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Tuesday, 27 March 1984
Page: 700

Senator TOWNLEY(3.36) —I join in debate on the statement on the migration program very briefly to say that I agree with the remarks of the two previous speakers. I point out to the Senate that when I was overseas recently some people in Australian posts in European countries said that at this stage they have a lot of difficulty in justifying the number of migration officers they now have associated with their posts. The number of people who are being allowed into this country from European countries-those I would call our traditional countries for immigrants-is so small that the officers that go there to do the health work and the permanent appointees there are now not required to the extent they were in years gone by.

Senator Martin —Are they getting applications for family reunion that are being rejected?

Senator TOWNLEY —I cannot answer that. But I can say that when I was in the United States I also spoke about this matter to somebody who should know about it because of past experience in immigration matters. This person said that it was now almost impossible for someone from the United States to get into this country. It seems to me quite ridiculous that people who would like to come to this country, people who would add to likely employment rather than be a cost to the country, find great difficulty in getting into Australia.

Senator Martin —This is the business category?

Senator TOWNLEY —It is the business category I believe the honourable senator spoke about a moment ago. I believe the Government should look at this category very closely. We should look at our traditional areas as well as these other areas that are now being gone into.