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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3230

Mr Les McMahon (SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 16 April 1980:

(1)   How many cables requested by immigration applicants for the purpose of obtaining information, have been sent since the introduction of immigration service charges on 1 November 1979.

(2)   How many answers to these cables have been received.

(3)   What is the average time lapse between a cable being sent and an answer being received.

(4)   What explanation is there for situations in which one or more cables are sent, and no reply is received.

Mr Macphee - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   1 700 cables were sent during the period 1 November, 1979, to 30 April, 1980.

(2)   It is not possible to indicate precisely how many answers have been received. Many cables do not require a specific reply, rather they provide information to an overseas post which facilitates the early processing of a particular case. For cables requiring an answer replies have been received within the general time-frame set out in (3 ).

(3)   The average time-lapse between a cable being sent and an answer being received is a little more than one week.

(4)   As indicated in (2) many cables do not require a reply. In other cases action or replies can be delayed for significant periods of time because of difficulties in arranging for and /or conducting interviews with persons in remote areas, or in cases where there are unusual processing problems associated with such matters as medical checks or assessment of trade qualifications.

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