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Vanstone says WA Minister has it wrong.

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Senator Amanda Vanstone


Media Centre

Vanstone Says WA Minister Has it Wrong The Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today the Western Australian Minister for Multicultural Interests, Margaret Quirk, should have done her homework before speaking on immigration and employment issues.

‘She seems to be completely unaware of the way system works and the cooperative efforts of state and federal governments to make it work better, ’ Senator Vanstone said.

‘Under the framework of the Council of Australian Government (COAG) state and federal governments are working together closely to get a better fit between the various state and federal responsibilities in skilled migration.

‘Proposals for an improved system for recognition of overseas qualifications will be considered by COAG at its next meeting.

‘The WA Government has enthusiastically participated in this process.

‘Trades Recognition Australia (TRA), which Ms Quirk comments on, is only a part of the picture and, in any case, is not part of my department but part of the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

‘The TRA works closely with state bodies responsible for skills recognition and other related areas of state regulation such as trades licensing bodies.

‘Ms Quirk seems to be unaware that the overwhelming majority of the applicants handled by the TRA are overseas.

‘I am surprised by her outburst and would encourage her to do her homework before making ill-informed, misleading comments. ’

1 February 2006