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Tuesday, 21 August 1973
Page: 101

The annual immigration program has reflected, among other things, successive Governments' assessment of the need for workers in Australia, the availability of suitable migrants in source countries and Australia's capacity to absorb those migrants.

The proposed migration program for 1973-74 is 110,000 settlers, the same as the revised 1972-73 program. The number of assisted migrants is, however, expected to increase from 57,000 to 60,000 in 1973-74.

Government outlays on immigration are estimated to total $51.6 million in 1973-74. This covers embarkation and passage costs and the provision of accommodation for some assisted passage arrivals, specific education and other settlement and citizenship programs, and the administration of these programs. Details are set out in the following table:

Subject to a contribution by the migrant, the Australian Government pays the passage and associated costs of assisted migrants from their place of residence or point of embarkation overseas to the place of initial residence in Australia. Expenditure for this purpose in 1973-74 is estimated to increase by $1 . 5 million, reflecting an expected increase from 57,000 to 60,000 in the number of assisted passage migrants.

The Australian Government has accepted a responsibility to provide temporary accommodation for some assisted passage migrants on their arrival in Australia. Accommodation is available either in hostels operated by Commonwealth Hostels Ltd or voluntary organisations in the case of single women, in self-contained Government-owned flats, or in private accommodation in country areas. Migrants are required to contribute towards the cost of this accommodation but a substantial proportion of the total cost is met by the Government. The Government also contributes on a S for $ basis to the establishment of State Government migrant reception centres.

Total expenditure on migrant accommodation is estimated to fall by $0.3 million in 1973-74 to $5 . 5 million, due mainly to a reduction in the subsidy payable to Commonwealth Hostels Ltd and lower expenditure on the construction of flats.

As part of the settlement and citizenship program, education in the English language and the Australian life-style is provided to adult migrants in the form of pre-embarkation and shipboard instruction, and correspondence, continuation, accelerated and intensive courses. Expenditure, including salary and associated costs for teachers, administrative costs and living allowances for some students is estimated at 84 . 9 million in 1 973-74. This increase of $1.9 million on expenditure in 1972-73 reflects increased activity, particularly in accelerated courses, and increased salary costs.

Assistance is also provided by the Australian Government for special education programs in schools aimed at assisting migrant children to join fully in normal classes. Expenditures on this activity are recorded in the function 'Education*.

General Administrative and other Expenditure

Administration costs are estimated to increase by $1.7 million to $22.6 million in 1973-74. Salary costs account for $1.2 million of this increase and reflect higher staff numbers and higher salary levels resulting from award variations.

Assistance to Good Neighbour Councils and other voluntary organisations involved in settlement and citizenship activities is estimated to increase by $0.2 million to $1 .1 million in 1973-74.

The contribution to be paid by assisted migrants has been increased from $25 for each person nineteen years and over to $75 for a single person aged eighteen years and over, a married couple or a family group, with effect from 1 July 1973. The higher migrant contribution to passage costs and the larger program of assisted migration are estimated to lead to an increase of $0.9 million in recoveries in 1973-74.

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