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Wednesday, 19 May 1993
Page: 896

(Question No. 9)


Senator Alston asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 30 March 1993:

  For each of the following bodies: (a) what is its function; (b) where is it based; (c) who are its members; (d) what organisations do its members represent; (e) in the past 12 months, what activities has the body been involved in; and (f) what Commonwealth funding has it received in each of the past four financial years:

  Temple Society Trust Fund Advisory Committee

  Committee on the Determination of Refugee Status

  National Population Council


Senator Bolkus —I am advised that the answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows:

  Temple Society Trust Fund Advisory Committee:

  (a)-(f) The Temple Society Trust Fund Advisory Committee, which was set up following the dissolution of the Temple Society in Palestine to disperse the Trust Fund to ex-members of that society who had settled in Australia, ceased to function with the final distribution of money during the 1980/81 financial year.

  Committee on the Determination of Refugee Status:

  (a)-(f) The Determination of Refugee Status (DORS) Committee was an interdepartmental committee which made recommendations on applications for refugee status to the Minister or his Departmental delegate for determination. The DORS Committee ceased its functions on 10 December 1990 and was superseded by the Refugee Status Review Council.

  National Population Council:

  (a) The National Population Council (NPC) is responsible to the Government through the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs for the consideration of and recommendations on the promotion of economic and social development through appropriate population policies, including the entry and settlement of people.

  (b) Currently only the NPC sub-committee, the Bureau of Immigration Research Advisory Committee (BIRAC), is active. As the Bureau of Immigration Research (BIR) and the majority of members of BIRAC are based in Melbourne, for logistical reasons meetings are normally held in Melbourne.

  (c) The current members of BIRAC are:

  Prof. David Cox

  Prof. Stephen Castles

  Dr Robert Birrell

  Ms Paula Cristoffanini

  Mr Ross Tzannes and

  Mr Alan Matheson

  (d) NPC members were chosen for their expertise and experience in a wide range of community interests, and not necessarily as representatives of any particular organisation or group. Their backgrounds covered a wide variety of areas and skills including ethnic, economic, industrial, trade union, social, academic and environmental, as well as widely representing the Australian states and territories.

  (e) During the past 12 months, BIRAC has been meeting regularly with members of the BIR to discuss the BlR's research program and future initiatives.

  (f) Commonwealth funds are not provided directly to the NPC. The NPCs expenses are met by the Department on a needs basis. The allocations to meet those expenditures for the last four financial years are as follows:

  1989/90 allocation $260,000

  1990/91 allocation $260,000

  1991/92 allocation $595,000

  1992/93 allocation $142,000