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Electronic lodgement? Don't bother!



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FOR MEDIA

SENATOR JOE LUDWIG

Shadow Minister for Justice and Customs Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate Labor Senator for Queensland

12 November 2004

ELECTRONIC LODGEMENT? DON’T BOTHER!

Citizenship applicants who have been inspired by Government advertising to apply over the internet would be better off downloading the forms, printing them out and sending them by snail-mail.

While the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs has a processing target of 75% of applications to be processed in 30 days, the Auditor General’s report into Management and Promotion of Citizenship Services shows the majority of electronically lodged forms take longer.

“In fact, almost 60% of electronically lodged forms took over 30 days to process. It’s actually quicker to fill out the forms on paper and post them,” said Labor’s Shadow Minister for Citizenship Joe Ludwig.

“Careful scrutiny reveals the fact hidden away in a footnote, but it’s there in black and white.”

“It’s extraordinary - the whole point of having electronic lodgement is that it is supposed to save time, but when it comes to applying for Australian Citizenship it turns out applying online versus mail is a waste of time.”

“Here is a simple measure of performance where Minister McGauran must lift the game.”

“When the Government is going to spend $3.7million in promoting Australian citizenship then we should also back it up to ensure applications are processed speedily.”

“It must be very disappointing for those keen to become Australian Citizens to be left waiting like this.”

(see also attached graph below).

Processing of Electronically Lodged Citizenship Forms

75%

41%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

P e r c

en ta

g e P

r o ces

sed

w it

h in

3 0 d

a ys

Departmental Target

Actual Result

ENDS. For further information contact: Simon Every 0417 955 182