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Minister in South Australia for immigration consultations

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Page 1 of 3 Migration media release 33/99

Philip Ruddock MP Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Reconciliation

Minister in South Australia for immigration consultations MPS 33/99

A South African dentist in Coober Pedy and a French chemical engineer in Tanunda are just two examples of South Australia's success attracting skilled migrants to regional areas of the State, the Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock, said today.

In Adelaide as part of national consultations on Australia's 1999-2000 migration program, Mr Ruddock said the number of migrants entering South Australia through the Skill stream increased by more than 51 per cent in 1997-98, accounting for nearly 40 per cent of the year's total migrant intake.

"I applaud the efforts of South Australia, which is leading the way in attracting skilled migrants to Australia. By taking advantage of programs such as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) the

State is able to help meet demand for qualified professionals outside of metropolitan areas.

"The RSMS enables Australian employers in regional or low-growth areas to fill skilled permanent vacancies with overseas personnel if they cannot find suitably qualified workers in Australia.

"Additionally, many areas now have direct access to the Skill Matching Database which enables employers to instantly find details of potential job applicants with the relevant skills and experience.

"This resource presents employers in regional Australia with a great opportunity to fill positions that would otherwise remain vacant."

Mr Ruddock said South Australia was also successfully using the State/Territory Nominated Independent (STNI) Scheme to boost its skills base.

"The STNI scheme is designed to allow States and Territories to 'top-up' identified shortages in the local labour market with relevant skills and experience by selecting migrants.

"To South Australia's credit, it is the only State currently making use of the STNI scheme even though it has been in operation now for two years. 04/03/1999

Migration media release 33/99 Page 2 o f 3

Mr Ruddock said the 1997-98 Settler Arrivals statistical report shows that 1,157 people migrated to the state through the Skill stream last year, up from 765 in 1996­ 97.

Settler Arrivals also showed that:

• Some 29.9 per cent of all permanent settlers to South Australia entered under the Family Stream, down from 45.2 per cent last year;

• The Humanitarian Program accounted for 17.2 per cent of arrivals in South Australia down from last year's figure of 18.1 per cent;

• The Non-Program migration category (mainly New Zealand citizens) attracted 14.4 per cent of settlers, up on last year's figure of 13.3 per cent;

• Among the new settlers to South Australia, were people from the United Kingdom (21.9%), New Zealand (9.6%), Bosnia-Herzegovina (6.1%), South Africa (6%), and India (5%).

During this year's consultations the Minister will meet with a wide cross-section of individuals and organisations including representatives of business, economic, industry, union, environment, welfare, planning, refugee, humanitarian and ethnic community groups.

For the first time the immigration consultations include a nation-wide round of public meetings. Adelaide played host to its first-ever open meeting last night.

Consultations and public meetings are also being held in Melbourne, Griffith, Sydney, Albury-Wodonga, Perth, Canberra, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin Launceston and Hobart.

Other skilled migrants in rural areas of South Australia include:

• Technical studies teacher in Whyalla from South Africa; • Marketing manager in Port Lincoln from Japan; • Chiropractor in Port Pirie from Canada; • Winemaker in Rerun ark from Britain; • Research scientist in Roseworthy from China; • GP in Lameroo from the US; • Pharmacist in Mt Gambier from Britain; • Mechanic in Mt Gambier from Britain; • Mechanic in Bordertown from South Africa; • Electrical mechanic in Virginia from South


Wednesday, 24 February, 1999 Media Inquiries: Brad Robinson (02) 6277 7860 or 04/03/1999

Migration media release 33/99 Page 3 o f 3

0419 278 715

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