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Wednesday, 25 February 1959


Mr DOWNER (ANGAS, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - It is the Government's desire to proclaim with the greatest possible expedition that part of the act to which my honorable friend refers. But as the honorable member will realize - being himself, if I may say so, a lawyer of distinction and one who took a conspicuous part in the debates on the migration legislation last year - these are sweeping reforms, which will entail and are entailing a great deal of work in the way of drafting regulations, and devising new forms of procedure, and new processes generally. I had hoped that it would be possible within the matter of a few weeks to bring this part of the new legislation into effect, but as a result of the enormous amount of work involved, and the necessity for briefing immigration officers overseas in the new processes, it will not be possible to proclaim the legislation until 1st June. But the honorable gentleman may rest assured that the Government is well seised of the necessity to implement this act in the shortest possible time, and although the proclamation of the act may seem to some people to have been unduly delayed, none the less, considering the work involved, the matter is proceeding as quickly as is humanly possible.







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