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Monday, 16 September 1996
Page: 3487

Senator McKIERNAN —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Short. Minister, is it a fact that the current charge for English education for 90 per cent of the immigrant clients is $2,205 and that your government proposes to increase this by 121 per cent, to $5,500? Minister, how will this meet your pre-election commitment to improve access to English language programs, described by you as `the glue that holds Australia together'? Will any of the estimated $47 million, to be raised over four years and generated by this revenue measure, be directed to other immigration programs and, if so, where?

Senator SHORT —In response to Senator McKiernan's question, various changes have been made in the budget to some of the charging arrangements for English language. There is in fact greater provision, as I recall, for AMEP English language training. There have been changes in other areas, in particular in another portfolio; namely, DEETYA. I will get details of all of those changes and advise the senator.

Senator Hill —Madam President, I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper .