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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3259

Mr Leo McLeay (GRAYNDLER, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs, upon notice, on 14 May 1980:

(   1 ) Has his attention been drawn to the practices of (a) the New Settlers Federation and (b) certain lawyers who charge for purportedly making representations regarding immigration matters and who as a last resort refer people to their local Members of Parliament.

(2)   If so, will he undertake a press campaign in the ethnic media (a) urging people to contact his Department or their local Member direct regarding immigration matters, and (b) advising that this service is free.

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

(1)   Yes. I refer the honourable member to the statement made by the then Minister for Labor and Immigration, the present member for Hindmarsh, on 30 October 1974, and statements by the honourable member for Banks and the Hon. M. J. R. MacKellaron 2 June 1977.

It is an unfortunate fact that some people, usually prohibited immigrants, pay money to the so-called fighting fund of the New Settlers Federation for no worthwhile purpose.

(2)   The Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs already draws attention to policies and services it provides through counselling and information provided for prospective migrants overseas, through the initial settlement program being develped in line with the Galbally Report and more directly, from time to time, through paid advertising including advertising in the ethnic press. I shall give serious consideration to the sort of campaign the honourable member has proposed, taking account of the findings of the recently completed Migrant Information Needs Survey.

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