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Wednesday, 2 November 1983
Page: 2254

Dr THEOPHANOUS(7.58) —I want to make a couple of brief remarks in relation to the attitude that has been taken by the Opposition on the issue of immigration and ethnic affairs. I express my extreme disquiet at its failure to put forward any positive or progressive suggestions. Instead, it completely and continuously attacks the Government and its policies, which have been well thought out and developed over a period, so as to apply the principles of equality in the difficult area of immigration and ethnic affairs.

The record of the previous Government in relation to these matters leaves a great deal to be desired. Indeed, some of the accusations that it has made against the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (Mr West) and against this Government have been outrageous, because those sorts of accusations are often based on rhetoric which is unsustainable. We keep hearing about lurches to the left et cetera. In fact, the situation in this area, especially with the family reunion program, with its new points system, is to apply a program in a fair and just way-in a way in which it has never before been applied in Australia. That program is based on a set of principles which are applied universally and independently in relation to all ethnic groups and countries.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! It being 8.00 p.m. the debate is interrupted.

Dr Blewett —I require that the debate be extended.

Mr SPEAKER —The debate may continue until 8.10 p.m.