

In respect to part 6,I would refer the Honourable member to the information provided in the Department's review of activities to 30 June 1976 tabled in the parliament on 17 November 1976.

In respect to part 7, immigration matters in the undermentioned countries are attended to by either officers of the Department of Foreign Affairs or Department of Overseas Trade.

In those countries where Australia has not established a Diplomatic mission it is usual for immigration matters to be handled by the British representatives established in those countries.


The information sought in respect to part 8 is not available.

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