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Tuesday, 11 May 1965

Senator ANDERSON (New South Wales) (Minister for Customs and Excise) - in reply. - I notice that the Opposition is not opposing this Bill. I should like to point out very briefly that Senator Fitzgerald, in indicating the attitude of the Australian Labour Party to the measure, canvassed a wide variety of matters most of which were not directly relevant to this Bill. He also, I thought, brought some arguments to bear in relation to aliens which, taken out of context, could be taken as the arguments which have been produced and propounded by certain British migrants who have come to Australia. These matters are in an entirely different category from those covered by this Bill.

The honorable senator made a point in relation to the Australian Citizenship Convention. At this Convention a tremendous number of organisations from many parts of Australia are represented by their delegates, who consider ways in which they can help in the assimilation of migrants. I think that there, in part if not in whole, the answers to some of the questions which Senator Fitzgerald has posed can be found. These organisations work to make the life of the new settlers in this country more comfortable and assist them to meet their immediate problems. The organisations which are working in their own way throughout Australia are playing a tremendous part in this field.

As regards the matter of bringing family units to Australia, the honorable senator knows this is one of the keystones of our migration programme. Our policy is to bring family units to Australia. The questions of employment and homes for new settlers are matters of quite considerable interest but, of course, they are not specified in and have no real and direct relation to this Bill. Here we have a short measure which is designed to amend the Aliens Act 1947- 1959 to require aliens resident in Australia, in addition to their obligation to register initially under the Act, to notify the Department of Immigration annually, in a specified form, of their address, occupation and marital status. That is the substance of this Bill. I am pleased to note that the Opposition supports the Government in the proposed legislation.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Bill read a second time.

In Committee.

The Bill.

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