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Tuesday, 28 February 1984
Page: 106

(Question No. 510)

Senator Hearn asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 15 November 1983:

(1) What is the racial mix of staff employed at the Australian embassy in South Africa, that is, black, coloured, white.

(2) What is the method of interviewing intending migrants to Australia.

(3) Where do interviews take place.

Senator Gareth Evans —The Minister for Foreign Affairs has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) I am assured that staff in South Africa locally engaged by the Australian Government have been employed solely on the basis of ability and qualifications and that race was not a consideration. The classification of persons by race is inherently offensive to the Australian Government. Racial terms are however used by the South African Government and in these terms, staff employed by the Australian Government in South Africa are:

Pretoria: Black-one, White-ten, Coloured-two, Indian-one.

Capetown: White-four, Coloured-two.

Johannesburg: White-five, Black-two.

(2) Applicants for migrant entry and their family members are interviewed in accordance with the standard format and procedures set out in the Migrant Entry Handbook. This is a public document. Its provisions are observed by Australian migration interviewers throughout the world.

(3) Interviews are conducted at the embassy in Pretoria and the consulate in Capetown. Interviewing officers from these centres also conduct interviews in Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London as required.