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Wednesday, 12 April 1972
Page: 1011

Senator WILLESEE asked the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration, upon notice:

What financial and other assistance to the various State Good Neighbour Councils -

(a)   was provided by the Government during each of the last 3 years, and

(b)   is budgeted for during the current financial year.

Senator GREENWOOD - The Minister for Immigration has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

Financial assistance is provided to the various State Good Neighbour Councils through GrantsinAid.

(a)   The amounts provided for the last 3 financial years were:

(b)   For 1971-72, $526,000 has been provided as follows:

The Grants-in-Aid are planned to cover the basic administrative costs of the Councils in order that they may most effectively co-ordinate voluntary community effort in the integration of new settlers.

Financial assistance is also made available to Good Neighbour Councils under the scheme administered by my Department whereby a grant amounting to some $8,000 annually is provided to community agencies engaged in a direct service to the migrant community, to provide for the employment of a qualified social worker and associated costs. Four of the Good Neighbour Councils (New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia) have qualified for this grant.

The Department of Immigration maintains a small section to administer the Grants-in-Aid, to provide guidance for each of the State Good Neighbour Councils and to co-ordinate their activities.

In addition, the Department's Information Branch provides an officer to form a link between the Good Neighbour Councils and the Department in publicity and information matters, with the responsibility of developing informative and interesting news items and reports about Council activities for presentation in publications, in Australia and overseas. He arranges press, radio and TV coverage of Good Neighbour Council Conferences, Annual Meetings and other activities with the assistance of officers of the Information Branch based in the Department's State Offices.

The Information Branch also makes available display material for use at Council exhibitions and conferences. It assists the Good Neighbour Councils in the preparation and production of brochures, booklets, pamphlets, and other printed material. When appropriate, Good Neighbour Council activity is mentioned in Departmental films, radio programmes, publications and articles.

The Department has undertaken special advertising campaigns in the foreign language press and English language newspapers outlining the services provided by the staff and voluntary workers of the Good Neighbour Councils.

In 1970 the services of an officer of the Department were made available to the Good Neighbour Councils of New South Wales and Western Australia, and in 1971 to the Good Neighbour Council of Victoria, to advise them in matters of organisation and methods,.

The Department's State Offices make available to the Councils information relating to migrant arrivals to facilitate initial contact and counselling. They also assist Councils with advice and guidance on matters of immigration procedure.

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