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Wednesday, 20 September 1972
Page: 1622

Mr BENNETT (SWAN, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - My question is directed to the Minister for Immigration. In view of the increasing unemployment revealed this week, is it a fact that migrants continuing to arrive lessen the job opportunities of those already unemployed? If so, will the Minister give urgent consideration to restricting migration to family re-unions and special cases until the unemployment situation is overcome?

Dr FORBES (BARKER, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Immigration) - Taking into account the way in which the Government adjusts its immigration policy, it is not correct that in all cases the arrival of migrants lessens the employment opportunities for Australians who are unemployed. As I have said in this House before, since we have had in this country a level of unemployment which is higher than the Government would desire, instructions have been issued to posts overseas that overseas workers, as opposed to family re-union cases, are to be brought to Australia only in categories for which, on the advice of the Department of Labour and National Service, there is still a demand. In these circumstances their arrival does not, as the honourable gentleman is trying to suggest, lessen employment opportunities for Australians. I will make one further point. It is substantially agreed by economists and others that, in certain circumstances, bringing migrants to Australia actually increases the employment opportunities available for Australians. But the main part of my answer to the honourable gentleman's question is contained in what I said earlier.

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